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Parish letter

From Revd Denise

 Dear Friends

On June 10th, I had the privilege to preach at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in London at a service to celebrate 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended voting rights to women over the age of 30. In the afternoon of that day, women took part in four marches in the four capital cities of the UK to commemorate the passing of the Act and to remember the courageous Suffragists and Suffragettes who had campaigned and sometimes fought for equality, which they only partially gained 100 years ago.  It took a further 10 years until 1928 before the voting age for men and women was equalised. 

In preparation for my preaching I did a little research and discovered that the key thing that changed the minds of our parliamentarians was not all the protests, the strident voices  and the violent action, but the way the women of this country stepped up to serve during the First World War.


Even the hardline suffragettes, who one might have expected to be alienated from their government, joined in, helping to take over the roles of their menfolk who had gone to fight and in so doing demonstrating that they could undertake factory work and farm work and all the other jobs that kept the country going during the worst of times.  Their example of selfless service and dedication to their communities and this country changed the hearts and minds of the people of power.  Many MPs had already been convinced that there should be equality.  Those of them who still didn’t believe it was right were shamed into agreeing.


The faithfulness of the women demonstrated beyond any activism that they were worthy to enjoy equality with men.


And yet, there are still so many inequalities in our country, never mind in the wider world.


When we look at another human being, someone we don’t know, what goes through our minds?  Are they friend or foe?  Can I trust them? Do I want to build a positive relationship here?  What do they think of me?


The Bible teaches us that God did not intend for human beings to be alone.  We need other people and they need us.  Jesus told his friends to love one another in the same way that he loved them, giving of our time and energy and ultimately our life to serve each other.  Most of us cannot change or influence relationships across the world but we can start with ourselves and those around us.  This is what building God’s Kingdom on earth is all about.



Yours in Christ, Denise


For those of you who are wondering about the arrival of my second grandchild: Raffi Theodore Thomas arrived safely on March 10th and now the first few fraught weeks are over and mummy and daddy are getting more sleep we can truly enjoy him and his big brother Jonah!