26th March 2020
Dear members of our community,
We write to you at a time that is unprecedented in the recent history not just of our town, but of our nation – a time that will help to shape how we understand ourselves for years, decades and (perhaps) centuries to come. For many, we realise that the last couple of weeks have been disorienting, and times of anxiety. There have been many examples of people giving selflessly of themselves and their time to the benefit of others. There are stories of those whose actions have demonstrated ‘acts of thoughtful kindness that will help to get us through this thing’. There are also stories, of some who (perhaps understandably at such a time of change and turbulence in our nation) have not acted so selflessly at a time when the whole community needs to come together for the good of all.
Part of our nation’s character is ‘to help others as ourselves’, something that is also at the heart of the life and work of the churches of this town and underpins much of our self-understanding as a society – although somewhat weakened in recent decades. However, whether by virtue of personal faith, or of a feeling for the good of others, or because it promotes the good of all (including ourselves) this need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and think of them is a quality that our town needs more than ever at this time. If each of us can live this out in this difficult time, then we will build a stronger, more loving and more caring community for the future – not just our future, but future generations of this beautiful place.
Already many are acting to serve others – those in the health service and caring professions, those maintaining the public services and caring for children of key workers and those doing their best against great odds to ensure the survival of our town’s many small businesses. Many churches and charities are seeking to play their part and support our community in prayer and with acts of service; a new ‘army’ of volunteers has been put in place throughout the nation to help the vulnerable and the Town Council is operating to keep services in place and to co-ordinate and distribute information.
It must be said that the demands placed on the Community Larder have been far greater than normal, and have been matched by much needed donations from people throughout our community, and people stand ready to help those in need not just in the town of Louth but in its surrounding villages.
Without doubt the coming weeks are going to be unbelievably challenging for all of us, a period that we hope will pass quickly. We will all have to do without things which we are used to being normal. But in the midst of this, we have the chance not just to survive, but to look ahead so that our town comes through this crisis as a more loving and caring community that understands the needs of all its members better.
If you are a person of faith, we invite you to hold our town of Louth and its surrounding villages in your prayers at this time, and we encourage all the people of our town to look at their neighbour and see how they can help them so that none in our community go through this time of trial unloved and uncared for, but that we all grow closer.
Yours, with best wishes for the challenging times we live in,
The Rev’d Canon Nick Brown
Rector of Louth
Councillor Fran Treanor
Mayor of Louth