Celebrating the Easter story

This week I was pleased to meet again with A Band of Brothers, who over the last five years have provided assistance for young men leaving the criminal justice system, offering not only support but an open and safe forum to make the transition to an adulthood free of crime; with purpose and community mindedness.

It was a pleasure to speak about the inspiring work of the group in Parliament, and learn more of their future plans to help more people locally.

They are deservedly one of the Mayor’s charities of 2017-18.

One of the main focuses of the group is to link adult male role models to these young men, providing experiences that challenge them and support their growth. They have seen an 82 per cent reduction in severity of offending behaviour after participation in The Quest programme.

I was delighted to watch a wonderful performance of Eternally Yours at The Hawth last week, where children at St Margaret’s and Pound Hill Infants schools, as well as 2nd Crawley Scouts and Crawley Baptist Church, told the Easter story beautifully.

I have also been receiving emails from Crawley residents on the issue of the freedom of religion, asking me to continue my support for the charity Open Doors by visiting an exhibition they are holding in Parliament this week.

I am always pleased to support Open Doors and look forward to attending. Earlier this year I highlighted in the House of Commons their important work protecting Christians who are persecuted around the world as a result of their faith.

Their vital efforts to protect the ability to worship freely will be in my thoughts this weekend. I would like to wish everyone in Crawley a happy Easter.

Henry Smith MP