>What do you do if you want to change something? You ask permission.
What do you do if you live next door to somebody who wants to change their house, or if a builder proposes developing land opposite? You complain and you object. ‘Twas ever thus in Nimbyland.
And the way through? Thank goodness for our planning authorities so that when we want to make changes we have to ask for permission, and those who are our neighbours should realise that, make their objections and then leave it to those who are a lawful lot better than us at these things and accept the judgement – “permission granted” or otherwise.
I feel sorry for friends Jane and Bob asking for permission to change/demolish/rebuild. Suddenly they find themselves on page 2 of the local paper with friend Mark flying the preservation flag – no doubt supported by friends and neighbours around – Janet, Bob, Jo, Alice, Tom, Dick, Harry and Jemima. What a difficult situation – all have their legitimate concerns – to be weighed in the scales of justice. And through it all they continue to meet in the waiting room of the Friends’ Meeting House for Kingdom come and Peace on Earth. Meeting together, waiting together makes it so much better than avoiding one another and makes the church a Friends Meeting House – if not now, then – working/praying out how to come to terms with our differences.
That’s what we’ve been doing with our project for St Peter’s. We have been asking for permission and we will see how many people have objected, and how the Chancellor weighs the difference of opinion. Then we will be told whether we have a faculty – aka permission – or if we’ve lost. Whatever way it goes we have to then get on with our neighbours – loving them – which we have to sometimes do before we can ever like them.

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