Church of England Diocese of St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich Metfield

July letter for the Benefice

12 Jun 2020, 5 p.m.
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Dear Friends and Neighbours,

As I write this letter I am feeling rather confused: the guidelines we are being given don’t quite make sense to me and it feels like a minefield, with the possibility of getting it wrong at every step. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite happy at times to bend or break a rule but with people’s life’s at stake, none of us want to get it wrong.

The government decided early on that churches, like many shops, were not essential. I take issue with that because for many people and more in times of crisis, a church is very important. Our churches in these villages have stood for hundreds of years, people have prayed and worshipped in them which makes them places of peace, and in times of uncertainty that is what many need.

The churches have been closed for many weeks and being old buildings that are home to bats and get very dirty and dusty, and yet, we were told, ‘you can open them!’ But of course, they all need to be cleaned; bat droppings cleared, pews polished or at least wiped clean and books will need to be packed away. There also needs to be a system so that anyone coming in will be safe. Sanitizer, social distancing and a whole lot more of thing to tick off on risk assessments….oh, and apparently the opening times need to be supervised.

Sorry, if this sounds like a rant – it is! I wanted the churches to remain open all the while, but we now have many hoops to get through to do so. One of the complications is that I cannot ask vulnerable people to help: I want them to keep safe.

In the meantime please bear with us as we do our best to get them ready, and we will attempt to open each church for at least a few hours a week when we can organise someone to be there to make sure people are safe . Our buildings are precious, but God can be found anywhere: all we need to do is turn our heart toward him, and he is there.

I may be confused by many things but one thing I am certain of, is that God loves each one of us with an eternal, unconditional, often undeserved love and that is priceless.

God bless, Susan