I’m proud to have a guy called Dave Hedgecock in one of my congregations. His Christian faith has led him to some extraordinary feats of fund-raising for local and national charities. It’s over £200,000 at the last count, and in 1987 he was made a Freeman of the Borough. There is a local campaign to see him honoured. None more worthy, in my view. You can read about his achievements here, and how he attributes it to his Christian faith.
But he rang me on Saturday morning. He was due to be collecting at the local Morrison’s supermarket at lunchtime for the local hospice. He had just been called to say that Morrison’s had declined permission. There seems to be an issue since Morrison’s took over from Somerfield. While some charity collections continue (friends of mine were in there recently collecting for autistic children), to my eyes it has declined in frequency. I cannot prove that, but I do know that the current Mayor of Chelmsford had to approach them personally in order to get permission for there to be collections towards his nominated charities for his year of office. If the Mayor himself has to go to get it sorted, then something is wrong. (And Alan plays the organ once a month for us, so this is a real church issue for me.)
I’m going to take this up with the local press. I think this needs coverage.