Rector's letter

April is the middle month of the northern hemisphere’s spring, though as I write these notes spring seems to be a long way still. But hopefully by the time you read them the weather will have improved and we will be witnessing warmer and brighter weather.

The thought of spring brings to mind three word “Hope Springs Eternal “ from a  poem written by Alexander Pope. Certainly as a bird watcher and a volunteer at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, this month is a month of transition. On the reserve we look forward to and hope for the return of the return of spring migrants such as the cuckoo, swallow and swift that herald the coming of summer. 

In our gardens we see the effect of the sun warming the soil to help the perennial plants there to spring back into life. Then of course the annual flower and vegetable seeds that we have sown are starting their journey which will give us pleasure and sustenance later in the year.

For Christians April this year those three words “Hope Springs Eternal” have an added dimension. The first day of the month is a Sunday but not just any Sunday. It is Easter Sunday the day when after the misery and distress of Good Friday, Jesus rose from the tomb and gave those who follow him the hope and surety of eternal life.

On Easter Sunday we also give Easter eggs but that is not as modern as we might think as the giving of eggs can be traced back to early Christians in Mesopotamia. Originally dyed and painted chicken eggs were used but modernity brought the chocolate eggs. Normally a symbol of fertility and rebirth, the substitute chocolate egg represents to Christians the empty tomb of Jesus.

So enjoy your Easter Eggs but as you do remember what they represent and I pray that all the hopes you have during this year are realised.

May the Hope and Peace that is found in Jesus be with each and every one of you.

Norman Johnson

Reader in the Heart of Norfolk Benefice

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