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BRaG Residents Association

Easter message from Fr Martin

Thursday, April 2, 2020 

Fr Martin shares his Easter thoughts during this unusual and difficult time.

For many we are aware that the coronavirus-induced limitations on life have arrived at the same time as Lent, the traditional season of doing without.  Now we approach Easter a time traditionally for many families to gather and enjoy one another's company.


But the sharp new regulations - no social gatherings, schools shutting, virtual house arrest - make a mockery of any little Lenten disciplines. Doing without alcohol, or chocolate, is child's play compared with not seeing friends or grandchildren, or going to the pub, the library or church.


For me there is great personal pain in having the Church closed to people and not being able to make pastoral visits to the lonely, the housebound, those in care homes or hospital. Each weekday at 9am I offer the eucharist alone in Church for the parish and everyone impacted by this crisis.  On Sunday 8am I have even managed to master rudimentary technology to provide parishioners with a Zoom Service!


I have received many messages from people, who I do not really know, who have expressed appreciation for the small candle stand set up in the Church Porch. These little gestures do indeed provide people with encouragement and hope.


Even in our self-isolation we become small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell and the demonstrable love for family, friends and strangers can be made manifest.


And out of that there can emerge new possibilities, new acts of kindness, new scientific understanding, new hope. Each day we have seen how individuals and community groups, such as BRaG, have given effect to that important social value - the care for neighbour and stranger.


As Her Majesty The Queen recently said in a Message to the Nation:


 "Our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one.


"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.


"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation's history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal."


 “Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge."


That is a challenge being taken up here is this community!


Thank you all for your part in meeting that challenge.


Fr Martin Hislop


St Luke's Parish

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