As the coronavirus pandemic continues, faith remains an important part of a lot of people’s lives but what impact is the pandemic having on beliefs and communities?
We spoke to Margaret Barnes who is a retired Town Planner and lives in Halifax. She has given decades of service to Calderdale Interfaith. She is also a member of the St. Andrew’s Development Committee and has worked tirelessly, even during lockdown to raise funds to replace an inefficient and unsustainable 1960’s building. They are £100,000 short of their million-pound target.
Margaret said: “I was brought up in a Methodist Christian home. So I attended Sunday School and church with my parents all my childhood and teenage years. Following the beliefs of Christianity was initially following the 10 commandments given to Moses and the teachings of Jesus.
“Later I realised that being a Christian was not just following rules but having a personal relationship with a loving God who wants only the best for the world – and for me. I’ve tried to remember this always. So for me, I need to be doing good for others, particularly those worst affected by poverty, hunger, injustice.”
During the pandemic, Margaret has tried to look out for people affected by loneliness too. She says technological developments such as Zoom and WhatsApp made such a difference in being able to keep in contact with my family and friends but also with people living on their own. To me, that’s all part of following Jesus’ words ‘to share God’s love by helping others.’
She added: “My church has made great efforts to make sure that Zoom Worship has continued and that contact and support have been given to church family members with places like the Food Drop-in still being helped. I hope that gives you a small impression of what Christianity means for me!”