Learning to Adapt.
Before I trained for ministry in the Church of England I was a Project Manager with a housing association, and part of my role was to adapt tenant’s homes when their needs changed through age and disability. In every situation people had to adapt to a new way of living with the aid of various modifications to their homes. I felt very privileged to be part of a team who helped to give independence to many people.
Today each and everyone of us has had to adapt to a new way of living. Young, middle aged and older, everyone has been affected by the Corona virus. As a church we have had to adapt due to social distancing. Our normal patterns and ability to meet together are on hold and we are having to find news ways to adapt. This has meant that for Sunday worship we are live streaming our services here on the You Tube Channel St Barnabas Church Istead Rise. This has been a whole new experience for me and the Church family. To help facilitate worship we are producing each week a service sheet with readings, responses and song words, and if you would like to go on the mailing list please email here. For those who do not have access to the internet, we have set up a local call telephone number 01474 559494 that can be called to hear the whole of last Sunday’s worship service.
At 9am in the morning between Monday to Thursday there is usually a group of people who meet in our Church to read some of the bible, discuss and then pray for the community and the world. Since the lockdown one of our Church members Jenny Douse, has transferred this to WhatsApp and we now have more people taking part in this than ever before. As you can imagine we have had so much more to pray for than ever. In the midst of so much tragic news across our country we have had amazing answers to prayer. We were asked to pray for Paul, a Radiographer at Darent Valley Hospital, who was very ill in intensive care. We prayed as did many others, and Paul made an amazing recovery and before he left hospital he proposed to his partner Katy and she said yes! You can see Paul leaving hospital here below.
Today, we lined the corridor for one of our own and clapped this frontline NHS staff home, following a 16-day stay at Darent Valley Hospital. Paul is a 42 year-old long-serving NHS Radiographer (24 years of service) who was admitted to Darent Valley Hospital on the 3rd April with COVID-19. He developed a supra-rare complication of COVID infection, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which gave rise to total muscular paralysis of the whole body. This is a first known case of its kind in Kent, if not the country.Paul walked out of ITU and the hospital today having proposed to his girlfriend Katy via FaceTime when he was still in the ITU, where he stayed for 11 days. He thought he was in his last leg; and he took a deep breath and mouthed the proposal through his tracheostomy tube. To no one's surprise, Katy accepted, to the immense delight of all the ITU staff looking after him. It was an extraordinary happy occasion to an otherwise sweaty hard-slog routines of ITU.Apart from intensive respiratory management, to the full credits of our Critical Care team, he was also treated with a ground-breaking therapy (on the advice of our expert Neurologists), an immunoglobulin infusion, a plasma extract from generous blood donations supplied by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NHSBT). Without this, Paul might have been on the ventilator for much longer. His rapid recovery is just short of a miracle.And what a fruitful and productive day at work. Perhaps that's what is driving our NHS staff working so hard everyday in caring for these patients. Dr Jonathan Kwan Divisional Medical Director
Posted by Darent Valley Hospital (DVH) on Sunday, 19 April 2020
When it comes to prayer we have even had a worship and prayer meeting on Zoom. It was so wonderful to be able to speak and see each other. The only downside was that during the worship people could mostly hear my voice!
I am sure many in Istead Rise will know about Welcome Club our club for the older members in the community. The leaders of Welcome Club, Chris Troy and Julie Whitmore have been keeping in touch with members and sending out quiz’s over the past few weeks.
When it comes to adapting I have to say it has been amazing to see how the community of Istead Rise has pulled together in these unprecedented times. I have heard countless stories of neighbours checking on each other to make sure they have what they need, and are not lonely or forgotten about. It has been great to see how Cllr Dakota Dibben has gathered a team to pick up prescriptions and shop for some of our elderly and vulnerable residents. It has been great to hear how the WI have been working to support people in the community. Also working hard has been our Community Warden, Angela Jarrett who has helped so many of our vulnerable residents with food, prescriptions and working with other agencies to support them at this time.
As I come to the end of this update can I reassure you of our prayers for the community of Istead Rise, for the Country and the World. If you need or want prayer, please use the email address above to call the vicarage on 01474 832403.
Revd Andrew Vaughan, Vicar St Barnabas Church
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