On Palm Sunday the parish of Our Lady and St Charles Borromeo in Wisbech was delighted to be enriched by members of the Lithuanian Community. Following the Mass, the children were invited to engage in craft work and completed the decorating of the garden in preparation for Easter.
There was a wonderful feast laid on and the parishioners enjoyed the cultural enrichment that the Lithuanians bring to the congregation. The parish includes many members from various parts of Eastern Europe and beyond. For example, on Holy Thursday members of the Syro-Malabar community led the Stations of the Cross in the evening before Mass and the Polish Community provided a service for the Blessing of the Eggs on Holy Saturday Morning.
On Good Friday morning, bright and early, in beautiful sunshine, the Easter message was proclaimed loud and clear in the centre of Ipswich, through hymns, Scripture reading and prayers.
The ecumenical group of participants started at the Methodist church, passed near two Anglican churches and St Pancras Catholic Church, concluding with refreshments in the URC Church. Representatives from each of those churches were present.
“It’s a privilege to be able to proclaim the message of Easter from the town hall steps,” said Jean Johnson. “Our sad first stop was at the place in the town centre where a young man was stabbed and killed some weeks ago, in the middle of the afternoon, by two local youngsters.
“Our numbers are no match for those we had pre Covid, but the Christian message rang out loud and clear. We are all determined to recruit more next year.”
Good Friday in Peterborough saw the largest turn out of Churches Together in Central Peterborough for some 10 years. The eight churches in the city centre which make up the group draw in people from all over the city and all denominations of Christians. The event was rounded off with coffee and hot cross buns at St John The Baptist Church.
“There are four Catholic Churches in the city of Perterborough,” explains Pat Bedford, “St Peter and All Souls in the city centre with Our Lady of Lourdes in the east of the city, St Oswald to the north of the city and St Luke south of the river.. All were represented at the Walk of Witness on Good Friday.
“The other Christian churches in the city outnumber the Catholic turnout by quite a large number, buy it was just great to see a large number of us all wanting to bear witness to the saving power of Jesus without making any references to how many were from each denomination. We were led this year by Rev Michael Moore from St Mary’s Church (Church of England) in the city and we all sang and prayed together.It was very refreshing.”
On Easter Day the village of Acle demonstrated ecumenism at its best when a cross section of members of the Catholic, Methodist and Church of England communities gathered to celebrate the Resurrection.
They were led by Rev Peter Glanville, Rev Andrew King and Rev Martin Greenland, and assembled at 5.45am outside the 12th century church of St Mary’s in Fishley, a short walk from the village, to celebrate their traditional annual service.
It commenced with prayers and hymns inside the candlelit church. The congregation then processed outside where further hymns were sung and prayers recited. Finally, all stood in a circle as bread and wine were distributed. Then a rousing rendition of the hymn ‘Jesus Christ is risen today’ was performed.
Pictured above are parishioners from Wisbech at their Easter celebration. Below is the walk of witness in Ipswich, and bottom the Easter Day event in Acle.