Apologies for the earlier downbeat entry…
Readers may be relieved to hear that Christ IS risen, even in Charlton Kings:-)
All the Easter Sunday services were excellent. Even the 8.00 saw over 50 communicants, who responded surprisingly well to the unexpected “word” from the vicar, and the novelty of being given an Easter egg as they departed. 10.00 was St M’s at its best…pomp and circumstance, yes, but with a packed church filled with joyful singing, it felt OK to be processing about the place in a cope once more. The choir were on top form: Michael and I exchanged glances as we were “un-coped” in the vestry during the Introit (Wood This Joyful Eastertide) and agreed that the words now felt true. What a blessing!
For the first time since I’ve been there, there were so many communicants that M had to re-consecrate…they kept coming, wave on wave, to both altars and administering the Sacrament was pure joy.
The informal Family Service afterwards was just a ball…even though they had had to wait outside for about 10 mins, as there were so many at the 10.00 they took ages to clear…Everyone was very good humoured, and a most un St Mary's atmosphere of relaxed chaos predominated. Another good sized gathering (about 60 all told) joined in with the actions in a responsive Gospel reading…stuck paper flowers on to the cross we’d used in the prayer trail and during Holy Week…showing God at work bringing new life where most needed. Then the children illustrated this beautifully for the benefit of a battered curate. We had given out the percussion instruments promising that we would need to make a lot of noise later on, and in the final hymn they did just that AND danced too.
Preached at Evensong, which went well too…and the choir spoiled us with Wesley Blessed be the God and Father
A day of huge contrasts in worship, but characterised by a deep and genuine joy. Perhaps all really shall be well. Even in Charlton Kings!