Dear Friends

The word unprecedented has been used a lot recently.  This is sad because an overused word loses its impact, its power and its ability to move us.  The continuing coronavirus pandemic truly is unprecedented, with the resulting impact of our churches, schools and non-essential shops being closed forcing us all to reimagine life in this Easter season.

As I write this on Palm Sunday, there is the imminent danger that our exercise privileges may be taken away because of people floating the social distancing measures.  I want to thank you for keeping one another safe, and to encourage you as we enter another month of restriction with two simple words: KEEP GOING!  Your efforts are part of a national community spirit that will be the defining time of this century.

On May 8th we planned to hold a community celebration to commemorate VE Day as part of national celebrations.  For obvious reasons these are no longer happening, but we should still use that day to take a moment to pause, reflect and give thanks.

I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of those who are homeschooling- particularly those homeschooling and working from home- not an easy combination under any circumstances.  Our schools have been incredibly resourceful and supportive to enable this and I offer my heartfelt thanks.

Coming back to that word unprecedented, if I may.  There is an event we celebrated in the most unusual of circumstances back in April- the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.  Now there is something that really is unprecedented.   This month we celebrate Jesus’ Ascension on May 20th and the coming of the Holy Spirit on May 31st- Pentecost is when the church was born.   Our church buildings may still be closed, but the church itself will never close.  As we continue in this season of Easter, I want to thank these communities for their resilience and community spirit, and to remind you that your God is a God of love and peace and hope.
The members of our local churches continue to pray for our communities, and we welcome your prayer requests as we support one another through these unprecedented times.   
God bless you all.   Yours in Christ. 
Revd Chris