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Deacon Peter writes...

Deacon Peter writes…

Hello again everyone, I hope you are all still keeping safe and well, maintaining social distancing if you need to venture out, and are keeping a modicum of sanity in these continuing testing times for us all. I was reminded by Tesco this week (not that I regularly shop there but they seem to have my details) that we are now into our sixth week of lockdown, doesn’t time fly!! I have been watching the news and the daily updates regarding the current situation and as other European countries begin relaxing their restrictions, although Germany may be rethinking their policy after reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases, hopefully it will not be long before the UK is back in business and we can once again go about our daily lives in a more normal way, whatever shape that may take. That of course will mean two things for some of us: One, we will be able to return to work and two, regular mass attendance can resume, it seems such a long time since the Easter celebrations but in fact it is only three weeks since the Easter Vigil! But my time has not been idle. Even though I am still on furlough from my employment and cannot undertake any of my normal work, I am still keeping in contact with people and joining in with some company webinar’s so I’m not completely out of the loop! Talking of work, I was slightly saddened to read last week that some family members of those suffering from other illnesses such as cancer were criticising the NHS staff (nurses, doctors and consultants) who have been posting quick-dance routines via tik-tok on Facebook etc. for not taking their role seriously during the current situation and in a way I can sympathise with their point of view but as we know, these front-line staff are putting not only themselves in danger in a way even they could not have envisaged a couple of months ago, but they are also putting a smile on the nations face while also using this as a pressure valve to release their tensions in very difficult circumstances, I am not being judgemental in any way but I think a balanced view has to be struck especially when we have heard this week that America has had more deaths through coronavirus than those lost during the Vietnam war, a sobering fact. Deacon Martin McElroy, one of the Portsmouth Deacons has a feature in the e-news editions which are distributed by Bishop’s house. In this week’s e-news Deacon Martin discusses the Greek word Krima which means judgement, but let’s not be too hasty to Judge people!

During the Easter period Ancestry.com (the genealogy site) gave free access to their records online for a couple of days so I was also able to use the time to further search my family history which was something I was able to engage in a few years ago but was unable to continue in the way I wanted so I have recently taken the opportunity to delve deeper. I have now been able to trace another branch of my family back to the 1700’s. Previous research had indicated that my early ancestors had originated from Spain, coming to the UK as part of the invasion force with the Spanish Armada and after their defeat, some found their way to and settled in Wootton on the Isle of Wight and this ties in with some of my recent research, reinforcing what I already knew that my family is an ‘Isle of Wight family’ so Fr. Ross and I have a common connection, we’re both islanders!

Gardening has also had a significant impact for many during the lockdown and I have also managed to take advantage of the recent good weather, continuing to get jobs done that I don’t normally get the time to do, even the smallest of jobs. I continued this week by painting the shed and a couple of gates, some garden ornaments and also oiled some wooden garden furniture as well as trimming some trees. Some of the garden rubbish I have collected in large bags is already beginning to mulch down and compost so perhaps I will be able to use this as soil conditioner later in the year, but I will also be glad when the amenity sites reopen. One of the great things about being out in the garden at the moment is the fact that there seems to be more wildlife and birdsong than normal, while we are lucky enough to have a woodland area at the top of the garden we have been entertained on a daily basis with a family of blue tits that have been nesting in one of our boxes, a family of Jay’s, Magpies and sparrows on the feeders, not to mention the squirrels, and the family of foxes that take an unhealthy interest in our last remaining chicken, Geraldine, and it can be no coincidence that the skies are clearer and the waters cleaner without the added pollution now there is less traffic on the roads less ships coming into port and less planes in the air!

This weekend is also Good Shepherd Sunday so please continue to pray for all the clergy and for continuing vocations to the priesthood.

God bless,

Deacon Peter

2nd May 2020

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