This April brings Eastertide to the Church calendar. Easter eggs are familiar to all of us; and eggs are a symbol of new life. In the Christian Church, Easter is the most important festival in the Church’s year, when we remember and give thanks for the time when the crucified Christ, our Redeemer, was raised from the dead to give us the promise of everlasting life in Christ. The events of that first Easter are central to our Christian faith.

We have various special services leading up to Easter, including Evensong at 6.30pm on Palm Sunday, 2nd April, the start of Holy Week, taken by the Rev’d Dr Victor Barley. On Good Friday, 7th April at 9am, Rev’d Trevor Stubbs will lead our Service of Meditation, with Jean Routley at the organ. After the service we’ll serve coffee and Hot Cross buns and then a few of us will set to work decorating the Church for Easter. And on Easter Sunday at 9am, Trevor will be with us again to celebrate Holy Communion, with Tom Rogers at the organ. You are welcome to come to any of our services.

We are very grateful for the help being given to us in Stowey and Bishop Sutton by Victor, Trevor, and Tony Wilds. It would be impossible to continue providing all our services without their priestly help. We don’t know how long our parishes will be without their own priest, as the Diocese of Bath and Wells, and indeed the whole of the Church of England, is pursuing a policy of reducing the number of clergy to save costs. This will hit rural parishes very hard; many of us think that this is a short-sighted policy and we are determined to work to persuade those at the top to have a change of mind. Our Church Council, as well as some individual parishioners, have joined the movement called Save the Parish. Have a look at it and the work it’s doing to prevent the destruction of our rural churches.

In the meantime, we await feedback from the local authority in response to our planning application for permission to erect an accessible WC and small kitchen in the churchyard, in an area of the churchyard where there are no burials. We’ll keep you advised as to progress on this and on the Stowey Revived Project.

Finally, the annual meetings of the Parish of Stowey will take place on Tuesday 11th April at 2:30 pm at Dormers, Stowey Bottom. Anyone connected with Stowey Parish Church, or living within the ecclesiastical parish boundary, or on the Church Electoral Roll, who wishes to attend is welcome to do so, but only certain people are eligible to vote in the elections. Please let me know if you’d like to know more.

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden