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From the Vicar - May 2022

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Happy Easter!  (I’m writing this on 20th April, during Easter week, but the season of Easter continues throughout most of May until we celebrate Ascension Day on Thursday 26th May).

I hope that you are still enjoying the Easter season, and that you had a lovely Easter week.  Easter is probably the most important, and exciting, date in the liturgical calendar, or church year.  Without Easter, and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, there would be no church.  If Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, it’s unlikely we’d celebrate his birth every year, at Christmas, for – if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead at Easter – it’s quite likely we’d not have heard of him today.  Jesus might, perhaps, have been remembered as a holy man, or a prophet, but we wouldn’t worship him as God the Son, the third person of the Trinity, if he hadn’t been raised from the dead.

Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that death is not the end, and that sin, evil and death will not have the last word.  They have been defeated.  Jesus has won the final victory, and death will be no more.  Because Jesus was raised from the dead at Easter, Christians believe that God’s promises are true – that life continues beyond death, and that we will see our loved ones again and feast with them in God’s kingdom.

Easter is one of my favourite times of year.  I love the liturgy or worship of Holy Week and Easter, as we walk with Jesus the way of the cross, then celebrate his resurrection with joyful alleluias.  I love the Easter fire and the Paschal candle, Easter gardens, and the beautiful flowers which adorn our churches.  Many thanks to all who worked so hard to clean and decorate All Saints’ Church for Easter, and to prepare the Easter garden, as well as all the other tasks which are quietly undertaken by a team of volunteers.  I love the way the bluebells emerge around Easter, blossom appears on the cherry trees, and the crops begin to grow – the bright yellow fields of rape are particularly striking this Easter season, and the bluebells in nearby Shotover lovely too.  I love the greening of trees, as buds and leaves unfurl and birds begin to nest in their boughs.

I’d like to end by sharing with you the words of one of my favourite Easter hymns, which compares Jesus’ resurrection to the new life we see all around us, in nature, at this time of year:


Now the green blade rises from the buried grain

Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain

Love lives again, that with the dead has been

Love is come again like wheat that springs up green.


In the grave they laid Him, love whom we had slain

Thinking that He'd never wake to life again

Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen

Love is come again like wheat that springs up green.


Forth He came at Easter, like the risen grain

He that for three days in the grave had lain

Quick from the dead, my risen Lord is seen

Love is come again like wheat that springs up green.


When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain

Thy touch can call us back to life again

Fields of our hearts, that dead and bare have been

Love is come again like wheat that springs up green.


It was written by John Macleod Campbell Crum, a graduate of New College, Oxford – born in Cheshire in 1872, and who died in Farnham, Surrey, in 1958.  Perhaps you’d like to use it in your prayers for the remainder of this Eastertide, as you observe the signs of spring and rebirth in your gardens and in the fields around Cuddesdon and Denton.

God bless