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No Time


I woke up late one morning

And rushed into the day.

With all the jobs I had to do,

I didn’t have time to pray.


Hurrying children up to school

Who dragged their feet on the way,

And the day was getting hotter, still,

I just didn’t have time to pray.


Walking dogs into the park,

There wouldn’t be time to play,

I was in such a hurry,

That I couldn’t have time to pray.


The hours were getting busier,

I had cakes to make that day,

And in my haste I burnt one,

Now there would never be time to pray.


I dashed through the housework,

Missing out lunch on the way,

Waging war on dust and dirt,

I just couldn’t stop to pray.


By the evening I was tired,

And exhausted I laid on my bed,

It was then that I remembered

What is was that God had said.


“When your life is getting harder,

And you need help with any task,

Just take a few minutes to speak to me,

You only have to ask.”


I woke up the next morning,

Thinking about the new day,

I put my hands together,

And took a few moments to pray!






I quietly opened the doors to the church and thought, “There's no-one there.”

It was strange, they did not see me. Or if they did, they didn't care.

There was an air about my church; I'd never experienced before.

I was frightened, I can tell you, but something led me through the door.


Over in the choir stalls there's jolly Mary-Jayne.

Laughing with Ann Roberts who I thought I'd never see again.

Roger's deep in conversation with Bob Chambers and Margaret Lawford,

And near the vestry, Duncan's looking for his drum-kit in a cupboard.

Leonora's noticed him having trouble with it

And in her own sweet way asks. "Are you alright?" And helps a little bit.


Harold Ullyatt's sitting over there, he seems in a little trance.

I bet he's thinking of his wife and how they use to dance.

Oooo, look who’s standing with lovely Helen and hubby Trevor.

They’re reminiscing with Betty Watson, same surname, but not related, I’m sure


It’s Margaret Elliott. "Hey Margaret!  Look it's me!"

She's collecting hymn books with Madge Forrest, then they'll make the tea.

The Women’s Network is busy organising June Emerson's famous strawberry tea.

Gwen Metcalf says she'll bake some scones, she's such a busy bee.


Jean Shelley's chatting to Ann Chambers and Beattie Gladwin too.

All happy with their jobs for June's garden, there's always tons to do.

Shirley Coates and husband Bryan are setting out their stall

With leaflets for leukaemia research to give to one and all.



Jean Jackson's sharing memories with dapper Sidney. What a man!

And with them it's Bill Franklin. I can only just remember him.

Busy on the platform Betsy Ginn is getting ready for

Her sermon on Sunday, I wonder what she's got in store ….. for us.


It's a parade service and Gillian Speed makes sure the Girl Guide flag is on display.

While Joan Rowe moves out for Thelma. No wheel-chair now. Don't get in her way!


They don't see me there.

I close the door.

I'm not wanted …….




August 2020


Jesus and Zacchaeus


Zacchaeus was an important man.

He oversaw the collection of tax.

He tried to see who Jesus was

but all he saw was backs.


He was such a little man

that he couldn’t see through the crowd.

So when he saw a sycamore tree

he made his voice very loud.


“Move out of my way, please.  Let me through.

I’m going to climb that tree!

I need to see the Teacher

so please make way for me!


When Jesus walked up to that tree

He looked up and told Zac to come down.

“Hurry, Zacchaeus, I must stay at your house

in the far side of Jericho town.”


Zacchaeus then jumped down to the ground

and welcomed the Lord with a grin.

But the people started grumbling,

“Why’s He staying with a man who sins?”


Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord,

“I’ll give half my goods to the poor,

and if I have cheated anyone,

I’ll pay him back for sure.”


Jesus said, “This man descends from Abraham

And he’s just gained salvation.

I’ve come to seek and save the lost

of each and every nation. 


August 2020

Thoughts about what I miss most. Kate Woodcock

The cupboards are full of crisps and snacks,
And chocolate biscuits in the tin.
It's all because of lockdown
That the children can't come in.

There are no train tracks on the floor
No hazards over which to fall,
It's all because of lockdown
That the children do not call.

There is no tinkling laughter
Of happiness at play,
It's all because of lockdown
That the children cannot stay.

The house is strangely quiet,
No music and no words.
It's all because of lockdown
That the children can't be heard.

We can watch our own television,
And use our mobile phone,
It's all because of lockdown 
The teenagers aren't at home.

We thought we'd like a peaceful house,
And time spent on our own
But it's all because of lockdown,
That the house is not like home.

