Christ is risen! He is risen Indeed! Alleluia!
The great Easter proclamation rung around the Church at around 6am on the morning of Easter Day as the light of a beautiful spring day grew outside and we contemplated the new life and hope which is rooted in the resurrection and which Christians are called to proclaim to the world.
This year our observance of Holy week and Easter have been given added poignancy by the presence at the heart of it of the experience of refugees.
Our young people’s group ‘SPY’ created a small ‘refugee camp’, a tent surrounded by the detritus of camp life. added to this we say some lifebelts; we saw some bread and half a bottle of wine. All of it was bounded by wire to keep the refugees firmly in their place and some placards outlined the all too frequent grudging response of the prosperous west to their plight.
The tent in our refugee camp was firmly zipped up; rather like the tomb in which Jesus was buried. Life away from home must feel rather like a sort of death.
Our Good Friday addresses were based on the actual lived experience of the father of a refuge family from Syria who has settled in Poole. He has written movingly of leaving home; being far from home and of longing for home. Click here to read his account.
On Easter Day, as we celebrated the new light of God’s life the tent was opened to reveal some beautiful flowers and lights and a reminder that Jesus himself was a refugee.
It would be very easy to pretend that this means that all is well. Of course its not. There are still millions of refugees in the world and the violence that drives them to leave their homes is still endemic.
However, the work we are doing to support refugees in Poole is a start. It is what we can do here, in our place and now, in our time.
Let us pray for peace; for hospitality and sanctuary, and for an end to fear
Ash Wednesday is on 6 March and we shall be celebrating the Eucharist on that day at 10.45am and 7.30pm. At both services there will be an opportunity to receive the imposition of ashes as a sign of our penitence
Our other Lenten activities include the Lent Course “Daring to see God Now” which will comprise five small group discussion sessions running throughout Lent. We also have two prayer, work and fellowship sessions.
Congratulations to Claire Brown, Sharon Palmer and Hannah Stedmon who were Confirmed by the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury at All Saints’ tide. Claire, Sharon and Hannah took part in a marvellous service of Confirmation in Salisbury Cathedral at which their Christian commitment was Confirmed by God and his Church. The following day they received Communion together for the first time here at St.Peter’s. Many congratulations to them. Do continue to pray for them as they set out on their Christian path.