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The Vicar's Letter

Tuesday 20th March 1973
The Church lays great store by the keeping of the Church's year. It does so for a number of reasons. The first is that it is a continuing reminder that the Christian faith is, above all others, an historic faith - it is about God's work: not just theories about the nature of God and Man, but with the events that have shown God's purpose to and for Man. Secondly, our annual observance of God's saving activity makes sure that we do not get bogged down in some gross over-stressing of one aspect of Christian teaching, but can keep a balance of one Christian truth in relation to all others. We are kept from the failure of some of the fringe sects, for example, who live in a perpetual season of Advent, and of some who seek to teach that the gospel of Jesus is really only concerned with 'doing good'.
The prime importance of Easter is shown by it being the only event which is kept not only annually during the Great Forty Days but also on every Sunday of the year.
The reason why Easter is so important is that it is the event which ratifies and authenticates all. In the raising of Jesus from the dead God vindicates his Son. 'Jesus lives' is far more than just a seasonal greeting in the Church at Easter time. The Church, and its enemies, know that this is the keystone which upholds the whole of the Gospel. From the very beginning until now, the opponents of the Church have sought to topple the Resurrection, knowing that, if Jesus does not live our faith is vain and we are of all men the most miserable. Nor has the Church been unaware of this. Again, from the very beginning, the Church has insisted that the Apostles must be witnesses of Christ's Resurrection. Our Prayer Book's insistence that all Christians must receive communion at least three times a year 'of which Easter shall be one' shows the same proper concern for the importance of Easter in the life of the individual Christian as well as in the witness of the whole Church.
This month sees the closing stages of Lent and the Great Festival of Easter. I hope that we shall celebrate this Easter with all the joyfulness of those who are true witnesses of the Resurrection.
With best wishes,

Yours sincerely

Darrel Speedy


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