As I write, we are learning just how uncertain life is. A week ago, at just 3 hours’ notice, we were back into a partial lockdown, ruining the plans of many of our Muslim neighbours looking forward to getting together for Eid celebrations, ruining long-arranged birthday lunches, wedding plans and business which had spent money and time on preparing to open had to put their plans on hold, and, for many, that will very sadly but inevitably mean their business won’t survive. That, in turn, means that, again, sadly but inevitably, more jobs will go.

We don’t know how long these restrictions will be in place. We don’t know whether they will be eased gradually, lifted back to where we were before, or tightened further. We don’t know how schools re-opening will affect us.

What we do know is that we are not alone. The world has been united as never before. We are all facing a common, invisible enemy and it would be so good if we could work together to beat it, with simple rules everyone can understand and follow, simple measures and simple ways of providing what everyone needs in terms of equipment, protection, medicines that help and vaccines for all, not just the wealthy countries. We should not be competing with other countries to be first at this or that, or to have a ‘world-beating’ this or that. If we have a vaccine or cure, but people in a poorer country don’t, this virus can still resurge anywhere, and can still infect us all.

This week saw the terrible explosion in Beirut, Lebanon; a country already struggling financially, socially, politically and medically, and now without a port through which supplies for the whole country come – and a high proportion of their food is imported. Please hold the people of Lebanon in your prayers, those who have lost loved ones, and those who have been injured, together with the people who will be caring for those who have been injured, those who have lost everything, and those tasked with clearing the area and re-building.

This week saw the story of 2 small boys showing us all how we can demonstrate God’s love, and how we can work towards bringing all of God’s family closer together. They were working hard, with their families, to raise money for the people of Yemen by selling homemade lemonade on a stall outside their homes, and queues of people willing to support them in their efforts. The boys said “We are so lucky to have money. People in Yemen have no food and have to drink dirty water and they could get sick and die.” That sums it all up really. Their target was £100. By last Sunday they had raised £37,000.

Yes, we may have had our plans changed, put on hold or cancelled altogether. Yes, we may be finding life dull. Yes, the weather might be dull, cool wet and windier than we would like.

But we have so much to be thankful for. Not least of all, Zoom, printers and computers!!

God bless you all,

Yours, Lindsay