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Viewpoint from Rev Frank Cliff 05/02/2021

FRANK CLIFFRev Frank Cliff
Associate Minister, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry


As I write this article it is the middle of January; by the time you read it the world that we know will have changed. The events of the past year have demonstrated that our world, all that we hold dear may be taken either by circumstance, government policy, or the disease that is ravaging our world. In such uncertain times what can we hold onto? What provides that security blanket? Whom do we find trustworthy. Honest and True?
dove leftI am reminded of my home in Marple when I was a teenager. We were close to the border with Derbyshire and the lower peak district where the villages had the annual well dressing days. Much later I learnt of the origin of the day which was to give thanks for deliverance from the plague. The most famous of these villages was Eyam. The bubonic plague broke out in 1665 under the direction of the local vicar and the Puritan minster, eventually the decision was made to quarantine the village which saved surrounding villages from the infection it is thought that some 50% of the entire population perished
Dove rightWe do not face such a dreadful disease today but because we are more crowded together, we have to have the mindset of the people of Eyam, we have to care for each other. It can be as simple as a smile or as complicated as a food parcel. We have to do things for ourselves and others, we have to work together. We have an example of this in the finding and approval of a vaccine for this particular disease. Many steps were taken in parallel, multiple research groups across the world shared information and results instead of writing them up in scientific journals. This is the reason that I will be taking up the offer to be vaccinated because it’s safe and it works
It is this idea of cooperation that is a central theme in my faith as a Christian. We show ourselves at our best when we work together to a common goal as is shown in Jesus’ command to “love your neighbour as yourself”. This is not easy but it is necessary for us to grow as individuals
We have had it tough over the last year and we have more hard months ahead but there is the hint of a new day ahead and I hope and pray that we will all see it

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


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