Pastoral Letter for the Month

 Dear Friends

 Two years ago I wrote the pastoral letter for April. How quickly two years seem to have passed. Some things change over the years some do not. We know that by the time April starts we shall be in Spring. The clocks will have gone forward, daylight hours will be increasing and the weather becoming warmer. It is a time of renewed hope and expectation. This year that hope and expectation looks forward to a new minister for our churches in the Summer.

One thing that does change is the date of Easter. This year April begins during the “Octave of Easter”, the eight days from Easter Day to the following Sunday, often called Low Sunday as a contrast to the celebrations of the resurrection on Easter  Sunday, a High day of the church year.

                                                    Image courtesy of


Alternatively the word is a corruption of “Laudes” the first word of an ancient Latin hymn of Easter praise at Salisbury Cathedral. According to John’s Gospel, it is the eighth day after the resurrection that Jesus appeared to Thomas, bringing forth the response “My Lord and My God.”

 This second Sunday after Easter has other names. Early Christianity had the day as “White Sunday”. Since 2000 the Roman Catholic Church has called the day “Divine Mercy Sunday”. An old Latin introit for the Mass on that day began with the words “Quasi modo géniti infántes” - “as in the way of newborn babies”. The opening words gave the name to the baby in Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, because he was found on the steps of the cathedral on that day.

 Two years ago I expressed the hope that the conflict in Ukraine would be over by April. That has not happened. The conflict in Gaza has pushed Ukraine out of the headlines but the war there continues. We must renew our prayers for peace, in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. As Christ prayed for Jerusalem, so must we.

Roy Kennington

Christ Church, Swanland