Rector’s Letter - June

As I write some preparations are being made for a partial relaxation of lockdown, it is too early to see how this will affect our communities or for that matter our nation. The year 2020 has so far been very strange, and the communal experience of the shutting down of so many of our normal habits of life and the removal of expectations that we usually take for granted will leave a lasting psychological and spiritual legacy for years to come.

There are going to be lasting consequences as far as public health is concerned, obviously, the next phase of the battle against the virus will probably be protracted over a long period of time, even the best case scenario is likely to see local flare-ups and localised lockdowns. The economy will recover eventually, but it might be a somewhat different shaped economy by the end of all this .

The idea then of ‘things getting back to normal’ is probably not the best way of looking at the future. But in the face of all this unpredictability I think there are some things to think about that might be helpful. And they are all about what is really valuable.

Firstly there are the small things. Some of us haven’t left our homes for months, for many of us a shopping trip to Bridgnorth or Ludlow is a major expedition. For those of us who have gardens they have become places of relaxation and exercise, sanctuaries from which to view the beauty of the countryside around us. We probably are relating to far fewer people than we are used to, casual contacts have diminished, many of us are pretty much restricted to talking to people we want to talk to, or who are important in our lives.

Then there are the big things. This all started somehow in a city in China that probably many of us had never heard of, but the events effects have spread across the globe in a way which has emphasised our common humanity and vulnerability, making so much of our short-term political discourse seem hollow and trivial. And as the human world was convulsed in crisis, the natural world astonishingly seized the opportunity to start to recover from our impact on it.

The coming world will be different. Perhaps it will be a better one if we import into it some of our insights from the time of quarantine, insights about the quality of relationships, insights about who are the true heroes in our society, and insights about our place in the natural world..... oh yes and a little lesson about practical supply and demand in relation to loo paper.... God bless, Ashley