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Viewpoint from Rt Rev Dr Alan Winton 14/08/2020

alan wintonRt Rev Dr Alan Winton
Bishop of Thetford

 

Captain Tom was knighted recently, so he’s now Captain Sir Tom. What a wonderful and uplifting story his has been, and that was shown by the phenomenal sum of money raised for NHS charities by his daily walks

 
Like many of his generation, he had already shown immense courage and self-sacrifice through his service in the Second World War, in the Burma campaign, and here he was doing the same thing in this Covid-19 crisis
 
It seems that the things he’d learned in time of war, about the importance of serving others, have been carried on into his civilian life and come to the fore even in his hundredth year. Was there a dry eye around when our 94 year-old Queen knighted this 100 year-old inspiration?
 
dove leftI’m sure lessons have been learned by all of us in this current crisis
 
We’ve learned how much we rely on our frontline workers, how valuable, even indispensable, they are to us
 
We’ve learned about the need to look out for and care for our neighbours, paying attention to the most vulnerable in our communities
 
We’ve learned that faith isn’t just to be practised inside a church building, but that we can encounter God’s presence wherever we are
 
As lockdown slowly begins to lift, will these lessons endure? Will the habits we’ve acquired during these strange months of the crisis simply be forgotten, or like Captain Sir Tom, will we be able to carry them on
 
Dove rightI hope and pray that, as a nation, we will start to recognise the enormous value of those who spend their working lives serving others. We need to cherish our care workers, those who ensure we have food in our shops, teachers, and NHS workers, and many others whose contribution has been shown to be essential
 
I hope and pray that our neighbourhoods will continue to be places of good neighbourliness, looking out for the vulnerable and those who’re struggling, not shutting our doors and forgetting
 
I hope and pray that as we return to our church buildings, we will do so enriched by the discovery that we can worship God and sense God’s presence when we pray in our homes, or wherever we are
 
What are the lessons that you’ve learned during these strange times that you won’t forget as life returns to whatever ‘normal’ might now be? God bless you
 
+ Alan Thetford

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

 


 

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