As you will have seen in the news churches have been given permission to re-open for public worship from 4th July. There are a number of things to think about and put in place so that we can do that and the wardens and I will be working on that next week. I think it is likely that at least some of us will be able to meet for worship in church later in July. Please bear with us as we formulate plans for how we can do this. There will be more information in due course.
Meanwhile, the church building remains open every day 9.30am – 5pm for private prayer. You are welcome to sit in the chairs provided near the front and to light candles in the Lady Chapel. As the visitors’ book is currently not available, if you are a Facebook user, please ‘check in’ and comment on our Facebook page so we get an idea of how many people are visiting. The new foodbank is also available if you or anyone you know is in need of some food. Please let others know that it is there. And if you can donate then non-perishable food and toiletries would be welcome. All Saints Men’s Group are providing volunteers to take surplus donations to DENS – thank you to them.
In some ways everything has been very much ‘same old’ over the last few weeks. In other ways the situation has continued to evolve rapidly. Not only for churches but for businesses, charities and families. Now we are in a position to enjoy some more freedom (and a much needed trip to the barbers in my case!) and yet we still have to maintain our social distancing and be mindful of the continuing limits on our activities to protect and care for each other.
All of this is a difficult balancing act which I think has put a strain on mental health for many of us. And that’s to be expected. If we had a period of increased physical activity that our bodies weren’t used to we would be physically tired. We have had a lot more mental work to do than usual over the last few months, so it shouldn’t surprise us if we have some mental tiredness. I know I’ve felt that at some points over the last few weeks. The important thing is to notice it and to take some steps to let your mind recover and recharge. Just as you would let your body recover and recharge if it had been working harder than usual. There are 10 top tips for this below, as recommended by Mental Health First Aid England. The two I often find most helpful are Relating – Zoom, friends, cheese and wine has been a good combination! – and Giving –doing something to help and support others. If you are feeling a bit mentally under the weather then make some space or some conscious effort to give some of these things a go.
And remember, Jesus has given us his peace and calls us to share it with others:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14.27)
With my love, prayers and gratefulness for you,
All Saints Vicarage, Thursday 25th June 2020
10 Top Tips for Mental Wellbeing
Relating The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so it’s important to put time into strengthening those connections. Try turning off distractions to chat with friends or family.
Exercising Regular activity will provide an endorphin boost and increase confidence. Try finding an activity that suits you and your schedule.
Awareness Taking time to switch off autopilot and ‘be in in the moment’ is a great tool to combat stress. Try paying attention to your senses – what can you see, hear or feel around you?
Giving Holding out a helping hand makes other people happy and will make you feel happier too. Try asking friends, family or colleagues how they are and listen without judgement.
Trying out Learning new things is stimulating and can help to life your mood. Try out a new hobby, club or activity that interests you.
Direction Working towards positive, realistic goals can provide motivation and structure. Try choosing a goal that is meaningful to you, not what someone else expects of you; remember to celebrate progress along the way.
Meaning People who have meaning in their lives experience less stress, anxiety and depression. Try prioritising the things that bring you the strongest sense of purpose.
Resilience Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can often choose our own response to what happens. Try finding an outlet such as talking to friends or writing it down.
Emotions Positive emotions can build up a buffer against stress and even lead to lasting changes in the brain to help maintain wellbeing. Try taking time to notice what you’re grateful for and focus on the good aspects of any situation.
Acceptance No one is perfect. Longing to be someone different gets in the way of making the most of our own happiness. Try being kind to yourself when things go wrong.
Open Church Hours and Foodbank
All Saints is open every day 9.30am – 5pm
An unattended, ‘open table’ Foodbank is now available during church open hours. Please spread the word! Donations of non-perishable food and toiletries are welcome. Surplus donations will be passed on to DENS on a regular basis – thank you to the Men’s Group!
This Sunday at All Saints
9.30am Video Eucharist Head to our website to join in, to find the order of service and more resources HERE.
10.30am Zoom coffee and catch up, invite via our mailing list.
(To join the mailing list, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Harvest of Talents 2020 In the spirit of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25.14-30), we are once again challenging you to use your initiative and talent to see through a ‘project’ over the summer and return at Harvest with the money you have made. Past projects include selling home- made cakes or jam, gardening, babysitting, dog-walking or ironing, quizzes or Sudoku. This year of course it is an extra challenge to deploy your talent in the lockdown, e.g. selling home-made cakes will mean your own take on Deliveroo – a great opportunity to say a socially distanced “hello” as well! We can’t hand over the customary fiver to start you off, but we wish you a hearty “good luck”!