Beachy Head is the tallest coastal chalk cliff in the UK. Beautiful white expanses of rock over a hundred metres tall rise from the sea in majestic splendour.
People tend to know of it, however, more as a destination for those contemplating suicide by falling over 500 feet to the rocks at sea level below. The right of people to make this choice isn’t a debate I’m comfortable with. The teams of search and rescue workers and all those involved in recovering injured and dead people from the head have little choice – it’s a job which needs doing. That is to say nothing of the needs of the people who take this decision and follow it through. The act itself and the consequences are desperate and void of hope.
I found out today that the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, credited in recent years with reducing the number of attempts, is in financial difficulty. It’s rare I find a charity whose mission is so clearly on the side of the angels. Yes, they’re a Christian organisation and so unfashionably religious. Yes, I’m a Christian too and probably inclined to side with my fellow believers.
But this goes beyond matters of religious conviction to a core value that every human being is worth the effort. There is a letter here from the team, outlining their position. Please consider supporting them if you can.
I’ve closed comments on this post because on this one occasion I think they’re not appropriate. If you support the team and want others to do so, please promote their work. If you disagree with me, this isn’t the most useful place for that discussion. I apologise if my position on this isn’t to your taste, but I feel such an emotive subject can produce extremes of comment and encourage people to feed the trolls. Feel free to e-mail me if you think you need to chat further about this.
Image of Beachy Head from Wikipedia Commons: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Beachy_Head%2C_East_Sussex%2C_England-2Oct2011_%281%29.jpg