Good morning – Belinda here with the Thoughts from The Vicarage and wondering how everyone is getting. I’ve been very alert scampering around. Are you alright in the present alert status? I’m finding it all a bit puzzling myself – I may only be a mouse but I am not quite clear about alert and I’m not sure my friends are either! But what’s most important is that we are looking out for one another, carrying on being kind and compassionate. And if you are feeling less alert, or a little lonely or in need of a chat yourself, don’t wait for someone to ring or email you just give a friend a call.
It’s important to remember that it is OK to feel less alert, maybe even under the weather – everyone reacts differently. For most of us, these feelings will pass but they are normal at this time. One day ‘up and at it’ – and the next feeling a bit down.
Julie has had a number of people calling because they’re finding themselves a bit under the weather, uncertain and worried in the light of the lessening of the lockdown.
The NHS has some good pointers to help – some are a bit obvious but I think they bear repetition. Some of us will be really good at putting some of these ideas into action while others may find it harder – some may be more relevant to you and your situation than others. Either way, I trust that they are helpful & you can always pass them on!
- Plan practical things – like calling a friend.
- Stay connected with others.
- Talk about your worries as well as the positives – it’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust.
- Look after your body – think about diet and exercise.
- Stay on top of difficult feelings – try to focus on the things you can control like how you act, who you speak to and where you get your information from – think about turning off the news!
- Carry on doing things you enjoy and take time to relax – make an effort to focus on that something!
- Think about your daily routine – how can you adapt and create new routines, set yourself little goals as the lockdown changes?
- Look after your sleep – good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, so it’s important to get enough and think about what helps you to naturally get off to sleep.
- Keep your mind active – read, write, play games, do crosswords, complete sudoku puzzles, finish jigsaws, or try drawing and painting. Whatever it is, find something that works for you!
Prayer meditation and contemplation…
Don’t appear in the NHS list but they are certainly at the top of my priority list. Please don’t forget the super little booklet of prayers during the time of Pandemic – there are a few copies left – simply take one from the Vicarage Gate in Lambourn, from the box by the church in Eastbury or from Karen Sperry in East Garston.
From a Correspondent… a favourite prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
On the keeping active front …
Why not take your walk to Eastbury where The Busy Bees are asking for donations of 100% cotton duvet, sheets, pillowcases & signature materials you have washed, air dried and ironed? This includes your 100% cotton themed T- shirts. Safety pin your name and contact details they will try to contrive a signature sew just for you. If you have not donated signature material, please register your interest, to receive your prototype masks and/or to please join the Busy Bees sewing group…on 0148872624.
My any questions – any answers?
Belinda has just reminded me that we posed a few questions on Monday – thank you for your responses – do keep them coming in. Here are the questions in case you need a reminder! Next week I ‘ll share a selection (anon)
- Where do you see hope in this?
- Where do you see love in this?
- Where do you see joy in this?
- Where do you see the helpers in this?
- What do you grieve?
- What have you lost?
- Who has helped you?
The Vicar on Tour … !
Although our churches remain closed this comes to let you know that with an easing of the lockdown restrictions I’m going to be spending some time in the vicinity of each of our churches during the coming week. Armed with seats and cushions I will be available at:
• All Saints East Garston on Monday 18th 2.30 – 3.30
• St James The Greater Eastbury Tuesday 19th 2.30 – 3.30
• St Michael and All Angels Wednesday 20th 4 -5pm
You are welcome to come along for a chat, for prayer, for reflection and simply if you’d like company! Please feel free to share these times – especially if you know someone who may welcome a conversation at this time.
Those in need…
I have received a number of donations both in kind and financially – all of which are being used to support those struggling at this time. If you know of anyone within the bounds of the Valley who is in need at this time and you think they would like a little ‘cheering up’ or some extra food please do call or message me (as a priest my confidentiality is assured).
And if you are looking for a church service – do join in at 10 am with Church at Home https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/ – Revd Canon Sue Booys will preside and we shall hear a reflection from the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy in the Deanery at Christ Church who was not only a most welcome visitor to St Michael’s only last year but also a friend and my college principal!
Do Share …
If you have some good ideas or thoughts about ‘keeping going keeping going ‘please do share them – along with any of photos!
And finally …
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Very best wishes for the weekend