I have often wondered what would prompt me to begin writing my blog again. It turns out, what I needed was a global pandemic. 4 months into lockdown, and though the rules are easing, there is little sign of an end to this.
So how have you all been? I’ve been busy – sort of. Relocated to Billingham, a different church, some new people – exciting! St Columba’s congregation are a lovely bunch of people and we’ve been working together on trying some new things.
We started an activities group for the young people, called Busy Bees – great fun – I like playing games and making things!
We did some stuff at Christmas and our ladies friendship group began sharing lunches
It’s hard to say exactly how things happen in a new post – they just do. We hold some events, I walk and talk and make connections – and everything was doing just fine – until the covid virus turned up; and everything just stopped.
What now? I thought. No ladies group, no Easter activities, no guides or scouts. I volunteered to carry on helping at the local school, but their take up of places for key workers children was only 16, which they were well able to cope with.
I was already doing a day at the local foodbank and as many of their volunteers were vulnerable or shielding, I offered my services there.
As the weeks went by, I wondered if there was anything we could do to reach out to people in our community – and I thought about a project I’d heard of involving ribbons. I thought we could probably adapt it to our situation in Billingham. So I bought a rainbow of ribbons, made some drawstring bags to hang on the gates, made a couple of notices, and waited to see what would happen.
It seemed to strike a chord with passing strangers
I was thrilled!
By the middle of July, as lockdown began to be lifted, I noticed a few ribbons on the path up the road from the church – and decided that was the time to take them down and do something with them. I had never wanted to be a “litter lout! – and definitely didn’t want the church to be responsible for messing up the streets.
I brought the ribbons home – there were 285 on the 2 gates. So began the task of making them into some kind of banner. I ironed the creases out of them, got some material to use as backing – and began weaving them.
It’s taken a while – and i still havent finished it, but it’s definitely getting there!
Other stuff moves forwards slowly – we are preparing to reopen the church building for worship – risk assessments, sanitising equipment – all that kind of stuff. I’m working on trying to get some funding to improve the kitchen so we can feed people when we reopen for groups. I’m also hoping that we can work with our community on some new ventures.
We’ll never forget this strange and challenging time – but I hope we can remember some of the lessons we have learned about what is really essential to our happiness. I also hope it won’t take another pandemic before I write again
Keep safe all!!
love Annie xxxx