Greetings from St Mary’s and St Andrew’s
The picture was taken at the Passion Play held on Good Friday in Bishop Auckland marketplace. Those who went to see it were amazed at the professionalism of this amateur production, which held our attention as it took us through the familiar story of that first easter. A large cast and an even larger team of technicians were responsible for a brilliant performance which kept our attention as we followed the story around the marketplace. Well done Eileen and all involved.
On Easter Sunday the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and this is his message.
What’s your favourite journey?
Two immediately spring to mind for me.
First, the train journey from Fenchurch Street in the East End of London to Leigh on Sea in Essex. This can’t be a controversial choice. I’m sure you’ll agree: it has to be one of the great train journeys of the world, easily matching the Orient Express or the Rocky Mountaineer from one side of Canada to the other.
The second is the A1M going north or south, coming off at the A64 and heading east to York.
In times past I have equally enjoy the A12 to Chelmsford, the M4 to Reading and the M62 over the Pennines to Huddersfield.
Why do I love these journeys?
Well, you’ve probably got there before me. They are journeys home.
Leigh on Sea was where I was born and brought up. York is my home at the moment.
The great feast of Easter that we are celebrating today is also about home. Only now we discover that home is not here. Not somewhere we go back to.
On the night before he dies, Jesus says to his friends that he is going now to prepare a place for them, and after he’s gone he will return to take them with him, so that where he is, we can be.
The place prepared for us – a place beyond this life and through death – is the banquet of heaven and our true home. A place where every tear is wiped away.
I can close my eyes and easily be back home, back to my childhood home, back to the bedroom I shared with my brother, back to all the happy memories, securities and associations of home. I can soon be back at the last home I lived in when my children were young. In my mind, I can visit each of their bedrooms and tuck them in.
But I can’t actually go back. And even the security and apparent permanence of my current home is, despite its grandeur and its comfort, only a temporary dwelling.
This is true for all of us. And don’t the people of Ukraine and many other refugees across the world know this only too well.
And what of those who have never really had a home at all.
Jesus stands in the dawning brightness of the first Easter day. He sees Mary weeping and comforts her. He tells her not to cling to him, because in this life there is actually nothing we can hold onto. All will pass.
But he also assures her that he is going to his Father and her Father. His God and her God.
He is going home. And he takes us with him. He promises us a place. A place here and now and for all eternity, where we are known, and loved and held.
This is the good news and the hope of Easter. Christ is risen, and we are risen with him, called to live lightly on the Earth, to love one another, and to journey home to God.
OUR Services next Sunday at Winston and Gainford will be Holy Communion led by our old friend Alistair Prince and are at the usual time.
St Andrew'sServices this weekend
- + Regular Acts of Worship at 9:30am
St Mary'sServices this weekend
- + Sunday Holy Communion service at 10:30am
The Notice Board
Well done and thank you to Claire, Sheila, and the whole team for the launching the first NEW SERVICE OF MESSY CHURCH FOR ALL THE FAMILY! We look forward to news of the next one in May.
• St Andrew’s, Winston PCC will meet on Monday 25th April at 7pm in the village hall.
• SPRING COFFEE MORNING! St Mary’s is holding a coffee morning 10.30am Saturday 30th April. Raffle prizes would be gratefully received and helpers on the day. Please contact Sue 01325 730379
• Brian and Eileen are taking a week’s rest from Monday 18th. Rev’d Dr Alastair Prince will be returning to our parishes to preside, preach and celebrate at both churches on Sunday 24th April.
The Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Easter
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The First Reading
27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,[c] yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.[d] 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
The Gospel: John 20
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[c]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[d] that Jesus is the Messiah,[e] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.