We’ve survived lockdown once, we can do it again

In 2018, I did a sponsored walk of 22 miles over three of the highest peaks in Derbyshire to raise money for a community building project at Greenhill Methodist Church.

It was tough.

Despite it being in August, we had to deal with swirling wind, heavy rain.

Two friends came with me.

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Encouragement from friends helped the Reverend Jonathan Haigh through his 22-mile walk - he says we need the same support to get through tier-three lockdown

By the time we had reached the second peak, I was already aching and very tired.

The thought of facing yet another peak felt like one too many.

My friends were huge encouragers, reminding me of where we had come and what we had already achieved.

“If you have done it before, you can do it again."

The Reverend Jonathan Haigh

This memory has helped me to consider how I am going to face tier three of the pandemic restrictions.

I remember how easy it would have been, on my walk, to give up after the second peak, but how important those words of encouragement were to help me to get through.

It has since dawned on me that my friends had been through the same trials as I had.

However, despite their shared struggles, they found it within themselves to encourage me.

I think it is the same for us now.

We are all facing the same trials and it is affecting all of us in different ways.

We need each other to offer encouragement.

This can be done both with words and with actions.

One of the central qualities of Christianity is being in community.

St Paul taught the Thessalonians: “Therefore encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1Thessalonians 5vs 11.

The power of community is the common desire to encourage one another.

It does not change the fact that we have to travel through our present circumstances, but it does renew our energy and help us to know that we are not on our own.

“So be truly glad, there is a wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.” 1Peter1vs6.

The Reverend Jonathan Haigh is a minister at Victoria Hall Methodist Church, Sheffield city centre, and Greenhill Methodist Church – see greenhillmethodistchurch.com