IT was the words ‘silage and loneliness’ that caught most people’s attention.
That was the theme chosen by Rev Cliff Jeffers when he hosted a watch party on the Fanlobbus Facebook page to encapsulate thoughts on love, lockdown, and life during Covid-19.
Rev Jeffers laughs when it’s put to him that his easy, on-air manner suggests he could have had a calling as a DJ.
It has to be said that his viewing numbers – about 1,000 – isn’t exactly huge, but then the Fanlobbus parish isn’t exactly a huge congregation, either.
There are about 450 members of the Church of Ireland congregation in the parish that includes Dunmanway, Drimoleague, Drinagh and Coolkelure churches.
The theme of the service was essentially about the bounty of the earth, and how important it is not to abuse it, or the production of food.
May 17th was Rogation Sunday, the traditional day when parishioners pray for the seeds that have been sown, and all the new-born animals.
Rev Jeffers posted photographs and videos of people busy tending their vegetable gardens, and farmers gathering silage as fodder for their animals.
On the theme of loneliness, Rev Jeffers said the images showed how people are communicating through various means, such as Zoom, Facetime, even postcards.
‘There are some – especially those who are living alone – that are lonely, and I encourage people to reach out to them. I do it myself by phoning them.’
Last weekend, the reverend took the added measure of sending out 25 hand-written postcards to older people living in his parish.
‘These are people that I’d normally see once a month for communion,’ he said. ‘I wanted them to know that I am praying for them and looking forward to seeing them again, when the restrictions are lifted.’
The weekly watch party continues at 11am every Sunday morning on the Fanlobbus Facebook page.
Those who don’t have computers can dial in and listen to the service by phone.