During this time of ‘lockdown’, we have all had to adapt to shopping in different ways. Whether that is the weekly delivery of a mystery food parcel for those isolating and shielding. The weekly delivery of a mystery food parcel, that is an online grocery shop full of ‘substitutions’. Or you or loved ones may have ventured to the store, to wait in line, two meters apart, disinfect your trolley handle and spend the next forty minutes trying to choose food without touching it, plan a route around the one-way system that gets you everything in one pass before kick yourself when you realise that you have forgotten something near the beginning of the store. All without getting too close to others.
Shopping for non-food items has inevitably caused us to turn towards the internet stores. While most experiences of buying online are positive there are numerous stories of people whose purchases have not lived up to expectation. From those that got more than they bargained for and order 100s of the same item, not realising they were buying a wholesale lot, to the people who ordered goods that were not the correct size. Like the lady who tried to buy a new ladle and received a giant catering one or the man who ordered deckchairs and received ones only big enough to sit your Mobile Phone on; he did comment he thought they were unbelievably cheap.
Buying online can be an ‘interesting’ experience but it does come with some benefits, you have the chance to view the items at lots of places, comparing the goods. You avoid the overly eager shop assistant who pounces on unsuspecting customers as they enter the store. In short, you can take your time, and there is no pressure.
The Vine, like many churches, has moved its services ‘on-line’ during this time. Sky News reports that more people than ever are engaging with an online church service or content. I guess part of this like online shopping is people can ‘check out’ what is going on, they can compare and there is no danger of the over church leader pouncing on them as they enter the door.
Why not give this window shopping a try? Whether it is the Vine’s services (www.thevinecommunitychurch.org.uk/vineonline) or one of Revd. Penny’s online services for the village on facebook or maybe something from elsewhere (this page has over a dozen online services listed www.groundlevel.org.uk/directory) You will find a whole range of styles, music and people. Now is a great time to window shop, fulfil your curiosity, demolish a few stereotypes. You never know you might find something you like.