Here we are again in lockdown, infection rates of the COVID-19 virus are increasing rapidly and the government believes the best thing to do to keep both people and the NHS safe is to require us to stay in our homes as much as possible.
One consequence of the lockdown is that gathering together to worship God in the Holy Eucharist is no longer allowed. However, the Eucharist will continue to be celebrated in our parish at the Vicarage as before, and each occasion will be Live-Streamed on our Facebook page. The Daily Offices – Morning and Evening Prayer – will likewise continue to be Live-Streamed.
We are permitted to open our Church for private prayer, as before. I was truly humbled by the willingness of you good people to be assistants during the opening hours of 3.00 – 5.00 pm each day. The impact of our efforts is difficult to over-estimate; approximately half the people who visited each day were not members of our congregation. This time people have not been slow in coming forward to volunteer for this duty, but there are gaps in the rota, so if you are able to help by coming to church on one or more occasions between 3 and 5 please can you let me know.
I have also been humbled by your response to the appeal for provisions for our local Food Bank, you have been most generous in leaving groceries and other items under the tower at the back of Church. They are much appreciated by both those who run the Food Bank and those who use it. Again, I ask you to continue your kindness and generosity in this act of Christian love.
The way in which we have been able to support each other during the pandemic has been exemplary; feelings run high during times like this and it has been good to see that rather than falling out with each other there has been mutual understanding of the stresses and strains we all find ourselves under. The ‘Buddy System’ established during the previous lockdown served us well, and I know that people within our Church family have their own support networks as well.
We will endeavour, this time, to have more online coffee mornings so that we can enjoy one another’s company, albeit in cyberspace, and be there for each other in trying times.
We try to keep life as close to normal as possible and are working to put together a winter edition of the Influence magazine to cover both December and January 2021. Please can we have any items by 20 November, then the magazines can be ready in Church for when we return at the beginning of December.
I saw something on social media the other day that said words to the effect, ‘We are not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm’. For us Christians, this is not true because we are all in the same boat, which is the Church, the vessel that our Lord has provided to transport us safely through this present pandemic and all the storms of life to His kingdom in heaven. Even though we cannot all meet together in our spiritual home for a while you know from your first Sunday School lesson that the Church is the people, not the building. Pray for each other, and please remember that it is more important, though sometimes harder, to love rather than to judge.
I am on the end of a phone if you need me: 01253 722 725.
God bless us all.
Yours in Christ