If like me, and you feel more of a natural affinity with the academic year, rather than the calendar year, then September always feels like the start of a new year. It is probably down to the fact that I have children of school age so the new school year is always talked about. Now don't get me wrong, I love the summer holidays and spending time with my children, but I have felt a sense of hopeful anticipation as September has arrived. The Covid figures are still scary and I know so many people are still understandably anxious but it is hard not to feel some sort of relief that things are starting back up and we are able to do the things we have missed. For me, welcoming people back into Susanna Wesley House is a huge part of that. It has made me so sad at times to see this amazing community resource sat empty, and although some of the work we do here has continued in other ways, sitting around the table with people, sharing food and conversation, is what I have missed the most. In the last couple of weeks, it has made my soul glad to be able to do this again, and yes, it looks different than it did prior to March 2020, but in essence it is still the same. I want to say that I am excited about what is ahead but it is with caution that we make decisions and plan for the future. We are tentatively dipping our toe in the water of this new way of being. So, if like me, September is your new year, I pray it will be a very happy one, with good food, good conversation, and good company. If you are in need of any of those things, do come and connect with us here at Susanna Wesley House.
We were pretty lucky with the weather for our Easter Trail on Easter Sunday, the sun was out and that meant so were the people and it was so lovely to hang out on the square with friends, neighbours and some people we met for the first time. The children had a lovely time running about, eating chocolate, and having fun. I felt really blessed to watch my own children playing with friends and there was a real sense of community. Just over a year a go at the start of the 1st lockdown, I remember feeling devastated that everything we were doing would stop but a year on, I am able to see that the community here has continued to grow and I am thankful to be a part of it. I think this Easter will be etched in my memory as a great time here in Castleward!
Our thoughts now turn to re-starting some of the activities here at SWH over the coming months. Personally, I've really missed the Thursday lunches as they were always a highlight of my week so I cannot wait until we can have them again. Obviously, Covid has forced us to rethink some of what we do and rather than going back to how everything was before, we are thinking about how we do things differently, or perhaps better. So for now, we are thinking and praying about the ways in which we can move forward with Susanna Wesley House whilst continuing to serve our community and offer support to those in need in Derby.
So, Easter is technically over and we are already looking ahead to the next season, and what the coming months may bring. However, what if we just linger over Easter a little longer? We are so quick to more on from the celebrations and forget what it was all about. We were so blessed to have such wonderful weather over the Easter bank holiday weekend and it feel like a real holiday, a real celebration. The park in the square was busy, the smell of barbeques was in the air, life felt good! Now, the weather is back to being grey, as I write this I look over to the park and there is no-one there, the workmen are back on the building site opposite, the holiday is over and life goes on. Yet, we are determined to try and maintain that Easter mindset, we want to continue to connect with all the lovely folk of Castleward (what is it about a bank holiday that makes us all talk to each other more?) and this is why we are planning 'The Big Lunch', a great opportunity to connect with one another here in the heart of Derby. The good weather may be gone (for now) but the community spirit can remain. Do drop us a line if you want to know more....