But how do you go about planning for a situation where you really don’t know what next week is going to bring?
This has been a real problem for everyone since Covid-19 come onto the scene, and the whole long saga of Brexit – wherever you stand on the issues – has suffered badly from a consistent failure in effective long-term planning.
The only way to overcome such difficult times as this is to imagine all possible outcomes and circumstances and have an outline plan (often now called a ‘road map’) for each one.
This makes an awful lot of work but when the chips are down it means you are ready to act.
Or to use another image, like the swan – everything looks serene on the surface while you’re really paddling like hell underneath!
Now try to imagine what things are going to be like say at the end of August – or in November – or even by Christmas.
How do you plan?
With a contingency for every possibility from the (very unlikely) disappearance of Covid-19 as a threat, to the resumption of lockdown (please God no...).
At the Crooked Spire planning for autumn and Christmas events usually starts the year before, and some planning has indeed been on hold.
I’m not just talking about church services.
I’m talking about events that matter to a lot of people in Chesterfield and beyond – well dressings; Christmas tree festival; carol services.
The only way we can plan forward is to see what we might do under the present restrictions, while recognising that things might loosen up, but if they get worse then we may have to cancel.
So with all that said I can share the wonderful news that we are definitely planning to hold both the well dressing and the Christmas tree festival this year.
There will need to be careful access control for viewing of the well dressing, and we are planning a free online booking system for the Christmas tree festival, so that in both cases we can make sure that hygiene and distancing measures are kept in place.
At present, singing is still completely forbidden, so no announcements on carol services just yet.
These events will certainly feel a little different but we owe it to all the people who value the Crooked Spire, and its presence and contribution to the town’s life, to try and make a go of these things even under present conditions.
The well dressing is planned for August 29th to September 6th and the Christmas tree festival for November 14th - 29th (opening times to be decided).
Let’s hope that the forward planning works, and if things change we can be sure that other plans will be there ready to fall into place.
Watch this space!
Keep safe and keep well
Reverend Patrick Coleman (vicar of Chesterfield's Crooked Spire church)