Peace be with you this blessed Easter week!
Sadly, due to an unlikely combination of unforeseen circumstances, we are unable to continue providing Easter reflections or full services this week. However, please find below a set of links to support you in your Easter pilgrimage. Our prayers are with you.
https://youtu.be/ZcP_EjtO41w Our 2022 reflection for you to revisit.
https://youtu.be/cJ3-U0BcY9k Our 2022 reflection for you to revisit.
https://youtu.be/VkW8cJiPiSU Our community member Sammy has an important message to share about Jesus' Good Friday experience, informed by her experiences as a disabled woman.
https://youtu.be/wxtDQ2veSA8 Our 2022 service for you to revisit.
https://youtu.be/pAgyXCnpv78 Easter Prayers from Rev'd Caroline Beckett
https://youtu.be/iJd6C9-wn7A An Easter Sermon for 2023 with our very own Rebecca. May it bless you.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Today we consider our own mortality.
I've always been a little freaked out by ashes. The thought of human ashes after cremation. I had a morbid interest in Spontaneous Human Combustion at one point as a child, and knowing a person could become mere grains of black dust was both fascinating and fear-inducing.
Yet more and more these days, we see people embracing ashes and creating something new, beautiful, with them. You can have your loved one made into a piece of jewellery. An ornament. Even send them up to the stars in a firework.
As we contemplate the ashes today, perhaps going to have some placed on our foreheads, is it dying to oneself we are thinking of? Or the beautiful gift which is coming in the Easter story? As we take these ashes, are we looking back at the simple joy of a palm cross from which they came, or are we looking forward to the extravagant joy to come?
Liminal space, transitional times, they are the hardest times in the human experience. Yet they are often also the richest. Let us open ourselves to rich blessings this Lent.
Who doesn't like a pancake? Eggs, flour, milk, topping of your choice.
But what if you don't have access to such basic ingredients? Eggs are increasingly expensive, milk too. Don't get me started on the price of Nutella!
I look at a simple pancake, and I count my blessings. I am thankful I have the gas to heat the pan, the butter to make sure the batter doesn't stick. I am grateful that I have the strength in my wrist to flip the pancake, and the patience to make enough that I get at least one flat for my son!
Traditionally, the pancake comes from the act of using up your dairy products in the cupboards before fasting during Lent. But what if your cupboards are bare already?
I was shocked to hear the child poverty figures for the North East recently. In many areas they are as high as 40-50% of children living below the poverty line. Will anyone make them a pancake?
As I sprinkle on my lemon and sugar tonight, I will say a prayer for those who cannot access even the simple things. Too many in our communities. I will also be donating to The Trussell Trust this Lent. I invite you to do the same.