We want to hear the laughter,
Noise and clutter all around,
Please let's come out of lockdown
So the family can come round!!!!

What Lockdown Means to Me


Church not open for the foreseeable.

Outdoor exercise and fresh air.

Random acts of kindness.

Opportunity to learn new skills.

No visitors during lockdown.

Anxious thoughts every day.

Video calls via Zoom in my living-room.

Infection rate. Is it up or down today?

Rainbows and yellow hearts in windows.

Unprecedented times.

Seeing friends waving across the street.


Protect the NHS and the Shielded.

Anti-bac gel, mask and gloves.

New normal.

Daily Coronavirus Briefings.

Enjoying Class challenges, quizzes and tales.

Matt, Boris, Chris and Patrick.

Is it okay to ……. ?

Caring calls, candles, and camomile tea.



June 2020


Reflections of the last few weeks

I want a lockdown!

We remember hearing on the News

Everyday updates and everyone’s views

We tried to grasp what this would mean

All our lives would change due to Covid-19


The Leadership Team said we’d meet soon

But not face to face – on something called Zoom!

What the heck is that? We all asked Tim.

It’s a bit like Facetime – while we’ve got to stay in.


Well obviously Rachel knew just what to do

And Tim had some lessons so he knew it too.

Those first few times it was a real pain.

But we got used to it when we tried again.


‘’What on earth is a Virtual’’ asked Mr T.

Well there won’t be a patient to actually see.

You ring the lady while she’s at home -

And she describes her problems on the phone!


Three ladies have arrived, who were having a call.

And some with appointments haven’t come at all!

Have you gelled your hands, have you come very far?

Is your partner waiting in the car?


So with the changes in clinic and no operations

We knew we’d be going to different stations

We were all really worried about going somewhere strange

There’d be such a lot to rearrange.


I’d like a lockdown of my own

I’d dearly love to stay at home

I don’t really want to know what’s in store

I just want to be with my mother-in-law.


But then we couldn’t see her and my world fell apart

Not visiting her just broke my heart

I would do my best at work instead

That way nothing would mess with my head


Now at last we knew – no buts, no maybes

Just like that we were helping the babies!

We were together – which had been one of our fears.

Though I hadn’t worked nights for 20 years!


But May brought more sadness – where will it all end

It’s now claimed the life of our very good friend

We lined the streets to say our goodbye

It all feels too much now – I can’t tell a lie.


It’s best not to use the bus to come in,

According to the 5 o’clock bulletin.

You should drive or walk or have a bike ride.

But you can park for nothing now – and right outside!


When trying to perform an intricate task

You get all hot and bothered under your mask.

You find you’re not drinking or going for a wee.

As it means ‘’donning and doffing’’ your PPE.


I run and I walk and have coffee on zoom

And follow worship material in the afternoon

On my days off I don’t mind staying at home

At least it’s a ‘’mini lockdown’’ all of my own.


And all in all I feel so blessed

I’ve not got ill and my friends are the best

When all this is over and we’re back together

I will treasure you all forever and ever.

Chris Rowe





Goodness gracious what can this mean,

Everything must stop, because of Covid 19,

This dreadful virus, is making humans sick

The NHS must find oxygen & PPE double quick,

Thousands are dying, so many are grieving,

Families, friends & neighbours are weeping.


The Doctors, Nurses, porters & cleaners,

Supermarkets, drivers, posties, teachers,

The folks making scrubs, visors & masks,

So many are helping, they were not asked,

The teachers working hard to put lessons on-line,

The Keyworkers children, go to school on time.


The roads are empty of traffic right now,

The birdsong is beautiful & how.........

The deer & the goats are running round town,

It’s really quite strange, we try not to ‘get down’

But ‘isolate’ we must, to keep the infection rate low,

FaceTime, WhatsApp & now Zoom, do you know?


This new way of life is not easy my friends,

But if we all ‘pull together’, we can see an end,

Lockdown is easing, people getting about,

The numbers are slowing, let’s give a shout,

To our wonderful ‘keyworkers’ & volunteering,

Thank you, you are amazing, let’s lift our voices & sing!



Hazel xx


Thoughts on the lock down


I'm sitting here and looking out

with my morning cup of tea,

and thinking of all the places

where I would like to be.


But most of all, the people

that I would love to see.

I miss you all, but I know you're there -

You may even miss me!!


