Sending out (virtual) hugs to our telephone chat network

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Oh happy days! Earlier this week, the restrictions were lifted to the extent that we can now go out and about more freely and meet with friends and family. After the weeks of having to stay at home, the simple pleasure of going for a walk with a friend is a joy.

With the lifting of the restrictions, it’s easy to think that things are “back to normal” now, but COVID has not gone away.  We still need to be wary as the possibility of a ”second wave” lingers in the shadows. Services at St Andrew’s may have re-started, but they are quite different from before and it will still be some time before we can all worship together in church. 

During the last few months, our telephone chat network has provided a valuable link for people within the St Andrew’s community who have not been able to meet up with friends or family. Our callers will continue to keep in touch, keeping the conversation alive, whilst we cannot yet all be together in church.

The Wardens and our Chaplain, Revd. Paul Brice want to express our gratitude and admiration for all the wonderful callers in our chat network. It’s hard to come up with a set of words that does this, so in the meantime we are sharing the following article, written by Kathryn Wallace*, and sending them all a virtual hug to thank them for all that they have been doing.

It was a blistering hot day in the Hundred Acre Wood, and sparks of sunlight spun and scattered through the branches of the trees as Pooh and Piglet set out from their respective houses. Purposefully, they walked through the forest, heading to a small clearing they knew very well, where they would – at a two metre distance apart, and of course strictly adhering to the permitted guidelines – meet, for the first time in over two months, face to face.

When Pooh walked into the clearing, at first the sunshine was so bright that he couldn’t make out a thing, and had to raise his arm to shade his eyes. Then:
“Oh!” said Pooh, as all of a sudden he saw the small, familiar, and oh so reassuring figure of his best friend, standing there, waiting for him.
And: “Oh!” said Piglet, who equally couldn’t think of anything to say at all as he watched Pooh come into view, and his little heart felt like it might fly clean out of his body with happiness.

For a time, there was silence, as the two friends stood there, beaming at one another.
“It’s you,” said Piglet, grinning from ear to ear.
“It is,” said Pooh, who found that all of a sudden his voice wasn’t quite as reliable as it might usually have been. “It’s me, Piglet. It’s me.”
“I have missed you SO much,” they both said together.

“I wish,” said Pooh, “that it didn’t have to be like this. You know” – and he gestured to the space between them. “This. All I want to do right now, Piglet, is to give you the biggest hug in the world. And I can’t. Because: this.” And he pointed to the space dividing them, once again.
“You know, Pooh,” said Piglet, in a casual kind of way. “There’s something I’ve discovered, in the last two months. And that’s that a hug isn’t quite what I thought it was.”
“What do you mean?” asked Pooh, scratching his head. 
Well,” continued Piglet. “Of course, a hug can be exactly what you’re describing, which is physically wrapping your arms around another person. Or pig. Or bear. And I am so, so looking forward to the moment when we can do just that.
“But, during these strange few weeks, I’ve also realised that a hug can be lots of other things.

“It can be a phone call from the people you love. It can be kind words and gentle reassurances. It can be a card through the letterbox, or a message left when you’re least expecting it. And, on a day like today, one of the best kind of hugs of all can be a walk through the forest, with the sun shining down and your best friend by your side.”

“So?” he asked Pooh. “What do you reckon? Shall we go and have that hug?”
“Oh yes please,” said Pooh fervently.

And with that, off they went, the two of them through the woods, striding side by side. Always two metres apart, with the sun on their backs, talking as though they would never stop, and Pooh couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this happy.

*This article was originally published by Kathryn Wallace on 26th May 2020on her blog site which can be found at,
I have shamelessly copied it in full – if you enjoy reading it, please do take a look at Kathryn’s blog* and maybe even buy her book!

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy Kathryn’s books (available on Amazon!), “Winning at Life: The perfect pick-me-up for the exhausted parent” and “Absolutely Smashing It: When #fml means family.”

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