Thursday, 11 October 2007
My history is not my destiny, journey into freedom
Yesterday at lunchtime I walked next door to the House of Lords for a reception hosted by Baroness Kathleen Richardson on behalf of the Langley House Trust. This included the launch of their latest Annual Review "Journey into freedom". The Langley House Trust is a national Christian charity. Its mission is "to help people to lead fulfilling and crime-free lives and, in so doing, to help protect the public". The Trust provides training, accommodation, education and other appropriate services, and welcomes those of other faiths and those of none. Much of its work is with ex-offenders, and the disadvantaged homeless. For more information go to http://www.langleyhousetrust.org/)
I was very interested to hear more of the work of the Trust from the Chair of the Trustees, David Lane and members of the Senior Management Team as we milled around at the beginning of the reception. It was a surprise to see a familiar face and discover that the Treasurer is a fellow Local Preacher from the Harrow and Hillingdon Methodist Circuit.
Kathleen Richardson welcomed us and then Rt Rev Terence Brain, Bishop of Salford spoke about the work of the Trust and got us thinking using the story of the crucifixion asking which was the "good" and which the "bad" thief next to Jesus on the cross. Lots of food for thought. Four of the residents of the projects presented awards to four staff who had been nominated by residents as people who were particularly special. That was a fantastic part of the proceedings. It was interesting to see art and craft pieces by residents of the projects and gain insights into how important this work is.
It was good to see that the Methodist Church was held in high regard in relation to their support for this work. I was challenged to think about what happens in my area to help people such as ex offenders and the disadvantaged homeless. The Bishop talked about the fact that re-settlement of offenders is often something of a misnoma and that offences sometimes happened because people weren't settled before. What could I, what could you be doing to help in an area of social responsibility like this?