A message for Easter Week from Theresa Villiers

It is very sad that the usual Easter celebrations have to be curtailed by social distancing rules. I know that many will regret not being able to attend the church services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday which they normally would at this time of the year.

It is of course also the case that households have to stay apart meaning that getting together with parents, grandparents and extended family is impossible for many right now.

I am disappointed that the Walk of Witness from Monken Hadley Church to St John the Baptist Church, in which I have taken part for the last year or two, will not be going ahead. It is always heartening to see so many people from different local churches and different strands of the Christian faith come together for this very special event.

But despite the Covid emergency and the shutdown that has come with it, I hope the Easter message of hope and renewal can still provide comfort at this time of adversity for our country. Easter week sees Christians reflect on the despair and loss of the Crucifixion on Good Friday, followed by the miraculous turn-around of the Resurrection which is celebrated on Easter Sunday.

While the situation feels very grim right now, we should all try to look forward to brighter times ahead. We do not yet know how long it will take before our society can return to something like normality, and our churches can re-open, but we will get there in the end. This is a great national effort in which we can all play our part by staying at home and staying safe.

This year’s Easter Week is like none that any of us has ever experienced. I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I very much hope that my constituents are still able to celebrate the Christian message even if they are unable to do so with the family gatherings and church services which would usually be such a crucial part of this most important week of the year in the Christian calendar.