6th May 2021

Dear Friends

I hope you are all enjoying our new freedom to meet with people outdoors again. I have to say it’s good to meet, it’s not good freezing to death in the process. Can we all collectively pray for some warmer weather please.

It feels to me like the church has for the last 14 months been in some kind of suspended animation – everything has been on hold. The prospect of being able to return to something like normal in late June, is a huge relief, but it brings with it a whole host of problems. It is certainly true that it is much easier to lockdown than to unlock. Many people have ‘moved on’ in lockdown and obviously we have not been in a position to respond to replace them as we would in previous years. I’ve come to realise that emerging from lockdown needs to be done, slowly and carefully. It’s also important that we do not try to run before we can walk. This process is going to take us a couple of years. One example of this predicament which is critical is membership of our PCC. We desperately need new members to join the PCC. Almost all of our PCC membership is due to leave this year. I would ask you to consider very carefully if you would be willing to join our PCC to help us through this difficult patch. We are at a critical point and we need the support of as many of you who are willing to offer your help.

God Bless

Simon

Dear Friends

I wonder how you have been celebrating our gradual release from lockdown. We spent time having fun with our grandchildren over the bank holiday weekend, sharing windswept lunches and brisk walks!  

I recently came across an Instagram post written by an African American poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor in April last year. She said: ‘We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was never normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, My friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.’  Early on in the pandemic, Taylor realised how deeply this experience was already shaking our sense of what constitutes normal. 

Over the past year many of us have had time to examine our lives and reflect prayerfully on how we would like to make changes, to live differently in future – from a personal perspective, as a local community and as a nation. The elections taking place this week are giving us a chance to do this at one level. We also have to do this as a Church, both nationally and within our own parish. Our APCM on May 16th will be a good time to reflect on our life together and the opportunities that lie ahead for us. How will we stitch our own ‘new garment’ to use Taylor’s expression?

With every blessing

Mother Eileen