Rector’s Letter April 2017
I am writing this with the sun and the daffodils blazing in the Rectory Garden – and it’s only the second week in Lent! This joyful time of year sees the earth renew itself with blossom and fresh leaves and with young birds and animals beginning their life. And as Christians we are renewed in faith and hope by our celebration of Easter.
The life and teaching of Jesus is truly remarkable. He showed immense love for those around him, especially the despised and marginalized. He challenged those who were unduly proud of their own importance or wedded to their wealth. He healed those who were damaged by life and brought new life to the dead. But even so Jesus would probably have been forgotten by history had it not been for one extraordinary event; his resurrection.
Holy Week and Easter gives us the opportunity to live through the last days of Jesus and to be made aware again of his immense sacrifice and suffering.
We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear,
but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there.
He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.
There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin,
he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.
Mrs. Alexander, the writer of the well known hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’, puts the meaning of Jesus suffering and death in simple but memorable words. His death was for us, so that we could know the inexhaustible depth of God’s love and forgiveness. We can call to him in time of need, and know that whatever we have done wrong, or failed to do, nothing is beyond his power to forgive.
But the hope and faith which God offers us is even beyond this. By raising Jesus from the dead God showed that death is not the end for us, because God’s purpose for us is eternal and he will bring us to eternal life just as he has brought Jesus back to his right hand in heaven. The resurrection has never been easy to grasp or understand. But the truth it points us to is plain: God has power to bring new life even out of death and he wants nothing more than for us to share in it. Do come and celebrate this great truth with us at our Easter services.
Easter Activity Morning
Several of our churches will be offering family activities over the Easter period and at Holy Cross we will be running an Easter Activity morning from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 15th April. We begin with songs and then about an hour of Easter themed activities before enjoying some hot cross buns and then going over to church for a short service walking around church to tell the Easter story. There is no charge but children should register beforehand using forms available from the Parish Office and local school offices.
Parochial Church Meetings
We are now in the season of Annual meetings and it gives me the opportunity to thank all those who have served on our church committees and as churchwardens in the past year. We are incredibly well served in our churches by people who are prepared to spend time on the tasks of maintenance and administration for the good of our churches. Without their dedication we would simply not have any functioning churches and I would like to express my appreciation to all those who work behind the scenes in our churches to make them places of love, warmth, prayer and worship for our congregations and wider communities.
I’m delighted that Bishop Sarah will be coming to lead a confirmation service for the first time here at Holy Cross, Crediton. The service will be on Sunday 15th October at 10am. Confirmation is open to those who are aged 12 or over and I plan to run groups for adults and young people over the summer. If you would like to be confirmed or know someone who would, please speak to me or one of the other clergy and pass on your name and contact details. If you are not baptized or christened already it is usual to be baptized and confirmed at the same service, and we can easily arrange that. If you would like to explore what it might mean for you please also have a word with myself, Paul or Helen.
Apart from all the Easter Services here are some other dates to note in April:
- Sunday April 2nd, 9.30am Family Communion in Boniface Centre; 6pm Choral Evensong
- Wednesday 5th April, 7.30pm Crediton Church APCM in Boniface Centre
- Thursday 6th April, 7 for 7.30pm Shobrooke Church APCM in Red Lion
- Sunday April 9th, 6pm Evening Prayer at St Lawrence Chapel
- Saturday 15th April, 10am -12noon Easter Activity morning in Boniface Centre
- Thursday 20th April, 7.30pm first Boniface Concert Society Concert of the season
- Sunday 23rd April, 6pm, Compline (Night Prayer) sung in the chancel at Holy Cross
- Wednesday 26th April, 7.30pm Music Endowment Fund AGM in Lady Chapel
- Sunday 30th April, 6pm Taizé Evening Prayer in Lady Chapel
with every good wish and blessing
Nigel Guthrie, Rector