St Helen's Church
St Michael's Church
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Almost sixty years ago when Preston Town Council set up their Council of Youth and I was vice chairman of it, I was tasked to read, mark, learn and digest The Albemarle Report on The Youth Service in England and Wales, and summarise its implications for youth work in Preston
The Parliamentary Committee set up in 1958, were tasked , as a matter of urgency, to review what the Youth Service could do more in assisting young people to play their part in the community in the light of changing social and industrial conditions and trends. Preston Town Council saw that the heart of its response should be in support of the community work of the uniformed organisations such as scouts and guides and the other twelve voluntary active youth groups in the town being more grant aided, by the Local Education Authority, for equipment and leadership training. The motto was "Local people, meeting local needs, with local physical and financial resources."
Now we talk about central government and market forces being the pillars of our society and tend to ignore the local community as one of the basic decision-making and powerhouses of modern society. To forget that our religion and faith, our family life, our friends, and neighbours, our local schools are the glue which keeps our society together is such a temptation for State and Church. Over centralisation can become "The work of the devil” if we are not careful. The tendency to simply treat the individual or local community as a computer number, often making them and their views worthless or of no account is so dangerous and can become "The work of the devil" in our twenty first century society.
The local parish church should and must be the "glue" holding together local society, be that Urban or Rural. “The work of the devil " is to lead us to ignore the fact that that glue is no longer sticking because in a very materialistic and individualistic society our individual personal community involvement is not what it should be. Let's accept that is a temptation, to give into such a temptation is a sin we have to confess, and pray for God's grace and power to become that glue of " Local people, meeting local needs, with local physical and financial resources"