BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the day
© John Denney 12 March 2003
The City of Leicester is full of very
workaday buildings. World class
buildings have been notably missing.
There are a number of interesting church buildings, there’s the
Guildhall. The Victorian buildings that
created modern Leicester are passable, but
not great. Then came the Engineering
Block at the University in the sixties, and more recently the two universities
have put up good buildings: the Kimberlin Library, the Richard Attenborough
Centre. The National Space Centre has
attracted international recognition for its audacious design.
And now Raphael Vinoly, one of the world’s
leading architects, has unveiled plans for Leicester’s new Performing
Arts Centre. And the plans are very
exciting. Full marks to the Leicester
City Council for having the imagination to commission a top architect. Let’s hope they can keep their nerve and see
that it is built according to his design, without changing the brief, or
cutting corners to save a few pounds here and there. There’s a “buzz” about this new scheme, and Leicester needs something
exhilarating like this.
I’m old enough to remember the daring
plans put forward by Konrad Smigielski that would have catapulted Leicester
into the forefront of modern cities way back in the 1960s. But Leicester showed its peculiar
habit of turning down bold concepts like the monorail that Smigielski
proposed. And it wasn’t so long ago that
people were complaining that the National Space Centre didn’t belong here in Leicester.
The fact is, it’s easier to criticise than
to be constructive. It’s easier to
destroy than to build. And on the
personal front, it’s easier to discourage someone than to encourage them.
Saint Paul was a great
encourager of the early Christians, in the days when it was dangerous to be a
Christian, let alone plant churches and spread the Good News of the gospel of
Christ. In Paul’s letters to those early
Christians, time and time again he says “I give thanks to God for you…” and then
instances good things they have done – as well as pointing out where they had
gone a bit wrong. His care, his concern,
his approval must have made a lot of difference to them. It’s wonderful what a bit of encouragement
can do, when someone’s weighed down and struggling. An ounce of praise is worth a ton of
So I wonder, is there someone you could encourage today? And here’s a wonderful bonus: you’ll feel good as well!
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