In memory : Jodie Chesney

Jodie was murdered on Fri 1st March 2019 in Amy’s Park, Harold Hill

Martin Bailey spoke at a vigil of around 1200 to 1500 people in Amy’s Park on Friday evening 15th March, below is a summary of his address.

Our hearts go out to all those who loved Jodie, her family and many friends. There have been many tributes to her character of kindness, goodness and thoughtfulness. It’s thankfulness for that, and the horror of it being stolen away which brings pain to so many.

This vigil is a powerful picture of what our community is. The challenge now is to show what it means to behave as a community, actively recognising we are ALL neighbours and loving our neighbour as ourselves. Let’s be ambitious and display the transforming power and protection which grows out of genuine respect in the community. Our default setting needs to be loving respectfulness to everyone. The way we speak and behave towards every other person, whether old or young, known to you or not, will create the behaviour of the whole community so that it can strengthen and flourish.

There is a handwritten sign on the railings over there which says Choose Life, Drop the Knife. It’s a great sign. Choose life is a phrase that comes from the Bible. God said I want you to choose Life. People still need to be told what is wrong, and its consequences, and directed to what is right, and its benefits.

Jesus said he came to make it possible for people to have Life in all its fullness. He said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. When I was young, someone pointed me to Jesus to ask for forgiveness and redirection. That evidence convinced me that, though Jesus died terribly, he then rose from the dead and overturned the power of all the wrong in my life. Ever since then, God has been putting me right about what it means to choose life for myself and for the good of the community. I have a lot to learn with all of you.

So, choose life and hope and pursue it wholeheartedly. And let’s work for life and community if no other reason than to honour Jodie’s memory.

THANK YOU, GOD for all that is good in our memories of Jodie,
for her character and conduct, family and friends.
Bring healing and comfort to those who grieve and to all those caught up in the trauma
Renew us in love that makes a daily difference.
Please, almighty God, throw open the doors for those who feel imprisoned by fear, give them courage and deliver them in the name of Jesus, Amen