Here’s a link to our September 2020 magazine for the Benefice of Walmersley Road, Bury.
There are articles on Creation Season (which is September 1st to October 4th) and Daily Hope (which provides hymns, prayers and reflections via a free phone line) as well as information about upcoming events. There are also pieces from the Mothers’ Union and the Scouts. Plus a reflection from Nigel on how technology allowed us to keep in touch during lock-down – and how it needs to continue as part of our ongoing service to others.
The letter this month in the September 2020 magazine is also from Nigel…
We live in extraordinary times. Something we can neither see nor hear is having an impact on our lives like nothing we have experienced before. Our beliefs, our faith, our trust, all that we hold dear is being tested like never before.
And amongst all the extraordinary ways our lives have been impacted, for me there are two things which stand out.
Firstly, we have been urged to exclude social interaction with other people. We have shut ourselves in our homes; if we do venture out we give other people a wide berth and we glare at anyone who comes too close. We are being very cautious. All this goes against our natural behaviour which is to be sociable and relate to each other. So, it is no wonder that many of us have learnt and come to rely on new ways of keeping in contact. We have kept in touch with family and friends using Facebook, Facetime, Zoom. This new technology has also given us new contacts, new friends. It has been a great way to reach out and I’m sure, now we know of it, we will want to continue to use it even when personal contact is allowed.
People we cannot do without
Secondly, we have come to realise that, as well as family and friends, there are some people whom we cannot do without. They are people we wouldn’t give a thought to in ‘normal’ times. They are the taken-for-granted people. There’s the N.H.S. of course, but really I’m thinking of the army of people who provide the basic services we cannot do without – the bin men, cleaners, carers, utility suppliers, transport drivers, etc.
Often they are the ones we demand the most from but who get paid the least. Remember how we clapped them on Thursday evenings? Hopefully we will maintain that appreciation for the future.
I recently came across a wonderful poem written by Benjamin Zephaniah. It’s called People Need People and I would love to write it out for you but I don’t want to infringe any copyright regulations. If you are able, do look it up. Here’s the opening lines just to give you a flavour:
People need people,
To walk to
To talk to
To cry and rely on,
People will always need people.
People need people
Jesus was, and is, very much a people person; a man of the people one might say. Big on social interaction and being out amongst people. He appreciated people. He did, though, have particular affiliation with those at the lower end of society – the marginalised, the needy, the forgotten, the taken-for-granted.
Jesus was on earth in difficult times. His presence with us made it into extraordinary times. He spoke and led by example. So, let us together follow that example, not just in these difficult times now but going forward in our own extraordinary lives. Because we need each other. People need people!
With God’s blessing. Keep in touch! Nigel.
For the August Magazine please press here.