Along with many churches, we’re marking the National Day of Reflection on 23 March, the first anniversary of the UK lockdown, to pay tribute to those who have tragically died, are grieving or have suffered loss as a result of the pandemic.
We’re grateful to the authors, church leaders, volunteers and others who have shared their personal stories of the past year with us over recent weeks.
The unnamed victims
Earlier in the year, a reader of our Guidelines Bible reading notes contacted us when contributor Helen Paynter’s reflection recalled the numerous unnamed victims of Covid-19:
This morning as I struggled through the names in the reading from Nehemiah (Guidelines 5 January 2021), I found I was thinking, ‘Where is this reading going to lead us?’ Then as I turned to Helen Paynter’s notes to go with the reading, I soon found myself moved almost to tears as she used the list of names in the reading, to help us reflect upon the unrecorded ‘list of names’ of those who have died,
who are recovering or suffering from Covid-19 or who are working tirelessly and sacrificially to help others in whatever capacity.
Helen’s writings are always stimulating and these are no less so. These were planned back in the summer [of 2020], but how relevant they continue to be!Judith Allen, Cornwall
Free Guidelines daily Bible reading notes
Reflect on the last year and enjoy a taste of Guidelines Bible reading notes for free with this two-week series of ‘Letters from lockdown’ Bible reading notes by Guidelines editor Helen Paynter.
Lockdown highs and lows
As we approached the anniversary, we invited representatives from across our ministries to share the ups and downs of their year for our Living Faith blog.
- Sharon Sampson shares how she’s doing it all differently at her Messy Church.
- Penny Naylor, seniors’ ministry lead at Busbridge and Hambledon Church in Godalming, shares how her ministry has changed this past year.
- Carmel Thomason, author of Anxious Times and Believe in Miracles tells us how she found hope after a hard year.
- Carol Fletcher, Messy Church leader in Canada, tells us how her international Messy Church friendships have grown – and flourished – throughout the pandemic.