Vicars Chatterbox

Vicars Chatterbox

Reverend Julie Wearing writes...

VICAR’S CHATTERBOX (10th January 2021)

This past week we entered a third lockdown due to the high transmissibility of the new Covid19 variant that has led the NHS to the brink of being overwhelmed, essentially in London and the South, but with further evidence it was spreading like wildfire across the country. It is time to ‘baton down the hatches’ and take every precaution you can to remain safe and well. Then we have to wait – wait for the vaccination of as many vulnerable people as possible as well as wait for the R rate to decrease. Is it harder this time or easier because we have been here before and we have the hope of the vaccine? I think the answer will depend on the individual and the context they are in. It is an extension of the way we have been living so we are virtually at a year since the first lockdown, a long time to live with the social restrictions in particular. If anyone is feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed by yet another lockdown, then please give me a ring. One thing I can do is come and take a walk with you as it is a natural boost being outdoors. If you can’t walk very far, I can come and have a short chat on the doorstep. Do not feel you are alone… many members of the congregation will be only too happy to have a chat on the phone – together we can get through this as a family.

For the sake of everyone, services in church have been suspended and even the Post-Christmas cleaning up of the church: none of us know whether we have Covid either because it is incubating or because we have no symptoms. The familiar is likely to be the ‘enemy’ (the risk), not the stranger. It is the small break of restrictions that are helping to cause the spread and not necessarily the mass ‘events’ we hear of.

The next challenge in all of this is likely to be the ‘Beast from the East' weather event, so again, please call if you can’t get out and need something. We will do our best to help. The threat of this storm is the reason that the Nativity came down this past week, as the gazebo could not withstand snow and ice. The response to the Nativity scene at the Vicarage has been far greater than expected as people have come and taken photos, brought their children and others to have a look, come and asked for prayer even some offerings have been found. It is sad to see it go, with the space now looking bare. The positive side is that we are back to a ‘blank piece of paper’ for Lent, Holy Week and/or Easter. Some ideas are already forming, but if you have any, then please do get in touch as we are in the ‘brainstorming’ phase. I don’t know if we will be back in church for Easter, I hope so; we may yet do something outdoors at the Vicarage instead, or as well.

Lastly to give you some notice. I am planning to run a Lent course, based on ‘I Daniel Blake’. As the back of the book reads: ‘ (it is) an opportunity to question why so many people in our society are suffering, what causes injustice and oppression- looking at examples from Jesus’ time as well as today – and what we can do in response’. There is a book that goes along with the course if you want to get a copy, helpful for the questions to be discussed and further reflection but not essential; available online ‘Nothing More, Nothing less’ by Virginia Moffatt – second-hand books start from £2.59, new from £5.69. The Zoom course will run on Wednesdays for 5 weeks from 7pm, from 24 Feb.

Keep safe and well and look after your neighbours,

God bless you, Revd Julie

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