Sometimes it’s hard to realise you are living through historical events, but we are doing this all the time. The tragic war in Ukraine will one day be history, as WWI and WWII are now. The Falklands War and the Gulf Wars, conflicts which many of us lived through and remember, are history some of us have lived. So too are the turbulent events of peacetime – do you remember the Poll Tax riots? The three-day week? The miners’ strike?
We are all making history, making the stories that will define the 2020s for future generations. What will be the biggest global stories of this decade, from the perspective of a historian in 2120? The failure to act on climate change? The Ukraine War, which hopefully not have spread beyond its borders?
COVID-19, the first global pandemic of the modern era, has infected half a billion people. The loss of life is immense, over six million people. As well as the tragic impact of the disease itself, the economic and cultural impacts on our lives and liberties has been profound.
The impact on religious communities was unprecedented. For the first time in eight hundred years, churches were closed and public worship was prohibited. In this church history was made as we were one of the first churches to livestream our worship.
Livestreaming in an empty church, 2020
The long-term impact of COVID-19 on the religious life of the country has yet to be fully examined, but it has had an impact on churches up and down the land. We were making history, and we were too busy to notice.
In a Top Ten List of people least likely to feature in a fashion blog, Anne, our Vicar, would be in the top five. She was amused when she was asked to feature in the Lockdown Clothing Project on the blog
Rarely Wears Lipstick, and amazed when, following the publication of the blog, she was asked to donate one of her ‘lockdown outfits’ to the Museum of London. The outfit pictured was taken by the museum as part of their ‘Collecting Covid’ collection to document how London responded.
Lockdown fashion, Vicarage style
Clothes can tell us a lot about a time period and our behaviour. The top half of the outfit is the respectable vicar appearing in Zoom meetings. The tracksuit bottoms are the comfortable clothes that only the dog would see.
History is the record of human behaviour and choices. We make history every day, often without realising it. The One Roof Many Stories project recorded some of the memories and documents of the last sixty years, capturing this period for posterity, a period when the world changed beyond all recognition. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this possible, and to the many people who participated in the project.