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This month's piece is written by our Associate Priest The Rev. Bob Coates 


Dear Friends,

Breaking News: Easter has been abolished by the Consumer Advertising Industry!

Fake News might be your reaction, using the expression of Donald Trump for something you don't believe. Sadly in this case it is true, in a sense

The re writing of history is another way of obscuring the truth, whilst the changing of names is a way of obscuring things we do not want to be confronted by. Mothering Sunday has been renamed Mum's Sunday, Christmas has become Snowfest and now the major suppliers have dropped the name Easter from the packaging of Easter eggs.

It is almost as though there is a deliberate attempt to remove all religious connotations from all forms of every day life. Often these changes are made on the excuse that the organisations do not want to cause offence to other religious minorities in the country. The reality is that advertisers and large shopping conglomerates are prepared to modify the news of Easter in the interests of profit and their shareholders.

To my mind this is an affront to the Christian message when shops are only too eager to have products that owe their existence due to religious festivals on the shelf for months before the actual holiday (Holy Day). They are prepared to profit out of the Christian calendar but too cowardly to acknowledge its roots. Strangely enough most minority religious groups have more respect when Christianity is strong and well represented.

One has to ask the question as to whether there is an insidious movement in society to banish all Christian connections from our way of life. Given that the history of this country, its laws and its system of justice all stem from its Christian foundations, this is really rather remarkable. Apart from the acknowledged opposition of movements like the Humanist society and Atheists, the real reason for this deterioration must lie with the Christian churches in this country, and those of no faith who are embarrassed by any religious association.

Whilst the latter group can be understood, the attitude of the Church and its people is much harder to understand given the Good News that we have to proclaim. The Church has still to learn how to use the modern methods of communicating that Good News properly through avenues such as Snap Chat, Facebook etc. Whilst pamphlets and posters, the means of old, still have their place, modern communication has moved on whilst the Church has stood still.

It is not just the use of modern communication skills that are required. Every member of the church has a responsibility to shout aloud their faith in the one who gave his life for the peoples of the world on Good Friday and whose resurrection we celebrate on Easter Day.

The Good News is that we are not alone in the fight against evil. When we get things wrong our human frailty is recognised and the God who cares about us is ready to forgive us. The Good News is that the end of this life is not our final moment in existence. The Good News is that Jesus, died for us, rose again and conquered death and will return in glory.

Each Sunday we proclaim: Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again. Let us all take every opportunity to proclaim the Good News of Christ to our Country and its people who are having the wool pulled over their eyes by secular movements in society and irreligious advertisers.

Halleluiah Christ is Risen.
He is risen indeed. Halleluiah.

Revd. Bob Coates



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