All Saints' Church, Halifax

Paul Gunningham’s

Here is Paul Gunningham’s View from the Pew.  01.02.2021

When the church was open, the view was of masked people at a distance with worship on a screen even further away but there was time to be peaceful and prayerful. Time to chat in the garden on the way out, a chance to door step with a word and a smile when delivering Bible notes to church family, time to stop and talk to friends as we strolled across the moor each day.

Cathy and I realise we are very fortunate not to have to worry about work, home schooling or looking after elderly relatives, and we have each other. Of course we miss cuddling our grandchild but the wonder of video chats is a great way to stay close to family and friends further afield. We are now more mindful of staying in touch with those living on their own. Our daughter, Eleanor, was with us over Christmas (having first quarantined in our attic!) and we walked the very impressive Nativity Trail together. She remarked on how wonderful it was. Thank you to those who arranged it.

The restrictions have brought us one to one walking which has given me the opportunity to explore even more ancient footpaths in our wonderful countryside near Halifax with one friend at a time.  I have found the chance to have thoughtful, lengthy conversations with just one other person very uplifting.  I’ve enjoyed online exercise classes and chess. You can play anyone in the world free of charge! Upskilling – well, I’ve improved my chilli concarne and I’m learning how to make French onion soup (I chop the onions!)

But why, oh why….when you click and collect do you end up with a cabbage the size of a brussels sprout and cucumber the size of a gerkin!!

Despite everything, it is important of course to see the wonder in the simple things – there’s time to enjoy the creative variety of snowmen recently, briefly, visible in the park, snow drops starting to open in the Welcome Garden and to recognise and pray for the magnificent work of so many people helping to make the future better for all of us.