Rector's letter for April
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die: and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-26
How do you feel about being asked to wear bright colours at a funeral? How realistic is the portrayal of grief in the media?
What is your favourite possession, and who are you leaving it to?
What might heaven be like? What would you like your lasting legacy to be?
These are just a few of the questions which we will have at the “Dying to Know” café which we are holding at Creech Village hall on 29 April. Whether we like it or not, all of us will have to face death at sometime – our own, and that of those nearest and dearest to us. It is sometimes a difficult subject to talk about, and many people wish that they had while they were able to. Sometimes it causes distress to families to have to arrange a funeral for a loved one when they had no idea what they would have liked. It can feel like a lonely task, and at a time when you are trying to deal with your own grief.
The Church of England has produced a resource called “Grave Talk” which we shall be using at the café. Questions like those above, and more, will be set out on tables to get a discussion started. There will be no right or wrong answers; just the opportunity to sit and chat informally with others about such questions. To help us in our thinking, we have also invited some professionals who deal with issues of dying, death and funerals. We have representatives from Nigel Ford Funeral Directors, a local solicitor, a representative from St Margaret’s Hospice, and myself. We shall each be giving a short presentation about how to prepare for a death in the family, from our different perspectives. There will be time to ask questions and chat informally.
It seems appropriate that we think about these things during the season of Easter. On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ death on the cross, and on Easter Day his glorious resurrection from the dead. It is this that gives us hope. As Jesus says to Martha, in the quote above, he is the resurrection and the life. Jesus’ death on the cross was the not end, for him, nor for us. As Christians we believe that by our faith and trust in Christ, he will raise us up on the last day; that we need not fear death, because new life is promised to all who believe in him.
So our time on 29th will not be a morbid one; but I believe one which offers hope and promise.
I wish you every blessing for the rest of Lent and Eastertide, and that we may see you at our café.
Yours in Him