Nurturing lifelong friendships
First year ordinand and 'Social Deacon' Victoria Lawrence saw both the nature and long-term importance of her role within the community change as we entered lockdown.
As I write this, England is in the midst of its third national lockdown, pubs are closed, you can’t get a hair cut and parents are having to once again take on the unenviable task of becoming schoolteachers to their children. You may be wondering how can those within the Ridley community possibly experience a sense of connectedness with one another?
Over this past Lent term, I, along with two fellow first year ordinands, assumed the role of ‘Social Deacon’, tasked with creating opportunities for the whole Ridley community to get to know each other better and spend time with people who perhaps they haven’t met yet.
We first years are looking forward to a day when we too can experience the joys of Thursday's family day at Ridley (it is the stuff of legend!), but in the meantime, to compensate, we’ve launched ‘Cake n Chat’, which so far we’ve found to be a real joy, as each week ordinands, spice members and staff spend time (on zoom) in an informal setting, enjoying each other’s company and sharing in some great conversation and cakes. In the business of academic life, it’s so important that people have a space to connect and form relationships and we’ve been thrilled that Cake n Chat, alongside a monthly games’ night have played a small role in enabling that to happen.
During lockdown, a small number of us have remained on site and formed one household, and whilst participating in our online social events, we have enjoyed some smaller in-house events such as an ice cream party, Ceilidh dancing and a scavenger hunt. Once again, these have been much valued opportunities in enabling friendships and a sense of community to be formed.
We believe that during our training it is vital for friendships to be established, as companionship always deepens joy, so as we look ahead to a day when we shall leave Ridley, these friendship we are developing now will play a prominent role in nurturing us through our ordained ministries.