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Thought for the day 4th May 2020

There’s been a huge increase, apparently, in the numbers of people attending church services during the Covid-19 crisis. All, of course, virtually, via the internet. And interestingly, it’s younger people who are searching these services out. The options available are almost endless. Formal celebrations of the Mass streamed from Catholic cathedrals; Zoom-based informal prayer meetings; Church of England services from a kitchen or living room. So many options, in fact, that I had almost forgotten the value of radio broadcast services. Until, that is, a daughter phoned to say that there was a Radio 4 service on Sunday from Salisbury, where we used to live.

Tuning in at 8.10, we learnt that this was a special service to mark the 800th anniversary of the cathedral’s foundation. Salisbury had been hoping that this anniversary would enable the city to bounce back from the lingering after-effects of the Russian Novichok attack in 2018. No such luck, sad to say: planned cathedral and city-wide events had to be cancelled. But the 800-year-old cathedral still stands, is still a place of beauty and holiness dedicated to the worship of God, pointing to the heavens. The cathedral has come through; the city will come through too. And here in Fairwarp, the re-pointing of the church building will protect it for many years to come. In these times, in all times, we need our sacred places to point us to eternity.

Fr John

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