Whatever stage of life we are at, whatever our attitude towards matters of faith, it cannot have escaped our notice that we are nearing Easter! I actually find great encouragement in the fact that the major festivals of the Church are still celebrated in some way in our wider culture. Whilst we may question the prevalence and sheer number of Easter eggs in the shops, together with the more recent practice of present giving at Easter, it is wonderful that people still wish to celebrate a Christian festival that is so deeply embedded in our culture. Surely the seeds of faith are sown in the continuation of traditions and because human nature is to question, whilst the tradition continues, the questions must also continue to arise.
The fact that the Easter weekend still merits two Bank Holidays also pleases me as this gives us all an opportunity to pause, reflect, to reconnect with others and to share our reflections and then our celebrations. You will find plenty of opportunities for reflection and then celebration in your village Churches during Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, and on Easter Sunday. Please come along and join in – check details under Services on this website.
Following Palm Sunday services we will be having a short service of Night Prayer, Compline, on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening of Holy Week, one in each of the three larger Churches. On Thursday evening, Maundy Thursday, we meet at Hampsthwaite Church for a service of Holy Communion. On Good Friday, we gather for the traditional Walk of Witness at Birstwith Village Green, following the cross up to Church, where we will then have our family friendly version of the Stations of the Cross with an interesting hunt for hidden items which help us to reflect on Jesus’ own journey. This is followed by Hot Cross Buns in the Church Hall. At 2pm on Good Friday, you are invited to Killinghall Church for a reflective reading of the Passion Narrative as we hear about Jesus’ final journey, enhanced by recorded music.
We will be greeting Easter Day together with an early service in a field on Clint Bank Lane, where all are welcome to gather for a short service, and a traditional BCP Holy Communion at Hampsthwaite at 8.30am. Main morning services on Easter Sunday at all the Churches provide an opportunity to joyfully celebrate Easter together. Please come along and bring your friends and families – all are welcome, God made it so through his Son, Jesus Christ. We very much look forward to welcoming everyone.
With every blessing,
Rev Chrissy Wilson
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’