There is always something special about this time of year. Having passed the spring equinox, we are looking forward to brighter (and hopefully warmer) evenings. And with British Summer Time commencing on Sunday 30th March, there will be one more hour of evening brightness (albeit with the sacrifice in the short term of darker mornings for those who have to make an early start)! Early shrubs such as Magnolia have started to put forth their blooming splendour and even the leaves of trees such as the Horse Chestnut are helping to add springtime colours to the palate and to brighten up the wintry grey.
Over the coming weeks culminating in Easter, the Church will also be transforming itself from the traditional self-introversion and austerity of Lent to the celebration of the central festival on which the Church is founded. The resurrection event which is Easter is the single most important festival in the Christian Church’s year – it is so important that it convinced the early Church (which was predominantly Jewish) to move their Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. In this way, it can be argued that as Christians we celebrate Easter every week of the year but with a particular emphasis on Easter Sunday itself. It is also for this reason that the Sunday after Easter is often referred to as “Low Sunday” as it marks the return to a normal routine after the “high” of Easter Sunday.
This year, our Easter General Vestry is scheduled for the Sunday after Easter Day. In its own way, this annual meeting of Church members will be far from normal as it is deemed to be a triennial – in other words it happens once every three years. At this meeting, besides the routine election of a Select Vestry, Church Wardens and Glebe Wardens, there will also be elections for Diocesan Synods delegates and Parochial Nominators – those who are entrusted by the parish with the task of selecting a new Rector should a vacancy arise. All of these roles are essential to the continuity and smooth running of our parish and it is very important that as many parishioners as possible actively participate in the process.
In recent times it has often been said that we are living in a “world village”. Advances in technology – particularly communications technology – have made it possible to observe events and communicate with friends and family at the other side of the world as if they were in our own front rooms. However, the unfortunate result of this is that there is the unrealistic expectation that these capabilities cover our entire planet. The protracted mystery surrounding the ill-fated flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing caused much pain and heartbreak for the friends and relatives of those on board and there is no doubt that the lack of concrete reliable information added to their suffering. However, the overwhelming consensus now suggests the aircraft perished in one of the most isolated and inhospitable parts of our planet in the Southern Indian Ocean where conditions are extremely difficult. At the time of writing, satellite, air and sea search missions continue to be hampered with bad weather and poor visibility and there is a high probability that the aircraft’s flight recorder will not be found and thus we will never find out what actually caused this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with all concerned.
With every blessing,
Rev’d John Tanner. Tel: 01-289 3154 / 086 302 1376