The Brockley Cross Action Group AGM

Sometimes, when the pages of Brockley Central are crowded with articles and comments about betting shops, fried chicken debris, planning problems and crime, it's easy to forget why we started this blog in the first place.

On Wednesday night, At the Baptist Church on Upper Brockley Road, Brockley Central was born again.

With due respect to the setting, our salvation was to be found in the earthly concerns of SE4 and our preacher was Des Kirkland, who chaired the AGM of the BXAG.

There was lots of interesting stuff discussed at the meeting, which we will be covering in the next few days - most notably, the fate of Brockley Station and Brockley Common, the Brockley Fun Run, the Brockley Gallery and Brockley MAX.

However, the meeting itself is worthy of comment, because it captured the best of Brockley.

Brockley Central dislikes the self-imposed formalities that community groups often operate by, which often have the effect of alienating people who might otherwise want to get involved. But there were no Colonel Blimps present and the meeting was a friendly and informal occasion, which attracted approximately 50 people to discuss issues that really mattered, rather than the minutes from the previous meeting.

There was some procedure of course, but, for example, the summary of the group's accounts was happily brief - basically, they haven't really incurred any costs and the money that gets raised for projects like the Common and the MAX is ring fenced, so you won't find your donation to the Common paying for new doilies for the Group's tea trolley.

Likewise, the election of the Trustees for the next years was very civil. Each person had a minute to state their case; anyone not present was represented by a friend within the group. There were more candidates than places, so this was no rubber stamp exercise and each of the candidates would have been a worthy winner. In fact, it was a humbling experience as people recounted the work they had done for the greater good of Brockley - from planting flowerbeds to lobbying government.

There was no rancour, nor self-congratulatory smugness, just a group of eminently practical people with good ideas.

There was also a healthy mix of people present, perhaps captured best by the discussion of this year's Brockley MAX. The boys who've taken on the challenge of staging the festival talked passionately to a politely bewildered audience about how they were going to harness the power of MySpace and Facebook to reach out to new audiences. But they also discussed in-depth the suggestion by an elegant Frenchwoman that two locally-based opera singers should be involved in this year's programme.

Practical, inclusive, good humoured and working together to make this part of London a happier place to live. That's what Brockley's about, it's what the BXAG is about and it's what we hope Brockley Central is about.

Most of the time.