Holy Week in a time of pestilence

I've just finished listening to NHS Front Line, hosted by Winifred Robinson on Radio 4 - which features reflections and interviews from a Junior Doctor at the Bradford Royal Infirmary. I highly recommend it to give insight and a better picture as to how to hold our own city's hospitals and all their patients and staff up before God at this time. It's really well done and very moving. Here's the link:

And speaking of God. Did you hear Michael Gove saying 'Oh God yes' on the Radio, in response to something, straight after saying that his prayers were with Boris. Have you noticed this. Not only the casual use of God's name, (which to be fair is all over the media,) but suddenly prayer is on everyone's lips in response to the quite shocking news (I swore, but differently, I have to confess, when I heard it) that the Prime Minister is in intensive care. Some of it is a formulaic way of saying 'This is serious, we are all for you.' But there is also lurking here that age old resort to God in a crisis - 'well if God is there we certainly need God now.' I think God takes it whatever way it comes. God is very longsuffering like that.

Yesterday, I tried to get emergency dental care for Payam, a member at St Clements. He's Kurdish Iranian from a tiny village where he farmed with his family. He broke a molar tooth and it has been so painful he can't eat or drink. All the usual emergency dentistry from practices has ceased. We got him some co-codamol and emergency filling material and I tried to show him how it worked. He hadn't had joy with 111 so I gave it a go. 1 hour 20 minutes, a completed and eaten ratatouille and a chat with Indi later, I got through. Mercifully, the lady relented from the official position when I explained the situation, and arranged for a call with an interpreter from the 111 dentist to see what can be done. Just pray he answers the phone - he's about as good as me at doing that.

While we're thinking 5 a days, here's a cheery picture of Sandra, who co-ordinates the St Clement's phone chain. I was delivering the updated St Clements address list as the post is taking so long. Today's challenge is to get a mailing done for the people with no online access. If you know anyone near you in that situation and feel there's anything they might like to share, perhaps you could print off and pass on through the door.

Finally, I've got my list of Holy Week Resources finished and I hope its soon on the website. If you have anything helpful to share, please respond to this blog below or send me an email or a call me. I've been struggling to master morning worship with Zoom (not to mention livestreaming via Youtube.) Yesterday I ended up doing it on my own because I'd opened two events by mistake. Today Maureen and Robin Gamble were able to join me. It works well on zoom, so do feel free to join us tomorrow at 9.00am to listen and reflect on the Bible Readings and to pray together.

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