“I am now in my 5th week of personal lockdown and realise how naïve I was when I started this process. I wrongly assumed that I would have all this extra time to read and study. Instead I have been busier than ever.
Some of this is my fault. I worked out a long time ago that I am a workaholic and so had put in place boundaries to protect myself. I worked from the office and didn’t take work home with me. Home and office are now too close. I am therefore struggling to pace myself and take time off. Struggling with my own issues and emotions as well as supporting others with theirs!
In the first few weeks I found myself treating the lock down like a blizzard, putting things in place thinking everything would soon blow over. Ensuring the congregation was cared for, resources and support available; something was available online on a Sunday. Making sure the work we did with the vulnerable could continue in a modified form.
The focus then began to change towards coping with an ice age, how could things adapt for the long haul. Looking at finances, without lettings income and people being able to give on a Sunday we have to adapt. Learning each week about how to improve the services we put up online, realising the congregation now included the curious who were taking the opportunity of watching at least part of a church service in anonymity from the comfort of their home. Including more and more Zoom gatherings, prayer meetings, games evenings…
Life has changed. I still have no idea what going back to normal will look like. Will it just be as it was, or will there be more permanent changes, as the ice age produced.”
Tony Thompson, Church Leader, Hope Church Luton