Reflecting on the pandemic a year on The Revd Richard Teal and Carolyn Lawrence, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have issued this message ahead of the anniversary of the first lockdown:
"The past year has asked much of us as individuals, families and communities. For many hundreds of thousands of us it has been a time of immense grief for the loss of loved ones. For others the economic uncertainty and restrictions on our day to day activities have taken a huge toll on mental wellbeing. Others may be living with the effects of long Covid not knowing how long it will last. We pray that this anniversary will be a time of deep reflection, prayer and a time to process all that has passed. We also mark a solemn time in Lent just ahead of Holy Week. As we begin the journey to the cross, let us take comfort in the knowledge that we are never alone, that Jesus is walking with us and that our hope lies in Him.
"We invite you to join us at 12.45pm on Monday 22nd March Live on Facebook where we will offer a reflection, prayer and a short time of togetherness to acknowledge what we have all been through and ask for God's guidance as we face a hopeful but uncertain time ahead.
"And please join the national Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23rd March when there will be a minute's silence at midday and an invitation to join in lighting your doorstep at 8pm that night."