Letters (April 1)

Be sure to follow the right map

A FEW days ago, I walked by a poster outside a building. It read, “Try Church”. But rather than pull people into our religious group, shouldn’t we point them to Jesus?

The New Testament church would have said, “Follow Jesus”, or have had a Bible text on their poster. Something like, “But as many as received Him [Jesus, the Lord God], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe [trust and obey] in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

John Huggins got it right in his letter last week: going to church won’t get you into heaven – you must want to stop sinning, be spiritually “born from above”, be baptized in water, and finally receive the Holy Spirit – see Acts 8:5-18.

I was even more amazed to see a sign by the door of another local building. It said how “fun” it is to be a Christian!

Try telling that to the Christians in North Korea who have molten metal poured on them, or the thousands the Roman Catholic system burnt alive during the 15th and 16th century Spanish Inquisition (thanks to Derek Brown for pointing this out). Or the huge number of Christians who will die for their faith in the soon-coming “Great Tribulation” (Revelation 7:9-17).

We must be very careful before joining a group that calls itself a church of God. What do they teach? Does it match what the Bible says?

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If you follow a faulty map, God says you’ll end up in the wrong place. And that place has no fire exits.


Albemarle Road


Bear in mind the time and people

THE comments by your correspondent E Barkhuizen (March 25) are interesting but in contradiction to his earlier letter (March 19).

He states the Bible is to be taken literally, yet ignores that it was written by a non-European culture, 2000 plus years ago whose language, linguistics and grammar were completely different to contemporary English.

The Bible can be understood only if one takes account of these differences; else one ends up with bizarre interpretations such as that of E Barkhuizen which actually contradict Sacred Scripture. For example: his allegation that the Virgin Mary had children other than Jesus Christ when the Scriptures clearly state that was not the case.

In English a ‘brother or sister’ is one’s siblings. In Middle Eastern culture 2000-years ago ‘brothers and sisters’ were any member of your extended family.

First, second, third cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws and even close non-blood friends were all your brothers and sisters. E Barkhuizen’s ‘taking ‘brother and sister’ literally as a sibling of Christ, is actually a contradiction.

Christ’s own words on the cross prove He was an only child. Knowing His death [and ultimate ascension to the Father] was imminent, He committed His Mother to the care of the Apostle John ‘Here is your mother, mother here is your son!’ Jn 19:26-27. This is only necessary if there is no other family, as women had no status in either ancient Jewish or Roman society. A widow was vulnerable without the protection of a man.

E Barkhuizen also claims Mary had no status nor was she elevated above other people, yet Scripture defines it clearly and unambiguously: ‘Hail [Mary] full of grace, of all women you are the most blessed! Luke 1:26. Mary herself says in the Christian canticle the Magnificat: “Henceforth all ages will call me blessed!” Luke (1:46-55).

I suspect E Barkhuizen has made the classic mistake of thinking the ‘Immaculate Conception’ refers to His mother instead of the conception of Christ Our Lord.


Beccles Road


Is pond addition really progress?

IT was lovely to see the picture of Gorleston Yacht Pond in last week’s Mercury. Simple pleasures being enjoyed by sons and fathers alike.

I remember when Great Yarmouth had a Yacht Pond near the Pleasure Beach and many a Sunday morning Dad would take me along the seafront to watch the model boats being sailed across it.

I can’t remember when it ceased to be used by the public but it’s sad to see it filled by a metal structure which when in motion will spray passers by with discoloured water. Still, I suppose that’s the price paid for progress.


Mill Lane


Deeds not words speak volumes

READING the religious correspondence, I recall discussing the subject on our building site during dinner break many years ago, when one of our lads called over to an elderly workmate: “What’s your opinion, Jim?”

Unhesitatingly he replied: “Faith without works is futile.” Then, more surprisingly, he quoted the following, which he kindly copied for me:

I would rather see a sermon

Than hear one, any day;

I would rather one should walk with me

Than merely show the way.

I can soon learn how to do it

If you let me see it done,

I can watch your hands in action,

For your lips too fast may run.

And though the things you tell me

May be very good and true,

I would rather learn my lesson

By watching what you do.

