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Bill’s Letter April 2015

Since the demolition of the old church we have been working to establish a long term place of worship in the village.

There has been recent change in the legal designation of the Church Centre. It is now a ‘Parish Centre of Worship’. A Parish Centre of Worship is a church or other building licensed as such by the diocesan bishop in the Church of England, usually where there is no parish church. For most purposes it is deemed to be a parish church but it is dedicated, not consecrated, and parishioners have a right to be married in a neighbouring parish. There is also a licence to be married at St Peter’s Church and Centre too. This means people living in Stanley have a choice about where they get married. So if you are thinking about getting married and are not sure of your options do get in touch.

The events we remember at Easter are, I would say, the most  decisive events in human history. They contain the deepest tragedy and the greatest hope. As we enter into this story once again, we are given strength to face our own difficulties and confidence to embrace our times of joy.

Jesus was called to the home of his dear friend Lazarus who was on the point of death. But he does not set off straight away. By the time he arrives, Lazarus has died. His sisters Martha and Mary, both say, “ If only you had been here”. But Jesus transforms the situation; he claims to BE the resurrection and the life. Then he demonstrates it by raising Lazarus from the dead.

The implication of this does not sink in for the disciples—that Jesus has the power over death. So when Jesus was killed, his friends were frightened and upset. This changed when Jesus was not resuscitated like Lazarus but resurrected. At this Easter may we know the transforming power of Christ, so we experience the hope of new life in whatever we face.

Rev Bill Henderson

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