Dear Everyone,

Oh! The pedestrians and passers-by in Cheltenham – they are lovely people. Try falling over and you’ll see. I’ve proved this several times recently. They pick you up, commiserate about your smashed glasses, deliver you to A & E. I could go on but you get my drift.

Well, some might say, this is real Christianity. Who needs the Church, or religion at all? Well, I do for a start. I know there are good people who think otherwise. They believe in neighbourly action but don’t want what they might term the paraphernalia of Christianity – Church life, going to Mass, reading the Bible, believing the Creed and so on. I couldn’t do without these. But notice how the Good Samaritan (to many people the ideal of Christianity) is followed (Luke 10) by Martha and Mary – the one rushed off her feet in the kitchen and complaining about the other who is sitting at Christ’s feet and listening to his every word, and apparently doing nothing practical. Yet for this she is praised by Christ.

So, surely it’s both/and, practical help andspirituality, not either/or.

Oh, and before I finish: if any of these good people whose names I never learnt and who scraped me up off the pavement and mopped my wounds, are reading this: Thank you! I love you!

Fr Graham Bryant.