May 2021 Letter
Greetings in Eastertide: the church season which runs from Easter Sunday through to Pentecost and this year, falls on Sunday 23rd May. It recalls the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles and giving them the gift of tongues to share the Word of God in the languages of the many cultures that surrounded them (Acts 2).
Jerusalem then, as now, was a melting pot of cultures - as are the communities in which we live. Holy Week last month reminded us of our commandment to love one another (John 13, 34) and that remains the key challenge to us all today.
Through these difficult times of the last year, where we have all experienced the impact of COVID and others have also been coping with the painful challenges of raising issues of race and oppression, it has been heart-warming to see the kindness and care people have shown one another. Let us pray that this support may continue always.
As we look to Pentecost we acknowledge that our Jewish neighbours will be looking towards the festival of Shavout and many of our Muslim residents will have been fasting to mark the Holy month of Ramadam. May we all celebrate the diversity in our villages and the mutual respect we have for each other’s beliefs.
I hope the better weather and easing of restrictions will allow us to start our more regular village events again and we plan to have a Community Dog Walk leaving from St Mary’s Church, Gilston on Sunday 2nd May at 3pm followed by afternoon tea back at the church. Do look out for further details of this and other events on our Benefice Facebook pages and churches website in the coming weeks and months.
We have some building repairs starting at St Mary’s church this week so our 2nd and 4th Sunday services will be reversed in May with the 2nd Sunday being at Eastwick and the 4th Sunday at Gilston – both 11:15 starts. (Midweek services of Evening Prayer will continue as scheduled.)
In closing: as things begin to return to normality I hope that we will all still find time to keep up our local walks and enjoy the blossom & bluebells.
Sarah Bagnall - Churchwarden (Gilston & Eastwick Churches)