If eligible for the Covid booster jab or the annual flu injection, do please take them. Each is available. The NHS website works well. I was able to book for the next morning. It takes pressure off family doctors and their team. If many of us can avoid being stricken, reducing pressure on medical and nursing services as well as helping us stay healthy.
I enjoy visits to St Michael’s Roman Catholic church in Hayling Rise. In common with other local parish priests, Father Christopher Ingle is out and about ministering in the community and in support of teachers in parish schools. The parish hall, often a polling station for residents of High Salvington, was this week the venue for a fiendish quiz. I called in to encourage the gathering and wish the quizzers good luck.
Half a century ago, Virginia and I were in a quiz on the day we met: we did well; we could name the stations spelt with four letters on London’s Northern Line underground. Now I know the only station that shares no letter with the word Underground, the two stations that include the five conventional vowels and the station that has a run of six consonants. Answers on a postcard?
On Saturday I walked around Goring-by-Sea, seeing the first home we had known in Trent road, then occupied by the former head of Worthing High school for Girls. Anna Hedley had taught with my mother-in-law. A successful pupil reported Miss Hedley thought medicine and nursing were good but not as good as classics or the arts. Sunday, a day mostly of rest, included planting new daffodil bulbs.
Monday was a day for fire safety inspection of the doors in the block of our Worthing home.
Fire and building safety matters to us all. I stepped in to help lead the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety Group, following the murder of Sir David Amess in 2021. The group campaigns to make those responsible for fire safety defects more accountable.
I work closely with leading campaigners, as part of my work as Co-Chair of the Leasehold All-Party Parliamentary Group, to fight the continuing impact of cladding on those living in residential leasehold blocks. I also continue to highlight the importance of Carbon Monoxide awareness and the need for CO tests in every home and business.
I take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Fire Stations across Worthing and Arun for their highly regarded competence and bravery.
I made a series of home calls about tricky problems. One welcome surprise was at a home in Canberra road behind a corner of the Durrington Tesco car park.
Over the summer, chargers were installed for delivery vans. That is a silent process. What was noisy were the refrigeration units. Residents put the problem to the store. Tesco moved the refrigeration noise to a less sensitive spot. Well done. Thank you. When I visited to check, the neighbours were happy.
I attended two special church services. At the tenth anniversary of the Romero shrine at St George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Southwark, during sung Vespers, St Oscar students and senior staff were asked to join the procession with Archbishop James Wilson. I was proud to see them there.
Then on Monday at the Church of England’s St Andrew’s church in Tarring, I witnessed the installation of Steven Emerson, former head of religious education at Chatsmore High school. He is now also incumbent at St Richard’s in Maybridge.
With respect to friends and denominations with other views, I am glad we are rightly treating women as people, capable of filling roles at every level. One hundred years ago, a female could not be recognised as a barrister. Now one is the Lady Chief Justice.
My family had the same expectations for daughters and for sons. The same applies to our grandchildren: they have the fortune of having better parents than grandparents, at least on our side of their heritage.
When life goes wrong, it is the family who help pick up the pieces, who visit you in prison or hospital or wherever you are in trouble. The chaplaincy of faith groups is for us all, including when we are bad, sad or maddening. So too is service by members of parliament. Every day, we help those in need.