This last year of lockdowns has been challenging for everyone. And we have certainly found it so. If it wasn’t for a regular commitment to caring for our grandchildren, we would have lost touch of what day it is.
During the twelve years when I was working in Scotland, I wrote over 1600 blog posts. I wouldn’t have time to do that now – that’s retirement for you. It was a big commitment but there were a couple of reasons why I did it. Partly as a diary – partly because when I came to Scotland I was relatively unknown to the people I was working with and it gave them access to what I was thinking and doing – partly because it was a way of climbing over the church wall and engaging with wider Scottish society or as we sometimes say being in the ‘public square’. It was also a kind of running commentary on the life of the church and the nature of leadership at that time.
I’ve been contentedly retired now for three and a half years. So I’m not the same person as I was when I retired in 2017. I have more time to read and longer to think. Some of what I write will come from that
And now is utterly different. I think Covid has changed almost everything – touched everything in ways that we could not have anticipated. It’s unsettled us and infused a tinge of fear – even as it locked us down and kept us apart from family and friends. It has closed churches so we can’t ‘do what we do’ – the long term impact of that is unknowable. Covid has also made an unholy alliance with Brexit to give a good shaking to what we call in ecumenical circles the ‘four nations’ of the British Isles and what politicians in London like to call ‘the nation’. But we need to begin thinking about how it will be ‘after Covid’.
There are many other issues to address and I am looking forward to exploring them. One of the benefits of being retired is that I have more time – time to read and explore in ways which would have been impossible before.
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