16 August 2008

Living in fear in St Neots

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I've just read a distressing news report about a local family that are having their lives ruined by thoughtless, cruel, young people throwing stones at their home, calling out abusive remarks, and even breaking windows. The news report is online, take a look for yourself.

Let's list out a few basic facts about the situation and about me. After all, I live in St Neots, I am involved whether I wish to be or not, I'm part of this community.
  • The young people doing this are probably bored, perhaps they have nothing useful to keep them occupied. They probably get swept along in the moment, they each want to outdo the others. It's cool to do this stuff. There may be one amongst them who leads them into stuff they wouldn't otherwise do.

  • The police are only able to respond to crimes that are committed, they don't have the remit or the people to deal with any underlying problem.

  • The church will feel sorry that this has happened, but will think, 'What can we do?'

  • The people being victimised can do little to help themselves.

  • The neighbours will feel, 'I'm not getting involved otherwise I'll be next.'

  • I'm thinking hard about what I should do...



Mallard Lane is not the most prosperous part of town, hardship is a reality for some and local people are struggling with issues which include vandalism. Here's a map of the area (you can also view a larger map). The pin in the map just marks the street, not the position of the household under attack.

So what can I do? What can anyone do?

Here's what I propose, I will begin by praying.

I'll share this story with the friends I meet with on Thursdays, we can pray together.

If you're reading this and would like to pray too that would be great. The main things I'm asking as a start are
  • That I'll be shown clearly what, if anything, I am to do.

  • That the trouble will stop and the pressure be lifted.

  • That the woman in the story will be healed.

That's a start. But in practical terms here's what I'm thinking.
  • Make contact with the people who are being victimised.

  • Invite them round for a BBQ some time soon.

  • Send letters to the local church explaining the background and asking for prayer and any practical input they feel led to offer.

  • Consider encouraging a meeting to include the victims, the police, young people from the area (if possible), the church, neighbours, other organisations that might be able to offer support, help, or advice.

So far I have little idea where the Lord will lead me in this, but I know it would be wrong to 'just forget'. I'll post to the blog again to let you know what happens next.

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