LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA is Huddersfield Parish Church’s blog series that we’ll be keeping updated with posts from various members of our church in the coming days and weeks. We hope it will help you to stay connected to the church and to each other in this time of physical distancing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Today’s blog post comes from Mike, one of our Churchwardens

Warden’s blog, stardate 27/4/2020 (Day 39)

Here we are, 5 weeks into physical distancing, or “lockdown” as it has become known. Rachel’s licencing is now over three weeks ago, and we are in Easter season.

What a start to a new priest’s mission. I understand that it is difficult to get used to a new church and its community, but under the present circumstances it is even more challenging. I must say that the presentation of Sunday services and morning and evening prayer have been superb and show the effort and commitment of our community to maintaining Christian worship. Well done to all who have been involved. These acts of worship are easiest accessed through the church website homepage. At the bottom of that page is the Facebook icon and clicking on it will take you to the place to watch. It is interesting as Facebook shows who is watching and comments can be made.

My own time spent working on church business has changed very much over the last month or two. With Alan and I keeping the office going after Paula’s passing and working “full on” we are now in the situation of having little need to access to the office, we have a new parish Administrator and a new Priest, but little or no working in the church building or office working taking place, and all communication being at a distance, phone, e-mail or zoom and so on. It does seem strange not to be just popping into the church or office to catch up or check something. As you can imagine, there is quite a gap in my day to day timetable.

The staff met through “Zoom” last Tuesday. We get a 40-minute internet meeting free, but in that meeting we were cut off in our prime, the 40 minutes had “Zoomed” by. We had done all the important business but hadn’t had a chance to say cheerio! Importantly, Alan had let Stuart, our architect, into church to carry out the Quinquennial Inspection. Although we are yet to receive the written report, Stuart indicated that all was well with the building and we just need to keep an eye on certain maintenance jobs to keep things ticking over. Our new treasurer produced an income/expenditure forecast for the time we are closed and it seems that although our income has dropped, our expenditure has too and we seem to be “on track”, for which we give thanks.

The other significant item was about future service planning. The routine of morning and evening prayer seems established and various people are putting together material for Sunday worship. We are conscious that not all have access to computers and the internet, so just as with the Holy Week booklet, we are planning a fortnightly news sheet which will be posted out. Those who are online will be asked to respond, so we will then know who needs a regular bulletin by post and we can then continue sending out copies to those who need them. Please look out for this, we are hoping to have it ready soon.

I haven’t mentioned Huddersfield Town in any of the blogs so far. Football seems to be the last thing on my mind, but I noticed from my diary that last Saturday, the 25th, was to be Town’s last home game, playing West Brom, and this coming Saturday was to be the last match of the season. It set me wondering what the players and staff have been up to during the last 6 or 7 weeks, and how they must be feeling along with many thousands of fans. Let’s hope the powers that be sort out the logistics of a season completely disrupted by this virus.

I have to say, there have been some very pertinent passages from scripture recently, the following were from last Wednesday’s Morning Prayer service:

The first 4 verses of Psalm 30:
I will exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised me up
and have not let my foes triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you
and you have healed me.
You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;
you restored me to life from among those that go down to the Pit.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his;
give thanks to his holy name.

Part of Paul’s letter to the Colossians:
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving”.

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