Lead, Kindly Light

St. Michael’s Vicarage
Alnwick

Dear People of Alnwick,

As I write this letter the news is not good.

Northumberland, along with the rest of the North East, is now under a scheme of restrictions in a bid to halt further transmission of Coronavirus. Other areas in a similar situation include parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands and today (20th September) the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has said that, if people do not comply with the restrictions, then a tougher regime will be introduced.

The thinking behind the restrictions is fourfold:

  • To control the spread of the virus
  • To prevent the most vulnerable from becoming infected
  • To protect the National Health Service
  • To save lives.

The possibility of a national two-week mini lockdown to act as a “circuit breaker” is already being considered – just as people seem to be beginning to recover from the previous lockdown which began in March and didn’t end until July.

We are seeing a wide variety of reactions and every possible opinion is being aired. Many of the opinions are coming from well-informed professionals and academics (though they don’t always agree) whilst most of the more extreme reactions appear to be less well researched.

The truth of the matter is that the world – relying heavily on the best advice available – continues to try and deal rationally with a situation it has never experienced before. People continue to be very seriously ill and Covid-related deaths are still taking place each day.

So what might we do as we go about our restricted daily lives here in Alnwick.

Well, firstly, we must try to honour the restrictions – however difficult and frustrating that may be.

Secondly we must remember that our God is the God who created order out of chaos, light out of darkness and continue to trust in his love for us as he walks with us through unknown and, at times, frightening days.

Perhaps our daily prayer might be:

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
lead thou me on;
the night is dark, and I am far from home;
lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
(John Henry Newman 1801-1890)

With every blessing,
Paul.

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