Through facebook I was aware that one of my 'friends' was going to be on BBC1's 'The Big Question' discussing the problem of alcohol.
Martin's Dad occasionally preached at the church where I spent my early adult life and we were enthralled at the amazing work that was being done in Kingston. There was always an open invitation to visit and have a meal in their cafe with its big red aga and expresso machine.
But Eric always emphasised that no-one should think that they could copy their work but that each church had to work out for themselves the work that God wanted them to do.
Over the years friendships were established and when I had my call to the ministry, it was suggested that the call should be tested by putting me on the reception desk to help dispense Methadone. Some of my shifts were during the day, sometimes in the evening but often I would start at 11pm by locking the gates, logging off the computer for the day and then clean the reception area which meant mopping down the floor and cleaning the loo! Eventually I would get my head down and be woken by my alarm in time to wash and dress, get the computer up and running for the day and unlock the gates ready to welcome the first clients of the day at 7am. These were often well dressed men and women who would then commute to London.
Very occasionally a client would get chatting asking me why I was there, and although I was rather wary of telling them, they were always delighted and would tell me about their faith. But sometimes they would let slip a little about their lives which left me thinking... what would I have done? how would I have coped? I learnt that very important lesson about never judging someone else, especially if it is very unlikely that one would ever have to walk a mile in their shoes.