Iona writes: Here in Hull, it has felt good to start a new academic year with more freedom returning to our activities. We have had a great summer, enjoying various days out with the families and young people we know, and it has been good to bring a renewed sense of fun and togetherness into all we do after the separation and isolation we have experienced.
Back in July we did a sponsored walk to raise money for our community garden. This was the first activity we did altogether after lockdown ending. It was a really fun day out and we appreciated spending time together.
Also in July was our annual beach trip. One family told us this was the first time they had left Hull since moving to the city (five years ago). There was a sense of hope fulfilled – an annual favourite happening, amazing weather and being all away as a big group.
All hands on deck at our Breakfast club! Relaxation in restrictions has made it much easier for everyone to ‘muck-in’ and help when needed.
I have been reflecting on ‘Holy hospitality’ and how Covid restrictions really interrupted the hospitality that we in Hull were so used to sharing with each other and with our community.
Jesus lived closely with his disciples and got close to those he met. He ate with people, washed their feet, laid hands on them, worked with them and even cooked for them and this kind of sharing life with others has been a marker of our activities here until Covid forced all that to stop. The beginning of this term has felt a special time coming back together again. We’ve been able to hold each other’s babies at our toddler group; children and families have eaten breakfast together at our breakfast club, rather than being separated and unable to interact; and we’ve started to plan for and look forward to new ways of sharing life together too. It’s been good to get close to people again, good to start sharing life in the ways that we’ve missed and get stuck into things with each other no longer at a distance.