As April begins, the churches enter the most solemn season of Holy Week. It begins on Palm Sunday, when we recall Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On Maundy Thursday we commemorate the Last Supper, when Jesus ate with his disciples and told them that whenever they broke bread and shared wine, they should recall his death on the cross for the sins of the world – which we do at every celebration of Holy Communion. Then comes Good Friday, when we recall and reflect on the terrible events of the crucifixion. Then comes the triumph of Easter Day, when we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death and sin in the Resurrection. This is the greatest day in the church calendar, and our churches reflect this as the purple vestments are replaced with white and gold, and as flowers fill the windowsills and stands. Details of Holy Week and Easter services are shown elsewhere. There is still time to book a place at the Passover Supper on Maundy Thursday – just let me know if you would like to come.
At the end of April – on Thursday 30th – our six candidates, Joyce, Jennifer, Darren, Helen, Jodie and Lucy will be confirmed at Corby Glen by the Bishop of Grantham at 7.30. In taking this step, they are reaffirming the promises made for them at their baptism by their Godparents, and taking responsibility for their life as Christians. Do come and support them, and welcome them as they join the band of those admitted to Holy Communion.
Our Sunday evenings in Lent have been enlivened by a series of evening services around the Deanery with guest preachers. We started off with a packed church at Creeton – there was, literally, standing room only, something our usual Sunday worship doesn’t encounter! Bishop Tim suggested we might give up religion for Lent, meaning, of course, those barren religious practices which do little to grow or enlighten the church. Instead, he suggested, we might become better neighbours. As I write, we have just heard the Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey reflect on Abraham’s journey of faith and what it offers each of us. Not only have we been fed by our preachers; we have got to know our fellow Christians from other parishes in the deanery, which has been a very positive experience and suggests that much good has come out of enlarging our deanery to encompass them.
Last month we held a memorial service for Molly Medwell, who had lived in Clipsham until relatively recently, and worshipped at Careby. Her son Robert gave a wonderful, affectionate address, telling how his father used to say that Molly only liked gym at school. As a child, Robert used to wonder who Jim was! Molly was a woman of great character, still playing Bridge right up to her death. We extend our sympathies to her three daughters and son, and her many grandchildren. For me, it was lovely to see several ex-High School girls amongst the granddaughters and to hear their news.
On April 4th. Andrew Woodward and Victoria Naisbitt are to be married at Castle Bytham. We wish them much happiness in their new life together.
Our round of Annual Parochial meetings is now underway. I will include the names of our newly-elected church wardens and PCC officers in the May edition. They give an enormous amount of time to the upkeep of the churches, to fund-raising and to our services, and I do thank them all very warmly. I simply couldn’t do my job without them.
I wish you all a very happy Easter
Added : 09/03/09 : MG