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Viewpoint from Rev Martin Upton 26/06/2019

MARTIN UPTONRev Martin Upton
Assistant Minister, Bradwell Parish Church


None of us has ever experienced anything like the last 2 to 3 months!  We are all desperately looking forward to life returning to normal.  But what will ‘normal’ be like?

  All our experiences change us in some way.  We may find that we stand slightly further from people we are talking to, because that has become the way to do things.  We are almost certain to alter the way we do our shopping - I hope not to the detriment of our local stores, many of which were struggling anyway.  Will we walk or cycle more?  (Or will we be desperate to save the time and get back in the car?) 
dove leftI think we have all come to appreciate more the importance of face to face, personal contact, a hold of the hand, a hug, a kiss, of seeing friends and family in the comfort of our living rooms and round the dining table.  Imagine what this would have been like in a cold, wet January, when not even the garden was really available to meet up
Gardens are looking amazing.  Skip hire has flourished.  Mail order businesses have done huge trade.  Cupboards and shelves now look pristine and Charity shops are expecting a sudden surge in donations when they can reopen.  How many jigsaw puzzles have been completed, knitting and sewing projects done, and books read?  My model railway certainly has had a lot of attention
Dove rightYes, we have all learned to use the technology we have available.  I have heard of facetime family quiz evenings, Tai Chi and other interest groups meeting together by Zoom - with members from Australia, New Zealand ,and America joining in - when we have hardly been able to talk to our next door neighbours
We had never expected to hold our church services by Zoom.  But we have had a huge take-up, with congregations (if that’s the right word) as good as in the church building.  Nahum Tate (1652 - 1715) and Nicholas Brady (1639 - 1726) wrote:

Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
the praises of my God shall still
my heart and tongue employ

They lived through challenging times in a completely different way from those we know, but their words still ring true, even 300 years later.  As we say, usually at Christmas, Emmanuel, God is with us

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


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