In one country, some health workers in uniform experienced negative reactions from a fearful public in the early stages of the pandemic, such as being shunned on public transport or in shops.
The diocese countered this narrative by giving each member of its social and medical arm – about 2000 people – a small gift of appreciation, which included a heart shaped cookie.
They then decided they shouldn’t just be reaching out to Anglican health workers so have joined in a wider prayer network which organises synchronised prayer for healthcare workers and patients at noon every day.
They also held a Healthcare Prayer Service in the cathedral, which was live-streamed and watched by groups across the country. The homily addressed fear and loneliness, referring to John 16 (peace overcomes troubles) and Hebrews 12 (a cloud of witnesses).
The Church is providing pastoral care to health workers, giving them the opportunity to be listened to and to express their grief and stress.
Health workers across the world are, thankfully, being thanked and celebrated publicly. The Church can play a role in praying for them, supporting them, providing pastoral care and lifting them up, as in this country’s beautiful example.