I am saddened that the government is refusing to carry on with Free School meals during the holidays. It makes me furious when I read in the Squalid little rag aka Private Eye that the government is wasting millions on other things while also lining the pockets of its friends!!!
Two Sundays ago, The lectionary reading and sermon were from Matthew Chapter 22 about paying taxes to Caesar. For this reason, I will restrain myself from further criticising the government.
Anyway, back to the hungry children. I’ve decided that on our part, we will increase our monthly foodbank contribution. At the beginning of each month, when I do our grocery shopping, I add a certain amount worth of food and toiletries to our shopping intended specifically for the food bank. At the same time, I remove the same amount worth of our personal shopping from the list. I find it a useful exercise because it must cost me something!
The food bank is such a worthy cause and I hope that more people will contribute towards it and that in a small way, we can prevent adults and children from going to bed hungry.
The Coronavirus lockdown has meant that the Mhinisteir is working from home except when he has to conduct funerals. The Vicarage telephone has been very busy with both incoming and outgoing calls. Everyday among other things, the Mhinisteir has been trying to ring his parishioners to enquire and pray with them. With us being in a multi parish benefice, he has a lot of parishioners! He has also been receiving telephone calls from parishioners especially the elderly who are afraid and are already thinking about their funerals and are making tentative arrangements! So it is business as usual with at the Vicarage.
As for me, I am quite enjoying the peace and quiet as we don’t have anyone knocking on the door except delivery people. It is also nice to have the house to ourselves as there are no meetings held at the Vicarage.
Sadly, we have had a couple of suicides in our parishes which is worrying.
Finally, as more and more people lose their jobs, I have put together some tinned food etc for anyone who might knock on the Vicarage door.
Yesterday afternoon, we heard that the Church of England has suspended all public worship making an exception for weddings and funerals (but with very strict guidelines). With ours being a multi parish benefice, the Mhinisteir has been inundated with all sorts of questions for Church wardens and parishioners alike. He has been very busy since yesterday trying to answer all these questions and trying to have a system in place.
Thankfully, so far we have been spared from the flu like symptoms. We even managed to go to our local Waitrose yesterday. I say our local but it is about an hour’s drive away! Our main reason for going to the Waitrose was to get a Fenjal Bath Oil and a tin of luxury hot chocolate for the Mhinisteir. The drive did us both a world of good. A lot of the shelves were empty and loo rolls were poking out of every other trolley!
This morning, we got our usual weekly Tesco delivery. Unfortunately, a lot of items were not available but I know we will not starve. The substitutes came no where close so I had to decline. Thankfully, the supplies that I had bought for the food bank were unaffected. There is apparently a huge shortage at the food bank.
With the lockdown, life in the vicarage feels a lot calmer. Long may it continue! Not the lockdown but the calmness.
This week, I treated myself to a copy of the Christmas edition of the Goodhousekeeping magazine. How I have missed it!
One of the articles that stayed with me was how due to the current economic climate so many in our country are reliant on food banks.
To my shame, it is only in recent years that I have become a regular contributor to our local food bank. These days I buy our share of the food bank contribution when I do my monthly grocery shopping online. I set aside a small budget of £10 each month and buy the items that are urgently needed by the foodbanks – there is a list of urgent items required on their website.
I wanted to make sure that it costs me something so I started removing £10 worth of non essential items (like a nice box of chocolates etc) from my online shopping basket. Initially it was very difficult but now it is a lot easier even though I still feel the pinch!!!
Below is the link for the Trussell Trust who organise the foodbanks. Maybe you are already a contributor, if not I hope you will be able to play a role no matter how big or small not just this Christmas but on a regular basis.
Disclaimer: I am not paid by the Trussell trust to promote them.