The return to church on Sunday 21st March is around the corner and so is Holy Week and Easter! For the former, please can I ask you to refer to our guidance and risk assessment. Don’t forget to email firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on a Saturday to let us know you’re intending to come. Remember to wear a face covering in church, use the one-way system for entry and exit (unless you need level access) and congregations still aren’t allowed to sing! We hope this is a step to greater freedom.
Easter is the time when we celebrate the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. Freedom won for us by Jesus when he passed through death and rose to new life. We have all passed through something of a valley of darkness and death this last year, all of us have been affected by the pandemic, even if not directly. Now we are emerging into the light. Although it might be wise to manage our expectations, it seems clear that we are in a better position than we were 12 months ago. We will celebrate our freedom and new life in Christ with Christians around the world this Easter with the hope and faith that God, the unconquerable light, will be beside us in any darkness. The schedule for our keeping of Holy Week and Easter is below. Please do note where the services are online only. For all those services taking place in church we ask you to book a space.
Many of you will have seen Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry (aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) earlier this week. Whatever the wisdom or purpose of their decision to share more of their story, what they have reminded us of is that privilege is not immune to racism or to mental health issues, two very real darknesses for people at all levels of society. Both things need the light of learning, openness and compassion. Both things will continue to flourish in a climate of judgement, suspicion and denial.
Jesus offered healing, openness and compassion to people from beyond his ethnic community, and to people who we would now understand to be suffering from severe mental distress or illness. He is always our model for how we encounter others, even those who are in other ways very privileged. Darkness comes in many forms, and is not always measurable by external means, like wealth, success or fame. And we are called to face darkness with hope, compassion and healing. To walk in the risen light of Jesus Christ and to share his light and life with others. For he came ‘that all may have life and may have it in all its fullness’ (John 10.10).
With my love and prayers for you,
All Saints Vicarage,
Thursday 11th March 2021
*From our Vision in our Mission Action Plan