We had our 'Cast the Vision' event on Wednesday 23rd February. We were hosted in the salubrious surroundings of the London Oratory, St. Wilfrid's Hall. The organising team arrived early to set-up the hall, and the rather generous buffet. No doubt a few of us nipped into the church next door for a quick prayer: 'Lord, please may this evening go as well as you want it to.' It was a surreal experience beginning our second campaign; the first felt like it was only yesterday,and we felt the same buzz, if not more this time round. It was nice to have a brief chat with our guest speaker Margaret Cuthill before the evening commenced too.
About 60 people attended - some in smart suits, others in jeans, and a few in nuns habits. It was good to see some familiar faces, and a chance to meet many new people who are joining us for 40 Days for Life for the first time. It is impressive to see freshers, other students, businessmen, people in the professions, those between jobs, retired, and elderly people chatting away while they waited, but ultimately, it was all sorts of people and ages united in the common cause of building a culture of life and bringing an end to the tragedy of abortion.
Robert Colquhoun gave a 20 minute introduction to the what and why of 40 Days for Life. We were also treated to a sneak preview of the UK premiere of the film Maafa21. After that the floor was given over to Margaret, who shared her story of an affair with a married man, two abortions, the suffering that followed, and her conversion to Christianity and finding healing in Christ. Margaret now heads ARCH, helping other women come to terms with the death of their child by abortion. Robert also introduced the committee: Poppy, Helena, Beata, Graziano, and Daniel.
The utter lie that there is no such thing as post-abortion syndrome was quite clearly and convincingly refuted by Margaret. There is a massive amount of shame and secrecy surrounding abortion, and that continues afterwards because the woman is so ashamed and distraught about what she has done, that she won't tell anyway how she is feeling. It's all covered-up, suppressed, and experienced alone. That's why groups like ARCH are essential; they are experienced women who understand and care about women who are post-abortive, unlike the culture of death and lies seen in groups like Bpas and Marie Stopes.
Margaret shared some examples of women who she has counselled and spoken to: Teens, grandparents, boyfriends, husbands, women who've had abortions at under 10 weeks, women who've had abortions later, even one at 23 weeks, and finally an 88 yr old woman who had an abortion 60 years ago. This woman had said "I've lost my peace". Abortion is for life, there is healing, but no forgetting. God forgives, but sometimes the woman cannot forgive herself.
We had a few Q&A's, then everyone dashed in differnet directions. Some to the food and wine, others to grab bundles of flyers, magazines, introduction packs, tiny feet badges, whilst others spent time catching-up with friends.
We're pleased so many signed-up to help with community outreach and the prayer vigil. Right now we can only go forward and build on the good response, trusting in Christ to make up for what we lack.
Watch this space for some photos of the evening!