This time last year, news of the increase and severity of the Covid-19 pandemic was rising and we were watching events unfold in Italy with increasing anxiousness. It wasn’t long before our own lockdown in the UK was announced and started on 23rd March 2020. Even then, few of us imagined that 1 year on we would still be living with different stages of lockdown, school closures and losses.
As we approach 23rd March 2021, we wanted to mark the year that has passed, the losses of life, livelihoods and freedoms. To be thankful for the good that has been evident, the coming together and neighbourly care. And look to the future with hope, as we head towards eased restrictions, we pray that this, although slow, is a return to life free of Covid restrictions. To physically mark this we are donating a tree to be planted in the community that will grow with us as community life continues and will also provide a place to remember those not still journeying with us.
We will record the planting during the day and it will be part of a community service that will be livestreamed that evening at 7pm. Join us on Zoom (Meeting ID: 846 3190 6283) or watch Youtube Live at https://bit.ly/TreeService. We will host for half an hour with a range of voices involved from across the community including Riverside Muslim Association, George Carey CofE Primary School and others.
The planting will be on 23rd March and since we won’t be able to gather we are opening up nominations for someone in our community to plant the tree on our behalf. Nominate a neighbour, friend, worker, who lives in Thames Ward that you want to celebrate, recognise and say thank you to for their contribution during this past year or what they represent for you. They might have been one of our key workers who have kept serving when many of us have been at home. They might be a parent who has been under huge strain juggling work and home school commitments and perservered. They might be someone who has battled with their own illness, physical or mental and getting up each day has been full of determination. They might be someone who has looked out for the neighbours and gone above and beyond. It can be anyone.
Fill out the google form here: https://bit.ly/TreeNominate by Thursday 18th March and we will draw a name out of the hat, to have someone plant the tree on 23rd March.
We would also love this to be the start of a wider conversation about how we might mark the pandemic and look to the future together as a community. It might be with ideas of creating an interactive memorial to sit alongside the tree, or a community celebration when we can gather again. Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org or connect through socials and we’d love you to be a part of that conversation (no faith required!)