Richard Bromley 

As I reflect on what COVID-19 has meant to ICS I believe one of the biggest impacts that it has had on us is that it has accelerated changes that were already starting to happen. We suddenly realised that so much of what we can do we can do without travelling and some things we thought we would not ever be able to do without being present we clearly have done. We have also become very aware of what we miss when we are not there in person, I am thinking here of the licensing of a new priest or other major chaplaincy events that do not feel the same without being there to celebrate with them.

From ICS’s point of view as an organisation in the UK, what we have learnt is that we do not need to all share an office space to work together. That when dispersed and connecting through Zoom we are able to work efficiently and in some ways collaborate more easily.

Storing our files on the cloud has been invaluable when we found ourselves all working from home and only able to access what was in the cloud before lockdown. The moves to put our database and financial package online were accelerated during this time because we realised that this new way of working is not going to go away quickly.

What has also become apparent is how able and adaptable the team are to learning new technology and operating well with it. What seemed odd in the early days has become second nature as we gather in team meetings or planning meetings as a full team or as smaller groups.

The real advantage and win for us has been the opportunity to connect with those people that care and support ICS. This happened in three ways.

One, some of us have been able to drop into local prayer meetings which would are now taking place on zoom and join them. To share some of the visions, some of the news and prayer points.

Secondly, we have been running bi-monthly prayer meetings where a good number of people have joined us to hear about the ministry, listen to the word of God and pray for the various issues that are current. These have been great and real fun to be together.

Thirdly, the AGM took place online. What was interesting about this is that it was fun to be part of, informative, people contributed and the numbers were higher than we have had for many years. Maybe, just maybe we are learning some new skills here.

As we appear to be becoming towards a loosening of restrictions what has delighted me most is that the team have come through this period with none of us contracting COVID-19 and are all well.

We have a long way to still go, and I am sure there will be ups and downs and will continue to learn lessons but it has proven the point that those that flourish are not always the strongest than those that are able to adapt. We have very clearly adapted well to what has been going on around us.