As I write this with the snow on the ground it hardly seems like Easter is nearly here and Spring has almost begun! However, Easter is approaching fast and when we do get the odd lovely warm day, it is a wonderful thing. By the time you read this we may even have celebrated the most important time of the Christian calendar. A time when we travel with the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, continue with him through the Last Supper and accompanied him to the cross on Good Friday. And then the quietness and stillness of Easter Saturday as we await the joy of Easter morning when his disciples find the empty tomb and find him resurrected in a body which appears to show the marks of his wounding but nevertheless can appear and disappear at will. There are many ways of looking at Holy Week and the season of Easter and each year I find there is more and more to discover about the Easter events. Each event of Holy Week is a part of the Easter story and Easter will mean far more if you consider each one as they build up to the end of the week. What appeared to be a terrible tragedy for the disciples and the hopes and dreams they invested in this amazing man Jesus, was transformed into something far more crazy and simply incredible than they had ever seen before. Disappointment and sorrow that they would no longer see their Lord and Master, dissipated as Jesus demonstrated that as he foretold many times to his disciples, after three days he would rise again, forging a new road through death and out the other side to a completely new life and a new type of body. It is hard to believe isn’t it that this happened, but there are so many eyewitness accounts and things that happened after that first Sunday morning which simply could not have taken place had these events been untrue. Read the gospels for yourself and remind yourself of the Easter story. Try Mark’s gospel, the first one believed to have been written, which gives you immediacy and fast pace through events. Or John’s which is very spiritual and full of meaning, or Luke’s which is carefully written… Until you have read the gospels you really won’t know for sure whether to believe or not!
Well Easter is very much a time for new life and green shoots and so life in our two churches is developing well in all sorts of interesting ways. Ockley are about to begin a building project which will be providing a new kitchen area and a WC for the first time in its several hundred years history. This will be a great relief for many! These projects always take a while to gain funds and momentum but the Friends of Ockley Church have been working very hard to reach this point and we look forward to the new facilities and wish them well with it. Here at Capel, we have appointed a new architect to take us forward for our plans with the boundary wall, especially the part at the back of the churchyard which has fallen down. We look forward to finally being able to really move forward with this project and that of our main church building where new rainwater goods are needed to protect this ancient building.
At the end of this month we will be holding a joint service at St Margaret’s Ockley as part of their weekend of art and craft where childrens and adults artworks will be displayed along with some beautiful quiltwork. Do look out for the notice advertising this later on in the magazine. At Capel, Café Church increases in popularity and along with Messy Church is fast becoming a staple part of our informal worship services. Do come along to Bob Cranham’s Sunday Session (third Sunday in the month 6pm in the Capel Parish Hall) where on behalf of our church Bob and his band provide an inspiring time of contemporary music, worship, thought and prayer. So let us look forward now to some warmer weather and the first leaves of Spring, never forgetting who it is who created this natural world for us. In the meantime may I wish you a happy Easter and Easter joy in these longer days. As we say on Easter day – Allelujah. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Allelujah!
With my love and prayers