A week of important events at St James’s Church, Piccadilly ended on 15 October with a meeting on Hope in the Face of Climate Change, looking at what positive actions can be taken for a better future. It culminated in a magical interlude in the Sukkah that had been built from plastic bottles in the garden of St James’s Church, where the band Don Kipper played for us. A Sukkah is a fragile booth, built outside with a roof made of leaves and branches, and walls without doors, similar to the fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. A Sukkah is open to all, and a place to share what God has provided.
I greatly admire the courage of Rabbi Natan Levy of Jewish Social Action and of Rev. Lucy Winkett of St James’s, who were determined to do this bridge-building exercise between members of the Christian and Jewish faiths, despite the strong feelings and views that the Bethlehem Unwrapped Festival in January had provoked, and which still prevail, leading to considerable criticism of both sides for making this peace-building effort. The magical healing atmosphere in the Sukkah on the last night was perhaps a reflection of the costly efforts that had been involved in this joint celebration. I salute all who took part and who supported it.