Aidan Baker in conversation with
Robin is a Worcestershire businessman with a freelance portfolio including photography, printing, programming, video editing and sales. The biggest change that lockdown has made to his life has been the decision to excise teaching from it.
Note 1: March-May
“I spoke to my doctor on the phone. He said ‘I told you not to go back into the classroom. I advised you; now I’m telling you. That’s an instruction.’ I like teaching, I like helping people with learning, I like passing on what I know– but classroom environment and I just do not get on.”
His main ambition is to keep his business going – and he’s weighing up the idea of sharing a house with his business partner. “We’ve got a lot of equipment here – such as that laser printer behind me – that we need a home for.” And he’s hoping his musical interests will give him networking opportunities in a local choir.
Note 2: May-July
“Communion in church. The churches are open for private prayer – but you’ve got to stick to the pattern and go out through the vestry door and things like that. You can’t wander, you can’t be free in what you’re doing. No candles, no books, no kneelers – nothing you can use.”
Robin has produced a video for St Michael, Ledbury, and
“Trinity Tewkesbury does services on YouTube live. They shared bread and wine on Sunday, and I’d got some bread and wine to hand. It felt God was here. As they said the consecration I held my hands over the elements here, and as they passed it between themselves I did the same here. And God made it good.”
This triggers memories of an unofficial communion shared with a man he met at a camp in the south of France in 1989.
“I didn’t give him my contact details. I know that God had got a plan for him. And I believe he went into the first church he came to, and he was welcomed. And God blessed what we did here on Sunday. The church is not a building, the church is people. That’s what I’ve learnt.”
Note 3: July-August
For Robin, whose life has been wholly disrupted by the effects of the pandemic, the biggest lesson remains the behaviour of the disease itself.
“Long Covid is affecting what I can do, and now people are realising just how many have got this. The nurse who took my blood sample got the virus back in March and she has felt generally tired and run down. They had a number of patients who are quite badly, still. This initial two-week virus all the ministers talk about, ‘You have this for two weeks then you’re fine’ – you’re fine for a while, and then suddenly these symptoms start creeping up on you. And a large number of people are being badly affected by it. People under stress are most affected in the long term. And teachers are under stress. So saying it doesn’t matter if a few teachers get the virus because they’ll get over it quickly – that’s not going to happen. Teachers are most at risk, and/or elderly relatives of the children at home. And this virus hasn’t gone, despite what Donald Trump was saying. We have no treatment for it. We have no vaccine yet.”