BY MARTIN WALSH
THERE was no parting of the seas as Reverend Kingsley Sutton urged his congregation on the beach at Courtmacsherry last Sunday week to spread a new virus – one that’s called ‘Kindness-20’.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, service at the local St John the Evangelist Church of Ireland was transferred just 100 metres away – to the beach. Last weekend should have been the opening weekend of the Courtmacsherry Harbour Festival where the church services are part of the festivities.
Against the backdrop of boats, kayakers and surfers, Rev Kingsley used stones from the beach to secure the altar cloth and crucifix, while church wardens Geoffrey Hanbidge and Harold Kingston assisted with arrangements.
Also singing and playing guitar, Reverend Kingsley spoke about the renewed understanding of the phrase ‘it’s gone viral’. He said: ‘Up until now we usually applied that phrase to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or other social media platforms. Today, because of Covid-19, we are back to its original meaning – a pathological virus that grows exponentially. The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to yeast, which, similar to a virus, can multiply and spread just as quickly, yet the spread is all seen as positive.’
With his congregation listening enthusiastically, Rev Kingsley referenced RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy’s call for a ‘virus of kindness’ to break out in Ireland.
Mindful of the importance of washing hands, sneezing and coughing etiquette, Reverend Kingsley continued: ‘The measures are working, we stand together by staying apart.’
He unveiled a poster saying: ‘Let’s spread a new virus – Kindness 20.’
‘Using our words, using our actions, who can we help today, who can you phone, who can you cheer up, what random act of kindness can you and I perform? It may be a small thing but it has the power to grow and transform. Let’s say ‘no’ to Covid-19 and ‘go’ to Kindness-20. Let’s hope this goes viral.’