Stanwick Group of Churches

June 2020 Letter

There has been much use of the word unprecedented to describe the circumstances in which we are living at the moment. And although the word has become a bit overused it is the right one to describe the times which we are now living through. There is no precedent for the changes which we are experiencing and they will have an impact on our lives long after the threat of Covid 19 has receded.

As in any major upheaval there are different impacts on different people - good and bad. It’s dreadful for those who have lost loved ones or who see their family’s security threatened by the loss of their job or the collapse of their small enterprise. It’s heart-breaking for those living on their own, perhaps recently bereaved, who find that they are incredibly lonely during lockdown. It’s traumatising for the child who may be suffering abuse in a dysfunctional and unloving family whose only relief was to go to school and seek help and support from their teachers and friends.

But some very positive things have emerged during the last two months of lockdown. So many people are talking of the joy they find in being able to slow down a bit and climb off the high speed travellator of their normal lives, to spend time with their families and get involved in home schooling their children. One person remarked to me that he felt relieved not to be “charging about trying to earn extra money to buy things which I don’t really need”

Our communities have come together in an unprecedented way and the small acts of kindness delivering food, medicines and other essentials which local organisations have been able to arrange have made a huge difference to many of the most vulnerable in society. And hopefully those doing the volunteering have experienced the satisfaction and fulfilment which comes from helping others.

And we have been blessed with wonderful weather during the last two months which, combined with our good fortune at living in this lovely piece of countryside, has enabled more people than ever to get out and about on foot, on bikes or on horseback to savour the landscape and to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. Some of us have noticed sights, sounds and smells in the countryside which have passed us by before.

These unprecedented circumstances may have caused many to question the fundamentals of our existence and to seek a deeper spirituality in our daily lives. I read that Google reports that there has been a huge increase in searches under the word  “pray” . The weekly Zoom service at 09.00 on a Sunday which Camilla started at the beginning of the lockdown has developed a large virtual congregation. (If you feel like joining, email camilla.cd@cantab.net for an invitation or use the links and password information on the benefice website) And others may find answers by studying the life and teaching of a man called Jesus who came into the world a little over two thousand years ago but which is even more relevant in these unprecedented times.

John Hodges
Forcett Churchwarden


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