Through Lent many of us have been considering the refreshed vision, across a wide range of churches, for Cumbria. It is summed up in the logo, and is now featured on the God for All website. Tread Gently refers to our care of creation and many churches are already completing audits to see what more they can do to be recognised as Eco Churches.
What has become clearer to me is that during the next few months of transition beyond the third Lockdown, we have opportunities, especially to Care Deeply – for the mental health and wellbeing of all in our area, by going deeper to understand how healing is possible in the twentieth first century, and giving special attention to those who have suffered most – the isolated, the elderly, those in caring professions, and of course children and families. The freedoms which become possible with the vaccination programme are balanced by the responsibility we all share in adhering to the guidelines as they shift over the next ten weeks.
Our Anglican churches will be reviewing their risk assessments, with many reopening from 18 April, but others wishing to take a little longer. Details will be found elsewhere, including on these A Church Near You pages.
Many churches are grappling with loss of income from various streams, so we hope that both members and communities will be especially supportive in the remaining months of 2021.
It is hard to come to terms with the huge amount of suffering for so many individuals and families through this past twelve months, but I hope all of us can rally and respond deeply, and gently, for our next steps. Much is uncertain, anxieties may take time to be allayed, but I am seeing some small signs that we are up for the challenge, if we stick together.
It is Good Friday, today, and Easter is coming this weekend. As I have been sharing with some local schools the transition made by a caterpillar, to a chrysalis, to a beautiful butterfly, is a very good way of considering the journey Jesus makes – from life, to the tomb, to resurrection – and Rev Peter Boyles and myself are visiting each of our churches and communities on Easter Day, praying for everyone, blessing each place we visit, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. as an Easter Pilgrimage.