Nearly 80 years ago in the midst of World War 2, all 3 major political parties and politicians were united on the need to change the system of social care, and commissioned a report. The then Conservative Party supported aspects of the report. Churchill, the leader of the Conservative Party, coined the phrase 'from the Cradle to the Grave' in a radio broadcast in March 1943 to describe the need for some form of social insurance to give security to every class of citizen in the state.
However, Churchill was against too much state intervention and supported ‘freedom of choice’ in healthcare. The Liberal Party supported the Beveridge Report, including the inclusion of voluntary groups and charities in providing social security. The Labour Party agreed with the main recommendations of the Beveridge Report, but thought the State should provide full benefits and free healthcare for all and exclude voluntary societies. In the end, having won the General Election after the war, the Labour Party brought in their interpretation of the report. Ever since then however, the influence of the state has diminished, with an increased reliance on charities, philanthropists and others making up the deficit.
I share this brief history lesson with you, after reflecting on another busy day in our church building. For, after providing a venue to meet up together for Morning Prayer, our church was privileged in ministering to so many people, almost literally from the cradle to the grave. In the morning, as well as a funeral for a 95 year old in the worship room, the hall was the venue for toddlers with 22 toddlers with their parents and carers, the lounge hosted the buzz armchair exercise session, and the youth room the LAB project, enhancing the confidence of long tern unemployed. Finally, the kitchen was used by Cracking Good Food, creating meals for those within and beyond our community. What a morning! We as a church are certainly enhancing the much needed services required by our community.
But it’s not just physical and social needs and opportunities that are addressed, but also the possibility of spiritual ones too. The things and possibilities of God are often discussed informally whenever people gather, and now with our Christian exploration course START, operating both on Monday afternoon and Wednesday evening, there are also more structured discussion opportunities too. There’s a lot going on! Please do pray for us, as we seek to minister “from the cradle to the grave”, and don’t be a stranger if you fancy coming along to anything.
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