18th Mar 2020 @ 9:24 am

Father Stan Evans, Chaplain of the Anglican Church on Lanzarote, wrote the following message to Gazette readers yesterday. Find out more about the work of the church at www.lanzarotechurch.com

Our world has changed and will continue to change. What does the future hold for us all post-corona virus?

I approach my first anniversary on this beautiful island. It is a place one easily falls in love with – the island and its people. A dear friend and colleague has just sent me a message of support and concern but he states ‘if you are self-isolating – then the Canary islands are the perfect spot’.

So, dear friends, let us give thanks for all that is so good here. My real concern is for those who are alone and frightened by all that they hear. How strange it is, after 35 years in Ireland, to be here on St Patrick’s Day and to know that parades are cancelled and there is no celebration of the Mass to honour this revered Saint. People adhering to the two meter rule – no hugs or handshakes.

I think that what happens in loneliness is that we panic – we somehow see ourselves as isolated and distant from others, and then we really feel abandoned. And there are a lot of people very lonely because they literally feel abandoned – they feel nobody cares about them. There are also a lot of other people in relationships, in connection, who are cared for and loved, and they still feel lonely. Many people at this difficult time feel so lonely.

But as St Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans –

What are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord ‘.

Well – there is a message of HOPE – our world is being transfigured this very moment. We are being brought together in the most amazing way and we must start by loving our neighbour as ourselves – caring for and supporting one another as never before.

We are in Lent on our way to the foot of the cross – let us hope for a new awakening and a new beginning on that wonderful Easter morn……….

God bless you all,

Fr Stan Evans

Anglican Chaplain