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Vicar's column

Are you one of the lucky ones who has managed to book a UK break this summer? For the second summer running, holidays are at a premium and somewhat precarious, especially now people are getting pinged left, right and centre on their test and trace apps.

Whether we have actually contracted it or not, we are all so worn out by Covid 19. Trying to keep pace of the ever-changing guidance and, worse still, now that the government has lifted the lid on the restrictions whilst the number of cases soars, organisations are now left to figure out for themselves what responsible measures should remain in place. All those risk assessments…

“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” Jesus says to his disciples in Mark’s gospel. How enticing. Jesus recognises the basic human need for rest and recovery. The pattern of work and rest is built into the fabric of creation, set out in the Genesis creation narrative. God rested on the seventh day and instructed humans to do so. The story gives us a pattern and principle for our own lives. It is not only physical rest that we need but also spiritual refreshment. The Sabbath was not only a time to refrain from work but also to worship God. Today we often separate the two. We think of going on holiday for pleasure or going to church or on a retreat to spend time to focus on God but a holiday can also be an opportunity for spiritual renewal if we approach it mindfully.

Jesus was filled with compassion for the people around him. He was constantly giving of himself to meet their needs. Yet, he also sets a good example of making time to be alone with God and to recharge his batteries. I hope that whether you are holidaying at home or managing to get away this summer, you can create the space you need for physical, mental and spiritual recuperation.

Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell