A Common Cause: The Case of Lewisham Hospital

The Olympics during the summer showcased human goodwill and British generosity at its best. This was because despite our differences humanity rallied around a common cause in terms of sports. I witnessed something very powerful and similar to that of the Olympic spirit yesterday in the borough of Lewisham which was quite significant. This has to do with the issue of closing down the Accident and Emergency services at Lewisham Hospital. A public meeting was called to consult and discuss with the residents of Lewisham about the issue of the closure and what can be done to avert it. The organisers were however overwhelmed when more than 500 people turned up! The organisers seemed to me to be expecting perhaps may be 60-70 people but at the end of the day they realised that the residents of Lewisham were very keen to see their A&E remaining!Instead of one initial venue we ended up having four venues including the community centre Calabash.

Passions flared up as usual but there was a coherent voice I saw yesterday which was very encouraging. One can even say it was the voice of the marginalised poor who are fighting the elite (those who want to close the A&E, maternity services and emergency surgery) against the unrealistic cut measures and social injustice. Why is it unjust? It is because one of the reasons they want to close the above mentioned services in Lewisham is to pay off the massive debts at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley. By closing the A&E in Lewisham this will divert patients and therefore money towards Queen Elizabeth. What they were not considering is the many vulnerable adults in Lewisham who would suffer and die in the process. In addition, the crime rate through youth and knife crime in Lewisham is still high this will mean there will be no services for victims of such incidence. Instead they will have to travel miles to Woolwich during which process valuable lives could potentially be lost.  These are some of the reasons why Lewisham residents yesterday put aside their differences whether it be sexuality, ethnicity, age, class or colour and turned up as one person yesterday.

To continue to  fight and struggle for Lewisham hospital please do join us on the 24th of November 2pm at Loampit Vale roundabout for a march towards Lewisham Hospital. At 3pm on the same day we will link our hands around the hospital as a  demonstrative sign protecting Lewisham hospital. To sign the petition follow this link http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lewisham-hospital/ or paste it into your browser

About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is currently co-opted as a member of the Baptist Union Council. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as an administrator and research co-ordinator for the Evangelical Alliance. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies!
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