Friday, 18 April 2014

How to do Holy Week?

Today is Good Friday and there are three different events in our benefice - Easter Garden making with children's activities, an Hour at the Cross and A quiet service of words and music. The Rector@6 has not been involved in organising these - space has been there for groups or individuals to lead the events. Holy Week has evolved this year like that. The Rector@6 has gently nudged and there have been two excellent musical events led by members of the benefice. We began the week with a 'desert island discs' type evening led by two of our musicians who discussed the music that had been influencial in their lives. We had an afternoon concert of meditation and reflection which was beautifully put together and performed by a group of friends. It was strange to have come to church in the middle of a working week and sit and reflect, while listening to awe inspiring music. What a rare opporunity! And we have today's events. There has been a small audience each time - and that's where the work needs to be put in - get the information out to the villages!

The other difficulty is getting people to move on and come up with new ideas. Changing things is not popular in rural parishes. Recently the Rector@6 had problems with a parishioner who wanted the church to be the same as when they were growing up and thus suitable for the family funeral! There are builders working in that particular church - putting in a mezzanine floor for the bell ringers and a new kitchen underneath - all the money raised in advance of work starting! That's progress ....and it is not wanted by some.

Returning to Good Friday  - Jesus' death on a cross is a challenging, unpleasant event to have to talk about. But we know what comes next and we should be inspired to spread the good news. People are becoming unfamiliar with the Christian message and need to be reinspired to listen again. If we keep putting on the same events and telling the story in the same way - people will choose not to listen. We are consumer society - even in these rural parts.


  1. Good Friday and Easter blessings! We need to remember that Jesus was crucified because he criticized the "power structures" of his day. The same powers that today are turning our world into a "consumer society," while gutting health care, education, and other things important to "average people."

    Sounds like some wonderful people have been making doe wonderful Good Friday and Easter plans. That in itself is worth celebrating!

  2. I learn much from you of the difficult reality for clergy and their spouses and have gratitude for those who serve this way. Wishing you and the rector many blessings in this most holy time of year.

  3. Wishing you and the Rector Easter Blessings.
    I can almost understand the parishioner wishing to keep things as they were ... the answer was your last sentence. Those of us in our senior years can be overwhelmed by 'progress', some of which is fabulous, and some of which is simply over-powering in the wrong sense of the word.
    Your Easter celebrations sound restful and reflective ... may others have the wisdom to participate not only at Easter but onwards.