"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


M Scott Peck warned: ‘We cannot make real communities happen, we cannot heal the mess we have made of the world…(without ourselves)… undergoing some kind of spiritual healing.’
In our semi-rural village, population c. 4000 and not far beyond the creeping urban sprawl that is Greater London, we have a thriving general store and post office. This store, together with the flourishing parish church at the bottom of the hill, forms the dynamic core of our community life. It is not Utopian, we have our problems of petty vandalism and graffiti, of speeding through the High Street, and the occasional more serious crime, but on the whole it is a good place to live.
But post offices are under threat as they become uneconomical to run. Emails, Internet banking and on-line shopping have no need for the post office. Even postage can now be bought on the Royal Mail web page and stamps printed directly onto envelope, labels or paper. These threats of closure always bring in their wake much anguished debate and protest. The fact is that local post offices and stores are not simply economic units and profit centres. They offer a place where people can meet and greet, gossip, find help and companionship, as well as buy the occasional stamp and greetings card. They are part of the soul of a healthy village and a community life. The good news is that there is a solution, a solution that many communities have already discovered when faced with closure of their own stores. A growing number of small and local shops and post offices that otherwise faced closure are now run very successfully by and for the people of those communities. What is more, such stores become a vibrant and vital part of the social network of those communities. I know; our store is one of them!

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