Dear Friends – Easter

Dear Friends,

Spring is here! We are past the equinox, and the days are now longer than the nights. Next weekend the clocks will go forward and it will be light into the early evening. There is warmth in the sun, when it’s out, and though there is still a risk of frost at night it feels like time to get to grips with the garden.

Wildlife experts warn us to hold back on mowing lawns and tidying borders, for fear of harming any overwintering bugs, so I am looking mainly at the pots and tubs. Foolishly, I didn’t get pots under cover early enough last year and they suffered in the sharp cold snap. The geraniums are definitely dead and have been thrown out. Two hydrangeas, by contrast, are putting out robust new buds and leaves. The mint is coming again, accompanied in its pot by a beautiful primrose which I’m sure I never planted.

For the rest of the herbs and small shrubs, it is a matter of waiting. Some will need cutting back to remove frost-burnt parts; some may not survive. Those that do will need gentle feeding and coaxing back to strength.

The Covid pandemic and now the rising energy bills have acted like a cold snap on churches, including in the URC. Some have had to close; some have come back strongly with new growth. Many are finding they need to look again at what they are doing and whether there are activities that need to be pruned or done differently.

St Andrew’s, by God’s grace, has survived and is doing well. The Church Centre is buzzing with life, as shown in the report from Maureen and Sam in the last magazine. More people are attending worship in person, and we still have a faithful few joining on zoom. But there is no room for complacency. We need now to look ahead, to plan for growth in the future. To this end we are planning a Vision Day on Sunday 3rd September. We’ll start with worship and then spend time celebrating our gifts, sharing our ideas and dreaming our dreams. Lunch will be included. More details will follow, but please set aside the date – this is for all of us.

We are coming up to Easter, the time when we celebrate resurrection, God bringing new life despite every human effort to silence Jesus for ever. God is working even through church closures, where resources are released for new ventures. God is working in St Andrew’s, and who knows what new ventures we might be called to?

We go forward into the Spring in confidence and hope.

With every blessing for Easter,