Along with many other communities across the country, Horsham had a special celebration on Sunday 18th, namely a commemoration of the life of the murdered MP Jo Cox.
This was something out of the ordinary, just as Jo herself was well and truly out of the ordinary and we all felt that here was Horsham as a community joining together in the summer sunshine to pause and remember the price one very brave woman paid in her efforts to serve us all. We take rather for granted that public ofﬁce is fulﬁlled by elected politicians of one persuasion or another and usually we hold politicians general fairly low in the rankings of respected professions.
Contrary to these attitudes, Jo had made a sound name for herself in Parliament both by the tenacity of her advocacy and by the sincerity of her convictions. Our own local MP had heard her in the House and he came along to the Unitarian church, as well as several other political personages, to share with all of us the regret of her loss and the determination of making a statement.
That statement, put simply, can best be expressed in Jo’s own words: “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”
At a difficult time these sentiments should encourage us all to reﬂect upon how we can link together in stronger bonds for the common cause of our peaceful society.
The congregation was lead by two ministers of differing faiths, Maria Curtis for the Unitarians and Mehrdad Kalani for the Baha’I community. They both spoke well and movingly but in truth the real message was the fact of a full church of concerned citizens, citizens of all persuasions, all of them determined to demonstrate that intolerance is not forgotten or overlooked much less feared.
We, as straight forward ordinary people living in our attractive town, felt part of a wider community, that of our nation as a whole and knew that we had to somehow affirm that peaceful discussion and rational debate are the only means to progress our society and solve our problems.
We came together to ignore our differences and to assert our conﬁdence, in each other and in the community. We left uplifted by the emotion and sincerity of all present and resolved to tackle our future problems with consideration and respect. We took to heart a verse we sang:
Our world is one world:
the thoughts we think affect us all -
the way we build our attitudes,
with love or hate, we make
a bridge or a wall.
Denne Road, Horsham
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