Coronavirus - Community updates from the Revd Neil Short No 11

ST MICHAEL’S COMMUNITY UPDATE

No 11: 15.4.20

 

INTRODUCTION

  • During the present situation we intend to send out an email letter with news, a thought for the day and an ‘always look on the bright side’ item.
  • If you want to be removed from this mailing list please let me know.
  • If you have a friend or neighbour who would like to receive this please forward their details.
  • If you are able and willing to print these and deliver to someone living nearby without email can you please let me have their names so that I know they are included.
  • I also invite you to send in items, especially humorous ones!
  • For all correspondence please use office@stmbsands.org

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH DR SIMON HULME, HEAD OF ST MICHAEL’S SCHOOL

Just before Easter Neil interviewed Dr Hulme.

Neil:    What has been happening since the crisis began?
Simon:On Friday March 20th I closed the school for all students except key worker families and

the vulnerable. Year 11 and 13 were very upset at leaving so early in the year with no celebrations, services etc and with such uncertainty at that point around their qualifications. On Monday 23rd we re-opened as ‘childcare/supervision’ for a limited number of designated students and have been open since and will be throughout the holiday period including bank holidays. Staff have been ringing any vulnerable students not in school twice a week to keep in touch. We have started ‘Zoom’ meetings with my senior leadership team, many of which are also self-isolating at this time. We have been providing food packs for all free school meals pupils that are not in school, superseded by vouchers to be redeemed at a range of supermarkets.

Neil:    Are you sending out homework?
Simon:Yes - all departments have provided work packs available on line and as a hard copy.

Students can email staff through secure school email systems using their own school email address. We are not setting work during the holidays! 90% of staff are working from home on this.

Neil:    What are the biggest challenges?
Simon:There have been a range - closing the school and dealing with the fallout from students,

opening in a new manner, home working issues, staffing reducing on a daily basis due to staff self-isolating, keeping parents informed, free school meals voucher payments, the sad death of a member of staff. 

Neil:    What would you like us to pray for?
Simon:Family of Mr Bob Corrin, attendance and welfare officer. A kind, generous man.

The health and wellbeing of the staff of St Michael’s, currently apart, and their families.

The health and wellbeing of our students, currently apart, and their families.

Personal resilience for myself please.

Neil:    We are so very grateful for all that you and your staff are doing at this difficult time, we will certainly be praying for you.

 

It’s sad that St Michael’s is all closed up at the moment, but how lovely the spring flowers look.

A big thank you to Cynthia and the gardening team.
 

BRIDGE

Bernard Magee is giving a bridge tutorial each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11.00am which may be of interest to some and they remain available to watch later: I find him an excellent teacher.

 

It is available on YouTube, just type in ‘Bernard Magee Bridge’ to access.    Submitted by Bryan

 

 

ON LINE TALKS

Starting today I will be giving a two minute talk each Wednesday on Prayer. Like many people I find prayer difficult, so in these videos I include tips on different ways to pray. To access the first video, click the link below.

https://youtu.be/POO0vb6HktQ

 

For those who missed the Good Friday Talk you will find it here;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfn365FmG9E&feature=youtu.be

 

For those who missed the Easter Sunday talk you will find it here:
https://youtu.be/sEZnOl-4avU

 

If you are new to accessing YOUTUBE clips and need some help, just give Margaret or I a ring on 0151 378 0332 and we will help.

 

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

This week I spoke to Alice Apel who runs several children’s nurseries:
 

Neil:    Can you tell us what has been happening with your nurseries.

Alice: Our nurseries, Atherton House and Streatham House locally, plus our two over in Cheshire, have remained open for vulnerable and emergency workers’ children.

 

Neil:    Have you had children from parents working in the NHS?
Alice: Yes. Many NHS parents have been asked to increase their hours to cover the crisis, so 
our provision is vital.  We also have parents who work for the Police and Social Services, plus other essential services.  My teams are really dedicated and I’d like to thank them for doing a wonderful job.

 

Neil:    How are your numbers?
Alice: Numbers are not high at the moment, as the vast majority of our families are able to take 
care of their own little ones while they self-isolate or work from home, but, working with Sefton Local Authority, some new children are joining us temporarily as their usual nurseries have closed, and we think the numbers will continue to increase over the next couple of weeks.

 

Neil:    How are you and your staff coping?
Alice: It’s a difficult time, with lots of change and uncertainty. We all want to do our bit and help 
as much as we can.  Our families who are based at home keep in touch via email and Facebook, really helping to raise our spirits and make us smile.  The children enjoy the activities and challenges we set for them online, including rainbow posters, cardboard box robot building and Easter egg/bonnet decorating.   It is so nice to know that we are in everyone’s thoughts even though we can’t presently all be together at nursery.  Thank you too for your prayers.

 

After the interview Alice pointed out a great Website entitled:  YORKSHIRE DAYS IN.
You can do free virtual tours of stately homes, museums and beauty spots. There are so many lovely places in Yorkshire, and we are even prepared to share them…..during the crisis…..with people from Lancashire. You can find out more at:                                         
https://www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/yorkshire-days-in

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Have you noticed how mentioning God has almost dropped off the vocabulary list of the BBC and politicians in recent years? Have you noticed how mentioning God and in particular the word ‘prayer’ has reappeared during this crisis? While Boris was seriously ill I counted 3 cabinet ministers on one particular day say he was ‘in our thoughts and prayers at this time’.
The fact is, even if we as a society go off God; he cannot and will not go off us. And the promise is this, ‘Draw near to God and he will draw near to you’.  James 4v8.

 

THE ENVIRONMENT BOUNCES BACK

The environmental changes wrought by the coronavirus were first visible from space. Then, as the disease and the lockdown spread, they could be sensed in the sky above our heads, the air in our lungs and even the ground beneath our feet.
This factual and thought provoking article can be read in full at:   
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/climate-crisis-amid-coronavirus-lockdown-nature-bounces-back-but-for-how-long

 

PRAYER

Dear Father, Creator of all things, we thank you for this beautiful world with its amazing variety of animals and plants. While we are staying home and appreciating the birdsong and the quietness, you have given us the chance to see how much clearer and cleaner the planet could be with wiser stewardship.
 

Please open the minds of our world leaders, business leaders, the food industry and economists to consider how to reshape our future more responsibly at this time.

Shed light on the new knowledge that scientists and scholars bring, so that they may further the quality of life for all peoples and all creatures. Help us to be instruments of that healing; to turn away from behaving as a consumer culture. Change our hearts toward travelling more lightly through life, sustaining and loving Your Creation. Amen

 

FOOD BANK

 

Last week we announced that Lucy and Jane are collecting for the local FOOD BANK for the houses unable to feed their families. Abiding to government advice on social distancing, Lucy is opening the gate at 3 St Michael’s Road to receive items between 10am - 12 noon on Mondays. Here’s what she found outside their house this Monday.

 

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE 

   A Figure of Speech
             

Can you find 27 different sayings in this picture.

Nerys, who submitted the quiz, will be giving the answers next week.

The cartoon was drawn by Ella Baron for the Times Literary Supplement. Ella goes on to say that there are many more legitimate answers and that somebody sent her a list of 49!

 

 

Together we will get through this.
Revd Neil Short

15.4.20