Reflecting on months of ministry during Covid
Hi everyone, Sue here.
I just wanted to send an update to you to let you know what is happening in Salford and how we have journeyed through these strange and difficult few months under Covid-19 restrictions.
Well, along with Longsight Community Church and many other churches and community hubs we had to temporarily close the doors to our regular rental groups who used the building during the week. This was a difficult thing to observe as I was so aware that for many of the group leaders their activity was part or whole of their financial income; the impact was going to be significant on many levels.
In addition to the rental groups ceasing we had to close down the Naz café, craft session, big screen movie sessions, recycled clothing outlet and the weekly prayer and Bible study. This was, as you can appreciate, very sad and difficult as the café is such a vital social and support link for many members of the community. This was made all the more difficult as I knew that everyone involved would miss one another and the special, comfortable, and safe space we have created together.
What we were able to do was keep the food pantry service open. This has been and remains a very vital support for many local residents and it was important for me that the Naz doors remained opened at a time when the community was in crisis.
Due to the increased risks around Covid and social gatherings I decided that the volunteers could have a well deserved rest and I would manage the food pantry and the building on my own until such time as the risks were reduced. The regular food pantry users were telephoned weekly by myself and were given a day/time allocation for doing a shop, thus ensuring that there was only one other person in the building at any time other than me and with social distancing measures in place. Home food deliveries were made to those folk who were unable to come out of their homes.
This new adaptation to service delivery seems to have worked well and it’s been such a blessing to be have been able to maintain weekly contact with people during these last months.
In addition to the food pantry activities I decided to use the time to repaint the internal rooms and halls in the building. It really needed an internal face lift but I was unable to do this massive task previously whilst the building was busy with group activities. So, with brush and paint in hand, and with the vital help of Pete one day every fortnight (ceiling and high walls) we managed to get over 2 thirds of the building completely repainted. You can see some of our work in the gallery below. We think it looks fab!
In September, due to changes in Covid restrictions the Naz was able to think about opening its doors once again to its regular rental groups. Currently we have 4 groups using the building during the week and it’s just wonderful to hear the sound of other peoples’ voices in the building. Naturally we have had to work through Covid risk assessments and have everything in place to ensure we are Covid secure (as much as anyone can be).
I have had some really good initial conversations with various group leaders wanting to use the building in Autumn – ESOL , Domestic Violence and Refugee/asylum mothers and childrens’ groups. It feels so good to be connected to people again from the community and seeing the Naz welcoming people under its roof!
So, that’s it for now from the Naz. A sincere thank you to those who have kept and keep us in prayer. There is much to be thankful for but there is also much to pray for. Please continue to hold the Naz in your hearts and prayers and below are just some things you can be praying for.
Until next time, Sue.
- Wisdom in re-opening the building and managing it effectively in the midst of Covid restrictions and criteria.
- For the potential opportunities of new groups coming into the Naz during the autumn time. The work they do through these groups is so essential and much needed. We hope that the Naz can be home for their work.
- For volunteers and their own individual needs. Especially thinking of Clive and Grace Burrows as they are valuable members of our volunteer family.
- Continued work in the local community through food pantry and the conversations, contacts had through this ministry.
- Strength to continue and finish the internal painting project at the Naz.
- Continued shared vision and hope for Gods work here in Salford.