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passed the grim milestone of over 600 000 deaths worldwide – the
worst of the per capita death rates coming from these shores – whilst
the long-term effects of the world’s health, wealth, social structures
and religious practices can only be hypothesized. Many are suffering.
Many will suffer. This has, of course, always been true and whilst the
pandemic’s impact has been most sharply felt by those who
were already suffering at the hands of global inequalities, on an
individual level, the virus paid no heed to human-made borders, to
privilege or social status in its transmission. The truth of the
interconnectedness and interdependence of humanity – of all creation
– has never been so evident. And, through painted rainbows and
weekly clapping; through notes to neighbours and phone calls to
family; through daily acts of kindness and community, we have
embraced this truth, one that was always clear to see for some. Six
months in and with the knowledge that we won’t be ‘back to normal
by Christmas’, it’s time to reflect on how we have responded as
churches; where we are now; and how our church practices and
identity might (need to) develop as we go forward.

Where have we been?

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and

that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 3:16

We might summarize the last four months as the first phase in our
response to the pandemic – the phase in which our normal church

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