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St Pauls And Holy Cross

2nd of November 2007

Money matters….

Yes, it does matter: or rather how we use it does. A note came through the door from our friendly milkman… A price increase of 4p per pint. What to do? Cancel the order, and get all my milk at nearly half the price from the supermarket? That appears to be the cheapest thing for me to do….. But then there might be no milkman…. He would have no job… What a cost for him and his family…. and the State. A valuable social service lost!

Then there is the threat hanging over the Post Office and the General Store that probably would not survive without it. Who decides, and on what basis, that 1,400 or so other Post Offices have to be closed? And why? Because “money rules” in that one segment of life, with little or no consideration of the cost which others will have to meet. Peoples livelihood and sense of worth … extra travel costs to go further afield … and the environmental costs too …

How do we balance social and community service, which does have to be paid for somewhere by someone, and another groups economics?

By the time you read this I will have returned from a visit to Rwanda: the congregation of my previous parish funded a medical centre in that country which provides basic facilities for 30,000 people, at the sort of cost one family might spend on a nice new conservatory to their home. Which was the better use of the money? And who paid?

Jesus said “You cannot serve both God and money”. We live in a culture in which money rules us, with little consideration as to who might have to pay. Unless we as communities together rebel against that, the quality of our lives, and more importantly others around us, will continue to deteriorate.

So I am faced with the challenge of what to do about our milkman, our Post Office and General Stores …. can I, can we, do something which might mean that money serves us, rather than the other way around. Anyone interested in taking a lead?

With my prayers, Jim Stevens

 
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