From the Rector
During these long days and now weeks of isolation and lockdown, we are gradually becoming used to a very new set of experiences and emotions.
Our routines have been scuppered and many of us have formed entirely new ones to give our days a pattern and our lives a focus.
We have been deprived of the joy of seeing our children and grandchildren, many of whom would have been coming to say with us over Easter, and so dozens of us have very swiftly become adept at navigating our way through Face time, Facebook Video, Skype and all sorts of other internet channels of communication.
How we enjoyed watching two of our granddaughters do their Easter egg hunt ‘live’ on the tablet in their Wiltshire garden. We have had to grow used to a much quieter world in which the sounds of nature have been so much clearer and more vivid this spring. But how many of us have had to admit that we miss some of the bustle?
A radio announcer told how he had had to do a mercy mission in his car and finding that the quickest route was straight through the centre of London, couldn’t believe how silent Trafalgar Square was.
He confessed that he hadn’t realised how much he could miss a traffic jam!
One of my strangest moments came at about 5.00pm in the afternoon of Easter Day.
In the normal scheme of things I had been scheduled to officiate at five services between 5.30am and 3.00pm, at St Mabyn, Helland, Blisland, St Tudy and Temple, a demanding timetable but one that I relish on such a significant day.
In most years I would have been delightfully shattered at five in the afternoon on Easter day; but I paused to realise that I wasn’t, because I had been at home the whole time.
I had emailed out the service and sermon that Steve Williams and I had prepared in the hope that it would help people observe the day but my worshipping day had been to join Archbishop Justin in his kitchen for Holy Communion online and Pope Francis in a deserted St Peter’s on television. It all felt very odd!
But my feeling of displacement rapidly became offset by a strong sense of the fellowship of prayer, throughout our Benefice and further afield.
I knew that despite all the regrettable but entirely necessary separation, I was indeed very close to the wonderful people I serve as Rector in these seven communities.
Never before have I been so aware of that wave of love and intercession that flows through the conduit of our prayers. This has been, and still is, a dreadful and deeply disturbing time, but our common humanity, our mutual sympathy and our shared faith have never been more important.
So let’s continue to talk, to share, to listen and above all to pray for each other, and let’s go on doing all these things when life returns to something like normal.