I don't know about you but I'm feeling incredibly disorientated. The speed of change and the deepening seriousness of the situation is bewildering. On Monday Nichola set up for Tuesday Toddlers. But on the Tuesday the Church Room looked like the Marie Celeste - empty of children and carers and abandoned toys across the floor.
On Friday the Mothering Sunday flowers were delivered to church .
A small group of us wrapped them and then I went and put them on the doorsteps of those isolating - I ran out of flowers before completing my tour of the village.
Some shouted their thanks after me, some emailed them and on one occasion I was given nine Easter eggs to add to our collection in church!
I dropped into school to give flowers to staff. The atmosphere was quite emotional. Some staff and pupils were already absent. Farewells included, 'See you in September? '!
During the last few days Kathleen in the office has been preparing lists of contacts so we can keep in touch and support those who are staying at home.
I have begun phoning our older contacts. So far existing networks are working well but we all need to watch out for those who may lose their usual support as the illness spreads. In order to reduce infection support needs to be done very locally with those who are able helping a small number of others. The last thing we need is a few people roaming around infecting the vulnerable. More organised support is emerging, but this needs to be a safety net.
We have set up some Covid specific communications:
Tel 07784 923 945
These will be accessed by staff and others and so emails and messages should not contain confidential information. These are intended to be used for requests for information and support about the current situation. Please also use these for prayer requests.
Not being able to worship is going to be difficult.
Each Sunday Mark Pavey will do a live stream service. Link:
simply use one of these links just before 10am and the service will begin at 10.
Please feel free to share these links with anyone, particularly those from any of our churches who might not know yet.
Information on further resources will be forthcoming.
Morning Prayer continues to be said by the staff each day, now including Saturday. I will privately celebrate the Eucharist in church on Sundays at 9.45am - the usual time for our main morning service in church. A church bell will be rung before these services. You may like to pray at these times as an act of solidarity with each other. Please send prayer requests to be prayed for in church to the email and phone (preferably by text message if using the phone) to the contacts above. These will also be forwarded to members of the prayer ministry team.
Now we are focused on each day as it comes and our losses and restrictions.
In time a 'new normal' may emerge. We certainly need to seek and savour the good in the situation. For many the pace of life will change, proving the opportunity to think and pray as well as garden, de-clutter and keep in touch via phone and electronic media. Maybe stripped down to basics we can discover the things which really matter - even if it is by being deprived of them for a while.
Our current situation has reminded me of some words from what turned out to be Martin Luther-King's final speech, 'There are difficult days ahead'.
Currently, we don't know quite how. It must have felt a bit like this when in 1939 war was declared but before it was engaged.
Words from the bible that have come to mind are from Hebrews 13:8; 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever'.
Our situation changes but he remains the same.
With my love and prayers in these unimaginable times,
Keep in touch and stay safe,