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  • Debbie Thrower

The network 'hangs-out' this summer

Updated: Aug 13


Memory sticks, memorials, and the delights of well-made Knickerbocker Glory

Forty of us got together this morning (6 August 2020) to worship and chat on one of our regular network 'hang-outs.'


Members were joining in from Orkney to Guernsey, Malvern to the Brecon Beacons, Brighton to Morpeth in Northumberland, Rugby to Frinton, and Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, from Nairn in the north of Scotland to Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells in Kent to Southampton, and from many points, the length and breadth of the UK, in between.


Worshipping remotely

Catherine Clowes in Ripon and Lower Dales, Yorkshire, spoke about recording services and putting them on to memory sticks. She then posts them to care homes so they can be used on computer screens or smart TVs for the benefit of residents missing their regular church services.


Catherine has carefully colour-coded the USB sticks to keep track of which are sent where and so they can be sanitised safely in between times.


Remembering the dead

Another network member was lamenting how many care home residents have died since the beginning of the pandemic and saying how sad it is that thanksgivings services are not being held as would normally happen. By the time the health crisis is over, will it be too late, the moment in the grieving process passed?


Brian Dunlop in Cheltenham reminded us how important All Souls services will be in November as an opportunity to remember all who have died. Anna Chaplaincy Lead in Wales, the Revd Sally Rees, suggested making the most of the liturgies devised by hospices for marking deaths. Sally has provided an example of a service in conjunction with St David's Hospice held last year at her own church, St Edmund's, Crickhowell, using Methodist Homes (MHA) liturgy, a copy of which she has been happy to share, entitled 'Star and Light – Light Up A Life.'

Ice cream 'Sundays'

Knickerbocker Glory afternoons have been the order of the day when the sun's out in Orkney, reported network member, the Revd Susan Kirkbride from Kirkwall.


With 'a lot of cows on Orkney', she said, and a surplus of milk during lockdown because there aren't the usual number of tourists eating the islands' ice cream, she was able to obtain a consignment for making up sundaes for older people.


Suitably socially distanced outside, and for just a few people at the time, the milk glut has worked to the advantage of guests who might not otherwise have enjoyed such cooling treats!


We'll continue meeting in this way via Zoom in the weeks and months to come, and, judging by your feedback, the opportunity to meet 'virtually' is highly appreciated.


Another super, informative get-together. I find it so good to be able to actually see the Anna Chaplains from all over the country... even from Orkney!
I always find the worship we begin with so meaningful.
Thank you so much for organising today's 'get-together'. It's so inspiring and encouraging to hear about everyone else's experiences, ideas and their work.
Sometimes Zoom meetings can be a little unfocused, but you are so gifted at drawing people in and knowing when to pause and when to move on. Beginning with worship is also lovely.

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