'Organising the natural goodness of people': Rev Richard Coles describes how his parish has coped during the pandemic

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When bad things happen good people rise to the challenge. It's a truism not lost on the Rev Richard Coles. He has spent the last nine months trying to help the community of Finedon in Northamptonshire...but also seeing first hand how much support has been provided by others.

Our job is to just lightly organise the natural goodness of people and that's been wonderfully confirmed. Just give people the framework and the necessary tools to do what has to be done and they do, and that's one of the most encouraging things to have come out of this.

Rev Richard Coles


For many Richard Coles will always be the pop star from the Communards, the TV and radio broadcaster and author.

But he's been at St Mary the Virgin for nearly ten years, his third ministry. Like so much else the church was severely restricted during lockdown

St Mary the Virgin, Finedon

He had to comfort distraught brides to be and families unable to hold a large funeral for loved ones. Richard lost his own partner David late last year and actually found periods of solitude during lockdown cathartic. And he hopes springs the town he loves will continue to be that bit stronger and closer.

It's actually been the most wonderful experience. I hate the reason why we've had to have it and I'm sure that it's created a really strong network of people who'll continue to provide for the needs of this community.

Rev Richard Coles