Vicar’s Letter & Church Magazine for May 2020

What can we learn so far from the Lock down?

What surreal (and for some tragic and anxious) times we are living through. Mercifully, in Madeley and Betley we have been spared some of the worst aspects of the virus but of course our thought and prayers are with the bereaved, the traumatised and the front-line staff.

For many of us we have had to adopt new behaviours and observe important protocols and perhaps we are getting used to life in Lock down? There has never been a time like this in living memory and we may well feel overwhelmed.

However, and believing in the resurrection, there is new life ahead of us and we must look for the positives and think about lessons we can all learn.

So, amidst the all the difficulties and uncertainties, what has been good?

A greater sense of community – people volunteering to help with the NHS and local helplines, increased neighbourliness and a heightened awareness of the vulnerable down our streets. It has been impressive to see many younger people step up and put themselves out for others – at the Food bank, collecting prescriptions and running errands. Thank you and well done.

New ways of being church and good organisations – the church buildings are closed but God’s people are finding new ways to worship together and to keep in touch with those on their own. Zoom Services, on-line prayer meetings, pastoral visits via video link and a resurgence of the good old rag and bone (phone).  It’s not the same and we greatly look forward to being together again but we have learnt some new skills and been challenged to find new ways of keeping in touch.

The importance of exercise and greeting friends whilst on the move and at a “safe” distance. Thank God that we live in beautiful villages with green spaces to walk and take our dogs out. The weather has been really kind and stunningly beautiful – perhaps something we’ve noticed more under these circumstances – I love the Cherry Tree blossom , the buds on the trees, the freshly ploughed fields.

Not to take people for granted – Our NHS staff have rightly been heralded for their courage and commitment. But there are other frontline staff who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. The staff of Care Homes, our Refuge Collectors, those who serve us in retail, both in our shops and in supplying our bodily needs all deserve our respect and our appreciation of their service. It is very easy to take each other for granted but we shouldn’t. Noticing the commitment and service of others when we are the beneficiaries should be part of our everyday mini celebrations.

… Now, none of this is to ignore the deep-seated anxieties that are very real for many of us as we face the consequences for our economy and personal prospects. The future will bring further challenges, struggles and needs. Pulling together and practising consistent generosity of attitude and behaviour will be vital as we adapt and change again. We may well have to adjust our sights and lower our expectations – not forgetting that we still have so much to be grateful for.

I believe profoundly that God remains in the midst of us, wanting to sustain, inspire, resource and equip us for the future that lies ahead. The Bible tells us that He does not leave us abandoned but equips us with His Spirit to rise to the challenge that lie around the corner.

May you know God’s wisdom, peace and strength as you journey on. And may God bless and keep you in His good care.

Peter Chantry

For Online Parish Magazine for May click here

About Stephen

Lay Chair of All Saints' Church Council and Treasurer. Retired Head of University Secretariat at Keele, Secretary of North Staffs Classical Association, Secretary of North Shropshire CLP, former Woore Parish Councillor & Vice-Chairman of Woore Neighbourhood Plan Team, now complete. Chairman of Sir John Offley's Almshouse Trust, Madeley.
This entry was posted in Church, Community. Bookmark the permalink.