We have an update from the lovely people at the Witnesham Baptist Church:
Did you have a good Easter? Eaten all the chocolate by now? Why is chocolate so moreish?
Wasn’t Easter Sunday beautiful? We were able to join with our family (two households) in the garden for a barbecue and were able to sit out all afternoon – it was lovely. Now that the rules have relaxed a little more, shops are open, people are going to hairdressers (not me yet), we can have meal out (and outside), all whilst we still wear masks and keeping our distance. As further relaxation takes place this month, many have nominated May 17 as Hug Day! it seems logical if we can go indoors with our family, then we can hug, a long time missed activity. Mind you, I will continue to be selective about who I hug outside my immediate family!
Whilst we make the most of our renewed freedom, I am conscious of those across the world who do not have anywhere as much freedom as we do. Those in places like North Korea, many areas of Russia, China or Myanmar. These places, and others, are restrictive for all people but some areas of the world are especially difficult and dangerous for Christians. Christians are at most risk of persecution, imprisonment or death in North Korea and Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, India and Malaysia.
You may be surprised that some of these countries are in the top ten danger areas for Christians but the facts around persecution collated by the World Watch List and provided by Open Doors are stark, with evidence that every day 12 Christians are unjustly arrested or imprisoned, and another five are abducted around the world. Interestingly, four of the countries mentioned above are part of the Commonwealth, yet Great Britain seems to have little influence on these countries with regard to human rights violations.
Alongside freedom comes responsibility and I hope that when lockdown restrictions are lifted, we will all take responsibility for our actions and continue to behave considerately towards other people. Remembering how easily this particular coronavirus spreads, we keep some distance between folk that we are not known to and treat all ‘frontline’ workers with respect, including shop assistants, paid carers and hospitality staff.
I would like to think that we will remember to continue to care for each other and not return to past selfish ways. Let’s enjoy the benefits of slowing down and not return to the pre-lockdown rush and busyness.
Enjoy re-found freedoms but keep thoughtful and safe these next few months.
Pastor Andrew’s message can be found at www.witneshambaptist.org.uk each week or on YouTube
All services and other activities are on hold at the moment. We will let you know as soon as we can safely open again.
In the conservatory, we have a FIND (Families in Need) collection box which can be used for donations when the post office is open. Non-perishable food is very welcome.
Outside we have a Salvation Army clothes bank. All contributions are gratefully received.
The post office is still available in our conservatory on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. Please use this service to help keep it in the village.