Godalming’s contribution to Joigny’s @artviraljovinien

Joigny’s Tourist Office (Joigny is our twin town in France) has set up a Facebook page to capture contributions that reflect this time of COVID-19 and they have invited our Town along with our twin town Mayen, Germany, to send a photograph, a painting, a drawing, a piece of music, a song, which encapsulates this time and our hopes for the future. Here I’ve set out Godalming’s contribution to this.


This invisible Covid-19 has caused visible change in our lives. We are locked down and separated. It is a time of storm.

But the main thing is to keep living and keep caring about what is going to happen. Nothing stops time or the seasons and being locked down allows us time to watch the birds –  time to gaze at the sunset –  time to ponder the things that really matter. We realise how much we need each other.

We long to be free and to be with those we love. We hope that the “new normal” will include more peace, more health, more nature, more kindness, more justice. The rainbow will come after the storm.

Penny Rivers, Mayor of Godalming

My children bring me good cheer in these difficult days. Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt, MP

Both of these photos were taken during the height of the lockdown in April  (on my one hour of exercise each day). Paul Follows, Leader, Godalming Town Council).

To all our friends in Joigny. Let me introduce myself – I am Gerry Boyle, a Councillor on Godalming Town Council and I act as a liaison between the Town Council and the Godalming Joigny Friendship Association. The Mayor of Godalming, Mrs Penny Rivers, passed on to me your request for contributions to your Facebook page “Art Viral Jovinien”. I am afraid that my artistic talent is meagre, but I have attached a photograph I took recently of Sunrise over the River Wey. Due to Coronavirus restrictions in the UK for many weeks we were restricted to one hour’s exercise per day, to be taken close to one’s home.

We wish everyone in Joigny strength and good cheer to continue to deal with the crisis: a crisis which has dramatically shown our common humanity, weaknesses and strengths across all countries, and our interdependence. We hope that the twin towns can continue to share their experiences and their mutual understanding, strengthened by their joint experience of tragedy and adversity, and we thank you for the opportunity to participate in your inspiring work in ensuring that Joigny maintains its artistic and cultural experience and community.

The Meath Epilepsy Charity – A charity supported by the Godalming Mayor

Godalming Choral Society sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Un grand bon jour de notre chorale à la votre! Nous rappelons chaleureusement nos échanges et nos concerts il y a dix ans et le plaisir que nous avons trouvé de chanter ensemble.
Dans notre confinement ici notre maire, Penny Rivers, nous a demandé si nous pourrions nous réunir virtuellement pour chanter cette chanson pleine d’espoir. Quelques unes parmi nous, les contraltos de notre chorale, nous sommes senties capables d’utiliser la technologie qu’est devenue indispensable dans la vie de nos jours. Nous avons travaillé, essayé, chantant tout seules dans nos chambres, nos cuisines et nos séjours. Nous avons dû respecter tous les dispositifs sanitaires! Un génie a combiné toutes nos chansons individuelles et nous vous envoyons maintenant le résultat espérant que cela nous rapproche un peu de vous, nos amis français à Joigny.
Peut être après le déconfinement nous aurons la possibilité de chanter ensemble encore une fois! En attendant nous vous envoyons nos voeux très amicaux. “

Godalming Town Band plays “Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Hope & Togetherness. So much of our everyday lives have changed so dramatically since the beginning of 2020. “Over the Rainbow “ is a song of hope. Hope for the future and the fulfilment of dreams and ambitions.

For many of us, at this time, that is a hope for a return to some sort of ‘normality’, when we will be able to return to lives we have more personal control over. To have the freedom to choose to meet up with friends and family for a meal or evening out. To be able to go to see a film, a concert or a show. To greet friends and family with a handshake, a hug….to be together again……

The Mayor of Godalming invited GTG to contribute to a virtual exhibition in Godalming’s French twin town of Joigny. “In The Wings”, written by GTG member Nell Rayner, is an expression of our time during the pandemic.

The Flower Arrangers of the Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul have become a friendship group who meet in fellowship and with a shared love of flowers. It is remarkable to think that 2020 was probably the first time in a thousand years that our church was not decorated with flowers for Easter. We share the sadness of all communities unable to meet in their most precious spaces and extend to Joigny our love and hope for togetherness again very soon.

Art Viral Jovinien

Merci à nos amies de Godalming avec lesquelles nous continuerons de tisser des liens de partage et de convivialité. Merci à Madame la Maire et à ses adjointes. 🙂

One Reply to “Godalming’s contribution to Joigny’s @artviraljovinien”

  1. Thank you for your post. We have solicited all our partner-cities to share together these complicated times for art, and the artists continue to express themselves. Goldaming gave us a beautiful answer! Thank you all for responding to the request of your mayor, Mrs. Penny Rivers.

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