Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we come to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do so in these exceptional circumstances. In these days of darkness during the Covid-19 world epidemic, we are reminded of how precious life can be and how vulnerable we all are as human beings. The death of loved ones stares us in the face, as friends and family become unwell. The story of Easter reminds us that as Christians death is not the end, and death does not have the final word. Through Jesus we believe in life after death, and in everlasting life in a place which we call heaven, reunited with the God who made us, and who came to save us in the person of Jesus. Whilst some of us have been personally infected by the coronavirus, others are carrying out their Christian vocation to serve and care for others, particularly in the NHS, the Local Authority, and through the Voluntary Sector. We pray for all those who are trying to bring healing and hope to communities across the world. In this Holy Season we pray too for the other faith communities, and especially for Muslims keeping Ramadan, Sikhs celebrating Vaisakhi, and Judaism keeping Passover. May the risen Christ bring us hope for a brighter future, when the earth may be more generous towards all its people, having equal access to the earth’s resources that we have available to us, and the hope that Easter brings to the Christian community. Alleluia Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

God of glory, by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Canon Hilary Barber