“Don’t Forget the Furloughed”, says Chaplain Alison

In her Evensong sermon for Pentecost (click here to listen), Marketors’ Chaplain The Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce addresses the psychological effects of lockdown.

She considers herself fortunate that her office is located in St Bride’s crypt, underneath the Rectory. Every day, she can leave her home space and go to work. It’s important to have purpose, meaning and structure in each day she says, to be able to function properly.

So spare a thought for those who have been furloughed or made redundant and who now have little reason to get up in the morning. They may have always wanted a peaceful existence, but the reality is that it’s only OK for short periods – it’s not a path to a flourishing life.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “A permanent holiday is a good definition of Hell!”

At Pentecost, like those abandoned at home, we’re reminded that our life of faith is not just one of quiet contemplation. The Holy Spirit can be calm, but is also a rushing wind. We need some discomfort to be both motivated and to grow, so we can discover who we are. As Alison says, surrendering yourself to God is both dangerous and wonderful – it’s not a quiet life!

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