Monthly letter

Dear Friends

He is risen! He is risen indeed – alleluia!

Those are the words that we use at the beginning of our Easter Sunday worship, the holiest day of the year, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus after his death by crucifixion on Good Friday.

In the week leading up to Easter Sunday we travel in the knowledge of what is to come, but still try to enter into the experience of the first ‘Holy Week’. We do that by gathering on each day of Holy Week to share something of the journey that Jesus took on his way to his death and resurrection.

We begin on Palm Sunday, this year on the 14th April. We remember the joy of the crowds as Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, feted by the crowds who were expecting a king who would free the people of God from oppression by the Roman occupying forces. In previous years we have walked with a donkey from the war memorial in Birdingbury to church where we celebrate Holy Communion. This year we are donkey-less. We will still be celebrating Communion but the service will be focused in church at St Leonard’s. In the afternoon we will be taking a journey from ‘Darkness to Light’: a performance of original music by the ultra-talented Bryan Tompkins by a choir from across the Benefice.

On Monday 15th at Compline at 7pm at St Leonard’s, Birdingbury we will be reflecting on Peter’s denial of Jesus after Jesus was arrested.

Tuesday 16th is the last of our Lent Pilgrim sessions – but they are all stand alone, so if you would like to come along just let me know.

Wednesday 17th is Compline at St Peter’s, Bourton where we will be thinking about Herod and his part in Jesus’ crucifixion.

Thursday 18th is Maundy Thursday, when we remember Jesus at the first Holy Communion – the Last Supper. At All Saints, Stretton there is a service of Holy Communion with an Agape or love meal. During this service we will remember the Last Supper by sharing some food as Jesus and the disciples did on that last night together. We also remember that Jesus took the role of the ultimate servant by washing his friends’ feet before the meal, and I too, will be offering to wash the feet of anyone who comes to the service.

Friday 19th, Good Friday, the day we remember His crucifixion. In the morning at Stretton Village Hall there is an Easter workshop for families at 9.30am followed by an informal service at All Saints at 11am. In the afternoon at 2pm, at St Nicholas, Frankton, we remember the ‘Last Hour’ of Jesus’ life with a service of music, poetry and prose that evokes the solemnity of the events of Good Friday.

Holy Saturday, the 20th is a day of reflection and waiting. Rev Gail will lead us in a vigil at St Peter’s, Bourton at 7.30pm.

Then the celebrations begin! Easter Sunday Holy Communion in each of the churches – St Peter’s, Bourton and All Saints, Stretton at 9.15am. St Leonard’s, Birdingbury and St Nicholas, Frankton at 11am. A joyful occasion celebrating the love that God has for all of us shown through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus conquered death and gives us all the promise of eternal life through him.

He is risen! He is risen indeed – alleluia!

So do journey with us this Holy Week, you will be welcome at any or all of our services.

As always, if you would like to get in touch, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Love and prayers
Ali