Happy days! Well almost. St Mary’s is partially open as of yesterday. The church will be open on Wednesdays and Sundays between 10-12 in the morning for private prayer. That means anyone is welcome to visit, sit and pray. There are restrictions of course. Social distancing being the main one – a system, designed by Rev David Moss, of “post it” stickers fixed to pews, shows people where they can sit. Hopefully this paper system will work.

. The Rev Steve Oram will be present at all times during opening and our verger, June Robbins, will – at a distance – welcome people at the door.

“Private prayer” is likely to be the order of the day for another 3 weeks or so, at which time further relaxation (probably when the Government reduces 2m distancing to 1m) could well take place. “Normal” services should follow shortly afterwards.

South Glos Trading Standards office reports that Covid 19 related scams and frauds are tailing off as life gets back to “normal”.

One of the joys of being a churchwarden is the unexpected phone call at 9pm on a Sunday evening. A member of the public had reported a crow tangled up in netting on the church roof. If there is one thing this churchwarden is terrified of, it’s birds, especially ones with flapping wings. Never mind, a creature in distress has to be helped, so with Margaret in tow for support, a very long ladder was placed up against the South wall, though it was only just long enough. The fledgling crow had somehow trapped itself in fibreglass insulation in the roof and trying to escape, was hanging upside down, flapping frantically. A parliament of crows, perhaps 15, circled above screeching with communal concern. Scissors cut the bird free and with Margaret then holding the terrified bird, the fibreglass was loosened from its leg. Freed, it hopped around for a minute or two before flying away to a nearby house where it crashed into the roof. Mum & Dad surrounded it and a few seconds later it was off again onto another roof. Sorry, can’t tell you whether or not there was a happy ending!

Returning to Covid 19 and its effect on our lives, the manager of Bristol Temple Meads was a revelation in pragmatism earlier this week. On Monday, all rail travellers were obliged to wear masks, but the news hadn’t reached everyone and quite a few turned up for their trains without a mask. Did he insist they be turned away? No, he and his staff did everything they could to help people who would otherwise have been stranded. What a great example of pragmatism, unlike so many “jobsworths” throughout society who revel in strictly, and often unnecessarily, applying  rules and regulations to no one’s benefit.

And now, your weekly dose of humour: A man visited the Holy Land with his mother-in-law. Sadly she died on only the 2nd day of their holiday. He made enquiries about funeral arrangements and the undertaker offered him a choice – bury your mother-in-law here, for £150, or ship her back to the UK for burial there at a cost of £5,000.

The man thought about it then said “I’ll send her home”. “But why?” asked the undertaker. The husband replied        ” Two thousand years ago a man died here and came back to life after 3 days. I just can’t take that chance.”