Friday, 7 October 2011

Please Pray for a Catholic Family in Distress

The Rosary is a powerful intercessory prayer
As I said earlier, our Bishops have told us to fast today for Cafod, on this day, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary commemorating the victory for Christendom secured at the famous Battle of Lepanto.

I know a Catholic family who would appreciate your prayers and the Rosary is, as today commemorates, a powerful method of intercessory prayer.

I recently assisted an African Catholic man move his family's belongings from their home at Shoreham Beach into storage. He and his family attend St Peter's Catholic Church in Shoreham. 

His wife is heavily pregnant with their second child.  Even though the man earns relatively well, as a chauffeur in London for some really rather famous people, he is bed bound in hospital following serious surgery to remove a gall stone which was, it turned out, endangering his very life, because of its proximity to his liver. He is now convalescing but is unable to look for new accommodation while his wife is heavily pregnant and looks after their other child.

His wife and child are in temporary accommodation in Worthing.  The accommodation is clean, but it is in no way suitable for a family soon to be 4, in one room, especially given that she is very soon to give birth to the new baby.  Obviously, what with being temporary accommodation, the owners of the place are fleecing the Council for £176 a week to house the family in one room. Outragous! It is so obvious these 'Bed and Breakfasts' that are used as temporary accommodation are just cashing in and taking advantage of those who have fallen on hard times, often through no fault of their own! They get beds, no breakfast and even have to clean the room themselves!

I fear that the family are victims of a strand of racism which is still to be found in the Worthing, Shoreham, Littlehampton region of Britain.  The father had already signed an agreement with a local Shoreham lettings agent for renting a new property, since the landlord wished to sell the property where they had been living for years in peace. The only problem was that on the very night before they were to move to the new property, the rental agreement for which he had secured, the landlord of the place to where they were moving suddenly backed out for no apparent reason. The father was totally distressed, as was the mother, and they were forced to go to London to stay with family and friends, their lives suddenly up in the air.

I agreed with the father to look for a property to rent in the region and so I did on He went and looked at a property in Lancing and over the phone had agreed some terms with the lettings agent and then suddenly, once more, the landlord backed out and the rug was pulled from underneath the family. I hear that this happens when people buy houses - as house buyers and sellers agreements are prone to suddenly "fall through", but I haven't heard of it in the renting arena. Now, he lays in a hospital bed incapacitated, even though his wife is about to give birth to their second child. He is also in a lot of pain following the operation.

I cannot personally look for accommodation for the family because the father is still in hospital and obviously he needs to be up and about to look at the property and deal with agents. I must say though, that I do have a bad taste in my mouth concerning their two experiences of suddenly being rejected by landlords for no apparent reason. Could it be that African families are not welcome in this part of the South East? I, for one, wouldn't rule it out.  Along this part of the South Coast, it is amazing how many union jacks you see popping up over the roofs of houses - I know the national flag shouldn't mean, "This is a house of small-minded racists" but invariably it seems to. Just look, for instance, at Buckingham Palace...

So say a prayer for this Catholic family, since prayer can move mountains, while often we are unable, even through circumstance, to lift a finger.


Anonymous said...

Just said a quick one. I will pray properly for them between 1500-1600hrs. Thanks for posting this and I'm concerned at the treatment they have recieved. Will also pray for the council officials who license and inspect their accomadation lists.

georgem said...

I don't mistrust your instincts but could I ask for a bit of clarification as I'm slightly puzzled.

Why was this family moving out of accommodation - was it totally vile?

The father, very fortunate to escape death by the way, can't earn for a while.

Also, as a chauffeur I would guess he is self-employed and therefore unable to guarantee regular earnings required by many housing contracts.

Is it also possible that landlords have taken fright because they think the family may not be here legally?

All these issues may have come into play to place them in their present unhappy predicament.

As you can see, I'm playing devil's advocate here. And it may indeed be racism pure and simple.

The family undoubtedly needs our prayers and I'll join with others in supplication for a happy outcome.

The Bones said...

No, the accommodation in Shoreham where they have been living for something like 7 years was really nice. The situation arose because the landlord of that property decided to sell it and put it on the market. Therefore, they had to move out. They had an agreement for a new place with a new landlord and then the night before they were to move into the new property, this agreement suddenly fell through for no apparent reason.

The Bones said...

Therefore finding themselves homeless.

georgem said...

Thank you for the explanation. What a terrible blow, having had secure housing for that length of time.
The sudden withdrawal of the tenancy offer by the landlord of the new property does seem fishy, I agree.

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thanks for this post... we all have to pray , not for others to see or know, we have to pray for us and for our thoughts

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