Viewpoint from Revd Sue Hemsley Halls 30/04/2021
Revd Sue Hemsley Halls
Priest in Charge
Parish of South Trinity Broads
Church Without Walls
Would you call yourself an outdoor person or do you prefer the comfort of indoors? Over the last year, we have recognised the benefits of being outside with reduced risks of infection. During the warm summer it was no hardship, though some of us might have been challenged these past months by being outdoors in cold, blustery weather
With regard to our churches, we have perhaps met outside in the church grounds more often than usual. Regulations allowed some of us to gather at war memorials to mark Remembrance Sunday, and to stand a safe distance apart to sing a few carols at Christmas. In the rural churches of South Trinity Broads, it seemed appropriate to be in sight of the fields next to the churchyard as we gave thanks at Harvest for crops safely gathered in
Of course, the beautiful churches in Norfolk are much appreciated by people whether they come in for prayer and worship, through an interest in history, or maybe just enjoy seeing these familiar landmarks as they travel by. Many congregations and local communities work hard to maintain these significant buildings which have hosted so many key events in the lives of the people over the centuries. They are valued by their communities and, for many people, they are a physical reminder of God’s presence amongst us
Yet being out and about and seeing the wonders of creation is also a powerful reminder of God’s presence. Whatever our religious belief, being surrounded by the beauty of creation provides a real lift to our spirits. Many support groups include gardening or rambling amongst the activities they offer because of the potential benefits to mental and physical health. Volunteers in conservation work get a great deal of satisfaction from taking part and looking after the natural world
I am sure some churches will continue to offer outside events because our appreciation of being outdoors has been rekindled, and initiatives such as Mossy church and Wild church are inspiring people.
If you appreciate the natural world or just feel safer not gathering in a building for worship at this present time, there are opportunities to connect with God, with other people, and with nature. See you out there!
also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury
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