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  • Debbie Thrower

Lockdown anniversary marked by care home remembrance

Updated: Mar 26

Resources for remembrance of those who have died with Covid-19 and for reflecting on Good Friday this year


On the anniversary of the first lockdown, 23 March, Newcastle Anna Chaplain, Joan Grenfell, conducted a service of Light, Thanksgiving and Reflection in her local care home, Craghall.


Joan reports that the service was well attended, with ten residents and four care staff present.


'The emotional response shown by residents and staff is, I think, an indication of how necessary this service was. The reading out of the names of those residents who had lost their lives to the virus was an especially poignant part of the service.


'Some staff members had lost residents they had cared for seven days a week. Sometimes for years. I was conscious of how important this service was for the staff in giving them an opportunity to acknowledge their grief and to put it in a Christian context of future hope.'


Joan explained that their 'previous Associate Priest, Pauline Pearson, wrote a final poem' for the Order of Service. 'I asked if she could write one to reflect the situation we were remembering. She came up trumps. I think what she has written is beautiful and completely captures the past year and the future hope':


Invisible

It began, quietly, In that sunny spring,

When we could still see

Friends, sit together, talk,

Do crosswords and drink tea.


Then chatter stilled

No visitors allowed

Birdsong through the open window,

Sounded loud

In the silence.


Meals served and eaten apart

Familiar comfort.

The taste of tea

And scones;

Small sandwiches, filled

With meat or paste;

Red white and blue

Iced cakes too,

To celebrate Victory past


Sometimes, familiar voices

Echo from a screen

Sharing the news

Of births, and deaths …

Too many deaths:

A cohort of companions Lost.

An interconnected community

Of pain.


But now, Light brightens.

Soon perhaps

We will reach out again

To a familiar hand,

Hear a child’s laughter

Unrestrained,

Share companionship and bread,

Reach out and hug

Our neighbours,

Plant seeds for future flowers,

Sketch hopes, dream dreams,

And breathe love.


Pauline Pearson

Meanwhile, Joan has also devised a ‘Thought for Good Friday.’ She said, 'Our staff team were asked to offer a thought to be put on our website for the three hours on Good Friday. This was my thought, which my vicar kindly made into this image. I plan to have it made into postcard size cards to take in to care homes for residents and staff.'


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