From the Rector
As I write these notes, we are right in the heart of the great Easter season.
Indeed, we will still be comfortably in that season when this issue is distributed because Easter lasts a whole 50 days, right up to the great festival of Pentecost, which this year is on 23rd May.
Easter is the season of resurrection and new life; a time of rejoicing and praise as the Christian hope is proclaimed. This year this queen of feasts had an even greater significance for us, as it was only on Palm Sunday that we felt able to reopen our churches for Sunday worship after the bleak empty weeks of the most recent lockdown.
It seems almost too grim to contemplate but in 2020 all church buildings in the land were closed for Easter, so parlous were the conditions last spring.
It has been a true joy to be back sharing worship after such a dark and empty winter period. All seven of our churches in the Camelside Benefice have been back in action, though at Temple we met out of doors on Easter Day because the church is so small and narrow, we could only have accommodated a handful of people safely. It has been so heartening to pray together, to listen to Scripture together and to receive Holy Communion together.
We can’t sing together yet, but we have plenty of music, much of it live. And it has been such a boost for people actually to see each other in the flesh again. For about 10 weeks, we held a Sunday morning service via Zoom, which was much more successful and fun that I ever imagined it would be, but was still no substitute for real community and fellowship.
All this has happened of course at the most hopeful time of the natural year. This year more, I think, than any other, I have been very aware of the signs of rebirth and revival around me.
My ears have been keenly tuned to the blackbirds’ first fluty notes before dawn, to the first distinctive call of the chiffchaff, one of our earliest summer arrivals, the rich and chaotic song of the blackcap, the first butterflies in the garden on sunny mornings, the glorious display of the primroses in our Cornish banks and hedgerows. And I am still looking out eagerly for the first sight of ‘our’ house martins, who by the time you read this will, I hope, be nesting in the regular places in the Rectory eaves.
The joy and hope of the Gospels’ Easter message was prefaced by the grim solemnity of the Cross, its reality marking the ultimate triumph of light over darkness and life over death.
As we emerge, gradually and tentatively, from the shadows of our enforced winter, we pray that the signs of new life may be sustained to gladden our hearts and bring the hope of that Easter message to all.