Coronavirus - Community updates from the Revd Neil Short No 43 - Wednesday 26 Au


No 43: 26.8.20



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Each week we have 2 identical services which last approximately 30 minutes:

  • One on a Wednesday at 10.30am. This is targeted at people who are most at risk. Attendance is limited to a maximum of 15, and you will need to book in advance with the office.
  • The other is on a Sunday at 10.30am. Maximum capacity of St Michael’s, allowing for social distancing is about 40, depending on family group sizes.
  • We plan to film the Wednesday service, John will edit it and I will send it out on the Sunday morning, so that those who are at home can watch it at 10.30am.
  • At 11.45am on the Sunday we are planning to have ZOOM coffee. All three groups: Wed, Sun, and those at home, will be able to take part so we will see everyone.

If you have any questions please do contact Nerys in the church office 0151 924 0561, or email



Health experts are agreed that the main issue facing our population at this stage of the crisis is isolation and muscle wasting due to a lack of exercise. For that reason, we are pleased to announce that we will soon have 3 exercise classes running in St Michael’s Church Hall.

Tuesdays 10.00-11.00am Move it or Lose it run by Margaret Short
Wednesdays 11.30-12.30pm Move it or Lose it run by Margaret Short

And from the 11th September
Fridays 10.30-11.15 Pilates run by Karen Redfern.

Each session is £5 and you must book in advance.
Margaret Short 07950 027 395
Karen Redfern 07801 556 748



Back in the days of tanners and bobs, when Mothers had patience and Fathers had jobs.

Back in the days of three penny bits, when schools employed nurses to search for your nits.
Back in the days of Milligan's Goons, when butter was butter and songs all had tunes.
Back in the days of Dixon's Dock Green, Crackerjack pens and Lyons ice cream.
When snowballs were harmless; ice slides permitted and all of your jumpers were warm and hand knitted.
When children respected what older folks said and pot was a thing you kept under your bed.
Back in the days of Listen with Mother, when neighbours were friendly and talked to each other.
When cars were so rare you could play in the street. When Doctors made house calls and Police walked the beat.
When football team families wore hand me down shoes and T.V. gave only two channels to choose.
It was dumplings for dinner and trifle for tea and your annual break was a day by the sea.
When children could freely wear National Health glasses, and teachers all stood at the FRONT of their classes.
Back in the days of rocking and reeling, when mobiles were things that you hung from the ceiling.
When woodwork and pottery got taught in schools and everyone dreamed of a win on the pools.
Back in the days when I was a lad, I can't help but smile for the fun that I had.
Hopscotch and roller skates; snowballs to lob. Back in the days of tanners and bobs.




1.         The deaths of Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis were overshadowed by whose assassination on the same day.

2.         Doing so at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, who was the last English king to lead troops into battle?

3.         What is the three-word US term roughly equivalent to the UK’s foreign secretary? The first holder of the title                was Thomas Jefferson, and recent holders include Condoleezza Rice, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

4.         During the Apollo 11 moon land, who remained in the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin              walked on the moon? He shares his name with an Irish politician of the 1920’s.



Perhaps it’s because I come from Yorkshire that I have found ’Our Yorkshire Farm’ compulsive viewing: Amanda and Clive, together with their 9 children, run a sheep farm high up in the Yorkshire Dales.

In a recent episode, half of the family were out on the moors bringing in the flock. The first part of the task was quite easy: Amanda blew her whistle and 70% of the flock started to walk towards her. 20% were rounded up by the family, walking the boundaries of their property. The last 10% had got themselves stuck in deep ravines and bogs and needed some individual attention.

If I follow a popular analogy seen in both the Old and New Testaments, God is our Good Shepherd, and we are the sheep in his care. The New Testament book of 
1 Peter 5v1-4 describes the local church leader as an under-shepherd, I suppose like one of the children, assisting with the task.

I want to draw a parallel with how things went when we made the announcement to restart services: No sooner had we made the announcement to restart services than I started getting emails and telephone calls from members saying they could not wait to get back.  Helen and I then spent a considerable amount of time ringing up individuals, explaining the precautions we have put in place, and most members of our flock have now returned. A few have decided to stay home.

It is sensible and wise to evaluate the risk of going out to public places at different phases of the crisis, depending on our age and health. However in recent weeks I have started to become a little concerned: In the early stages of lockdown we all rightly hunkered down, but it is being reported by the NHS that many of us are now experiencing anxiety and other mental health issues related to being in prolonged social isolation.  I am worried that a few of us might be so deeply trapped in this ravine of isolation that we are unable to get out. A few of our members are not only saying 'no' to church, but also 'no' to shopping, 'no' to meeting friends in the garden, and even 'no' to going for an evening walk when it’s quiet outside.

Over the past few weeks, I have been discussing this issue with two friends who are doctors: Both of them have stressed that some people are getting noticeably out of shape - losing muscle strength; many are losing self-confidence, and some are even becoming agoraphobic.  Recent government statistics reveal that mental health issues have doubled during the crisis.

A well-known member of St Michael’s who is now back at church shared with me his own personal experience: He described how because of lock down he had lost his confidence and was doing less and less. He explained how he had had to force himself to go for walks, meet family members, and attend services. However, the more he did, the better he felt, while still taking all recommended precautions to stay safe.

So, I want you to know that I am standing faithfully at the side of the Lord our Shepherd, and looking for those sheep who might find themselves trapped: If you are feeling afraid to go out at all, why not give me or someone you trust a ring?  Be assured - the last thing we want to do is to force anyone into doing something against their will, but we are here to help you climb out of your ravine if you are finding it very difficult to do so on your own.


PRAYER - The Prayer of Richard Bishop of Chichester 1253

Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day.



For those who missed our  Sunday talks you will find them here:
Sunday 16th Service
Sunday 23rd Talk1
                     Talk 2

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.


1. John F Kennedy    2. George II    3. Secretary of State    4. Michael Collins




Together we will get through this.
Revd Neil Short