A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 21 March 2021, 4:40 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church


Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com



I hope you are all well and that you have been able to enjoy the few, but glorious days of Spring sunshine that we have experienced recently.

April this year will look quite different to last year.  Yes, we will still be in some sort of lockdown as we were last year, but this year we truly have hope and positivity, as it says on the front of the magazine this month.  Last April we had just started the lockdown, we were unaware of what was to come, naïve in how devastating it would be, how many lives the virus would take, how much it would affect our family and friends, our community, our country and the world.  But now as we continue to slowly step along the roadmap of getting out of lockdown, so we grow in confidence, in hope, in expectation.

This last month or so, the church and Christians around the world has journeyed through Lent – A time of reflection, of stopping and being, of looking at ourselves and our relationships with each other as well as God.  It is always a challenging time, even more so if you have given up something as part of your Lenten journey.  But to be honest we have pretty much had a year of giving things up haven’t we?

Many Christians read the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness during Lent and I know in my readings I have been amused about the similarities we have felt in our own experience of exile, through this pandemic.  But as I look out of my window and start to see colours and new life in the garden, I also acknowledge the many positives we have felt or achieved during this challenging time.

The challenge for us now is to think about how we might hold on to those positives, as we continue towards June 21st.  The world around us has changed in many ways for good (perhaps in both senses of the word), and so we must not go backwards and resume doing things in the old way, because that would mean we have not learnt from our painful experiences.

The Israelites would have returned to the Promised Land with high hopes. They soon discovered, however, that rebuilding their lives and the life of the nation was a hard slog, and I am sure our ‘return to normal’ will be just as difficult.

I suspect that many in our communities will emerge from this pandemic battered, bruised, and financially weakened.  And many will not be able to look forward and say, “What now?” until they have had the chance to grieve the loss of loved ones or their previous lives.  Only after this are we ready to move forward and rebuild.

And what community, what households are we going to build in the coming weeks, months and years?  The possibilities are endless!  As Steve mentioned in his farewell letter last month, we want to hone and harvest the wonderful ‘resurrection’ of community spirit.  We want to continue talking to and helping our neighbours and others we have got to know.

On the 4th April this year Christians around the world will celebrate Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead.  I cannot wait to be back on the beach at sunrise to celebrate this great day.  Easter is the season when we celebrate that the powers of death and destruction being overcome by self-sacrificing love.  And I think we will all be able to celebrate that this year, even those who do not have a faith, because we have all witnessed, seen, heard or read about this kind of sacrifice over the past 13 months: the doctors and nurses leaving their families for months to work in the hospitals, the carers who moved in to the nursing homes they worked at, teachers who have walked miles to visit their pupils on a daily basis and see how they are doing … Jesus opened a revolutionary new way to know and love people two thousand years ago and we have seen even more wonderful new ways of showing our love to one another this year.

So, I would like to encourage you to celebrate Easter in a bigger way this year than you normally would……no I am not encouraging you to eat even more chocolate, but I am inviting you to celebrate and give thanks for this new season, this new time of hope, of new beginnings, of being able to look forward and plan, of being together again and sharing special times.  How often have you experienced more joy in the preparations of a party than the party itself?  I know I have been swept up in the excited expectation before, and I will certainly be doing it again this year.

Hallelujah Christ is Risen! Hallelujah we are getting there!  Let us not only enjoy the sunshine in the sky this month (I hope) but allow some sunshine in our hearts too.

I wish you a blessed Easter and a wonderful time of reunions with family and friends over the coming weeks.


Rev’d Amanda


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