Sunday, August 31, 2008

Crime averted

It was very noticeable this morning at 7h45, that the street sweeping team had not yet passed through the city centre, for whatever reason. I think they passed during the 8h00 Eucharist, to judge by the noises outside. To see the untreated streets in such a state is a reminder of what we have gotten used to in the past decade or so of fast food consumption, since most of the rubbish on the streets is branded fast food containers. When will the city decide this is unacceptable, and introduce preventative measures?

As we started the Parish Eucharist this morning, I noticed one of our local 'street people' - someone who has asked me for money in the past - slip in to one of the back pews. That's a first, I thought to myself. Moments later, as we were singing the first hymn, I heard raised voices, and then when I moved forward to the lectern, I saw that he had disappeared.

After the service, one of our welcomers told me she had seen him put his hand into the bag of a young woman who had arrived just before him, and he was in the process of removing her purse. She moved very rapidly, caught hold of his wrist to make him let go of the purse, and then saw him off the premises rapidly. The young lady in question was a bit shaken, but undeterred, and received Communion clutching her bag. She was one of three young women here from Bombay on placement with Tesco's H.R. area department, being trained up for the new company being opened in India using Tesco's management methods. The other two returned last month.

She told me she was on her way home in the coming week, and asked for prayers. She also said that she had taken the opportunity while here to visit different churches and discover what it was like in British churches. Ours, she said, is the only church she'd returned to a second time, much taken with its beauty and friendliness. Let's hope she wasn't too disconcerted by local knavery - although in all liklehood, Bombay with its much larger scale of contrast between wealth and poverty not much different to Cardiff.

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