We have an update by Paul from the United Benefice of Westerfield and Tuddenham St Martin with Witnesham:

By the rivers of Babylon…

You may, if you are a certain age, remember these words from a song by Boney M. They come from Psalm 137:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

The people of Israel had been taken captive from their own lands by the Babylonians. This is a song of deep lament for what they had lost. We know that they did eventually come back to their own lands, but they didn’t know that that was going to happen then.

In a time of COVID we have lamented many things: the isolation from friends and family, loss of work, loss of loved ones and not being able to mourn properly,

I’m writing a month ago, in early April (such is the lead time for articles to this magazine), just after Easter. By the time you read this, there may have been some relaxation of the rules around COVID, but I doubt that we’re going to shake this pandemic off our backs just yet. We’ll all have to go through a “long COVID” and its effects until the whole world has been vaccinated, and I don’t see that happening soon.

Our local churches have responded to the restrictions in various ways, and we invite you to look into what

we are offering. To be honest, the prospect of walking into a church building where people are engaged in unfamiliar practices is not inviting, however much we try to make you welcome. What we offer online is something you can discover from the “safety” of your home! Further details of where to find these are listed at the end.

There is a year’s worth of our weekly Service at Home on YouTube. It is a simplified service, with Bible readings, a talk, hymns and songs and prayers. (You don’t need a mask and can sing along as loudly as you like – the words are onscreen!) You can watch at any time, of course.

Our website wtandw.org.uk has a section that contains the daily emails we sent out over the forty days of Lent, leading up to Easter.

If you have any questions about life and faith you are welcome to get in touch with anyone from our Ministry Team. If you’d like to explore these things further, then we’ll be holding another Alpha (via Zoom) in the near future. Details are on our website. Normally, Alpha would be done in person. The online form does appeal to people who may be cautious about walking through a doorway into a room of strangers. It has proved to be a very successful way of giving people the opportunity to discuss faith.

Our churches’ weekly news sheet is also available on our website.