Monthly Archives: January 2019

ST MARVIN’S PARISH NEWS #17

No doubt you all saw the photographs of me all over social media doing my recent skydive for charity? I’m sure you all agree that these wonderful photos of me – available across all social media channels and available for use by the press – were far better photos than anything our Assistant Vicar, Mr Smith has ever managed.

Mr Smith may be constantly filling up your social media timelines with silly photos of himself but my Head of Vicar’s Office, Mr Slocombe, assures me “the optics are good” as I’m far better looking than Mr Smith and my sermons “knock Smith’s out of the vestry”. So let that be the end of any further debate about Mr Smith.

There’s also a lot of noise out there in the pews at present – no doubt encouraged by Ms Townsend and her rabble at the Dave Spart Academy – regarding my energy generating windmill that was attractively attached to the church spire a few years ago. Yes, it’s made a loss for the last three years. Yes, it will make a loss next year and the year after that but we’ve got to look at the social, cultural and economic machinery behind the project systemically here.

My windmill is a fabulous parish landmark as well as being a stirring, iconic beacon of intentional ecumenical and economic outcomes at St Marvin’s. Can you believe that our church is viewed, even as far away as Malaysia, as an ambitious, forward-thinking church able to unlock key challenges? That’s what this windmill is really all about. Our very own hi-tech mechanical gateway to global innovation that aims to ensure interdependence of social and economic outcomes.

We need to seek to see beyond simple, worldly, material benefits to our parish and look at the bigger spiritual picture we can paint for the world through parish innovation. Besides, as my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “a failing church business can always be set against a personal tax liability if you have the right accountant”. So I’ll be visiting a chap in the new year recommended to me by Mr Molton, who’s been providing the parish committee with excellent advice regarding land use for some time now, while receiving a highly competitive retainer.

Finally, can I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year? And please remember, don’t go giving any money or presents to the homeless at this time of year. Contact the authorities and get the destitute and vulnerable through the gateway of innovation and on to a positive pathway in one of my friend Mr Ingerslev’s innovative state-funded doss houses.

By filling up his doss houses, Mr Ingerslev is able to meet key challenges and targets as outlined in his funding agreements. And, surely that’s the type of positive action compatible with the true spirit of Christmas we seek here at St Marvin’s?

The Vicar.

UNISON INACTION

AWP, the local NHS mental health trust, is SLASHING over 70 band 4 admin posts with a knock-on effect on the band 3 admin staff underneath them. AWP are predictably doing this to try and make up a funding deficit.

Targeting admin rather than clinical staff is a sneaky ploy from the bosses. They know that admin staff are less likely to be unionised and less likely to FIGHT BACK than the frontline staff. Make no mistake, though, admin workers are essential to the provision of services. These cuts will have a huge impact on the delivery of essential care in an already FAILING NHS trust.

Unison promised to FIGHT these cuts but, despite enthusiasm from the workers, their plans were underwhelming. They failed to adequately consult their membership on their plans and many of the affected staff were left feeling cynical, jaded and voiceless by the union that CLAIMS to represent them.

Unison promised a ‘DAY OF ACTION’ in early December against the job cuts. However, ‘action’ may be the wrong word here. What unison actually proposed was a TOKEN half-hour protest outside workplaces, with the not-insignificant caveat that members take this time out of their lunch breaks so that there would be no disruption to services and no stoppage of work. It is the staff – not the bosses – that are losing out.

This wasn’t an ‘action’ so much as a photo opportunity. One AWP employee described the ‘action’ as “like punching yourself in the face so you can show off the bruise”.

STREET LIFE

Within days of the cops announcing in November that they had gained more funding to create jobs within STREETWISE, the council and cops’ joint anti-begging initiative for Broadmead, undercover cops had taken to the streets.

One service user told a voluntary support group that two undercover plain clothes officers approached him and asked him to leave Broadmead IMMEDIATELY and said that if by the time they were back out in uniform he was still in the centre he could get ARRESTED. He was also told they want to try to stop voluntary outreach groups supporting the homeless.

Happy New Year!