Rachel Cottell, Community Engagement Coordinator at Badgeworth Court Care Centre, who is also a licensed lay worship leader in the Greenway Benefice, shares the joy and support that faith gives in lockdown.
“Coronavirus came, stopping many activities in a busy care home, but church has continued for the residents of Badgeworth Court Care Centre. The fortnightly Badgeworth Praise services, valued by many residents, have been able to continue.
“Easter came not long after lockdown, and a celebration of Easter was held in the garden, with residents socially distanced and the worship leader wearing a face covering. Music was played, the Easter story was shared, and being outside meant that those residents in rooms overlooking the garden could also share in the sense of worship. It was noticed by the worshipping group that being out in the beautiful sunshine in the garden made the Easter messages of darkness to light and looking for new life even more meaningful.
“As it became possible to resume indoor gatherings of small groups, the regular pattern of fortnightly services has begun again, with residents delighted to be able to hear and respond to the very familiar words of their regular praise service. Singing has resumed too, with the sharing of well-known hymns and choruses. There have been a few small changes to reflect the times we are living in – we are not able to welcome our benefice worshippers who are so good at befriending residents, helping with finding the hymn words and keeping the discussion going; our worship leader wears a face covering; and our prayer cross sharing box has been replaced by palm crosses, prayer cards or Bible verse and pictures, all of which can be taken back to rooms after the service.
“Whilst we all look forward to welcoming friends, family, the congregation of Holy Trinity, Badgeworth and the local community back into Badgeworth Court Care Centre, we are reassured that our residents are enjoying their praise services and hearing the stories, prayers and hymns which do so much to reassure and calm all of us in a fractured world.”