FACT Mission Statement

We are :
From various churches
Assisting and serving our communities
Christians working together
To make a difference

Friday, 11 September 2009

Racial Justice Sunday

This coming Sunday is racial justice Sunday. In our area, we can sometimes feel that racial issues don't effect us much but we do have people of different ethnic minorities living in our town and area, and certainly the number of nationalities which we have present in our congregation at St Catharine's ( 26 at last count and going up all the time ! ) we do have a lot of people of different nationalities living as members of our community. The recent vision 4 Frome process received mixed messages from people submitting replies. Some saw Frome as a tolerant and diverse place, while others saw it as a place which didn't welcome followers and was rife with racist incidents.

One group who maybe we have not thought about much is the Roma/Gypsy community. In recent surveys for the Town Council's Frome Community Plan, time and again it comes up that we have living in our area a group who feel marginalised and not catered for, a group who suffer from predjuice because of their race and ethnic origin and their lifestyle. To quote one part of the marginalised people's report ( which includes pieces on disabled people and young people amongst others )

Among gypsies, most adults have their own cars, but some have ponies and traps, which they use occasionally. The slow pace of travel causes tailback, which leads to aggressive and abusive drivers. Two families in Frome are being threatened with eviction from the gypsy site right now because they bring ponies onto the site. The problem is that there is nowhere else for them to go. One of the people being threatened with eviction is seriously ill with cancer; if she is evicted she will no longer have an address and so will also lose access to a GP.
 There was also complaints about lack of pitches and being forced into houses, against their wishes.

This along with the racist incidents in our town, should be something which we as Christians need to think about urgently. The theme of this year's Racial Justice Sunday is "Who do you say that I am" ( the Gospel for this Sunday ) the words and actions of people who are racist in our town definitly say who they think immigrants are in their opinion, inferior, and we should be actively trying to change their minds !

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