April 2021

Firstly, and most importantly, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Easter ‘Bags of Love’. Thanks to everyone’s generosity we managed to pack and distribute 3500 bags, which meant that we could give a bag to every child from the schools who had provided artwork for the Emerging Hope Easter Trail. To you all, however you supported this work – thank you! Your kindness and generosity enabled families to receive the message of hope and love at Easter.

The children at a few of the schools have written thank you letters which I will pop up on the Facebook page, others have emailed to say thank you. We were inundated with artwork and cannot thank the children and staff teams enough for providing such super and thoughtful pictures. If you have time to pop into the Galleries, then please do – the artwork will be in shops until Sunday 9th May.

The rest of the month has passed in a bit of a whirlwind bringing the team unexpected experiences, some that have brought forth joy, like the Easter Trail, whilst others have given us reason to pause to reflect, grieve for what has been lost or not meant to be, and then to look forward with hope. This poem is called ‘Shifting Sands’ and we wanted to share it, especially during this weird time. I wonder how it speaks to you.

The ground beneath our feet is unfamiliar
That is not to say we’ve not been here before
Our frames of reference may have shifted,
Or indeed still be shifting
But may you bring us in to land on the un-shore
May we not mourn for what is lost but find new form from what it was
Not see before as something gone but something we can springboard from,
What if we saw this new terrain as new training ground
What if it’s not the way we came so much the way we‘re changed that counts
It’s not how we got here but how we get from here that takes us now
May we embrace that close relationship of faith and doubt
When every single one of us has come from the unknown
As we re-enter may we sense that we’ve come home
What if instead of investing in the specifics of the route
We could remember what we did and how we felt that got us through
What if the measure wasn’t what we knew but what we chose to do
What if the limit wasn’t if we could but if we wanted to
When the ground moves beneath us,
may it not be beneath us to be moved
May all that is contained in you make you able to continue
The fact this is unsettling is barely worth a mention
Since when has settling been the intention?
Though it is tempting to attempt to shape things how they were before
May we be brave enough to crave for something more
When every single one of us has come from the unknown
As we re-enter may we sense that we’ve come home