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Viewpoint from Amy Simeons 18/12/2020 

Dove rightAmy Simeons
Churchwarden, Holy Trinity Church, Caister

What a year we have all experienced
In 2019 no one would have thought that from March 2020 our lives would have been turned upside down and inside out. Suddenly, we are instructed by our government, ‘following the science’, that we can no longer visit family and friends because of the threat from the Covid-19 virus
It has been a particularly hard year for those with loved ones in care homes, not being allowed direct contact, only being able to place hands on either side of a pane of glass at best. Despite these difficulties, the situation we find ourselves in has also brought out the best in our communities. Neighbours who previously did not know each other, even to pass a friendly “good morning”, are now concerned and working together, helping to ensure that the elderly and the vulnerable are safe and have their daily needs met. We must not forget, however, that this pandemic is causing great anxiety for many. Those who have lost their jobs and now find it difficult to pay the bills that continue to drop on the doormat
dove leftWhat of Christians? How has this pandemic affected our faith? We are no different from anyone else in the challenges we face. How have we coped with our churches being first closed, then opened again in limited fashion for a short time, giving us hope that we were returning to some sort of normality, only to be closed once again? Christians are finding new ways to gather together with the help of technology such as Facebook or Zoom. Whilst not be quite as intimate as being together in a church building, it has enabled us to meet for a service and share together with friends and others who would not normally come into  a church but feel comfortable with an online service. However, we also need to reach members of our congregations who cannot meet with us on line
We are all now looking towards Christmas and celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are, as yet, uncertain how our religious services at this important time may be celebrated or what form they will take. Will it be a traditional service in church where we can gather together or streamed to each of our homes to celebrate individually? Whichever way we worship let us think and pray for our fellow man, both locally and worldwide

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

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