In this month's edition of "The Gander" we find several stories of people who embrace vulnerability in different ways. The Coffee Morning welcomed our local community policing team, reassuring us of their presence when people feel vulnerable about crime. We hear how a group of young people were trained by the charity ‘Street Doctors’ to give emergency first aid to those with a stabbing or bleeding injury, and we meet local resident Lisa Pearson, seeking to respond to the same problem. We read of Revd Gemma's engagement with those experiencing the vulnerability of displacement, asking how we welcome people relocating to the UK from Hong Kong. Laura Howell-Williams describes in powerful detail how the experience of racism directly impacts people’s brains, physical wellbeing, even longevity. Christine Camplin’s local history describes the local impact of the Blitz. Fayo Olatunde’s review of “Shadow Jumper” describes the story of a boy embracing life with health vulnerabilities, and Ish Lennox’s review of “L is for Lifestyle” encourages us to consider how our small, daily choices have an impact on our vulnerable planet.
Christmas time is an invitation to embrace vulnerability. Each year we can hear the story and enter into the mystery once more. Running through the Christmas story is a golden thread of compassion and love. Christ comes to earth as a powerless, speechless, ego-less baby. Perhaps this is the way Christ always meets with us? Not overpowering our will, not speaking without first listening, not imposing his ego but offering all the love of his heart, his compassion, his ‘suffering-with’? The experience of vulnerability has touched us all over the last two years. Jesus embraces the vulnerability of a fully human life, this edition of The Gander follows that same direction, weaving our church community into this tapestry of love and compassion, tying the thread of our lives onto that tiny thread of gold.
All this is very worthy, but alongside compassion is the very important need for play and for fun! Do have fun with Sue O’Neill’s local photo quiz, and the party food recipes are just what we all need. Thanks too to this month’s profile subject, Jim Nurton, giving us all a good look ‘under the hood’ of being a churchwarden, as he approaches his last six months in the role. We are grateful for all he has done and continues to do. The task of finding Jim’s replacement starts now, please hold that process in your prayers.
In this time of vulnerability, as we journey to the manger, may you find the love and compassion you need this Christmas, and find yourself held in the unconditional and welcoming embrace of Christ.Revd Gill O'Neill
On Wednesday 3 November, we held an event to train young people how to give emergency first aid to a stabbing victim. On average it takes eight minutes for an ambulance to reach a victim of a stabbing in the street, and what happens in those eight minutes can mean the difference between life and death. The event was organised in collaboration with Susan Patterson, Reader at St Stephen’s South Dulwich, whose personal experience led her to pursue this. Susan writes:
“Last year a young man was stabbed and died outside my flat. I was at home and didn't know what had happened. As a former nurse, I felt guilty that I hadn't been outside because I might have been able to help him by putting pressure on the wound until an ambulance came. It made me start thinking that learning how to deal with a stab wound is sadly a necessary life skill for all of us, and that this type of first aid training might be useful for young people. I looked for courses, asked friends working in youth work and prayed about it, but nothing happened.
Almost a year later we had a deanery synod meeting about mission across Dulwich. The next morning at work, I happened to be in a meeting with other charities, and Street Doctors gave a presentation. I had never heard of them, but their courses for young people were exactly what I had been praying for. I got in touch with them, Gill O'Neill, and Jay Colwill [Southwark Diocese], and it took off from there.”
Seven young people from two Deanery churches attended the course at St John’s, run by medical students who gave their own time to teach it. Those who attended found it enjoyable and informative. Zara commented: ‘Street Doctors was a really useful experience, I learnt so much and I am more confident with first aid now!’ Another participant, Feyin, said: ‘The training was very practical and relevant to what any student can experience on the way home from school.’
The key point of the course can be summed up as follows: if you encounter a person with a bleed injury: 1. call for an ambulance, 2. check your own safety, and 3. apply pressure to the wound. In the photograph above, these three steps were expanded into further measures to help save a life. On completing the session, the young people were proudly informed that they are now “Street Doctors”. Each received a certificate, and we shared refreshments.
The course was funded by Southwark Diocese’s Department of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation and was the first one to be piloted in the Diocese, who are looking at supporting other parishes and deaneries to offer the course. We pray, of course, that no young person will be stabbed, and that our trained young people will never have to use their skills, but it is reassuring to know that some young people at least would know exactly what to do.
Emergency bleed kit installed on East Dulwich Road
Coincidentally, not long after we started to plan the Street Doctors event, an emergency bleed kit was installed outside the Tesco store on East Dulwich Road. This was the initiative of East Dulwich resident and radio DJ, Lisa Pearson, whose experience as a parent becoming increasingly aware of stabbing incidents has led her to want to do something to reduce the number of young people dying from catastrophic bleeding injuries.
Lisa got in touch with a bereaved parent, Lynne Baird, who set up the Daniel Baird Foundation in memory of her son, and who has launched a programme to install hundreds of emergency bleed kits across the UK. Lisa joined in this task, raised the money and worked with our local branch of Tesco and Southwark Council, to have an emergency bleed cabinet installed, as you can see in the photograph.
It is the first ‘community-based’ cabinet in the country - all of the others are installed in train stations. She is hoping to have cabinets installed in Peckham and Camberwell, and encourages donations to her GoFundMe page. Lisa’s dream is for children to have a childhood, and to not live in fear of violence on our streets.
Does this sound familiar? if so this book is for you. You've done nothing unusual, but already your lifestyle choices - yes, choices - have had an impact on people and the environment across the world.
This A-Z Guide aims to help us live more responsibly. With warmth and honesty, the author shares her personal journey as well as disturbing findings and deep concerns. It is her passion that we would all play our part in caring for the amazing earth that our God has so wisely and generously created. Ruth Valerio highlights the main threats to people and our planet, God's beloved creation. She shows us how, by making small but significant changes to our lifestyle, we can learn the secret of a life that is both fair and simple.
I hope you enjoy.
Vicar Revd Gill O’Neill 07958 592 425, firstname.lastname@example.org
Curate Revd Gemma Birt email@example.com
Assistant Priests Revd Anne Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org and Revd Alistair McCulloch email@example.com
Parish Administrator Denise Fulgoni 020 8693 3897, firstname.lastname@example.org
Churchwardens Jim Nurton 07765 881 556 and Julie Whitney 07786 686 385
Parish Safeguarding Officer Tina Hampson (contact via Parish Administrator)
PCC Secretary Christine Camplin
PCC Treasurer Sarah Goudge
Stewardship Martin Howell
Director of Music John Webber
Electoral Roll Officer Bradley Collins
Church Flowers Sally Gross
Goose Green Centre Bradley Collins
Editors of The Gander Christine Camplin, Jim Nurton, Tayo Olatunde and Sue O'Neill
(Contact each of the above via Parish Administrator)
St John's & St Clement's C of E Primary School, Adys Road, London SE15 4DY
www.stjohnsandstclements.org, 020 7525 9210
The views expressed in The Gander are not necessarily those of the Editors, Vicar or PCC.
Notices and items or articles for possible inclusion in the next issue of The Gander must be with the Editors by the 15th of the preceding month. Please contact the team in person or by email to the Parish Administrator with any questions.