It all started with a car park, when in 2011 the local council put forward plans for a new car park for 19 cars at a school adjacent to where Arthur Newbury lives in his hometown of Northampton. Arthur could see that a minor change in the plans would allow parking for 38 cars, thus easing the congestion for local residents. He raised a petition with his neighbours and was voted as spokesperson to take the case to the next meeting, his first of many public speaking engagements. It was too late to change these plans, but his care for the local community was noticed by Borough leaders, and he was invited to play a part in other local issues. A local residents association was formed, and over the following two years Arthur helped start a community café, where young mums can meet and support each other, set up an indoor bowling place which is also accessible to people in wheelchairs, and promoted many other events encouraging the community to work together to relieve social pressures and problems.
Arthur’s scope widened to include working with other resident associations, politicians, and civic leaders in solving community issues across the whole town. In recognition of his work, he has met many prominent people, including being invited to the inauguration of the new Mayor.
Arthur has never hidden his membership in the Church. His beliefs and standards are respected by all he comes in contact with. He firmly believes that his understanding of Church principles has helped him, such as the value of counselling together, helping people to become self-reliant, and following the Saviour’s teachings of loving our neighbour.
Arthur has been an important link in raising the profile of the Church in Northampton too. Several MP’s and other civic leaders have been to the chapel to visit events held there, including the family history centre and the packaging of relief supplies for the Calais refugees. They have seen the youth and other members in action with Helping Hands projects and praised the work they have done.
Bro Newbury keeps a daily blog sharing not only project information but also gospel teachings. “Your inspirational thoughts brighten my day,” said one follower.
What started with a concern over a planned car park has led Arthur to develop talents he never realised he had and to grow in confidence. He has felt the Lord’s direction in his activities and has developed a greater love for his fellowman.
“I encourage anyone to take that first step in helping out in their local area. You will make lasting friends and find great joy in serving.”
Arthur is a member of the Duston Ward, Northampton England Stake.