Dermot has been volunteering for our Christmas Appeal shifts for many years.  When he has signed up for a shift, we know it is going to be fun and packed with good conversation!

“I describe myself as a Christian atheist or, sometimes, an infidel. But also, someone with a sense of justice who hates unfairness. Having long admired Sam Wells’ sermons from Duke University, his wise words of humanity and sense very often made a huge impression. This, combined with my strange fascination for religions and for churches, their activities, their music, their art and lots else and, in St Martin’s case, their then-new vicar, led me to attend a few services (I’m not a regular) at St Martin’s when one Sunday I saw the request for volunteers. I got in touch and have now volunteered for a few years.

I have been lucky in much of my life – my jobs and career, my health and security in income, my home and my share of luck. Not everything has come or gone the way I might have liked, but more good than bad certainly has. Yet I have seen too much unfairness, bad luck and inequality in life and wonder why. Why not me for instance? Were I a Christian I would thank God; but I’m not and I don’t or can’t. So volunteering is me trying to do some good, but not consciously as such.

Besides, to be selfish, it gives me something worthwhile to do in retirement.  It is rewarding to find an envelope with a cheque for several thousand pounds and then, in another envelope, a one-pound coin sello-taped to a piece of paper from an OAP.

And a further ‘besides’, it’s fun!”

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