Losing Community

Musing yesterday on the story of Billy Elliot…

Set in the 1984 miners’ strike, it’s about a mining community in County Durham. Mining was more than just a job, it was an identity, a way of life, a community that was being lost.

Musing on losing community…

The story seems to have particular poignancy as in this last year many communities have changed or disappeared …

Work-place communities have changed as people have worked from home;  support communities – like Slimming World groups – have been suspended; pub communities are on hold; sports clubs aren’t meeting; our local theatre community has ceased to function… and so the list could continue.

For some of us the loss of church communities has been significant. Friends aren’t meeting together on a Sunday, they’re not gathering in homes midweek, they’ve ceased working together in youth groups or community projects…

Many have used their phones more, interacted on social media or developed Zoom skills… but it’s not the same.  

Five related musings…

  1. Our Covid-world emphasises the importance of isolation; we need to remember the problems associated with isolation – particularly in withdrawing individuals from their community groups.
  • It is within community that we discover and live out our roles and identity; with the absence of community many have lost their sense of identity, or are seeking to live out a role that no longer exists.
  • It’s in community that we receive love, care, and practical and emotional support. There’s someone to look out for us and be concerned about us.
  • Community takes us out of ourselves. Isolated we are in danger of just focusing ourselves – our needs and problems; we are better people when we think of others.
  • Many are saying ‘when we get back to normal’. The miners discovered that they couldn’t recreate a dying community. They had to discover a new way of living out community. Perhaps we shall too.

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