Dear Church Friends,
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. In some ways it might be thought of as the most thrilling and exciting part of the year. We cannot escape the dramatic power of the New Testament accounts of how Christ broke from the tomb……the stone rolled away. The resurrection seems to be linked with the very spirit of this season….. old things becoming new, drab things bursting with colour, dead things leaping into life. Children of any age look forward to receiving Easter eggs with their bright wrappers. In some families, eggs are hard boiled and then brightly decorated. I remember as a child spending a few days at Easter in the Norfolk seaside town of Cromer. A highlight of the trip was to see a pen of cute day-old fluffy yellow chicks in one of the shop windows. They looked so bright and cheery that it put a smile on everyone’s face. Eggs have always been associated with Easter and the coming of spring- a symbol of birth and resurrection and a sure sign that winter is behind us and spring is on the way. Egg rolling, which takes part in some areas of the country, also reminds us of the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb. If we were allowed to sing in church tomorrow, no doubt one of the hymns would have been “ Christ the Lord is risen today” as we celebrate the empty tomb and the joy of the resurrection.
It is appropriate that the message of Easter Sunday brings hope as we move into the next stages of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. There is light and hope at the end of the tunnel. We can meet up with small groups of friends outdoors, and those who have been shielding for such a long time are now able to spread their wings and venture outside. We are all on a different path along the journey. Some will be at ease when near other people, but others may have lost their confidence and feel anxious. We all respond in different ways and we need to be mindful of others’ views and to continue our support for each other during this time.
John and I feel thankful that we have been able to play some golf this week. It seemed very strange after such a long lay-off, but wonderful to be in a beautiful place listening to the sounds of the birds and not hearing any traffic noise. The standard of our golf didn’t matter to us as it was so peaceful and beneficial to be close to nature. We felt uplifted and refreshed by the experience. The weather on Tuesday and Wednesday was like summer and a taste of things to come, we hope. Gardens are looking magnificent, with magnolias starting to open their blooms and new blossom is appearing every day. The forecast for Easter Monday sounds as if there will be a return to winter weather, but our recent taste of summer will remind us of what is to come. In St Annes the gardens on the front are full of hyacinths, with the tulips in the middle of this bed in the photo below, starting to open up.
Bluebells take over our garden at this time of year and their flowers are now beginning to appear and start to open. Apart from the usual blue bluebells, some of our plants produce white flowers and others a pink/purple shade. They are very resilient and push their way through everywhere, even those places we had hoped to remove them from, even getting through cracks in the concrete base of a greenhouse. This week has brought an influx of visitors to the prom as they are now able to travel to visit our beautiful coast and from Good Friday dogs will once again be banned from the beach on either side of the pier. The fields at the edge of the Moss are very wet and we saw about 6 shellducks on one of the large ‘temporary’ ponds, along with a heron and birds of prey. A peacock butterfly was enjoying the spring sunshine in the trees that back onto Cypress Point. Spring is coming quickly, can summer be far behind? Remember “Tomorrow will be a good day”.
Fairtrade Chocolate Easter Eggs. Thank you for your magnificent response.
Janet S writes:
I am delighted to let you know that we have donated 108 Meaningful Chocolate Company Fairtrade Easter eggs to our three chosen charities containing the Christian Easter booklet. I took 36 eggs to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid’s office in Bispham and they were very grateful. Julie arranged for the remaining 72 eggs to be distributed to Sydney Street Children’s Centre in St. Annes and Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Homestart.
Please thank your congregations for their continuing support; they are truly amazing.
Love and Happy Easter
Co-ordinator on behalf of the Fylde Fairtrade Steering Group
Easter Sunday – 4th April 2021 at 2pm
Our Worship on Sunday 4th April will be led by Rev Jim Williams and will include Communion. If possible, please bring your own individual portion of bread and wine (squash or water) for communion services. There will be some individual prepacked cups with wafers available for anyone who forgets.
Please remember to keep your distance from others, both inside and outside the church and leave the grounds as soon as possible following the service. This is most important as Synod recommended that churches did not open on Easter Sunday, and has asked those which do to ensure that mingling outside of households and support bubbles does not take place. Please help us to conform with this.
Booking for the service is now closed as we have reached the appropriate numbers for our church.
Those who have booked a place in Sunday’s service should be aware of the following request from Synod that: “ the congregation review their personal risk assessment to ensure they are making an informed decision before going forward”. The personal risk assessment sent out by Synod is attached to this week’s email. If after reconsidering your risk level, you now change your mind about attending this service, please would you let me know.
I should like to thank all those who have cleaned and prepared the church in readiness for the Easter Day service and those who will act as Stewards. Your help is much appreciated.
Rev Janet Calderley will lead the Easter Sunday Morning Zoom Worship at 10:30am
The funeral of Roy Stott will take place in church on Wednesday 7th April at 1.45pm. As numbers are restricted, it will be by invitation only. Please pray for Christine and all Roy’s family at this sad time and specially think of them when they come together to say goodbye to him on Wednesday.
An Easter poem by Iris Hesselden
We thank you for this Easter, Lord, as once more hope revives,
And for the beauty and the joy you bring into our lives.
This season has a healing touch, it eases heart and mind,
And we go forward hopefully, the winter left behind.
We thank you for your promise, Lord, we know that life goes on
And those we loved and thought were lost are never really gone.
They’re all around us every day to comfort and to guide
And when our path is steep and rough, they’re always by our side.
So thank you, Lord, for love and light to lead us on our way,
Please help us share the hope and joy and thank you for today.
Let us pray
Dear Lord Jesus,
We pray for those who have lost loved ones and for those for whom life is difficult and full of problems. Hear their prayers and give them your strength and love to cope with the days ahead. Be with us all as we work through the steps out of lockdown and wait patiently until life is more normal. We give thanks for the speed at which vaccinations are being given, as many will be receiving their second vaccination in the next few weeks. We are grateful to all those who are involved in delivering them so efficiently. We pray for the day when we can meet together and unite as a full congregation to offer our prayers to you. Thank you for the hope that Easter brings and show us Your way.
In your Holy name, amen.
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all