The Raconteur

Raconteur: A person who tells anecdotes in a skilful and amusing way…

Raconteur Malcolm: Today’s Valentine’s Day. In school I often told the story of St Valentine, the Italian bishop whose Christian faith… helping the poorly treated… sharing his faith… got him into trouble.

Emperor Claudius banned marriage because ‘married men don’t make good soldiers’. Bishop Valentine was arrested and sentenced to death for conducting secret marriages. When he was executed he sent the jailor’s daughter a letter signed ‘from your Valentine’…

Raconteur Chris told me about his life at sea – working on the trawlers out of Lowestoft, on oil rigs off Nigeria… often ‘sailing close to the wind’ in a number of ways! At times it sounded like another chapter from Treasure Island!

He picked dead bodies out of the North Sea when the Alexander Kielland oil rig collapsed… I looked it up… About 320 km east of Dundee, the rig capsized on 27 March 1980. Of the 212 people aboard the rig, 123 died…

Raconteur John is telling the story of ‘The Seagull’. A writer and film-maker, he’s producing a documentary…

Built in 1896 as Morton Road School with classrooms for 60-165 children… poor children attending their local school… closure in 1939 as children were evacuated…

Post-war reopening… training coachworks apprentices…  becoming the county drama centre… youth clubs, Lowestoft College links, amateur drama groups… closing, nearly demolished in 2006… resurrected as a community theatre… growing, becoming a vibrant active community centre… current building developments…

Raconteur Moses in his final words tells his story in the context of a bigger story – God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… slavery in Egypt… exodus from Egypt.. desert wanderings… imminent entry into their Promised Land.

Moses, handing over the nation’s leadership to Joshua, repeatedly says, ‘Be strong and courageous, Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God is with you.’

The raconteur’s story is not yet complete. Strength, courage and God’s presence is needed for the next chapter.

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