So if I should not understand

The high advice you give,

There is no misunderstanding

How you act and how you live.


Falcon Court

Great Yarmouth

Hospital parking charges too high

CAR park charges at the James Paget University Hospital. Could someone tell me how �2.56 to park your car at the JPH can be justified?

After all, you only go there for treatment yourself, or to visit a sick relative or friend. The �2.56 only covers one hour.

A friend of mine who works at the James Paget pays �10.50 a month to park his car there and he works there. I think it is about time, long overdue, that something was done about it. I await the James Paget parking committee reply.



Returning census is major hurdle

AS an 83-year-old partially sighted lady, getting to a post office these days, is a major job.

The census form is too large to push into the postbox and we get in trouble if we force it in. There is no address to write to and in the days when I went round to take the census forms in Leicestershire, we collected them as well.

Is it not possible for someone to use a grain of commonsense and make them slightly smaller with a few less ridiculous questions in them?


Buxton Avenue


Stunned at bus service changes

HAVING just received the new timetables for local buses, may I through your column express my disgust for the minor adjustments being made to our bus services for Yarmouth and Gorleston.

First Bus and Yarmouth Council should hold their heads in shame, especially since the No 2 Barrack estate to JPH via the Shrublands has been the hardest hit of all the services.

On Sundays, the No 2 used to have 15 buses per day in either direction but now First Bus in all its wisdom has wiped this service out completely. We do not have a single bus travelling this route.

This to me is not a minor adjustment. Also, weekday buses on the same route don’t fair much better either, with six evening services scrapped and the last bus departing the Barracks at 5.45pm. This I know will affect a large number of people from South Yarmouth and the Shrublands who, when visiting friends or relations in hospital, rely heavily on the No 2 service.

The option of changing buses at Market Gates is not always convenient as there can be as much as a 40-minute wait for a connection. Perhaps another option would be to re-site the redundant gates from the habour’s mouth to King Street and Deneside. This would really isolate South Yarmouth and therefore a bus service would not be needed.

I would like to hear the views from our MP regarding this issue, as he has quite often stated that his priorities lie with the town and its residents, but then I used to believe in Father Christmas.


Spencer Avenue


Think of people who rely on No 2

ME again. Mrs T, moaning about the Number 2 service. Now they have taken it off on a Sunday for good. No signs at bus stops to say they are no longer running, which I feel they should have done, so I thought I would inform the people who are waiting at stops.

I live on Trinity Avenue and can easily walk up to the nearest stop going to Yarmouth. But there are a lot of older people who want to go to town and cannot walk too far.

They do not all stay indoors and they rely on this service. So I ask the bus company why are they doing this? For some reason it always the No 2.

Have a heart and have a rethink and think of the older people who need this service.


Trinity Avenue


Evening of great entertainment

AN Enchanted Evening was enjoyed by a large and enthusiastic audience at the Pavilion Theatre last week.

The choir sang a magical selection of music from Broadway muscials, including a junior choir, who were a delight, and several scintillating soloists.

The setting was glamorous and the atmosphere of performers and audience warm and responsive. The musicians gave great support. It was an evening of wonderful entertainment which captured the spirit of enchantment and resulted in smiles all round for the audience who enjoyed it so much.


Church Road


Who supervises these offenders?

IN the Cases in Court column (Mercury, March 25) nine offenders were given a total of 950 hours of unpaid work, which is equivalent to approximately 21 normal working days. Is there anybody who can tell us where and when these hours are performed, and who details the work and supervises the offenders whilst they carry out their punishment.


Cherry Close


Give us a chance to save our club

Over the last few weeks, I have been reading about the demise of the Burrage Centre Sports and Social Club. It seems the only people who have a say over this matter are the hospital management.

I have always thought that the person (Mrs Burrage) left a large sum of money so that the building was for the hospital staff to use it as it was intended, a sports and leisure club. Its members have been paying through a Deed of Covenant, which was taken from their wages until recently.

What happened to the revenue from the sale of furniture from the centre? What about the members? Surely they are entitled to an annual meeting as laid out in the club’s constitution.

