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April 2020 – The only impossible journey is the one you never begin

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Now that’s a great quote from the life coach Tony Robbins. Or how about this: “It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

One of the things I love about the Christian faith is that it is all about journeying, and pilgrimage. And this month – at the heart of our worship – is the journey through Holy Week to Easter. This begins on Palm Sunday (the 5th of April) at 10.00 am, when we meet in the Market Place to re-enact the procession as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Processing to the church, we then prepare for the week to come by listening to the dramatic Gospel account of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.

Then, starting on Monday, our 7.00 pm, services go to different churches in the Benefice, providing times of quiet and reflection. Do please make time especially, to join us at St Saviour’s on Tuesday the 7th of April at 7.00 pm, when we have a beautiful service of prayers and readings.

Thursday the 9th of April is Maundy Thursday, when we remember the Last Supper at a special service at 7.00 pm in St Marys’ Tetbury. Then, on Good Friday, we follow Jesus’ journey to his death and burial. We join the churches in the Tetbury Area for the Walk of Witness at 11.00 am, starting at St Mary’s Primary School, with about 60 people joining us as we travel around the town, stopping in different places to pray and recall how the story of Good Friday unfolds. We then gather at St Marys’ Church between 2.00 and 3.00 pm for “The Final Hour,” with prayers, singing, and time for meditation. Finally, at St John the Baptist in Shipton Moyne that evening (7.00pm), we share in a short and moving service to mark the burial of Jesus.

Through Holy Week we travel to the cross, then on to the joy of the empty tomb and the Risen Christ.

What a joy it will be to then celebrate Easter, and Jesus rising again! We start as we light our “Easter Fire” outside the church on Saturday the 11th April at 9.00 pm; the service that evening  finishes with bells, fireworks, and bubbly. So do come along the – or for the 10.00 am service on Easter morning, which will include an Easter Egg Hunt for children!

I look forward to seeing you all in this special week of pilgrimage. And I’ll leave you with one last quote about our journey through life. “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit”.

With love and prayers, Poppy
The Revd Poppy Hughes
Parish Priest, St Mary the Virgin & St Mary Magdelen Church, Tetbury

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