COVID-19: What we need to know about a possible third wave

We are currently hearing a lot of speculation about a possible third wave of COVID-19 and why this means we must be cautious about how we come out of lockdown. It has been suggested that if a third wave hits then this could lead to a return to previous restrictions and a longer period ofContinue reading “COVID-19: What we need to know about a possible third wave”

The thing I hate most about the response to COVID-19

As we move towards the first anniversary of lockdown, I’m taking a little bit of time just to reflect back on the past year and share some observations. At this stage back in 2020 we had not gone into full lockdown but we were increasingly seeing strict measures introduced. Those with symptoms and their familiesContinue reading “The thing I hate most about the response to COVID-19”

When your pastor gets depressed -what might have caused it?

I recently wrote an article for the Grace in the Depths website outlining the common signs and common causes of depression.  I did so because one of the challenges we face when talking about church leaders and depression is identifying that someone has depression. The second and related challenge is that often the subject remainsContinue reading “When your pastor gets depressed -what might have caused it?”

Long COVID and long lockdown

A number of people have reported long term symptoms after suffering from COVID-19. This has led to the term “long COVID” being coined.  The symptoms observed include:[1] extreme tiredness (fatigue) shortness of breath chest pain or tightness problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”) difficulty sleeping (insomnia) heart palpitations dizziness pins and needles joint painContinue reading “Long COVID and long lockdown”

COVID’s long tail and the church

Remember when we thought that the pandemic would be dealt with by the short sharp shock of lockdown and then we would be back to church as normal again. We looked forward to those summer services when would be gathering back, packing in to services with a sense of thanksgiving. Those optimistic days seem aContinue reading “COVID’s long tail and the church”

We need a way out of costly social distancing measures, not just lockdown (open letter to Boris Johnson)

Dear Boris, I’ve written open letters to you throughout the pandemic.  As we approach the end of what we all hope will be the last lockdown, I want to write to you again concerning some of the rumours and hints that are currently going around. Over the past few weeks, the narrative has built upContinue reading “We need a way out of costly social distancing measures, not just lockdown (open letter to Boris Johnson)”

When the situation is complex, keep the Comms simple

I remember someone at the start of the pandemic who was in the know (genuinely in the know, not someone who knew a friend of a friend), sharing at a briefing to church leaders that when the Government said it was following the science, this included behavioural scientists. My initial reaction to that was “uhContinue reading “When the situation is complex, keep the Comms simple”

Law and Spirit: A COVID Parable

Imagine this: it’s summer 2021.  After extensive trials and tests, the COVID-19 vaccine is available.  It has been internationally confirmed to be reliable, safe and effective. Here in the UK it is available to you for free. What would you say to someone who is choosing to refuse the vaccine and instead is insisting onContinue reading “Law and Spirit: A COVID Parable”

Mingling – The Rule of Six and challenges for church

This week, the Government has introduced new rules. It will be illegal to have groups of greater than six gathering for social purposes. Whilst this does not in and of itself limit the numbers that can attend church, it will have some affect on church life. This is because whilst the total number of peopleContinue reading “Mingling – The Rule of Six and challenges for church”

Church is about more than a quick in and out visit

When people have come to join us at Bearwood from a more Roman Catholic or High Church background, there are often some tell-tale signs. One is the tendency to arrive as close to the start time as possible and leave quickly at the end avoiding much social interaction with others. So, when I first sawContinue reading “Church is about more than a quick in and out visit”