On Tuesday 25th June 2019 I was honoured and privileged to be invited to join Her Majesty, The Queen, at Buckingham Palace for a special reception “to celebrate the work of local faith and belief groups to promote community cohesion”. I have absolutely no idea how I got to be invited or who had drawn her majesty’s attention to Red Community. To be invited was very humbling, but to be one of only a handful of guests to be granted a special audience with The Queen and to be able to share with her about the work of Red Community (and also bless her with a bag of Manumit Coffee) was mind-blowing! She listened. She asked questions. She sincerely cared.
It was a special and very surreal day for this lad from the Valleys of South Wales, and one that will live long in the memory.
However, while public interest in Red Community has certainly increased since Tuesday, I want to be very clear that this event was not about me. Far from it. Red Community is a team, a community of activists, intercessors, trustees, befrienders, volunteers and part time staff who all play a HUGE part in what Red Community does. Indeed I want to make special mention of the trustees I work with (all of whom are voluntary), our Impact Worker, Heather, and our Embrace worker, Lauren, who work tirelessly on behalf of the trafficked, exploited and enslaved in Wales. I might have been the one that got blessed with the opportunity to dress up smart and eat food with names that I can’t pronounce, but they are the lifeblood of Red and so it is was their special moment every bit as much as it was mine!
When I look back over the last 6 years it is impossible to fully comprehend all that God has done through this little movement. It’s been both beautiful and remarkable and God alone deserves the glory and honour because, ultimately, we do this for the King of kings, not the Queen (as wonderful as she is!)
There is much more still to be done, so we crack on…