A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 25 June 2020, 2:13 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com




I hope this letter finds you OK? Another month has gone by and still we write to you virtually: whilst it is not the same as holding the magazine in your hand, this is still a small way that we can reach out to all of you within our community – I hope you enjoy it!
Do you remember the film called ‘The Story of Dr Dolittle’, starring Rex Harrison including that most strange of animals called a Pushmi-Pullyu? Depicted as a two-headed llama, with heads at either end of its body, it symbolises things which are conflicting or contradictory.
Well for the past 14 weeks, our entire nation has been in a state of getting and giving a mixture of advice, guidance and notifications which has left most of us feeling that we are being pulled in two different directions. How do we stay safe and yet have access to fresh food, supplies and medicine? How do we keep in contact with others when we have to stay indoors and possibly have not yet mastered new technology? How do we still prioritise the things which up until mid-March seemed so important and yet now are not available to us? How do we keep our mental health buoyant when others around us seem to be crumbling?
The Church here in the UK has come under a lot of scrutiny recently and many opinions have been aired as to what part churches have played in keeping us safe as a nation but also spiritually nourished. As a ministry team, we have been doing our ‘job’ in a way we have never done before: we have mastered new skills, learning how to YouTube, get the perfect angle for laptops, teaching people how to turn their microphones on and leading services whilst helping people access Zoom and other online worship. It has certainly been an interesting ride … !
But now after three months of lockdown, we are slowly and cautiously being given more freedom; we’re not out of the woods yet but thankfully there are positive signs that the virus no longer has the hold on the country that it did. As we begin to come out and we’re able to do some of the things we took for granted before, and as we begin to socialise more, I think each one of us will discover that the  Covid-19 Virus has changed us in some way. Some have tragically lost loved ones through this time, some have lost jobs and incomes, some have been furloughed whilst others have been working harder than ever.  Some have lost precious planned events; family parties and celebrations, baptisms and weddings have had to be re-scheduled. End of year proms, exams, holidays and a whole host of other things precious to us has been lost too … and that will have taken its toll on us all.
And as we slowly see restrictions being lifted, new challenges arise and we have to make decisions as to what is best for our own context and circumstances. Worship has taken place at Northwood Church for over 700 years and yet we realise that we cannot just reopen our doors for public gatherings and services like we did before we had even heard the word Coronavirus.
So, as we begin to look forward … as we begin to dare to plan and consider what the future will look like let us try and find ways of taking the positive things we’ve learned and experienced through lockdown forward with us. And I’d like to encourage you to look with me to another promise God has for each one of us. This is what God says in Jeremiah 29:11 to us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We have been through an incredibly tough time … we’re not quite through it yet but we’re getting there … and wonderfully there is hope and future ahead of us. If you would like a place to pause and reflect, a place to perhaps mourn or to be thankful, then please do come and spend some time in any of our churches. We’re now allowed to have people come to the church buildings, (we can’t meet for services yet) but individually we can come in to reflect and pray … so you’re very welcome to just come and be in that space. We are currently open Monday and Thursday 11am-1pm
.   If a church building isn’t your thing then let me encourage you to find a special place where you are able to ‘pause’.
And if you’d like to talk through any of this stuff with me then please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. Whichever way, be assured you, our community and the Island as a whole remain firmly in my thoughts and prayers.

Keep well and take care


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