It's official, Filey is one of the most deprived Coastal Communities in the Country according to a recent report. Weeks after filming and at the start of a tourist season, that may be vital to our Town's future, the sad legacy of the 'Sugartown' film set remains with what appears to be a derelict Casino and shops at the foot of our busiest street. 'Locks of Fun' for Sugartown viewers perhaps, but surely not at the expense of this beautiful and largely unspoilt resort.
Filey's famous Cobles are now down to two and one of our finest traditional stores, established in Edwardian times is about to close. If you are reading this and live in Filey, please, please support your local small shops, before more are lost to this deepening recession.
Frankly this all makes me angry, as does the poor seasonal job prospects, the situation of the lonely and elderly, grinding poverty, alcoholism, bored youth and all the other evil problems which seeth beneath the genteel veneer of this beautiful seaside resort.
As a Christian I have felt guilty recently about what I am doing to make things better. Thankfully there's a historical precedent, when Johnny Oxtoby came to this town in the early 19th century, he pointed people, especially our fishermen to Their Saviour, his Lord and mine Jesus Christ. As a result many Town's people became Christians and by the time the Royal Commission on fisheries visited in 1863, the town's fishermen were doing very nicely indeed, undoubtedly due to side effects of Christian life, especially honest industry, a concern for the environment and sobriety.
This is no time for nostalgia but as Christians we do have a commission to spread the good news of our faith to all in the community. As for practical demonstrations, I can think of no better example that of those in our church, who are such a loving and supportive group of people.
Filey is a beautiful town blessed by many organisations, which do so much to make the place better. The Town Council, Lions, Sea Cadets, Scouting organisations, Filey Brigg Ornithological Group, Carer's groups and so many others are a major force for good. Our churches are united and provide a major focus of the community. The rising storm of this appalling recession is about to hit us all. Our prayers and Christ's example of practical, unjudgemental and unconditional Love are going to be needed in the near future - either that or it's Sugartown, here we come.