DAY 91: Wednesday 17 June
A SENSE OF NORMALITY ?
Good morning all
What is normality? Scientists, statisticians, professors and teachers all devise complex formulae to establish ‘normality’ of a chemical solution or of behavioural patterns. When asking the question about normality after lockdown, it has been suggested there cannot be a complete return to normality as we knew it because ‘normality’ was the problem. (No, I don’t understand that either…)
Yesterday Karen and I experienced a sense of ‘normality’ in that we went to the Chapel in the morning. It felt almost as if we’d reverted to former habits and turned up for the Tuesday Coffee Morning. If we had, turnout was extremely low with only one other person turning up – that was Marilyn who we had arranged to meet there so she could replenish her stocks of knitting wool. And what’s more, there was no tea or coffee and no biscuits available, but it was lovely all the same to be in the Chapel building with our friend and enjoy a brief chat – at a safe distance of course!
There are many predictions of what could be the ‘new normal’ following coronavirus. Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner said last month on the morning after Boris Johnson’s announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks, “We are going to have a new normal coming out of this. Things are going to change whether we like it or not.”
It is becoming clear to city leaders around the world that the coronavirus crisis means that packed public transport systems can no longer be allowed to run at full capacity. But if people decide to turn to private cars en masse it will lead to gridlock and economic meltdown as deliveries get snarled up. Then there will be a rise in dangerous air pollution – the last thing needed in the midst of a respiratory disease pandemic.
“The only way London is going to operate in terms of our capacity on our roads and capacity on our public transport is to move wherever possible to cycling and walking,” said Norman. “It is good for our health, it is good for our mental health and it is good for the environment.”
Social distancing is something we had possibly not really thought about until March 2020. But for many of us we’ve now become so used to the practice that it will probably remain the norm for a long time to come. Similarly, the wearing of face coverings in public places will become more prevalent – the ‘new norm’. Certainly, the option to use cash will decline and more of us have become used to contactless payment and self-checkout at the supermarket.
Which raises a question about future services and groups at the Chapel – should we stop cash offerings and donations and switch to contactless? St Chad’s have taken a step in that direction with an offering plate that has an electronic chip in the base so as it is passed around, if you don’t want to give cash, you can touch the plate with your credit card and it automatically takes £5. Perhaps a little futuristic for those of us who prefer to progress to the new norm, one step at a time.
So what will be the ‘new normal’ when we do eventually get back to Chapel for Sunday’s and weekday groups? We’ll probably be sitting farther apart, well certainly at least for the rest of this year. Refreshments will need to be served differently and hand sanitisers will be positioned around the building and doors will be opened for us so we don’t have to touch the surfaces. Public singing may also need to be restricted, but for this and all the other ‘new norms’, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Isaiah 43:18-19 - Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Philippians 3:13-14 - Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Here's a link to a new song with a simple easy tune for us to join in – ‘There is hope’ >>> https://youtu.be/OM7UJu5C884
Jean Cussons has been admitted to Good Hope with blood clots which they are trying to clear with anti-coagulants. If the treatment succeeds, Jean is hoping to be back home at Greville House by the end of the week.
Some of you may possibly remember Paul Thomas who did come to speak at the Chapel many years ago. Paul had a beautiful baritone singing voice and together with Marilyn, Elizabeth and myself travelled to a number of churches in 2003 performing a musical cantata that I had put together called ‘Worthy of Praise’. Paul and his wife Margaret were also members of CCCF, which is where I first met them, and they lived in Balsall Common, close to where my son Chris and his family now live. This morning I heard from Anne Bradburn, who receives these daily emails, that Paul has died from Covid-19 whilst being treated for cancer. Please pray for Paul’s wife and family at this time, and also for Anne and her husband who is facing an uncertain future of unemployment.
Tom Reading is still looking for somewhere to put his shed in which he stores his tools for the gardening work he does. If you know of anyone with space to accommodate his shed or somewhere to store his tools, please get in touch with Tom or Mel
MAKE YOU SMILE:
I don’t have grey hairs - I have wisdom highlights
I meant to behave but there were too many other options
I’ve got used to spending all day, every day, looking forward to going back to sleep
Yesterday is too heavy – just put it down!
Intoxicated people, leggings and children always tell the truth