Lockdown musings

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AnnHoney April14v2

In the first of our November reflections, we hear from Church Related Community Worker Ann Honey. Ann works at St. Columba's United Reformed Church in Billingham and reflects on eight months of Covid-19 restrictions and what it is like to "be a community worker when we’re all two metres apart and in groups of less than six!"

Please note this reflection was written before the lockdown in England - so the role is even more challenging now! 

The uncertainty of daily life

Below is the Facebook post I spotted the other day. It made me laugh but it also resonated with the way life is right now. Almost eight months into Covid19 restrictions, I wish it were something that really happened.

The Facebook post reads: "Actual photo of the Holy Spirit reminding you to focus and not to get distracted!"


If only the Holy Spirit would appear in front of me with scary eyes and tell me to get on with it – “keep focus”, “stop procrastinating”, get on with it! It seems to me the Holy Spirit is being a bit subtle these days!

Perhaps that’s to be expected? The uncertainty of daily life – lockdown, easing of lockdown, lockdown again – what are the rules for this area? I guess all of us are a little anxious.

Since March everything seems to have changed – especially in community work. It’s a difficult time to be a community worker when we’re all two metres apart and in groups of less than six!

Inactivity doesn’t sit well with me – I like to be busy, “useful”; I like to walk and talk with people. I have done a lot of baking, I have made chutney, pickled onions, sewn some new clothes, made a banner out of ribbons, I’ve read more books than I have in ages, I’ve written things for the church magazine and various websites – and I’ve “zoomed”.

There have been some really good things about lockdown – getting to know my neighbours, watching on TV reports of communities overcoming restrictions to help each other. There has been some very heart-warming stuff – and I’ve hugged these things to myself to keep myself cheerful.

Poverty doesn't care there's a pandemic

But it hasn’t all been good – poverty is no respecter of boundaries – and doesn’t care if there’s a pandemic. At first, the foodbank where I volunteer twice a week wasn’t busy – there were measures in place like furlough, extra money for some on benefits,

Boris boxes for the vulnerable, and generally people were managing. Now that time has moved on and the end is nowhere in sight, times are getting harder. Businesses have been forced to close, lots out of work and the numbers at the foodbank and other organisations where help is sought, are growing. None of us know what is coming next – and it’s hard to prepare for that.

So, I try to be as positive as I can – I do the things I can and try not to worry too much about what I can’t do. Like everyone else, I shoes crophave good days and bad days – and I have had a lot of time for thinking. I wondered where the holy spirit was moving in my life – what was it that made some days focussed and other days a mess. I think I’ve found the answer. Shoelaces!

On days when I have to go to work, the last thing I do before I leave the house is sit on the bottom stair and put on my shoes. I tie them in a double bow and utter a little self-congratulatory sotto voce “there ya go, sorted!”: I pick up my bag and go out ready to face the world.

I’ve also noticed that on the days when I wear shoes without laces things don't go so well.

In conclusion – I’m gonna get some slippers with laces so that next time I sit in a zoom meeting – I stay focussed!!

Find out more about church-related community work

Would you like to know more about Church Related Community Work Ministry? We have plenty of resources available including: Become a CRCW and Become a CRCW Project.

Do you have a question? Please feel free to contact the CRCW office by email for more information.


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