Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow on snow and snow on snow

Brighton came to halt today, it snowed last night and everything stopped. If you are reading from abroad we in England are never prepared for it. Our school closed a day earlier, so no carol service this year in Church, our sisters abandoned their car outside the Church this morning and walked home. Mass attendance was down to a dozen this morning. As the day progressed the snow melted and then the slush froze so the pavements are like sheets of ice. This evening we had only two young men for the Traditional Latin Mass, the elderly and families with children wisely stayed at home.

However we still had a party in our hall for Brighton Voices in Exile, the organization which works from our Church for asylum seekers. Somehow people managed to get here from Worthing, Crawley, Peacehaven. There were Afghanis, Zimbabwians, Algierians, Iraqis some with horrendous stories of torture, rape, imprisonment, discrimination. Most are actually genuine, some in reality have stories far worst than they tell the immigration authorities. Gatherings like this are so important to them, our draconian laws mean that they are forbidden to work, even voluntarily. They subsist on £30 of vouchers a week, many are homeless, a few sleep in the open, others on friends floors. Loneliness and depression, living in constant fear of deportation are common amongst them.

Bishop Kieran Conry manage to drive down for the party, in places managing 1 or 2 miles an hour, just to spend time with them, in many ways he really is an exemplary pastor, who loves the poor.

The Red Cross supplied us with cosmetics like soap, toothpaste which most can't afford and the parish poor fund gave most of our last collection towards trying to buy gloves and scarves for everyone's Christmas stocking. What with our soup run which operates every day of the year it hads taken a bit of battering but the more we give, the more God provides through his people.


Terry Nelson said...

More evidence of global warming.

Independent said...

This light dusting of snow would be regarded as a joke in Canada. Things do not grind to a halt just because of a few inches.

Jane said...

The excellent initiatives run by and from your parish are heart warming indeed. Good for Bishop Conry. It's been snowing here in south west France for two days but I doubt we'll see our bishop! Snow in Milan as well.

Laurence England said...

Just tried to get my car out of its space. Wanted to drive to London, but I'm iced and snowed in!

Gritters don't seem to have bothered in that area!

mater mari said...

Our Canadian daughter-in-law wouldn't agree with you, Independent. Having lived in London for ten years she and the family are now back in Toronto and she is adamant that the myth that Canada doesn't grind to a halt during snowfalls is just that - a myth!

pelerin said...

The main reason Brighton grinds to a halt with a slight snow fall is the existance of hills. Most of the bus services here have at least one hill to climb.

I live on a main bus route on a hill and although the bus manager was seen to be interviewed on tv yesterday saying the buses only had to be stopped for a couple of hours, not a single bus passed my house all day. And none so far
today either.

How I wish the pavements could be gritted enabling people to walk more safely in this weather. I have noticed people are taking the risk of walking in the road up the hill today although there is traffic unlike yesterday.

Full marks to our Bishop for getting into Brighton yesterday for the Voices in Exile party. It is pleasing to read a good comment regarding one of our Bishops.

shadowlands said...

These photos make me happy and sad, at the same time. Your church hall seems like a nice place to be,from a Christian perspective. Jesus' love is found there and warm radiators by the look of things!

Independent said...

Mater Mari - it may be different in Toronto, in Newfoundland they are used to bad weather. I can remember everything functioning normally even after quite a heavy snowfall. My children really enjoyed it.

Laurence England said...

God bless Voices in Exile. They do excellent works of mercy.

Crux Fidelis said...

In his homily yesterday our PP said how delighted he was to wake up and find it was snowing and went on to express a wish for a white Christmas. "All right for you," I later told him "You only have to walk a few yards to work."

nickbris said...

Brighton Council made £47,000,000 profit from motorists last year and they can't afford a few shillings to make the streets SAFE for the Council Tax payers.

They are totally incompetent and uncaring.There are very good grounds for sueing.

The Health Service has become inundated with accident victims.

We are cursed with a useless Executive who are only interested in preserving their colossal Pension Fund.

gemoftheocean said...

Nick: 47 million pounds? That wasn't a typo was it -- because if it wasn't these people ought to be thrown in jail for highway robbery.

Yes, you'd think they could manage to get the grit trucks out! For heaven's sake, what is that 47 million pounds supposed to cover?