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A warm welcome from the Rector

Spring 2021 

Text Box:  As we come round to Spring and the church seasons of Lent and Easter once again I have been reflecting on the last year and all that has happened. I decided to see what was on my mind a year ago by reading the Spring 2020 As and Ridley Newsletter. Apparently it was wet, cold and windy but we were looking forward to lots of Lent and Easter events, a Hodsoll Street Big Breakfast and being entertained by The Hartley Players and Les Barker; alas these things did not take place!

This time last year a coronavirus was hitting the news but had yet to be named as COVID- 19. This time last year I had no idea what a Zoom meeting was, furlough was a word I’d never used and face masks were not a daily essential item in my life. It has been a year like no other.

I’ve had other memorable years both happy and sad, but those experiences were only shared by a few - this last year has been shared by us all, locally, nationally and globally, like few other years have been.  We will all have a pandemic story to tell in years to come, yes they will be different but we have all shared the same lockdowns, government messages and statistics. The things that are important to us have been revealed often in very raw and difficult ways –  loss, vulnerability, and disempowerment are things that will be remarkably familiar to us all.

Last year I said, “The hope is that by the time we reach the celebration of Easter … the sun will have made an appearance and the puddles dried up.” And so they did – we had the most beautiful Spring that many of us were able to enjoy in a way we hadn’t been able to before because lockdown meant what else was there to do but marvel at creation in its fullness.  

And over this year we have been stabilised and sustained by the seasons which reassuringly came round as they always have and always will; yes Easter, Harvest, Remembrance Day and Christmas were different but they happened and we marked them in new and creative ways.

Now, once again, the blossom is starting to bloom on the trees, the days are getting longer and this year we are looking forward to freedoms being restored, rather than taken away.

We thank God for those who have held us over the last year in so many ways and for the wonder that is not just one but multiple vaccines. We hold our nerve and practice restraint as we learn how to live with this new virus.

We continue to pray daily and earnestly for each other and the healing and recovery that is to come. Trusting in the new life and hope in abundance that comes from the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we gratefully and reassuringly celebrate Easter once again.

So I pray that you will know and be blessed God’s sustaining love this Easter.

Rev Helen.





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