Sunset2
D4S0472
Turin-Brakes6
Remebrance-18-3
FROSTY-MORNING-
Duke-of-Kent086
IMG9097
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Animals06
Inbox2
Hares017cropped
MBORO-HOCKEY-YOUTH-473
D4S9273
Ogbourne
EARLY-MORNING-CANTER-473-
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
JazzFestSat572
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
Inbox-1
Remebrance-18-2
SBJ
Remebrance-18-1
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Camilla-MSM
D812668
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
MYFC005
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
Pete-Gage-Band1
BABRURY-XC-JUMP-473
Brooks-Williams1
Sunset
Musical-Time-Machine5
Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
White-Horse
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
YELLOWHAMMER-473-
Brazier
Camilla-2012-10-19152
TdB-Pewsey044
Big-Bull
George-Wilding-301
IMG8472
Tina-May5
Landscape
Snowy-High-Street
Roving-Crows1
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Gordon-and-Sam
Scouting-for-Girls7
4MI-2013-11-28030
Civic-Service-18

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Gold award to Marlborough in Bloom and the Best Kept Village Award to Minal within a few days of each other are a great tribute to all the work behind the scenes and the different people involved in it.

The Celebratory Flag on the Town Hall and the Plaque beside the Village Hall in Minal speak not just of the achievement being celebrated but also of proper pride in a place.

These images of stability contrast vividly with so many other images in the news, but none more so than the sight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across a border into Bangladesh.  Strange though it may seem, the two can inform and illuminate each other – pride in your town or village and the chaos of those who have no home.

Refugees have always had an important place in the consciousness of both the Jewish and Christian faith because they are people not just without a home, they are people without a homeland. Land, the Promised Land, is at the heart of the Old Testament and an assumed presence throughout the New. When we see someone forced to leave their country, who is stateless, we see someone who has been deprived of an essential part of what it is to be human.

Boundaries, or more specifically Borders, are often seen as delimiting and negative, but they needn’t be.

Humans are unavoidably limited and restricted creatures, so our knowledge and understanding of the world is framed by our horizons – or boundaries.  The world can only be known from a particular vantage point and this is the starting point from which we discover who we are and from where we learn morality.  The result can be community cohesion and a confidence to engage openly with those who are beyond our borders and who are different from us.

The hazard, of course, is that the boundaries become not a basis for exploration but a means of exclusion;  a stepping stone towards ethnic cleansing.  Hence the wish of many to dismantle borders.

As has been suggested, Borders are a necessary part of human belonging, so the need is not to dismantle borders but rather ‘reconfigure them so that both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ relationships are enabled in morally positive ways’.

Andrew Rumsey, author of Parish: An Anglican Theology of Place, goes on to say

This requires starting not a community’s limits but at its centre, for boundaries are merely the extension of our core vision and purpose.  If a society’s borders have gone haywire, we can be sure something is badly wrong at the centre.

As we look around Europe and the wider world today, it is hard not to agree with this observation.

To return to the centre is, I suggest, to return to the local and the specific.  The local pride that results in a Best Kept Village or a Celebratory Flag for a Town in Bloom is a good starting point from which to embrace the world rather than retreat from it. It can allow us to delight in what is different rather than feel threatened by it. 

 

Print

Turin-Brakes6
Pete-Gage-Band1
MYFC005
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Hares017cropped
Torch-2012-05-23093-
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Gordon-and-Sam
Remebrance-18-2
George-Wilding-301
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Landscape
Civic-Service-18
D812668
IMG9097
Sunset
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
TdB-Pewsey044
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Brazier
D4S9273
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
Duke-of-Kent086
JazzFestSat572
Sunset2
Remebrance-18-1
Big-Bull
Remebrance-18-3
D4S0472
Animals06
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Brooks-Williams1
Roving-Crows1
IMG8472
Musical-Time-Machine5
Camilla-MSM
Tina-May5
CivicSelfie1
Ogbourne
White-Horse
Snowy-High-Street
4MI-2013-11-28030
Scouting-for-Girls7
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
SBJ
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies