When I was a young school boy, the worst sight at break time was to see the notice up which said ‘Out of bounds’ . In the autumn and winter months it was an increasingly common sight. It meant that playing football on the school playing fields was banned. I only ever saw that notice as a threatening restriction. If I was a parent or staff member, it was about keeping children safe.
We have been looking at a huge ‘Out of bounds’ notices upon our way of life for over six months. It confronts us with the same frustration. We want to be free, but because of the Covid 19 epidemic which has claimed over a million lives world wide in the past nine months, and over 45,000 in our own country, we are having to live very restricted lives. We long for the ‘Out of bounds’ notice to be taken down. One day it will, but we don’t know when.
In early September we were hopeful that the ‘Out of bounds’ notice could be taken down for our churches. We made plans. School were returning, pubs and restaurants were buzzing. Alas it was not to be. As of this week Covid cases are rising in every age group. Yesterday it was nearly 5,000 infections in one day. Daily hospital admissions are rising and death rates are climbing.
Consequently, yet again we have deferred the re-opening of our churches in October.
I leave you with a prayer written by my favourite Christian writer, Henri Nouwen.
Remember you are held safe
You are loved
You are protected
You are in communion with God
And with those whom
God has sent you.
What is of God will last.
It belongs to the eternal life.
Choose it, and it will be yours.
P.S. One thing we are exploring is hosting a Harvest Flower Festival at St Mary’a Haseley on Sunday 11th October, 12-4 pm. At present we are in negotiation with Coventry Diocese about its viability. Watch this space.