I don't know how long this will last,

but I fear it could go on

for longer than we'd like it to -

so we just need to keep strong.


We're all in this together,

so we need to find a way

of keeping close whilst staying apart,

and carrying on, come what may.


Some will have to go to work

and face the risks each day.

Many help others to stay safe -

So for them all we pray.


What WILL we look like when we meet

after all these months locked down?

Lots of us will have long hair -

some grey – a few still brown!


So until that day when we all meet up,

whenever that may be,

God bless you all, keep safe and well,

With lots of love…..from 'me'.




Lock-down Experience of 10 June 2020


Here I am again with my morning cup of tea.

Catching up with the latest news on BBC TV.

I'm also thinking 'which job first?', as I make my morning plan,

When suddenly the screen goes blank – sound, but no picture – damn!

(am I allowed to say that?)

I switch it off, then on again, as I've been told to do.

No joy, so I unplug it all, and fetch another brew.

I try again, but nothing – only sound, so that's no good,

So on the phone to my 'SKY' man – he's always understood.


But this time it's impossible, and after half an hour

Of kneeling on the floor, (poor knees) the SKY man says “Well now

We'll have to get a technician out, I'll see what I can do.

Earliest is Friday, before one, well certainly by two.


“Now this is what will happen in line with Covid safety plan -

He'll wear a mask, gloves, visor too, and shoe coverings” - good man!

And I will have to wear a mask, and social distance too.

Well that won't be a problem – I'll probably hide in the loo.


So it's all arranged, I'll leave it there and carry on with my day.

Tea time now, and preparing my meal in the kitchen, not far away.

Time for the 'briefing' – must hear that – no picture, but sound is okay

So I turn up the volume, at least I can still hear what they've got to say.


Part way through, I come into the room and 'Hey Presto'! the picture is here

All by itself – with no help from me, and I let out a great big cheer!

I jump up and down with joy (well, nearly!), it almost sent me up the wall.

I must be on the phone in the morning to cancel the SKY man's call

Greetings from The Fens

Just sending love across from the Fens to all the lovely people at Banner Cross in these difficult times. Have missed visits to Janet when I have really looked forward to seeing you, hopefully it won't be too long before we can do this again.

Love to you all. Keep safe.

God bless,

Daphne & Andrew Askew


Daf's Poem


Our Janet's suddenly started saying everything in rhyme,

I'm just a little worried, although it's not a crime.

It's not a problem really – she could do a whole lot worse,

But every time I speak to her, her reply comes back – in verse!


With all this social distancing, and rules they've put in place

She cannot play the organ, and she's treading in my space.

So all you friends at Banner Cross, I'm appealing now to you -

Keep ringing her, and whatsapp her – keep the emails coming through.


That way she'll be so busy, there won't be a moment free,

And once again, with a bit of luck I'll be the Queen of Poetry.

On a note more serious now, we're regularly in touch.

My Lock-down Visit to Chiropodist


Things are starting to open up

Albeit in a different way.

My Chiropodist was in business again

And a visit to him I should pay.


I knew I should go before too long,

Although I was rather unsure.

I've been strict with my self distancing,

And cross with those who ignore.


But how was it going to work out?

Two metres between him and me?

My leg is not long enough to achieve that,

And he needs to be able to see.


Well, Paula had been there before me,

So reassured it would be okay

I got on the phone to arrange it -

I went last Wednesday.


He told me that he would be geared up

In mask and gloves – visor too,

And I had to wear a mask as well,

And there was now no use of his loo!


I had to arrive as near on time

As was possible to do.

I parked up in the car, and waited

In a space where I had a good view.


What happened next really amused me.

The door shutter clattered away,

And then just an arm, clad in white with a glove

Appeared, and was pointing my way.


It was my turn now, and he ushered me in

And pointed to hand sanitiser,

While he settled down to do a good job

With the help of his scalpel and visor.


My feet feel so good, I'm relieved now,

We're all hunky dory and fine.

I shan't be nervous to go again -

I'll see him in six weeks time.




Reflection from Caroline:

Covid took us all by surprise!
To its challenge we all did rise!
Shoulder by shoulder our faith glued us together
And for sure has been helped by the glorious weather!

Strange times for sure!
But these times have been here before!
Christians through and through
Our faith prevails and God to his word will always be true
         God Bless Everyone
                    From Caroline

Lockdown Hair

Our hair is growing longer
As the days go passing by.
It never looks neat and tidy,
No matter how we try.

