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Gordon Roberts, Moderator of Churches Together in Cradley Heath & Old Hill arranged for Sylvia Heal MP to meet with church leaders on October 23 to discuss their concerns of how best to raise a Christian Voice in the Community. Mrs Jill Roberts led the opening prayers.

Questions were put to Sylvia about local issues and she gave very positive feedback, if there are problems and there is a break-down in communication between Government or Local Councils, nothing can be accomplished - keep in touch.

Sylvia advised that anti-discrimination led her to the Labour Party “to stand up and be counted to make a difference to the Anti-Apartheid Movement during the time of Nelson Mandela.”

Sylvia inspired those present to believe in the Parables and Teachings of Jesus - show tolerance to your neighbour, recognize differences, respect others' points of view - in terms of political correctness: colour, creed, faith and morality. To be able to work together in a Multi-Faith Society and Local Community we must show tolerance, humility and respect.

Sylvia advised that whilst we must look forward to our approach in proclaiming our faith, our church buildings must also change physically for a wider range of activities to suit society, what best example than the new Salvation Army Citadel in Cradley Heath, which reaches out to the Local Community.

Sylvia mentioned that a remarkable act of Christianity in Action was accomplished by The Revd Canon Hilary Hanke and Reader Val Cope about 6 years ago when they looked after the local youth, gave them safety and protection, brought them to their Church of St Luke and started a Youth Club, which also joined in a Community Carol Service in the Market Place.

Sylvia said that many strands bring Churches Together, there will be discussions but if we are optimistic much can be achieved.

In conclusion Gordon Roberts advised we must be united, have a voice and work together for the disadvantaged in the Local Community.

Revd Dr P Nzacahayo led the closing prayer.