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An old man in a chair

by John Barber,

I was part of the original Southend Interfaith Working Group (SIWG) and helped organise early faith and belief events. As a lifelong Southender, I am happy to note the many positive connections between members of different faith communities and the positive impact they make on our town. I have met wonderful people from all the main faith communities, including those I regard as friends.

As someone who was encouraged to lockdown and who is less physically able anyway, a lot of what I do is as “an old man in a chair” with occasional outside forays. Two things spring to mind:

Firstly: being part of the homeless responses during lockdown, of which faith communities play a key role. One of my activities is to chair Southend Homeless Action Network (SHAN) which has played a part linking up Southend Borough Council and groups within the voluntary sector.

Secondly: (and being less disturbed because of Covid) I have written books, particularly “Prophets of the Bible”, which I hope will encourage people of faith and maybe some who aren’t.

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