“Home” has become something of a key word during these months.   Being at home has increasingly been a feature of television advertisements and programmes, some of which have been rather better than others!   Amongst the best for me as someone with very little artistic ability, was  Grayson Perry’s Art Club which was filmed from the Perry home and studio.   It was a joyful affirmation of kindness.

For people who seek a place to worship, the Synagogue or Temple or Mosque or Church can become a spiritual home.  It may hold memories of past occasions and people, and worship offered there has a significance to it which had been absent over the past months.   

This has been as true for us at Rose Hill as for anyone else – we have missed being able to be together in our worship-home, and we are now looking at what needs to happen to enable our place of worship to be opened-up in the coming weeks.  

In the Old Testament part of the Bible, there are a number of narratives about people being taken into exile.   They were removed not only from their homes, but also from their places of worship, and they lament this loss.   Sadly this ancient picture continues in our world today as people are displaced for reasons of economics or warfare.   Then in our own community we know of those for whom home is not a comfortable place to be, and these last months may have made the situation worse for them.    As we hear about different circumstances, we can empathise even if we have not shared the same experiences because we know how important home is.

Very gradually, we now seem to be moving into a situation where most people can go out for longer periods of time, and our places of worship can begin to be carefully opened-up.   I suspect that these developments will be accompanied by all sorts of feelings which might not have been predicted three months ago.    

As we move forward in our experiences, perhaps with joy, perhaps with apprehension, I would hope and pray for a world where all may feel safe, wherever they call home.

With every blessing, Stephen