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Bishop leads Palm Sunday, reflects on global crises

Bishop Peter Collins led the Palm Sunday celebrations at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich, marking the start of Holy Week with a procession and a homily addressing global crises and the significance of personal choices amidst chaos.

On Sunday March 24, 2024, Bishop Peter Collins presided over the Palm Sunday celebration at the Cathedral, marking the beginning of Holy Week, beginning with a procession of all the clergy and faithful, from the Cathedral Gardens into the cathedral itself. Bishop Peter then began the celebration of Mass, where the long account of the Passion of Christ according to St Mark was read.

In his homily, Bishop Collins delivered a reflective message on the onset of Holy Week. He expressed: “We come to the gateway of Holy Week. We have walked from the garden to the cathedral, and those few steps represent our willingness to follow Jesus to Jerusalem and beyond. This is the week that we record, the week that captures the breadth of cosmic history and the breadth of every human life.”

Highlighting the nature of suffering and the need for Christ’s redeeming grace, Bishop Peter drew attention to various global crises: “A family is coming to terms with two of its members suffering from cancer… 130 odd people have died as a result of attending a concert in Moscow… Russia itself, of course, is showing its aggression towards its neighbour… we are all most conscious of what has, and is, unfolding in Gaza.”

He then shared a touching moment: “During this past week, I held in my arms a two-month-old child, the first child of one of my servers at my former cathedral, who with his wife is forming a family together now, in love, in the midst of a world in chaos. To hold in one’s arms the glory of a human life, what a treasure, what a joy!”

In concluding his homily, Bishop Peter said: “But in this week, we must choose our stance. We must choose where we will stand. We must choose where we behold truth, and whether we are contemplating the cosmic scale of human history as it unfolds in any one week, or whether we are contemplating the complexity of the lives of those around us, or the complexity of our own life. There is nowhere else to go other than to Christ if we are at all to comprehend what unfolds. This is the week of choice and decision.”

See below for the full photo gallery.

Palm Sunday, St John's Cathedral, March 2024