A month ago I prepared an Easter Pastoral Letter, which I believe has already gone to some village newsletters, but I believe the spread of the coronavirus worldwide and the restrictions governments have ordered demand a new letter.
We are all entering a new and uncertain era in which many of the things we have taken for granted are being suddenly changed and the lives of all of us are affected. Because of health worries some are self-isolating, others are having their plans for this year totally disrupted, many have real financial concerns as jobs are cut and all of us face an uncertain future.
The first followers of Jesus faced the collapse of their familiar world when their beloved Lord and Master was arrested and crucified. The conversation of two followers of Jesus with a stranger on the Emmaus Road makes that very clear. Their hopes that Jesus might be the one to redeem Israel seemed dashed and the remaining apostles of Jesus were meeting together behind closed doors in fear they too might be arrested. Yet suddenly all was changed as the risen Jesus appeared to them. Desolation and despair turned to joy and life took on a new meaning.
Because of the recommendations for social distancing we will be unable to worship together on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday but I hope we will make sure we make time on these days for private worship, perhaps with the help of services on the radio, television or internet.
Each of us are uncertain what the remainder of this year will hold for us but I hope we will regularly pray for one another and keep in touch by telephone and in other ways, sharing any news of members of the fellowship in special need. We need to pray for wisdom for our leaders in Church and State as they have to make day to day decisions
Though we cannot meet together may you all have a happy Easter.
Revd. Richard Edwards