Guernsey Press, 22 August 2020

What a year it has been! As we look expectantly (and with some trepidation) towards Phase 6 and the ability to travel freely, I have developed a habit of looking at what’s happening in other places, and in particular churches.

I think it began when some former colleagues were ordained as bishops at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence in London. I was able to watch it, live, over the internet, and it suddenly struck me about how fortunate we are here – as I saw everyone wearing masks, keeping their distance, and unable to sing at what was a joyful occasion.

Through the wonders of technology it has been possible to watch friends be ordained priest across England and the USA, and the different situations have been fascinating – who wears a mask, and when; how long a service lasts; whether there art pre-recorded segments from other places; whether there is background organ music or an individual singer, or not. And so on.

None of these services have shown anything like what we are able to experience in Guernsey, and it reminds me constantly of how fortunate we are – something further emphasised by the comments (and surprise) from those I speak to in other places.

We are incredibly fortunate, but the lack of travel options is hard – most of my family are in the UK, as are many friends. Technology has allowed a lot of contact in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few years back, and it has allowed me to join with friends all over the world as they take their next steps in ministry. But it isn’t the same as being with them in person.

I look forward to the time when borders are fully open, but also appreciate our experiences in Guernsey during this pandemic.

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