Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • The point is choice.

    I went to the town council meeting yesterday. I wanted to show my face and that I was happy to discuss my views, and that I didn’t regard the disagreement as personal. My presence didn’t go down too well with one of the councillors, as he walked in and and past me, Cllr Hill (jnr) said “Ah it’s the bishop of Chelmsley Wood”, I may be mistaken but I don’t think it was meant to be complimentary. When the naming issue came up in the minutes he then made a few derogatory comments about the suggestion (‘it’s fantasy’ ‘it’s all B.S.’ and the like), leaned back in his chair and looked in my general direction. He also said that the people supporting it were a small, special interest group. Maybe, but that doesn’t make it wrong, the same could be said about squash players or people who like to drink in a particular pub. Each to their own. I may be being paranoid, in which case I apologise, but I don’t think he likes me.

    As the council do not allow the public to speak unless they have requested permission in advance of the meeting I wasn’t able to make any comment. So I’ll make it now.

    The issue for me isn’t the name, it was over the choices. If, as the council are saying, everyone wants the name to stay the same, then it will because there is a vote. If people do want a change, they now have a chance to make that change. That is all. If the vote goes in favour of Craig Croft, that’s fine with me, that’s the nature of democracy, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Whilst the circumstances of the vote have been far from ideal, it’s a bit all over the shop and has become politicised, on the other hand it is a level playing field. Everyone has a chance to lobby for the name they want and, as a community, we should trust each other to behave honourably and treat one another with respect. The issue that I am going on about isn’t about winning, the issue is deomcracy and surely no councillor can object to that.

    I did get to talk to a few of the councillors afterwards and was glad of it. One of the councillors I have a lot of time for completely disagrees with me (quite strongly!), but we talked about it and both of us explained our position and didn’t fall out over it. Which is how these things are meant to work, not people digging trenches. Another councillor I talked to was uncertain and, like me, a bit concerned about how it had all gone a bit awkward, but again, was willing to talk face to face and express opinions. To a degree I felt better for going. The sniping aside, I was reassured that there are councillors who are willing to listen and discuss.

    Here’s to people power, whatever the name.

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Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

Because we try to be properly Baptist, these views aren't necessarily the views of everyone who is part of the church family here.

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