Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh
The Kirk and grounds are currently closed.
Letter from the Manse
I don’t know about you but I am longing for the lockdown to be over in order for us to get out and about again. It feels as if we all have been in hibernation and about to waken up to a new reality. My guess is that we might not recognise each other; given our lack of getting to the hairdresser/barber. I am expecting to see lots of people looking rather like refugees from the 1970s!
In order for this ‘new normality’ to be realised, we need to know that the spread of COVID-19 is under control. What this will look like for us as a congregation is still under discussion and no decisions have yet been made. The church in Germany has been the first to open up. I watched on the TV news the parishioners entering the church building and sitting apart, observing social distancing. The Communion/Eucharist was handed out by the minister under a perspex screen. Whenever we are to open our churches in Scotland, I am sure it will be with similar precautions in place.
In the meantime, Liz and I continue, as best we can, with our ministries. We are both conducting funeral services and trying to keep our folk in touch, be it through the Internet, post or telephone. And Liz is much involved with her Food Bank, helping those who need basic supplies. Every Sunday, with grateful thanks to our technical team, Liz and I have produced a little service on video (see here). And each Thursday at 8 o’clock we join with the Nation in the appreciation of the NHS by ringing the church bell.
Over the last few weeks a new routine has emerged and I have now become an expert on which days the bins go out! But in the midst of all our difficulties, nationally and internationally, we have our faith. Having faith is having that inner knowledge that, no matter what the world throws at us, we are equipped to deal with it, having an inner strength that only our God can provide. In the coming days I encourage you to take a little time in your day to offer prayer to God. Let us pray for strength to see this pandemic through; pray for our families, neighbours and friends; pray for the faith to enable all good things to happen, experiencing God in our lives as never before.
May I encourage you all to stay safe and hopefully it will not be too long until we all can meet again!
Rev. Dr Jim Jack