I am sad to say that the church buildings in Belton and Burgh Castle are closed as they could be places of gathering where the virus could be passed on. The Church of England took the decision to do this to stand with the government and help people keep safe.
However, the church (the people) are still active. Each Sunday there is a church service broadcast at 9.30am for Burgh Castle on Amazon Chime and at 10.30am for Belton on Chime and Facebook live. Chime can also be accessed through a telephone line. We celebrated Easter and enjoyed meeting together on-line. It might have been a very different experience, but it was good. What was missed by many was the Sunrise Service usually held at Burgh Castle Fort very early in the morning – and it was a sunny morning, so we would have seen the sunrise!
Messy Church Easter activity boxes were delivered to twenty five of the children we have contact with. An album of photographs is available on the All Saints Belton Facebook page and website, showing the results of all their work. The chocolate nests with eggs in didn’t last long for those who made them, but the Easter trees decorated with eggs have brightened up Easter for many households.
Volunteers are still keeping The Pantry open for families in need and in the last few weeks have provided food for 60+ people who have found themselves in difficult circumstances as a consequence of the current restrictions. We are grateful to the many people and organisations who continue to donate food and money to the cause, and especially to the Parish Councils of Belton and Burgh Castle who have obtained grants to support us.
Our Young at Heart Group are contacting one another on a regular basis; supporting one another in isolation and seeking to counter the loneliness of it. This is the case for all of us. If you are on your own and would benefit from a phone call every so often, please do let Rosie (780210) or Viv (07523717810) know and you will be given someone who you can chat to.
Someone asked me recently, “Are you still needing knitted poppies?” Obviously, we can’t have the events and activities planned for VE75 Day on 8th May, but we will, at some appropriate point, complete the planned displays. So if you have the wool and are making white poppies please do continue.
We are developing different ways of keeping in contact and having fun together; we are looking into running a virtual pub quiz, as well as the odd coffee morning for both Burgh Castle and Belton. Details of the weekly activities are available on the website www.allsaintsbelton.org.uk
Because of the official closure of all church buildings all weddings are currently postponed. Funerals are now taking place at the graveside or at the crematorium but in accordance with regulations only close family are allowed to attend. The loss of a loved one is obviously an extremely painful and distressing time, and in the current circumstances it is made harder by the fact that we cannot have our loved ones close to us, or give the person who has died the “send off” we would have liked. Rev Viv Ridpath and myself are encouraging those who have lost loved ones to plan to have a memorial service and a wake once the restrictions on gathering are lifted, when tributes can be given and memories shared. This is not ideal but is the best we can offer in the circumstances. We assure you that if you are in the difficult situation of having to arrange a funeral, we will do our utmost to make it the best we can. Currently, it is Viv who is conducting the funerals as I am in the 12 weeks of shielded isolation, but I am working and at the end of the telephone if you need me.
Rev Rosie Bunn