Another week passes in lockdown, but as I write the sun is streaming through the window with comforting warmth and light. The tubs outside display open hyacinths and bright pansy faces uplifted to catch the sunlight with pregnant daffodil heads about to bloom. Can it really be a year since Covid reared its head? Words like pandemic, coronavirus, sanitiser and lockdown have slipped into our vocabulary and catch phrases such as ‘Hands, Face, Space’, 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' are part of daily life. Our behaviours have changed and, observing protocols, we entered into new routines. What was 'normal' may never be seen in quite the same way again. As we draw on the lessons of the past and adapt to new ways of living we move forward into a time of a new normal.
At Diocesan Synod meeting this morning, it was remarked that live streaming of services may well be here to stay. Working from home will be favoured by many avoiding the need to crush onto commuter transport. There are also environmental benefits of not travelling long distances, but all these things, and so much more will need to be assessed in due course. There are benefits and there are negatives to also be weighed up and considered. Human beings were made to interact together.. and it will be so wonderful to be free to do this again (without masks, sanitiser and gloves). We long for the day.
On 23rd March, we are called by the Marie Curie charity, and the Government, to a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the first UK lockdown. There will be the ringing of church bells, the lighting up of public buildings and a call to create a 'beacon of remembrance' from our doorsteps at 8pm as we remember and pay our respects to those who died during this pandemic. It is hard to imagine that at the start of the first lockdown there had been a total of 335 deaths. Sadly, there have been so many more deaths in between with about 175 daily deaths now. How hard this has all been.. but sadly, it is not over yet, and we all need to continue to be vigilant and to look out for each other.
In all this it has been impressive how most people have observed good discipline and care, with kindnesses and courtesy extended. We have drawn closer together in many ways as community, despite being physically distanced.
As Church we have learned how Church can be more than the building as we practise our Christian faith in deeds and with inventiveness in worshipping in new ways and in new places. We’ve missed the singing and the opportunity to see all the familiar faces; oh, to see faces with clear relaxed smiles and open eyes; oh, for the time when we can physically gather to worship freely and sing together.
This Sunday we begin to emerge to open the Church doors for live worship again. We continue to offer a mixture of live worship in church and online at the zoom services, plus the weekly recorded service.
This Sunday's Services:
Harlington Church Mothering Sunday Service at 9.30am
Toddington Church Mothering Sunday Service at 9.30am
These services will be socially distanced. Please wear a face covering in church and please stay at home if you have any Covid- symptoms.
Online services via live zoom link:
11am Quintet Morning worship by zoom. All welcome. Zoom access link available on poster attached.
6pm 'The Upper Room' worship with time of singing, Lent reflections and prayers. All Welcome. Zoom access link available from Rev'd Linda.
The Recorded service will be issued on the usual link: https://www.harlingtonchurch.org/worship-services-2/this-sundays-service
Other services and events this week (Access links available from Rev'd Linda).
Our Quintet Lent Course via zoom has been going very well on Tuesday evenings. There is still opportunity to drop in as each week’s topic can stand alone.
Morning Prayer on Monday and Tuesday at 9.30am by zoom
Harlington Morning Worship Wednesday 10am by zoom
Afternoon Teas will probably not take place this week except perhaps for Harlington
Chalgrave Lent Course Monday at 7.30pm (by 8x8 link)
With our love and prayers
Linda and Nigel
News from Priest-in-Charge