Save St Bees School
Edmund Grindal - a man with a heart for the area
'Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you...' Jeremiah 29:7
Those words were written in the context of God's people living in exile hundreds of years before Christ; but I think it is still a good principle, to pray that the people we love and the region where God has placed us, would flourish. Part of that will be flourishing under the good news of Jesus!
It has been incredible to see the wave of support for St Bees- a four hundred year old school founded by Archbishop Grindal- since a closure was announced by governors a couple of weeks ago. This blog is the right forum to share that concern, I feel, because many will be affected in our congregation and parish. And also, Christians have a responsibility to pray for the good of their area.
We all will be affected in different ways- but even if we do not share this specific concern- this is not the first institution we have had to try and protect in the last couple of years in our area.
I think we have to ask why institutions are crumbling in West Cumbria. It is not long ago we were told that the ambulance will be taking many people to Carlisle (an hour down single carriageway). Some professionals with experience of delivering medical care in Cumbria, are arguing that will mean many people die before getting to hospital.
With respect to the school, it is not only the pupils who will be affected by a closure of the school, but the local economy, the community and the church with which the school is linked. When I make visits to the south of England, as I do regularly, I simply do not see the same pressures on institutions and services, although pressures do exist. I don't have the answers to that; but it does mean that we should pray, as well as act where we can.
In my view we should pray for a turn around for the school and for the rescue team who have offered their skills and so far raised a considerable amount of money and a vision to save the school. Perhaps we can pray at the same time for the good of West Cumbria, where God has called us to seek peace and prosperity for his good purposes.
For more info, visit: www.rescuestbees.co.uk