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St Albans DP Kim Wilkison

St Albans Diocesan President's Letter October 2020

October 2020

21 Oct 2020

Dear Fellow Members                                                                                                                  

As I write this, I hope you are all managing to keep safe and well as we appear to be entering a semi-lockdown. While it is not a full lockdown, there are still many people, and members, who have not been able to meet up with their families and friends and feel increasingly lonely and isolated. Everyone these days has a telephone and is able to pick it up and speak to someone. Please don’t be a moaning Minnie saying, ‘no-one phones me!’ Pick up that phone and make someone happy by phoning them. So often of late I have heard people say they don’t want to phone a friend or family member because they might be busy, but there is always the possibility that that person is thinking the same way and not phoning because they don’t want to disturb you! Go on make that call. It is so easy to keep in touch and having a cosy chat can make you both feel so much better.

It is with regret that I must tell you that we are unable to hold our Autumn Sharing Day at St Andrews in Bedford. Your trustees and I were hoping to hold a ‘physical’ meeting there, but with new government guidelines, restrictions on numbers and the concern about our members keeping safe, the decision was made to cancel St Andrews and hold the meeting by ZOOM. I know this is going to feel strange for many members and it will for us as well, but I strongly feel we need to meet together to remember that we share in the membership of a wonderful organisation, to share the work that we have done in 2019 and indeed this year, to share a fellowship of care and praise to our Lord. The date remains the same Saturday 7th November and we will hold two meetings that day. The first one will be in the morning from 10.30am and will consist of the business of an Annual Meeting with a five minute break before continuing with our Sharing Day and listening to Bev Jullien our CEO from Mary Sumner House, who will talk to us about ‘Communities of Interest’. I am so grateful to Bev as she was originally our speaker for Spring Sharing Day which was cancelled, then agreed to come along to our Annual Meeting in June, which was cancelled and has now agreed to talk to us all via zoom at our Autumn Sharing Day. For those of you without a computer/laptop/iPad/Smart phone, you will be able to join us by telephone. All details will appear in the Autumn Newsline which will be sent out during the last week of this month and will also contain the Agenda, Reports and information of how to take part in the meeting.

I would also like to remind you all that the 16 Days of Activism Against Female Genital Mutilation and Domestic Violence is approaching, 25th November to 10th December. In Newsline our Social Policy Officer Margaret Burbidge has written an article and I encourage you all to read it. We are also still involved with Modern Day Slavery and the Clewer Initiative. Please continue to pray for those people who find themselves caught up in any of these situations, which unfortunately have become more prevalent since lockdown.

While the dark nights and colder days make the prospect of staying in harder for some, I always feel there is a warmth and that we are lucky to be cosy within our own homes, with the heating on, warm drinks at hand, food in the cupboard and friendships all around us; and we do have friendships all around us, just phone a friend and see. May God bless you all as we continue to accept the challenges He places before us and walk together hand in hand as He tells us in Isaiah 49:16 I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

With love and prayers,

Kim x

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