Saturday 28 May 2011

the moment when a plane flew across the sky with a banner behind it asking someone to marry them...

why Jesus? one of my reasons

because He was, and is Compassionate.

e.g. 'When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things'. (Mark 6:34)

"Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural but is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humaness"
(Walter Brueggemann 'The Prophetic Imagination', p.85)

Compassion is not just a feeling. It sounds like... 'Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28).

How? In part, because compassion brings us to the level of the one who is suffering. We SHARE in it, we help carry the burden. One thing we can say with certainty - Jesus knew what suffering felt like (read Isaiah 53...), and His suffering was not without purpose. Just like campaigners for justice who act in SOLIDARITY with groups of people, their actions demonstrate a belief in the worth of others, and can bring about change .

Compassion moved Jesus ACT; to teach, to feed, to heal, to set free, to give his time and energy and love. The kingdom that Jesus invited people to be apart of was about clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, welcoming the stranger, inviting the outcasts to a banquet. I'd like my life to look like that.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

what if?

what if someone knew your name?
what if someone knew how many hairs were on your head?
what if you were not an accident?
what if the world needed you?
what if you had something of value to say?
what if your actions could change something?
what if there was order in the chaos?
what if the stars were a gift to you?
what if you were not made wrong?
what if someone called you beautiful?
what if there was a reason for the empty ache inside you?
what if there was something bigger?
what if there is a plan?
what if you were free to chose?
what if there was another path to take?
what if there was something to look forward to?
what if someone knew how many tears you have cried behind closed doors?
what if someone wanted to be with you?
what if someone was ready to hold you?
what if you weren't alone?
what if there is hope?
what if this pain won't last forever?
what if you don't have to be trapped by your past?
what if there was a light at the end of the tunnel?
what if things could change?
what if there was a space where you could be you and that was the best person you could be?
what if you just walking into the room made someone smile?
what if someone understood?

what if all this were true?
what would you do?

Saturday 14 May 2011

Pre-school + wedding preparations + Poetry performances + trying to get as much done before I start Tesol course in June = tired Katrina and not much blogging time!

Tuesday 10 May 2011


So last saturday I spent the afternoon sitting up at Devil's Dyke under a green gazebo. Why? Well, part from the attraction of spending a few hours on a hill with a beautiful view, I was there to promote the work of FareShare. Now you may remember that I spent almost a year regularly volunteering at FareShare here in Brighton. Or you may not. And you may have no idea what it is. So let me tell you. And then perhaps you'll see why it's worth giving up an afternoon for it.

FareShare is, put simply, a food redistribution project. It collects food that would have otherwise been thrown away, and gives it out to over 40 different charities and projects across Brighton, Hove and Worthing. Now this is not 'bad food'. It is good quality and ranges from fruit and veg to pasta, pies, beverages and more. It might be past its 'sell by' date BUT NOT its 'used by' date. Its packaging might be damaged, or it might simply be surplus to demand. For all these reasons it cannot be sold and would usually contribute to the 6.8 million tonnes of avoidable food waste produced by the food industry each year!!

To cut down on this wastage, a range of retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers including Pret a Manger (sandwiches everyday!), Infinity Foods and Nestle have teamed up with FareShare who regularly collect food from them in their two refrigerated vans. The food is taken to the warehouse in Moulsecoombe, sorted, recorded and stored.

Every morning the projects who receive the food are called with the list of available food and put in their requests. Obviously depending on the season and markets, this is different every day. Sometimes there might be thousands of boxes of kitkats and hundreds of swedes for example, and at another time there's been loads boxes of chorizo! But there's always something.

Then the same vans (you might have seen them around) are loaded up with the orders, and driven around the city, dropping of green trays of FREE FOOD to many grateful recipients. These include projects that work with vulnerable groups such as homeless people, vulnerable children, substance misusers, older people, HIV sufferers, families, refugess & asylum seekers, unemployed people, etc. Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet is so important to physical and social wellbeing, and not always something the clients or the projects can afford to access.

218.5 tonnes of quality surplus food were delivered to vulnerable people in 2010 which meant 3200 people benefitted from the donations every week!!

So who does all this driving and unloading and loading I hear you ask? Well that is another great part of the FareShare. Nearly everyone is a volunteer, and they come from a whole variety of backgrounds. For some it is a first step back into regular work after rehab or unemployment. I've met several people for whom volunteering at FareShare has been a huge positive impact on their self confidence, life skills and recovery from difficult situations. Members of the Rotary club also come and help as do university students and police officers in training. Volunteering is a great way to meet all sorts of people, and to get a good picture of what is going on in Brighton & Hove. For me it was both an eye opener to the struggles that many people face as well all the positive things that people are doing to make a difference in the city.

So basically, FareShare is a brilliant project from whatever angle you look at it. Last year I did a telephone survey to assess the impact of the food donations on all the projects. Many of them could not run or would be severely limited in the services they offer if FareShare stopped delivering them food.

SO... if you are looking to give any spare time, skill or money, I would without reservation suggest you give them a call. No one's asked me to write this, I just really believe that it's doing such an important job in our city, and as with most people and projects, it is struggling in the current economic climate. Money is needed for fuel and maintenance of the vans, and for renting the warehouse and office space. If you don't fancy driving a van or loading up trays of food, you could help out with admin work or by helping to fundraise/raise awareness.

If you do want to get in touch,
email or call 01273 671111