Dear Friends,

As you all know, we are in strange times. Covid-19, commonly known as coronavirus, continues to ravage our country and countries around the world. There seems to be no ending to this. But this, like any pandemic before it, shall also surely come to an end.

A hundred years ago, our world experienced the Spanish Flu pandemic. That pandemic did its worst taking many lives. But our forebears stood firm - amidst losing their families, friends and loved ones – and did their very best, including following the government of the day’s guidelines to fight the pandemic. Eventually they could see the back of that pandemic.

In our time, we are also being called to follow the Government Guidelines, Stay at Home to save ourselves, our neighbours; protect our NHS and Save Lives. Beyond this, we acknowledge our need to be each other’s keeper; watching over one another and being there for one another. We are in this together.

Your churches in this community, St. John the Baptist and Handsacre Methodist, are doing their bit with you. Together with many in our local community, we have formed this Village Friends, so we could support one another. Therefore, whether you want to have a chat with someone, or a church representative, or a minister, or help with your shopping or collecting your medications this is only a phone call away.

Staying at home, especially if you live alone can be frustrating. Besides, all through your life, you are used to popping in and out as you wish; going about daily your life in a way that seems best to you without any restrictions. But suddenly all seems to have changed. But is there any encouragement in this?

Taking you back to the scriptures, and for deepening our relationships with our Maker, Psalm 46 reminds us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. So, God is with us in these challenging times; God is with you right there in your home or wherever you are. God continues to bring us hope through others including Village friends. If you like, you can see Village Friends as ‘Angels of Hope’, bringing hope, smiles and relief to each one of us when needed.

The ultimate Hope of Surviving these challenging times can be found in God. God’s word says: The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. As you say your prayers for your family, neighbours, country and the world, remember that you are bringing us all to God for safety. You are also being an Angel of Hope. So keep praying and do not lose heart.

Staying at home somehow stills us from our busy schedule. In this period of ‘stillness’, Psalm 46:10-11 encourages to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. May we draw comfort from this.

As we look forward to celebrating Good Friday and Easter in a unique way this year, I pray that ourselves and all that we have and are will be resurrected with Jesus Christ, so we can continue to be Angels of Hope reinvigorated by the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every Blessing.