When the spokeswoman for the hospital said that the club was being closed, due to a fall in trade, should it not have asked members, through a meeting, to try and save it?

Why not try to save this once-thriving club and restore it to a semblance of its former heyday, when there were three bowls teams, a pool team and a petanque team using the facilities? There was a good carvery on Sundays, also a quiz team.

All the participants and customers have just not vanished off the face of the earth. They are out there and would like their voices to be heard.


Meadow Court


Turbines are not doing their job

Those windmills are not for turning! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been past the turbines at Scroby sands and seen them standing stock still.

I realise its not been terribly windy lately but, goodness me, if I was that unproductive at work, I would probably be given the sack.

It would be interesting to find out just how much electricity they generate – because from where I’m standing, it doesn’t seem like diddly squat.

I am all for green power, especially out to sea where I understood it was always more windy than on the shore, and I’m glad the communities of Hemsby and Ormesby rose up and fought off those four giant turbines.

How galling would it have been to have had all the upset and intrusion into the landscape not to mention the noisy whirr and television interference, just to see them standing there not doing a single spin?

Is there a problem with the ones at Scroby sands? If so, I wish they would just tell us and put an end to all this bemused headscratching.


Great Yarmouth


Staff went out of their way to help

I AM so full of praise for all the staff at the James Paget University Hospital for the efficient way in which they quickly diagnosed my wife Dawn’s illness and cared for her. Though, sadly, there was nothing that could be done to save her, their compassion and kindness was second to none. They ensured that she left us painlessly and peacefully, and I am proud to put pen to paper to say a big thank-you to them all.



Simple solution to noisy problem

HOW much longer have the people living in South Market Road have to put up with lorries and coaches thundering down this small road only to find it’s a cul de sac at the end. Then they try to turn left into Union Street which is too tight a turn, so then they reverse back to Market Gates and continue under the precinct on the route they should have been on. A simple No Left Turn sign at the traffic lights should solve this very noisy problem.


By email

Use funds for deficit not Libya

IN my opinion, funds used from vast HM Treasury Reserves to carry out expensive exercises in Libya must firstly be applied in reducing UK Revenue Deficits. The whole of the UK is suffering as a result of the mismanagement by politicians of monies collected by HM Treasury in the past in the form of taxation etc.

These allocations to Reserves must be reversed in order to bring UK Revenue Reserves back into credit. How does one obtain a balance sheet and set of accounts of Great Britain Plc, so that we can determine, for ourselves, the extent of our present deficit and indebtedness. One simply cannot believe that our current and long term liabilities are greater than our fixed and current assets without written proof and evidence. If we do not produce consolidated monetary and financial information in this format, it is time we did.

The word of a politician is hardly sufficient to believe in these circumstances.

We must not become involved in different religions, cultures and customs, which the vast majority of UK citizens simply do not understand. If one wishes, our own archbishopric should be seen to be active and more involved in world religion, by the public. To solve war problems, leave politicians out of it and enforce religious leaders to deal with them.

We cannot continue to ignore the huge internal problems within the UK.

As a nation, we no longer have the power and influence over other countries. The vast majority of UK citizens believe that the present style of government and its parliamentary systems are outdated, inefficient and should be run by better qualified representatives. I have heard excuses, complaints, tales of mismanagement, spotted weaknesses in procedures and systems for the last 50 years. I have listened to Budget speeches and heard recited pointless statistics, which few people understand, recounting proposals to rectify matters year after year after year. The matters, upon which we should be concentrating at the present time, are those, which involve our everyday lives. Why are politicians, presenters, commentators etc, so divorced from reality and the real “man or woman in the street”?

The UK’s problems are rapidly growing more serious year by year. In Victorian times, when England was at its worse poking its nose in other peoples’ affairs, the majority of our citizens lived on the bread-line in slums; read Charles Dickens for the proof. The situation these days can, in many ways, be compared with the situation then.

Many of those we put into power, should never be in a situation, whereby they are allowed to offer their names as leaders. They do not understand finance and the management of people and money: many have had neither academic nor professional success in life. They are neither role models nor examples which young people can emulate.


By email