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Dear Friends

May is possibly my favourite month of the year.  Spring has definitely arrived and there is a suggestion of summer on the horizon.  I always feel that gardens look their best in May when the early blossom has given way to the blossom on the fruit trees with their suggestion of the fruit that will come later in the year; there is a sense of anticipation in the air.

This year May, as many of you know, is a very significant month for our family as our daughter Anna’s wedding takes place at the end of the month.  The sense of anticipation has certainly been mounting although thankfully, with just a year between engagement and wedding day, our lives haven’t been too dominated by ‘wedding talk’!

However, before ‘the wedding’ comes Easter and I am writing this on Holy Saturday, just as the anticipation of our Easter celebrations are really reaching fever pitch.  As always we are extremely grateful to all those who are involved in the preparations for the various services during Lent, Holy Week and at Easter.  Our church buildings have to be prepared; there is quite a lot of furniture moving; a lot of music practices; a lot of people cleaning, moving, arranging flowers, decorating, printing and then , of course, taking part in the services themselves!  Thank you everyone!

But Easter does not end on Easter Day after Choral Evensong!  We journey from Easter Day to Pentecost through the ‘Great 50 Days’, all part of the Season of Easter; a time when we continue to explore the ‘paschal mystery’ of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are encouraged to make sure that our Easter joy doesn’t fade away after the major celebrations have finished.  As St Augustine wrote; ‘we are the Easter people and alleluia is our song’.

The good news of Easter is that there is always hope.  However worrying things might be in the wider world at the moment; however difficult things might be for us or for someone we know or love, there is, and must always be, hope.  Easter celebrates that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, overcoming the power of sin and death and winning for us a share in his risen life.  If we can live as Easter people, placing all our hope and trust in him, we should feel confident that, ultimately, all will be well.  All will be transformed by the power of his risen love.  That love continues its work of transformation and, as we were reminded in one of the readings at Evensong on Easter Day, ‘many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it’ (The Song of Solomon, Chapter 8, verse 7).  That is also a very appropriate verse of scripture for those celebrating their marriage; perhaps our daughter  and her fiancé have chosen it as part of their wedding service – I will know more at the end of the month of May!

With my prayers and best wishes,

Canon Michael



Then while time serves and we are but decaying.
Come my Corrinna come let us go a-Maying. 

Robert Herrick 'Corrinna goes a-Maying' (1648)

Dear Friends

First of all we send our best wishes and prayers to Rita Hill and Nancy Walker. Rita is not very well and confined to the house. Nancy is in hospital, she has had a slight stroke. Get well soon with love and Best wishes from all your friends at St Mark's. We have three birthday 'girls' this month, Janet Midgely celebrates on the 1st, Jennifer Kendrick of the 7th and Dorothy Spencer on the 18th. Happy Birthday to you all.

Also Philip and Judith celebrate their 21st Wedding Anniversary on May 18th, Best wishes to you.

We had a lovely Easer Sunday Evensong service on April 16th. As usual the choir were in excellent voice, Nigel on the organ and David conducting. Thanks to all and thanks to all who helped and made cakes etc for refreshments after the service.

Have a Happy May, with love

From Marion


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