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March 2016

Dear Friends,

The story of Easter begins with Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem – and what an arrival it was! The city was packed with visitors who had come to celebrate the Passover festival which was the annual celebration and reminder of their ancestors escape from slavery in Egypt. There was to be feasting, it was like a modern European city on the day of a big sporting fixture with huge crowds and extra policing to keep order. Into this city Jesus came riding on a donkey; his reputation as a preacher, healer, miracle worker ad spread from the countryside around Galilee and now he was acclaimed, palm branches scattered before him in tribute amidst cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

On Sunday the 20th March we will retell the story of this triumphant entry in St. Margaret’s Church (9.30) and in the Parish Centre (11.15) with singing and palm braches and our own special visitor. Bishop Richard of Bedford has made it a personal pilgrimage to celebrate communion in every worship centre in the county and although he has been to St. Margaret’s before he has not presided at a service in the parish centre. This Palm Sunday we are welcoming the Bishop to both services and it will be a pleasure for us to have him with us.

We begin Holy week, then on a high, just as Jesus’ disciples all those years ago and then we will follow the story through Maundy Thursday when Jesus had supper with his disciples and was then arrested, Good Friday when we reflect with readings and music on Jesus’ trial, torture and crucifixion, Saturday when the church, bare and closed, waits for Easter morning when adorned with flowers and flooded with candle light and suffused with music we triumphantly celebrate the news of resurrection, rebirth and the promise of eternal life.

You are all welcome at any of these special services and I would remind you particularly of the festival family service at 11.15 on Easter morning when there will be songs, many candles, an Easter garden, a retelling of the story for young and old.

In the meantime make a date with the Bishop, the palm crosses and without doubt a knitted donkey!

With blessings and payers,



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