Every day is Bad Hair Day,
And all the constant sun,
Only makes it drier
And really that's no fun.

The wind and rain don't help it
When we go out for our walk,
And neighbours do not know us
When we stop by for a talk.

The colour has all but faded.
The grey is showing through.
It's looking very stripey
Like a zebra in the zoo!!

We wear it up,
We wear it down,
We don't know how we'll get through.
Oh,when can we see a hairdresser?
She'll know what to do !!!!!I

My Nails, Hair and Teeth in Lockdown


I have managed to cut my nails

but I haven’t touched my hair.

I really don’t want to pull my own teeth

so I long for the dentist’s chair. 


I have cut a nail that was growing in

but my hair is down my back.

I really don’t want to pull my own teeth

‘cos I haven’t got the knack.


My feet and hands are clean and neat

but my hair is going grey.

I really don’t want to pull my own teeth

but my dentist’s not called today.


My feet feel like I’m walking on air

but my hair looks like a hedge.

I really don’t want to pull my own teeth

‘cos that will set them all on edge.


My chiropodist invited me over

but I will have to book a haircut.

I really don’t want to pull my own teeth

so I hope my dentist’s not shut.



29 June 2020


My Covid-19 Words

Face mask and visor, sanitiser and gown.

Is the infection rate back up or down?

Stay at home and quarantine.

No traffic noise is heard.

These are a few of my Covid-19 words.


Hospitals, hospices, care homes, community.

When will these places get virus immunity?

Unprecedented, pandemic, furlough.

When will we finally see the rainbow?


CMOs and CSAs and profs on my screen.

When will they tell me they’ve found a vaccine?

The guidance is flouted,

so I am disturbed.

These are a few of my Covid-19 words.


No new cases.

Visit places

where I long to go.

I simply remember my favourite things

and then I don’t feel so low.



26 June 2020


How Many Times?  The dangers of over brushing.

So now I'm worried about my teeth,
Trying to keep them oh, so clean
As we can't get to see a dentist
During Lockdown with Covid-19.

I'm brushing my teeth 5 times a day
And using those dental sticks.
I know this won't prevent problems,
So I'd better start brushing them 6.

I'd better stop eating chocolate,
And cream cakes that taste like heaven.
Oh dear! I'm starting to panic,
I'd better be making it 7.

We have our evening meal
Followed up by a large piece of cake.
Oh no! I shouldn't have eaten it,
I'd better be brushing them 8.

Today I've only had savouries
So now I think they'll be fine,
But just to be on the safe side,
I will be brushing them 9.

I dreamed I went to the dentist
And here's what he had to say,
"You've worn all your teeth away dear,
'Cos you're brushing them 10 times a day!"


In an English Totley Garden (now and during lockdown)


My garden is on show, see how the delphiniums grow,

Lupins proud and tall, dianthus, spiky, cute and small.

Roses in full bloom today, and cornflowers shouting hip, hip, hooray.

Cupids lips, they're sweet and neat, potentilla too, growing yellow for me and you..


My campanula is also saying "Hello" today, He's faintly blue and what a display.

I call them moon-pennies, I know they're not but a fantastic cluster I'm glad I've got.

The passionflower climbing up the fence, adores the sun, what love it sends.

Snow-in-summer they call it and that seems right, as if from no-where so hardy and bright.


Pinks, marigolds, geraniums all. Are happy to say to the birds, "Just call."

The daffodils and tulips have all died down

Crocuses,, muscari, narcissus, snow-drops and hyacinths too but I don't frown.

Knowing they're just resting to show once more their beautiful glory next spring outside my door.

Alliums too, a spectacular view

I'm waiting for the agapanthus!


Red and pink geraniums, carnations and osteospermum, oh just look.

The clematis clinging to any hook.

Erysimum called "The Bride" was a glorious sight and japonica too is such a delight.

Gentle kerria (jews mallow) with her fluffy yellow pom-poms

Next to aquelegia and ferns with their curling fronds.


I'm waiting for the bold display of lots of gladioli to make my day

There's still a lot to see; different colours of wallflowers so near to me.

Sweetpeas do take their time, little pansies and snaps still a favourite of mine.

Through my window the hibiscus is growing well, he'll show some attitude, it's beginning to tell.

Next to the sedam there's petunias, a fuschia and a tall flamingo tree poses,

And dahlias and more roses.

In the top corner a honeysuckle creeps next to some raspberries the rudbeckia peeps.


