From the Rector

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Rector's Letter    April - May 2020

Dear Friends,

Today has been another day of doom and gloom. Both in the news and in the weather. One of my Lent resolutions was to go for a walk each day – at least 30 minutes. To take time out, to pause, to be with God. Part of the drive for this is my own health. But a larger part was an awareness that I am starting to resume my old habits of whizzing from post to post, of busyness. This is a deliberate slowing of my pace, a time to meander and just be. I have explored more of the local area, I have walked with people and on my own. I have spent time thinking. I've been watching the seasons change around me. It has been good. So even in today's glumness, when – to be frank – all I wanted to do was pull my duvet over my head and stay in bed – I put on my walking boots and went for walk by the river.

The news today has been full of the latest details of the coronavirus and how we should or should not be reacting to it. This is combined with the graphs showing the fall in the stock markets, and various orders barring entry to different countries. There are stories about people stock-piling, those being quarantined, and so it goes on. I, like so many others, am in the 'vulnerable group', due to my suppressed immune system. What will happen next? It does not lead to an optimistic mood. How are we meant to respond to it all? In my walk I found myself calming, considering. I choose to distance myself from the knee-jerk reaction and look both inwards and outwards .

As I write this, a missive has come from the College of Bishops stating that the holding of services and church events must stop until further notice. How do we do church when we can't go to church? Do we see this as time off? What should our reaction be as Christians? 

How about this one - 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. It really is as simple as that. If we look after the vulnerable and the weak, if we protect them, then we have more chance of getting through this together. We are called to look inward – what does my faith require of me – and outward – and where can I apply that faith. Where can we demonstrate the light of Christ in practical terms. Make sure those who are isolated or elderly are looked after. Offer what services you can to help, even if is only a phone call to a friend or neighbour who is alone. If you are self-isolating, please let me or one of the vestry members know. Likewise, if you need help, please do call. 

We are approaching the light of Easter. What systems will be in place, what precautions will be needed, whether we will be meeting together, I do not know. What I do know is that whether we meet together or not, Easter will still be celebrated. The risen Christ is still in this world. We are his hands and his feet, his voice. 

Every blessing,