Kiri and


Found it!

October 28th, 2013 (by Steve)

Community. What does it mean? Where can we find good examples? These are questions that we thought we would try to answer with this trip; finding community in different countries and learning from it. On reflection though, even in the planning stages of our adventure we’ve found some great examples:

Village life – we’ve loved being immersed in the life of a little East Sussex village; enjoying a summer fete, a barn dance, several quiz nights and a couple of harvest celebrations. A far cry from our experience of London, most people know their neighbours and actively want to spend time with them. A visit (of which there have been many!) to our mechanic isn’t just a case of being processed; it’s been great to stop and have a chat each time. Similarly, the re-welding of the front bumper was done by someone known through the village pantomime group and even the gas safety engineer enjoyed having a good chat about our plans.

Motorhome owners – we’d read online prior to purchasing Bertha that motorhome owners waved to each other when they passed on a road, but we got really excited when it actually happened for the first time! There’s a general camaraderie, mutual understanding and respect for other motorhomers, without the feeling that it’s some kind of elite club. We’ve also been bowled over by the responses to this blog from other motorhomers who we haven’t even met, yet who are wishing us all the best.

TalbotOC – we realise that the Talbot Express Owners’ Club is a subset of the motorhome owners, but they deserve a particular mention. Often online fora descend into bickering over misunderstandings, or active “trolls“, but TalbotOC is full of people who are all passionate about motorhome versions of a van which was produced between 1981 and 1993. Everyone is willing to pass on advice to those of us who aren’t particularly knowledgeable, as well as offering support and encouragement when our van springs another leak!


So what do these groupings have in common? Firstly I think each one unites people around a common focal point, whether it be a locality or ownership of an item. This then appears to breed an active interest in the lives of other people within that community. Secondly there’s a respect for differences; in any group of people you will have different personalities which lead to complicated politics, but that’s what adds richness. The acceptance of me, even though I’m different helps to forge a strong bond. Thirdly, we’ve witnessed a general benevolence; the willingness (and in some cases eagerness) to give freely of time, advice and skills, sometimes with little promise of reward.

I’ll be honest, it’s this last one that I struggle with the most. I’m very happy to be in the position of giving something for nothing. Me man. Me provider. I’m a bit rubbish though at being at the receiving end of something that I haven’t done anything to earn; why do I deserve it? Am I taking advantage? Yet at the centre of my faith is the belief that Jesus was killed so that I won’t be punished for the wrong things that I have done and continue to do. Can I really get my head around that and accept that I don’t have to do anything to earn that sacrifice? Something I continue to ponder!

The title of this blog post is, I guess, a little flippant. We’ve found some good examples of community, which we can learn from, but we’re not at an end state. As we set off around Europe in Bertha I’m sure we’ll learn a whole lot more about community!

P.S. Brownie points for spotting the mistake…

3 Responses

May I respectfully point out that Jesus of Nazareth was not “killed”?

He said “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” The time, manner and place that this happened were Plan A from the beginning of time.

He also said “There is no greater love than this – that a man should lay down his life for his friends”. This was the only way a God beyond our comprehension could show His love for us – by becoming one of us and dying for us, instead of us, in our place – so that we might, by faith, share in His life and nature:

“And eternal life is this: to know You, the one true God, and Him whom You sent, Yeshua the Messiah”.

I believe we’re singing from the same hymn sheet!

Stuart, I’m with on everything you said; all I was trying to communicate was the concept of sacrifice, in brief!

Close Dad… there’s something else though…

It’s got to be “BENEOLENCE.” Great new word!A bit like Flatulence? Hoping not in the confines of Bertha!!!

Love to you both now actually IN mainland Europe.

Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.