Vicar's Monthly Letter
Vicar's Letter - December
I think it was Bob Marley who wrote the lyrics, ‘don’t worry, be happy.’ And I suppose the reverse is also true, when we do worry we become quite unhappy, stressed and even depressed.
Christmas is almost upon us and I suppose many of us are wondering what our festive celebrations will look like this year and we may well be feeling worried. Having just been through a week that started with me telling people there would be no Remembrance Services to then actually being able to hold one outside, then with government rules changing several times over the course of the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday it would seem somewhat premature of me to try and guess as to what we may or may not be able to offer in terms of worship in our churches this Christmas.
Flexibility has become a necessary attribute for any of us to survive these days and that’s not always a bad thing. Within 24 hours of the announcement of the current lockdown I had re-scheduled a wedding planned for the following Saturday and brought it forward to the Wednesday afternoon. No time for a rehearsal but nevertheless it was a lovely afternoon for a wedding with beautiful sunshine in the wonderful setting of St James’, Stanford Bishop. Things couldn’t have been better if we had planned it for that day and we managed to do everything just hours before the final deadline after which weddings were once again banned for the next four weeks.
I suppose we have all had to adapt and become more flexible due to the current pandemic. Thankfully going back into lockdown this time seems a lot less stressful than the first time. We’ve all learnt new skills to help us adapt to the changes we have to make; I now know how to upload services onto YouTube and can live stream them from my office if necessary. I also know what to do when we get back to church, how to do things safely and more importantly that people will be there when we do return – all things that I didn’t know during the last lockdown. Consequently I’m a lot less stressed this time and even with Christmas rapidly approaching I’m not worried.
With talk of a potential vaccine in the not too distant future we are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel, a great relief for us all but particularly for the more vulnerable members of society.
These things will all happen in their own time and the restrictions will undoubtedly affect our Christmas celebrations as they have affected everything else so far this year. All we can do is remain flexible and adapt to the ever-changing situation we find ourselves in, not plan too far ahead and learn to be a bit more spontaneous when we do have the opportunity to do things. And most of all try not to worry! As Jesus once said;
“And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25)