As our history pages make clear, the buildings are a convenience but they are not the church – the church is people, people like us called by God and finding him in our lives.
Holy Week and Easter this year were certainly very different experiences, allowing us time ’out’ to think, pray and read in a way in which our daily business doesn’t usually allow. I know I found it at once immensely moving – having to enact the liturgies on my own but knowing that others were joining in at a distance – and very difficult without the normal inter-action and support. Holy Week for a Deacon is a very special experience and it is an abounding regret that Fr Geoff could not take his part with us. Easter Day was still glorious, blessed with familiar music and sunshine and above all God’s promise to us in Jesus that we are his and he is ours.
Our live-streamed services are certainly touching many lives in all sorts of places in and beyond the town and those who are not internet-enabled are, we hope, using the Spiritual Communion leaflet (click here) and saying their prayers as ever. So the Church continues – not as we have been used to and having to find different ways to reach out and communicate and keep in touch.
As we begin the second month of ‘lockdown’ the good news is that the rate of infection – and the rate of death – seems to be falling and that plans are being made for gradual re-openings of shops and meeting places – though I suspect places of worship are fairly low on the list. We are heading towards a ‘new normal’, without anyone being able to tell us what that means as far as meeting with and talking to others.
So let us not be afraid. Let us be confident that we are held in God’s love and that even, and perhaps especially, during these times of darkness and isolation He is walks with us.
Every blessing – until we meet again!