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Letter to Parishioners, 9 April 2020

Letter from Revd Stephen to Parishioners, Maundy Thursday, 9 April 2020

Maundy Thursday

Dear Friends in Christ,

The challenging times go on and for some that sense of challenge is increasing.  Separation from family and friends is proving increasingly difficult; concerns over tasks that cannot be carried out are rising; the challenges of staying in touch with the world solely through the use of modern technology continues to cause bewilderment.  For others, of course, this has become a time of rethinking and realignment.  One of the great causes of sadness at the moment, though, has been our physical separation from the Church.  During this most holy of weeks in the Christian calendar our church doors continue to be locked, although we have now been able to reopen our churchyards.

Today is the beginning of the final stages in our journey towards the joy of Christ’s triumphant resurrection.  This evening we would have been gathering to recall the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and then we would have been passing into a time of prayer and vigil as we recalled his Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Tomorrow we would have been gathering at the Cross to remember the moment of his ultimate sacrifice made for each and every one of us.  Then, on Saturday evening, we would have been lighting the new fire and blessing our Easter Candles – those symbols of Christ’s resurrection that burn in our churches throughout the year.  That is all what we would have been doing.  This year it is different.  This year we are having to rethink our connection with Holy Week in a way that has never been experienced by any of us before, no matter how long we have lived.

So, how can we journey in faith during these days?

There are services on our church website that have been specially prepared and recorded to help you on your spiritual journey through the coming days.  While these continue to be ‘remote’ experiences I thought you would like to know how much positive feedback we are getting for these resources – even other churches are linking into our website now, not to mention the possibility of downloading podcast versions of the recordings.  It had also been encouraging to hear so many stories of people persevering to master those previously underused technological devices.

In case you are not aware, our church website address is https://corbyglenchurches.uk

This is going to be a ‘strange’ Easter and one that will certainly live on in our memories.  The important thing for all of us to remember is that it is still a time of celebration – the celebration of Christ’s joyous and triumphant resurrection.  Let us remain steadfast in our faith; let us remain constant in our prayer; let us all make time to shout for joy: Alleluia! Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

With every blessing to you all,

Revd Stephen