Verbena grows up to six feet high, he's still reaching to the sky.

Pretty varigated ivy, common I know, just in the right place it seems to grow.

Wood sorrel's nice, canterberry bells and London pride

I can depend on my budlia  at my side.

And the poppies have been as big as dinner plates, magnificent deep red but then a statuesque fox-glove awaits.

Crocosmia and irises, there's a lily too, even liitle daises spring into view.

A bleeding heart, pretty and sad.  

Now make way for this painter's palette (houttuynia), colourful and glad!

There's more. Weigella, spiraea, euphorbia to name a "few"

Hebe, hosta and lavender spring into view.

And look. Nigella with its feathery leaves, bobbing about in the gentle breeze.

This is my garden, come and see, putting on a show for you and for me for free!






Oh the loneliness

I can’t bear it any more.

Another day of emptiness

No-one knocking on the door.



It’s just you and me I say to myself

The mirror for company.

And comb my hair and smile at me.



Another glass of wine could ease the pain

Decide whether red or white.

A tall glass, a tumbler, a shot, why not

Morning, afternoon or night.



Another tv programme I’ve seen before,

The same tea cup the same tea bag

The same kettle, the same mag.



Oh look there’s a bird

In the sky, grey or blue.

Does it matter. It’ll be there tomorrow

And it will happen all over






Shopping in Lockdown _ Janet 

Along with others I shop online and include things that other people have asked for, among whom are Sylvia & Leslie Graves. 

So….recently they sent me a thankyou/birthday card in which Les had written: 


'An appreciation based on STF 465 verse 2 - 

Strong deliverer, strong deliverer 

Please continue with your shop - 

And shield. 


To be sung to 'Come Yonder' 



I read the above to my sister Daf, and not too long after the phone was ringing – when I answered she immediately began to sing – and it went on...and on...and….this was her reply:   (sung to 'Come Yonder' – obviously.) 


Guide me, O thou great Redeemer 

   Safely out to Tesco's store. 

  This last week has passed so quickly 

  And we need some food once more. 

  Now start queuing, now start queuing   

Till they let me through the door. 

Till they let me through the door. 


Guide me through the arrow system 

Following the proper way. 

Give me strength to steer the trolley, 

I've so much to get today - 

Tea and coffee, white and brown bread, 

Please be on the shelf I pray. 

Please be on the shelf I pray. 


Help my thoughts and concentration 

As I shop for other's needs, 

Pasta, fruit, cake, jam and biscuits, 

Milk and butter, eggs and cheese. 

Different food for different people, 

Lord, I want so much to please. 

Lord, I want so much to please. 


At the till to pack and pay now,  

Then off home, and in a while 

Take things round, drop in their gardens, 

At their window, see them smile, 

Wave a hand and mouth a “thankyou” 

Makes the whole task so worthwhile. 

Makes the whole task so worthwhile. 


It has been a hard experience 

Being careful and correct. 

Social distance, no church service, 

Home deliveries, click and collect. 

May the day come very quickly  

Where to shop we can select. 

Where to shop we can select. 


When I reach the gate of heaven 

May my fears blow with the breeze. 

Tell me there'll be no more Tesco, 

Aldi, Morrisons, Sainsburys. 

Songs of praises, songs of praises 

I will ever give to Thee. 

I will ever give to Thee. 



I called on my mother today

She's been dead some 30 years.

I wanted some help to quell my tears.

'Cos I was feeling a bit miserable

I'm allowed am I not?

Mum give me your strength, some advice, you're good at that.

Guide me through this padlocked door

Like your generation who suffered the war.

Did she smile, did she tell me what to do?

Yes with God's help you'll make it and family too.

It's akin to being in George Orwell's 101 room. (my own police thoughts)

This stark loneliness, this coldness, this doom.

And behind the mask am I smiling?

And behind the mask am I sad?

And behind the mask am I frowning?

And behind the mask




A New Virus


We’ve discovered a new virus and we hope it’s very rare.

The main symptom’s persistent poetry that we’re desperate to share.


We cannot help but send to you our poems, lyrics, rhymes.

We’ve never felt like this before. These are unprecedented times.


Stay safe from dreadful doggerel.  Stay alert to vapid verse.

We cannot stop it spreading and it’s getting even worse.


This virus is highly infectious and we can’t even wear a mask.

So if you get the germ of a poem, just bin it, that’s all we ask.



1 July 2020

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