Vicar's letter

Dear Friends,

As we contemplate the coming months, not knowing when we can breathe again, it’s worth thinking about how already the foundations have been laid for whatever new opportunities God has for us on the far side of this crisis. 

These are the opening words in a book written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams: ‘Candles in the dark: Faith, hope and love in a time of pandemic.’  This latest book is comprised of reflections that he offered to the congregation of St Clement’s Church in Cambridge last year.  The words above are taken from his first reflection, dated the March 26th 2020 – three days after the beginning of the first national lockdown.

Nearly a year on, we find ourselves once more in lockdown - sadly we are not yet ‘on the far side of this crisis.’  On a positive note, the roll out of vaccines to the most vulnerable in society has given us all hope for the future – we are beginning to feel that we can ‘breathe again.’  This does not mean, however, that living as we are at the moment is any easier, even though it is so necessary in the midst of this truly devastating second wave of Covid-19.

One of the things about living in and through a time such as this – a dark, difficult, yet defining period of history – is that we are so busy trying to get through it that we don’t always have time to really reflect and think about how it is changing us, our society or indeed our world.  Yet as Rowan Williams suggests, this virus has laid new foundations, indeed the opening chapter of this book is called ‘A change has begun.’  We can see this change all around us; for many, it has come in the form of loss and challenge - emotionally, socially, and financially - to name but a few. 

The season of Lent which we enter into this month, always provides and calls Christians into a time of personal reflection.  This year, we will be offering a weekly service of Lent Morning Prayer via Zoom which will allow for a time of reflection and discussion within the service.  One of the things that we hope to explore, alongside providing an opportunity for personal reflection is exactly how the Church – the Church locally, nationally and globally – can live out its calling in this changed world.  How can St Lawrence church live out its calling and respond to and indeed commit to the huge level of need that is now within our local area as a result of this pandemic?  For this is where the church is called to be – going towards and reaching out to those who are crying out from places of darkness and despair. 

I very much hope then, that Lent Morning Prayer 2021 will give us a space and opportunity to begin to reflect on the ‘change that has begun’ and how the Church can play its part in building upon the new ‘foundations’ of our post-Covid world, with the indiscriminate love of God.

With every blessing,