Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
‘We’re here because the Post Office told every single one of us sat here today, told us over and over, “You’re the only one.” And that was wrong. That was a lie, actually. Because… Well, look at us. Here we all are. And from this moment forwards, none of us will be the only one ever again.’
It’s hard to believe that ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office isn’t just a true story, but one still being played out. The horrendous injustice suffered by hundreds of sub-postmasters caught up in this scandal, including the one local to me, has been described as the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history, with enormous human cost.
Horizon, the computer system rolled out to each post office, incorrectly showed huge account shortfalls. These were then blamed on sub-postmasters, who were told that nobody else had had any issues, that they were the only one. Except they weren’t – and the Post Office knew this. How frightening to believe that, facing a sudden debt of thousands of pounds and the possibility of bankruptcy or prison, you were utterly alone.
Alan Bates emerges from this story as a heroic figure. An unassuming but tenacious man, he led the fight against the Post Office for over 20 years, a David against a seemingly all-powerful corporate Goliath. Unwilling to stand by and watch others endure injustice, he stood up for, and stood by, those who had no fight left in themselves.
To show them they were not alone.
The outcry against the Post Office is welcome. We all – individually and collectively – cry out for justice. We want to live in a society where justice is done.
As Christians, this should be close to our hearts. The Lord is a God of justice. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne (Psalm 89:14). And Christ stands by those who suffer. He doesn’t look on from a distance, but as one who, at the cross, has experienced it himself.
It’s through his people, reflecting his character and his priorities, that he reveals this.
We may never have to battle like Alan Bates and the sub-postmasters. But, each of us will, in some way, be called to be a mouthpiece for truth and justice in our workplaces, homes, or community. In doing so, we show what God is like. And we show those facing unfairness and injustice that they’re not alone. We are there with them. God is there with them.
Church Engagement Specialist, LICC