The 2020 pandemic year, particularly Christmas, brought so many challenges to our community. Many folk across town made every effort to reach out to shielded or vulnerable people with sewing, cooking, errands, making calls, shopping and entertaining (even sending out Father Christmas on a tractor). It was hit or miss whether we would see our loved ones in the lead up to Christmas or even on Christmas Day. Loneliness, depression and food poverty tried to get the better of folk but thanks to the goodwill of neighbours these issues were eased.
Particular thanks maybe due to the many volunteers from the churches across the town who also stepped out in faith to try to share what they had to offer. Here are just some of the activities churches created for the community using their volunteers: The Abergavenny Foodbank: Community Heroes Awards; Carol Services online; Light Up Abergavenny initiative; Nativity Town Trail; indoor prayer and art space; a Christmas C.A.L.L line for a friendly chat; Christmas meal kits/hampers; live music in town; distanced carol singing outside our front doors; regular thoughts for the day on YouTube; online coffee hours; online children’s events and a book club.
It’s not normally appropriate for the church to boast about such things. In pandemic times however, it’s an opportunity for church leaders such as Chris Vaz, Jonathan Thomas, Mike Ormond and others to be allowed to say a big thank you for all the hard work so many church members and friends put into ensuring the impact of a Covid Christmas was minimised for many across the town. Thank you to all those who shared skills, time and money to help others.
Christmas is centred around the nativity story and the little baby who gave up so much. That baby’s example motivates this type of action from churches. In 2021 there will be lots of opportunities to meet up, share and serve Abergavenny online and in person (eventually). If you want to keep up to date with what’s happening within churches during lockdown, please look out for their websites, YouTube Channels, Facebook/Twitter pages and What’sApp groups. Everyone is welcome to join in! Some websites for contact details include