It's been a challenging but absolutely amazing time
Direction Magazine|October 2020
Leading a movement during a pandemic isn’t something Chris Cartwright expected at the start of 2020. He spoke to Matthew Murray
Chris Cartwright

Chris, it’s been a long time. How has lockdown been for you personally? What have been the highs and lows?

It’s been a profoundly challenging disruption to life as usual for all of us. I live in Cardiff and have been at home with my wife Annie for most of lockdown, and our youngest daughter Charlotte has been with us too. Of course, there were lots of things we weren’t able to do as a family but we’ve majored on the positives – more time together and still being able to work, albeit from home. It’s been a very challenging time. I’m an extrovert and love energising moments with people. But I have found that by spending time with family we’ve been really appreciative of the time we’ve had with each other. I want to take away from that a greater sense of care, love and thankfulness to God for the people who are in our lives.

How would you say Elim has coped during lockdown? What have been the biggest successes and challenges?

Like every sector of society, we didn’t see this coming. There have been huge implications and consequences of a global pandemic for Elim, but I’m so encouraged and pleased by the response of many of our leaders and staff. The danger is often to react to something but we’ve tried to take time to put in place levels of support and give connection to our churches and leaders and to offer operational support. Elim is a movement of local churches and this pandemic has affected every local church so it’s been our duty and role to serve them accordingly. We’ve tried to readjust to make sure we are there as much as we can be to support our churches and ministers on the ground, especially in terms of guidance and resources.

In the first few weeks of lockdown we were rushing to get online and make sure everything was accessible quickly. Of course, I’m used to travelling most Sundays to an Elim church so to not be able to do that has been challenging. I’ve been so excited at how churches have responded to lockdown. There were huge challenges as to how churches were going to connect, meet, do discipleship and mission with these massive restrictions, but we’ve seen genuine opportunities surface. In fact, the church hasn’t closed at all. We haven’t stopped loving Jesus and loving others and living our lives to the glory of God.

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