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From the Priest-in-Charge


We are approaching Holy Week and Easter, and I am delighted that Great St Mary’s is a church that observes Holy Week with the special services from Palm Sunday to Easter Day that enable us to become part of those events nearly two thousand years ago, which are the fountain of our faith. After six weeks of observing Lent, we walk with Jesus to the cross and celebrate his resurrection on Easter Day. It is no co-incidence that, in the Northern Hemisphere, Lent and Easter coincide with the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This season of repentance, self-discipline, reflection and prayer to me always feels very wintery, includes darkness, being more in touch with my weakness, brokenness, longing for healing and wholeness. The gift of faith is that I don’t do that on my own, but in the presence of a loving God, supported by fellow Christians who share the journey of faith. It's a time for letting go of parts of ourselves or our lives, that prevent us from growing and flourishing; like the seed that is lying in the dark ground, being broken open, so it can become the plant it is intended to be. We are being ‘broken open’ to receive more of God’s love and grace, enabling God’s light and life to be refracted through our lives. On Good Friday, at the end of the liturgy of the cross, we gather again very early on Easter Day, in the dark, just before sunrise, for a church service which starts outside with a vigil, followed by the lighting of a new fire and the first Eucharist of Easter. For me, it is the most beautiful and joyful service of the year! During the vigil we recall the great sweep of God’s history with his people in readings from the Old Testament. We then light the New Fire - literally, a small bonfire - symbolising the rekindling of life in the Resurrection that first Easter morning. From the fire the Paschal (means Easter) Candle is lit, and we process into Church proclaiming “The Light of Christ”. With a great organ fanfare and the ringing of bells (bring your own bells!) the lights come on and we sing the Gloria! We renew our baptismal promises as a sign of our participation in Christ’s new life. The service continues in the usual order, but the colour is now white/gold, and the hymns proclaim our Easter joy! We are treated to breakfast, then, of course, our Easter Day celebrations continue with Holy Communion at 8 o’clock, a Sung All-Age Easter Day Eucharist at 10 o’clock, Choral Mattins at 11.30 am and Choral Evensong at 5 pm. Like the first disciples, we may come to Easter feeling a little tired, fragile, bruised, astonished by the good news that our crucified Lord is risen from the dead and has pulled us from the grave, into a life of freedom, light and love. The fifty days of Easter that follow, allow this to sink in and take deeper hold in our minds and in our hearts. Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Easter blessings to you and your family! Jutta


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From the Priest-in-Charge

Eastertide greetings! Alleluia! Christ is risen! Every year I am struck by a different layer of meaning about Easter, though of course, it’s not new at all – I just hadn’t seen or grasped it before. T

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Word is on the internet that the position of Organist/Music Director is open If so pl ease return my E-mail : I may well be regarded, as a former organ scholar at Pembroke College,Organist Assistant to Dr. Boris Ord now deceased)at Kings College and subsequently Cathedral Organist / Director of Music Please advise : you may caretokeep a note of my Email address and respond accordingly.

Thank you Eric Fletcher

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