We have had another double day off because during our leave in January there was a day when Nathan received a load of messages and ended up having a meeting. This was necessary because it was all about the rising Covid cases and closing the church building. But we promised ourselves an extra day off in lieu of the stressful interruption to the holiday.
So, this week has been pretty good and a bit rubbish. I’m giving it 6/10.
Sunday was lovely. I led the service at the cabin and got on with some work in the afternoon. On Monday I had Cell Group, met a funeral family on Zoom and had a planning session for the upcoming February half-term holiday club.
On Monday evening, I had a rather frantic few minutes because I received an anonymous tip off that a group meeting in church had not been meeting in a Covid safe way. This was a bit of a worry, but after thinking it through, checking the risk assessments and calling my former Training Incumbent for reassurance, I’m happy that we’ve taken all the measures we can do as a church. I then relayed all this to Standing Committee, who were very encouraging, and then I joined various others on Zoom for a friend’s collation as a Vicar down in Reading.
Tuesday morning involved Fresh Start training for the new vicars in the diocese and we were thinking about how to lead change. We used a website which was new to me, called Miro, which is basically an online interactive whiteboard with sticky notes and pictures. As you can imagine, I loved it! I was so keen that I set up an account for myself!
On Wednesday we had Foodbank. I was delighted when a lady walked in just after 9 who said that she had been sent as our new volunteer! The four new people who arrived in November have slowly all got jobs, which is great, but it means that we were a couple of volunteers down. When I got home, I had a meeting with the other local clergy about Lent and Easter which was really useful and then I got on with some admin.
Yesterday I led morning prayer, met my midwife for the first time, led a supervision and had another planning meeting for the next Starting Theology session. Last night I worked very late to get everything finished so we could have today off. This included drafting the Ash Wednesday service, marking an assignment, sending out PCC papers and writing a list of reasons why, if a church wanted to hold a raffle, they cannot do so by exchanging cash for raffle tickets (Covid, lockdown, no mingling, necessary trips only, risk of transmission, etc). It was a long evening but worth it!
One sad bit about this week was the news that a lovely and faithful friend in Formby passed away. I find the death of a saint to be heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. You know that somewhere there’s a big party going on and that the person is reunited with the God who loves and made them. You know that they are now beyond pain. But at the same time, they will leave a huge hole behind them which will cause great sadness. Even in the pain, I find myself close to God in these moments. I am grateful for all he has done for us, but I cry that the world will never be the same.
This, alongside the death of Captain Tom, has meant that this week has been a sad one. Even with the joy that comes from growing a human and all the stuff I’ve managed to get done, this week has been quite sad. I know I’m not the only person who feels like that. So, if you’re struggling, know that you aren’t alone either. We are all in this together.