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April 2024 Clergy Letter

A very Happy Easter to you all! Or as we will declare in all our Churches Christ is risen!

This climax of the Christian calendar is though, not all about celebration. To get to Easter Day we pass through Holy Week and Easter when we retrace the journey of Jesus as he gave himself for all of us. Whilst this is a series of events that we celebrate as being pivotal to a Christian’s relationship with our loving Father, it is also a pattern of life when we share that life with a loving God – yes, times are sometimes difficult and tragic but we have a promise that God in Christ will be there beside us (even when we don’t recognise it).

This Easter at St Mary’s in Hales we are hoping to dedicate a new altar cloth in memory of Robert Warrington, our Church Warden for over 50 years who died a couple of years ago. The cloth will have a Celtic Cross design – the cross with the knotwork design and a circle around it reflecting not only God’s love in the death and resurrection of Jesus but that this love is for all the world. It also has a small amount of blue in the ring to reflect the colours in our stained glass and carpet but also to acknowledge that we are St Mary’s (remember all those Mary’s in nativity plays and their blue dresses!).

Some would question the use of resources for beautifying our churches when so many suffer in life through lack of anything other than the bare necessities - or not even that. Just like in our own homes we try to make things comfortable and attractive when we can, so we wish to do the same in God’s house. Some would call this ‘holy waste’, but as long as we are careful and see it as only a small part of our use of what we have been given I believe it is a positive statement about our response to God’s love as we see it in Jesus Christ.

More importantly our response should be in the way we live day by day in the communities in which we live and work, reflecting that great love we see in Jesus’ actions. We will constantly fall down in that endeavour but, thankfully, God will repeatedly welcome us back and give us the strength to keep on as followers of Jesus.

Marcus Griffiths


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