St George’s Church keen to help heal divided community

St George’s Church, located on St George’s Close, has offered to help bring the community of Jesmond together after continued reports of anti-social behaviour attributed to students this academic year.

During last month’s JesmondLocal Common Ground Debate, St George’s tweeted to offer their support to efforts to bring students and permanent residents together.

JesmondLocal spoke to Reverend Professor Pauline Pearson, assistant priest, about how St George’s could help heal a feuding community.

“St George’s is keen to provide common ground for students and other residents to meet and talk,” she said. “We already have a number of events which include both, but we are thinking of offering a more food-related event, where people might sit and eat together.”

One of the key points to emerge from the Common Ground debate was that students feel that the mood towards them is generally hostile. St George’s are keen to hear the student voice, however, “we’d be happy to look at suggestions from students too”, Pearson noted.

Alice Holden, a student who attended the debate, described her volunteering efforts in Newcastle and how students could get involved in volunteering as a way to interact with the local community and help out.

“I volunteer at Success4All learning hubs in Blakelaw and Throckley and I work at Heaton Manor School once a week as an ‘inspiring minds’ mentor,” she said. “Where volunteering is necessary, it would be good. I think what’s important is that students are made aware of a community in Jesmond.”

Pearson mirrored this, saying St George’s would “value volunteers to help with our Friday café” – a dementia-friendly café run as part of the community forum’s efforts to make Jesmond dementia friendly.

Pearson also cast an eye forward to spring, saying there would be “discussions and events held during Lent, looking at ‘more in common’ on various topics.”

The general mood from the Common Ground debate was that more needs to be done to help foster a more cohesive community and that both sides of the current anti-social behaviour debate – students and permanent residents – can help to achieve this.

St George’s has offered to help do so by providing its services as an inclusive church that all can attend to help make Jesmond work together and love thy neighbour.

2 thoughts on “St George’s Church keen to help heal divided community”

  1. Felicity Mendelson says:

    I would like to commend St George’s Church in their desire to provide a common ground for all residents – students and non students – to come together Residents recognise and value the vital role that local faith groups play in our community , providing support and activities for all faiths and ages.And it is always good for people to have an opportunity to get together over a cup of tea, a meal and/or a shared interest or hobby.

    It is a shame however if students are sensing a hostile attitude to them so “love thy neighbour “is a pretty good mantra for us all to follow. There are many students living in Jesmond who volunteer here and in so doing bring a fresh approach and new ideas to the organisations they support And it is good just to see so many young people enjoying living in Jesmond.and supporting local businesses.

    I am not sure, however, whether my neighbour would love me very much if I held a party in my house with over a hundred guests, a bouncer and loud music and fireworks which went on till after 4pm in the morning and which I wouldn’t stop despite being asked to by neighbours and the Police to do so This happened at the weekend and whilst this type of thing this doesn’t happen too often it really shouldn’t happen at all.

  2. Ed Smith says:

    Wow. Surely operation oak had the power to disperse the crowd and confiscate equipment?

    Had this been reported to the uni?

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