Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

April Newsletter

I started penning this article the day after the Christchurch massacre of 50 Muslims by a right-wing extremist An incident which has shocked all right-minded people and left many feeling concerned that some in our community have lost the art of understanding, compassion and tolerance. Unfortunately, some people and they are the few, see those of different faith, colour or gender as a threat. Something to resist and for some to resit in the most violent of ways.

A far cry from the events which we will celebrate this month as we move into the Easter season and the roller coaster ride of emotions which will shortly be upon us. We start with the joy of Palm Sunday, the reflective time that is Maundy Thursday, the pain of Good Friday and then the disbelief and then euphoria of Easter day as we celebrate the risen Lord. Jesus risen from the dead and with us forever. Easter week is the real focus of the Christian church more so than any other day of the year, more so even than Christmas.

Its Christ, rising from the dead, conquering death and taking on himself all our sins which is the big story of Easter. What a man, what a saviour. Bursting with compassion for his fellow human beings, concerned for the wellbeing of his followers. Understanding us and all the anxieties and doubts that creep into our daily lives and being our advocate with God the Father.

Jesus is the role model we should live our lives by and when we believe and trust in him. Understanding, tolerance and compassion for others quickly follows. Loving our neighbour as ourselves, just as he did.

Despite all the rough stuff that happen around us Jesus can be our constant companion helping us overcome all the difficulties that this modern life can dump on our doorstep. All we have to do is believe and trust in Him and everything else will follow.

We have no control over the bad things that happen throughout the world but we can control our response to atrocities. We can pray for the families affected and we can pray for the perpetrator that they might realise the errors of their way. That they might find God in the deepest recesses of their heart. This is not wishful thinking on my part. It can happen to even the most violent of persons as our recent talk on Prison ministry testified.

Some people are even moved to simple direct action when faced with global atrocities. Like the guy who stood outside a Manchester Mosque with a placard which read. "I am your friend and I will be your lookout while you pray indoors". This simple spontaneous act of solidarity has now gone viral and the person in question has now received over 50,000 messages of thanks from Muslims all around the world. It just goes to show how a simple act of love can have a worldwide impact. That's what Jesus did when He went to the cross. A simple act of kindness and concern and a global movement of millions of faithful people was born.

You see Easter can and is a transforming time in the church year for us as individuals and collectively as a community of believers. It's a time to review where we are in our walk with God and how we interact with our neighbours. There is always room for improvement in all of us.

So, let understanding, compassion and tolerance be our watchwords in all we think, do and say and may it be rekindled again this Eastertide. You never know it might just go viral on a worldwide scale.

God Bless

Rev'd. Don