When I was training for ministry, we had placements twice a year: a short one (six weeks) in the run up to Christmas and a long one (nine weeks) in the summer.
I remember one of the short ones seemed like an eternity, not because of the tasks I was given to do, but because the supervisor drove me to distraction.
Every night I would arrive back at my digs and, in thick, black marker, joyfully scratch another day off the calendar.
The good news about that particular period was that it was defined. I knew it lasted for six weeks.
The problem with our current situation is that we have no idea when it is going to end. In addition, there is the possibility that we might become sick. I have the impression that for all of us, there is a sense of “how long?”
I admit that is something I share. I want to be an encourager, but not Polly Anna.
From Wednesday last week through to today, I have had Zoom conferences with the clergy in each Archdeaconry, and today, representatives from parishes which are relying on supply clergy at present. It has been good to hear what is going on across the diocese.
It seems that in the main, people have been able to keep in contact with each other and provide help when needed. There is also a recognition of the need to follow the guidelines issued by the civil authorities to keep each other safe.
One of the things I have noted is the number of people who are or have family members involved in the medical and caring professions. There is clearly a worry for many of them that being on the frontlines of care, they might become ill themselves or spread the virus to others.
I ask that during this period of time we particularly pray for all involved with medical and residential care, and thank those we know for what they are doing. It is a difficult situation for them, which we do not necessarily fully appreciate.
God bless and stay safe.