St Michael & All Angels

Sharing God's Love

From Amanda Abbitt

April 2020

When I first wrote this letter, our main concern was the flooding, and I was writing in anticipation of some overdue sunshine and warmth. In just a few days, the coronavirus pandemic is what’s uppermost in our minds. By the time you read this, further restrictions may mean that our community life has changed beyond all recognition. 

But even in the midst of all the uncertainty, there are things to celebrate. Spring has definitely arrived, and the flowers around the village invite us to be cheerful, even when the news is so grim. 

April weather can be very strange and is likely to include not only the famous ‘April showers’, but  frost, sunshine, breezy days – even snow in some years! According to the weathermen the spring starts on the 1st of March but it certainly didn’t feel ‘spring-like’ on that day to me. But now that the spring equinox has passed and the days are noticeably longer, I hope we are all beginning to enjoy the more light and more warmth.  

The arrival of spring also means more opportunities for us to get out and about in our lovely village. Many studies have shown that time spent outdoors enjoying the beauties of nature is very important for our mental health. If the grey and damp winter has meant too much time indoors for you, I hope that brighter days are encouraging you to get out and enjoy our village. Even though we are all urged to practice ‘social distancing’, there is nothing to stop us getting out to enjoy the better weather. 

If you are staying at home, do find space in your day to take your cup of tea and sit in the fresh air for a few minutes if you are able. Listen to the birds, admire the busy bees, marvel at the colours as the trees put on their new leaves, and the spring flowers fill gardens with much-missed gaiety. 

April also means Easter. 

What does Easter mean to you? As Christians we remember the death and glorious resurrection of Jesus – bringing joy out of pain, and hope out of darkness. Our Easter celebrations will be rather different this year, with no public services to attend. We need to make the most of what’s on offer on the television, radio and the various social media platforms. Don’t forget that our beautiful church remains open, so pop in and enjoy the peace, or come and sit in the churchyard. 

Perhaps for you, Easter is mostly about opportunities for ‘down time’? Time spent with our families is so precious, so I hope you will have a chance to be together in these Easter Holidays.  

Or perhaps you’re a gardener, and Easter represents the start of a busy season? Traditionally, Good Friday was the day to plant your potatoes – although as that date changes every year, it’s hard to see why that was the ‘rule’! But for many of us, the longer days will allow us to get out in our gardens, see what damage the winter has wrought and begin to put things right in anticipation of the summer.  

The coronavirus pandemic will challenge all of us, but already we can see how fortunate we are to live in a place where there is a real sense of community. There are plans in place to assist anyone who can’t get out, and we as a church community are already responding to requests to collect medications and assist with shopping. 

So I wish you a happy, healthy April, and a very Happy Easter. 

Amanda Abbitt Authorised Lay Minister