Report from the BWCF Open Forum on 19th October 2011
by Yvonne Hill
Photos supplied by Roger Hill
WCF meeting took place on 19th
October and was hosted by Father Henry at St Peter’s RC Church in Gorleston
. Although it was a cold, wet and miserable night, there w
ere quite a few people present from the churches.
The meeting began with a short worship delivered by Father Henry and a reading from Trisha Slade. This was followed by a a warm welcome from the Chairman, Rev Peter Paine.
The new members of the clergy, in the borough, were invited to give a short introduction about themselves and their work. The Rev Andrew Fielding was the only one who was able to attend the meeting and he gave a brief talk. He pointed out that he was not the new Superintendant for the Methodist Circuit but a replacement for Rev Tibbs Naidoo.
Rev Fielding’s last
church was in East London and previous to that he ministered at Barrow in Furness, Luton, Stevenage, Leicester and Burton on Trent. His present responsibilities in Gt Yarmouth are Christchurch in Gt Yarmouth, Newtown and Caister
. At present he is still finding his feet and doesn’t have a vision to report at this time as everything is still quite new.
He said that he was interested in how the churches on both sides of the river are coming together. He also spoke of how impressed he is by the spirit of many groups and how the people show an interest in each other. This he said has been lost in many parts of the country and is quite unique.
Oana Sentici from Timisoara in Romania Talk about the Charity Metanoia
The Speaker for the evening was a young woman from Romania called Oana Sentici. Oana runs a family Charity that was started in 1989 by her parents. The Charity is called Metanoia and it specialises in helping people with aids. A large proportion of these people are children.
The audience was greatly moved by Oana’s account of life in Romania. Many of us thought that with the collapse of communism things would have changed for the better. However, the plight of these people touched the heart of everyone and it was quite a shock to hear about the conditions in which they live.
People in Romania are afraid of getting aids; they still think it can be contracted through touching people who have the disease. As a result these poor sick people are shunned.
One woman contracted the disease from her husband and when he found out he left her and their four children. They all lived in one room and she ended up in hospital because she went without food to prepare for the winter.
These people are starving and most of all, they are deprived of the necessary medication that they so desperately need. Oana said that the cost of the drugs in her country cost £16 a time which is more than these people can afford. It is quite shocking that the drugs are actually manufactured in Romania but cost less in the UK. The drugs given by the government are a cheaper product that actualy destroys the liver and kidneys.
A van was donated to transport food and clothing back to Romania. In the video we were able to see the van being unloaded by the children. Hidden beneath their smiling grateful little faces is a life of desperate hardship. Someone asked if it would perhaps be cheaper to buy food in Romania, Oana said that the food and drugs were much cheaper in the UK and that it was more cost effective to transport them from here.
Oana appealed for items that she can sell whilst she is here in the UK. With the proceeds she will buy food and medicine to take back with her. She is asking for such things as jewellery (even if it is broken); make up (new or used) also clothing anything in fact that can be sold.
There isn’t much time to gather things together for Oana to sell as she leaves for Romania on the 12th November. That leaves only one week to respond to this appeal.