A Letter from your Associate Priest

Dear friends

 

Spring has sprung

 

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘hit and miss’ gardener and I’m relieved that this Vicarage garden is certainly easier to maintain and smaller than the last two we’ve had. As I write this we are in the middle of March and this time of year in the garden is always exciting as the long dark, cold, and of course very wet days of winter are now behind us and things are suddenly springing into life again.  It never ceases to amaze me that bulbs survive over the winter, no matter what the weather seems to throw at them. It’s especially fascinating as we wait to see what new surprises might be hidden in the Vicarage garden this year.  Our snowdrops have just about finished and even the daffodils are nearly over, but the primroses are looking lovely, and we might even begin to spy a few bluebells shooting up.

It's seems as if this year Spring then on into Summer might be something to celebrate, if we can get the pandemic under control and feel our lives heading towards some sort of ‘normal’.

I suppose we could almost compare the season of winter, and the lockdowns we have endured, with Holy Week, which this year began on 28th March (Palm Sunday), when Christians think about the events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion.  The brief glimpses of sunlight and warmth that you get in winter were a bit like Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  But as the week goes on winter sets in as Jesus has a last meal with his friends, is arrested whilst praying in the garden at Gethsemane and then endures the pain and torture to come.

It was a dark time, when the leaders of Jerusalem ganged up against Jesus and his closest friends deserted him.   For his friends it probably seemed as if nothing would ever be the same again.  What hope could they cling to when the man they believed would change everything, was now hanging on a cross. 

But, just like the roll out of the vaccine and knowing that spring will return after winter, aren’t we fortunate to know that the crucifixion on Good Friday was not the end of the story.  Just as the green shoots start springing up in the garden giving us hope that winter is finally over, we too can be filled with the hope of Easter Sunday and Jesus’ resurrection.  Knowing that we have a God who cares for us and the world so much that he came into it as a human baby and was prepared to endure the very worst that could happen, means that whatever terrible things may happen in our lives, we can always turn to Jesus to be with us and sustain us. 

Later on this week, as you break open your Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday morning, perhaps you will think about Jesus and that empty tomb and thank him for the sacrifice he made.  Thank him, that after all the sadness and pain came a bigger joy than anyone could possible have imagined. 

Jesus, alive again!  Jesus, with us always! 

Now, if that thought doesn’t put ‘spring’ into our steps, I don’t know what will.

A very happy Easter to you all

With blessings Sandra

 

Parish and Benefice News

 

I’m pleased to say that we will be starting to have services in our churches again, please see the worship rota, here are the plans for

 

Holy Week and Easter

Maundy Thursday – 1st April - 7pm online Holy Communion

 

Good Friday – 2nd April

10:30am Bere Regis Churchyard & 12noon Affpuddle Churchyard – Reflections at the foot of the Cross, a short reflective outdoor service.

2pm online – An hour at the Cross

Easter Day – 4th April

9:30am Holy Communion in St John the Baptist Church

Social distancing will still be in place and face coverings inside will still be required, please let a Church Warden know in advance that you intend to come.

 

For families

See the advert for Messy Church and book your places by 18th April.

 

The Annual Church Meetings will be held in May, more details next time.

 

As ever, please do get in touch by phone or email if you would like to chat about anything or have prayer requests.