What a strange and challenging few months for us all – ‘the worst of times and the best of times’ (to misquote Dickens). Lots of issues and worries for many people but also lots of evidence of the wider care and concern we all have for each other in the way we have responded.
Sadly, the Church had to close in March due to government restrictions, although services continued by video and ‘Zoom’ for those who were able to access and use the technology – with increased ‘attendance’ on some occasions. Thankfully, the church has re-opened although there are still restrictions. We now have brief services where we must keep ‘socially distanced’, wear face coverings and sanitise our hands on entry and departure. Video and Zoom services continue for those who prefer them given continuing concerns about the risks of virus transmission. Details of all services are available on the centre pages and the church notice board. You will be warmly welcomed at all of them.
Another ‘casualty’ has been the Annual Church Meeting, which was due to be held in April. As well as the annual election of the churchwardens, key agenda items in the past have included a presentation about a subject of general interest, reports from the groups using the Centre and the presentation of the annual accounts. There will be a meeting later in the year – actual or virtual depending on government decisions – but if you would like to see the accounts in the meantime, please email Richard Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Other activities in the Church/Centre have also been suspended and because of the problems of controlling transmission and the need for ‘deep cleaning’ between group events, it has not been possible yet to re-instate them. We are in discussion with the group/activity leaders to check out their hopes and intentions and to make sure we have the resources to keep the building safe when they resume. This includes the art group, belle plates, breakfast club, carpet bowls, book club, garden club and Wicken Ladies.
Other ‘casualties’ are regular favourites - the safari supper, the jumble sale, quizzes – and our regular lettings. We are keeping the options under continuous review as government advice and restrictions change in response to the experience of the virus and progress with key developments especially testing and tracing and vaccination.
We are very conscious of the loss of the opportunities for social interactions so important for our shared community health and well-being and want to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as we can. If you are able to help or advise in this challenge, we would be very happy to hear about any ideas or practical suggestions you might have. Please email or telephone the churchwardens – Richard Taylor on 01799 541522 email@example.com or Anne Arend on 01799 540610 firstname.lastname@example.org .