Weekly update for MCC Brighton
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Greetings Philip, welcome to this week's newsletter!

This week I have been mostly eating .....!

The catchphrase of Jesse from The Fast Show. Every episode he would come out of his outdoor toilet and say the above line followed by some type of food. Funny? Maybe. Relevant? Maybe not, but it does bring to mind that feeling of same old, same old.

I get that feeling some times. This week I have been mostly calming down volatile people or trying to enthuse someone to do something. It seems to me that at times things just come in waves, the old adage about buses springs to mind "You wait ages then three turn up". Sometimes when working with the homeless and rough sleepers you realise that you haven't seen someone for ages then all of sudden news about them and others being locked up, or back from travelling, or just been evicted from somewhere, comes up in conversation. At those times often my first thought is "Thank God they aren't dead". But isn't that a horrible frame of mind to be in? There must surely be something wrong if the initial thought on hearing someones name is "Phew they are alive!" but that is the reality for anyone working with rough sleepers in particular.

Every day there are more reports of violence on the streets, not to mention the sudden hazardous drop in temperatures as winter really bites. Yet despite all of that there still isn't sufficient provision to keep the homeless safe and alive. Are there alternatives to the current provisions? Yes. Would they help alleviated some of the suffering? Yes. Would they save lives? Yes. Will the local authority in Brighton and Hove support them? No.

That is the sad reality of those suffering on our streets, that those with the power to help them aren't listening to them. Many feel isolated, ignored and even abused by the very system that should be protecting and supporting them.

Surely things have to change. I long for the day when my first thought on not seeing someone for a few weeks is "They must have got sorted" Not "I hope they are ok". If we can put our weight behind those groups fighting on behalf of those less fortunate than many of us, groups that are working hard, giving everything they have to try to make things better,  maybe we can create the change that needs to happen At least that is my hope.

Have a blessed, spirit-filled and joyful week.

Andrew Ramage

Trust In Their Humanity

Last Sunday we were visited by Reverend Kate Harford who, as part of our look at the book of Psalms, spoke about Trust. Click here for our YouTube channel to hear more!

Trust, whether being trusted, or trusting someone else, can be hard sometimes. As a Christian I try always to think the best of someone, to assume that they are a good person, but as a human being all too often I make judgements based on a person's appearance, or what I know about their lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm alone in that.

As a group, homeless people are frequently stereotyped as untrustworthy and dishonest, when actually they're no more likely to be so than anyone else, given their circumstances. When out doing Street Church we meet people who are no different to those we might meet at the pub, or at a concert, the only difference is that these people don't have a home to call their own.

This week, try to have a chat with some of the people you see around Brighton, imagine that they're someone you've met in a cafe, rather than outside a supermarket door, you may be surprised at how human they are...and you'll lift the spirits of 2 people, theirs and your own!

Blessings and love,

Loving God, when all is darkness give us a sense of your presence, your love, and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power. Help us to engage your will with a reckless faith. Teach us to trust in you, and help us to grow in righteousness.

Help us also to trust those around us, and not to make judgements based on appearances. By your grace, help us guard our hearts without hardening our hearts.

All this we pray through your mighty name.



Worship Service- Brighthelm Gardens, 6pm. We will be continuing our sermon series based on the Psalms, and SJ will be speaking to us about Life & Death. We will also be recognising Holocaust Memorial Day. Don't forget to check our Facebook page for any new songs.

Pastoral Availability- Where possible, Mondays are Andrew's day off. This means that he is not available by phone or email, except in emergencies.

The Hub- Salvation Army Congress Hall, Park Crescent (by the Level), 8.30am until 1.
An advice & support chaplaincy for the homeless & vulnerably housed, with free food. Volunteers always needed.
Street Church- Old Steine Gardens. 4pm until 5.30.
Informal worship & communion for everyone. Help with setup from 3.30 always appreciated.

Community Office Hours-  Alcampo Lounge, London Road, 12pm until 6. 
Pastor Andrew is available for advice, chat, and prayer. Please contact him first as he does get busy!
Bible Cafe- Every Thursday evening we hold an informal and friendly Bible study, where all are encouraged to take part in the discussion. Contact us for more details!

FRIDAY 1st February
Street Church Hastings- Wellington Place, Hastings, 4pm until 6.
Informal worship & communion for everyone. Help with setup from 3.30 always appreciated.

SATURDAY 2nd February- SUNDAY 10th February
Pastoral Availability-
Andrew is away and not available except in emergencies. For routine enquiries please speak to Kim or Philip.

Worship Service- Brighthelm Gardens, 6pm. We will be concluding our sermon series based on the Psalms, and Stacey Ingrassia, from MCC East London, will be speaking to us about Worship & Praise.

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