BY DR CHRIS LEVY | 18th May 2018
Croydon community march against violent crime
Sunday 29 April was a landmark day in Croydon town centre. Members of the Croydon Seventh-day Adventist church gathered with hundreds of Christians to join in a march against violent crime.
Over the past weeks and months there has been a crescendo of attacks and deaths across the nation’s capital, which has moved believers to take to the streets in a stand against violent crime. Equipped with flags, songs and prayers, hundreds of believers marched through Croydon’s busy town centre. Shoppers looked startled to see a swathe of people, united in a common peaceful purpose.
Led by leaders of various churches in the area and relatives of the victims, the crowd intermittently stopped to pray in unison at troubled hotspots, or places where lives had been lost. As the shoppers’ Sunday afternoon was momentary interrupted, silence and respect prevailed as the procession moved on with the singing of familiar hymns and songs including ‘How great is our God’.
More than ever there is a recognition that as Adventists we need to engage with the community, to meet their needs, win their confidence, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This event served as a reminder to the community that as Christians we are present, and we still care passionately and will not stand idly by while others suffer.
The solidarity was evident as Croydon’s Associate and Youth Pastor, Alex Mareniuc led out in one of the pastoral prayers which focussed on justice in the community. The event culminated as we gathered in the Queen’s Gardens, as further prayers went up for the surrounding council headquarters, police station, and nearby Home Office. Pastor Alex was also able to liaise with the area chief inspector of police, as they planned to forge a stronger working relationship between the church and public local services.
The support of the Croydon members was commendable; children, youth and senior member alike came out to support the initiative with dedication and zeal. With such passionate commitment, it surely won’t be long before we ‘take back the streets for Christ’ and the ‘good fight of faith’ is won.