Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
These are words taken from the Liturgy for Easter Day. The long 40 days of Lent are now over, and the Festival has arrived, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. On Palm Sunday I read the gospel at St Mark’s Siddal, and by the end I felt really emotional having read to the community gathered the greatest story the world have ever heard.
In life we constantly experience mini deaths and resurrections: in changing work, moving home, breakdown of relationships, when something we enjoy comes to an end. So often we fail to recognise that new life can only come after we have experienced the pain of death first, and that it really isn’t the end.
In the last few weeks, towards the end of Lent, the Minster heard that our application to the Heritage Lottery Board had not been successful, for the second time. This came as a huge blow, following hours of preparation, and investment. Yet as one door closed, another opened, and it was not the end of the story because our application to SITA Trust, the land fill site company, was successful, and we have won £60,000 towards re-modelling the front of the Nave. The current dais is now worn out – with staging collapsing through it, we found it its only made of chip board! Now that the choir and servers sit in the Nave, the altar is overcrowded. We need to create a new flexible space, principally to improve our worship and also to enhance cultural, civic, and educational activity in the Minster. The architect has indicated that it will take 8 – 10 weeks for the work to be done – which presents its own challenges, given the Minster diary between now and Christmas. We’re hoping to book the work to begin in the New Year 2016, if the funding streams and Faculty will allow.
Saturday 18th April sees the sponsored “Hymn-a-thon”. This should be a fun way to raise some money towards paying off the loans left on the new Sound System. Come and sing your favourite hymns, bring some food to share, and some money to throw into the pot. Even if you can’t come, please send your donations in an Envelope marked Hymn-a-thon, and help us meet our target – which I think is about two thousand pounds!
The following day is the Minster Annual Meeting, when we look back on how God has blessed us throughout the year, and thank our Officers, and re-elect new people to the work of the Minster. It should be a day of celebration and thanksgiving, as so many people contribute to the life of the Minster. This year the Media Group have excelled themselves in coming up with a new way of producing the Annual Report, in the form of a Calendar with some beautiful pictures of the life of the Minster to accompany each report. I do hope you’ll like it!
Happy Easter to the whole community!