Easter 2022

We have lots going on this Easter.

In 2020 and 2021 all our Easter services and celebrations were online only. We are so pleased that this year we can meet in person, as well as continuing to live-stream each service.

 

Easter Services

Maundy Thursday 14 April

Communion Service 7.30pm in church. Live stream link here

Good Friday 15 April

All-age Service 11am in the centre Live stream link here

Reflective Service 12pm in church,   This service concludes with communion at 1.45pm.  Stay for all the service or come and go on the quarter-hour. Live stream link here

Easter Sunday 17 April

The Nine o’clock – communion service in church –  Live stream link here

The Ten-thirty – communion in the centre–  Live stream link here

The Six-thirty – in the centre – service will also be Live stream link here

Themes and Readings

Easter Trail

Head to our special Easter Trail page for more info!

Easter Message

“The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.” Luke 24:20-21

We had hoped…

Those words (by some of Jesus’ followers walking away from Jerusalem) so eloquently sum up what they must have been feeling after his crucifixion. All hope seemed lost. They had started to believe he really might be the promised Messiah, but now…

Many of us face – and possibly still live through – dashed hopes: the death of a friend or relative, the clear end to a pandemic, the longing for a career or position that is now closed.

How does Easter story speak to these situations? After all, despite the disciples worries – Jesus was alive.

There is nothing wrong with expressing ‘we had hoped’. We need to grieve over lost dreams and crushed hopes. There are strong biblical precedents for lamenting and taking time to process our emotions.

Jesus’ message, when he appeared to his ‘hopeless’ friends on the road, was more than ‘boo…I’m alive’! Jesus opened their eyes to a much wider and more glorious reality; that pain and hurt will, in the end, be defeated by ‘hope’.

As we ponder Jesus’ sufferings and resurrection in the coming days, let us take comfort in the amazing truth that hopes which seem defeated are in reality just deferred.

This Easter, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 15:13).

God bless,

Simon

Rector St Michael’s Stoke Gifford

Easter Trail

Welcome to our Easter Trail, we hope you have lots of fun finding all the pictures, don’t forget to count the different objects on each page for the chance to win a prize.

We have put our trail in 4 different locations in the parish from 14 April       

 – The Woods in Cheswick – Longdown Avenue (near Bushy Leas)

 Enter Stoke Park from Longdown Avenue (opposite Bushy Leas)  then go along the Path and take the first footpath immediately on the right.

– Around the park in Scholars Chase

 – Around the pond in Highbrook Park

Start at the park near the pond and go around the pond clockwise

 – On the field near the Trust Hall in Stoke Gifford

Start at the Park near the Trust Hall and go clockwise around the Field to find all the pictures.

 

When Jesus was on earth, he did a LOT of cool stuff! Follow the trail to discover some of the things he did.

There are 10 pictures to find – they are numbered so you will know if you have missed one.

 

Easter Sunday Forest Church

Join us on Easter Sunday 17 April at 3pm, for a fantastic fun Forest Church. There will be a story, songs, snacks and an Easter Egg Hunt.

We will be meeting at the entrance to the woods on  Long Down Avenue opposite Bushy Leas.

Bring a chair or picnic blanket to sit on.

This event is particularly aimed at those in the New Housing Areas (Cheswick, Scholar’s Chase, Brooklands Park) within our parish.

See map below for the location!

Follow the signs from the entrance to the woods on Long Down Avenue.

Easter Hope- a message from Simon

This message comes with my Easter blessings and prayers as we head into the Spring.

It’s an understatement to say that it’s been a tough year! The spread of a virus has led to lockdown, isolation and wariness of others.

And yet there have been glimpses of good news. Stories of hope, sacrifice and rescue. Who could forget Captain Tom and his charitable heroics in raising over £32million for the NHS.

One of the great sayings of Jesus is, “greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. Every day I try to find a story of someone who lives life ‘preferring the other’. A glimpse of good news.

The Easter story of Jesus’ death & resurrection was the ultimate fulfilment of ‘greater love’. When we feel isolated, He became isolated. Where we feel separated from God, He became separated. Where we feel shame, He endured the shame of public crucifixion. Jesus took responsibility of laying down His life for His friends…us! Three days later the risen Jesus demonstrated that the ‘laying down of His life’ was not the final chapter.

In a painful, frustrating and sometimes cruel world, Jesus’ words stand the test of time. Because He is alive, he offers His love in us. His love helps when we are confused, desperate, lonely, upset, angry or frustrated. Our life, His love, the preferred match.

Jesus’ love is the ultimate, unconditional love. The greatest love of one who lay down his life for his friends. God’s plan was always Jesus. From the beginning of time, this incredible love was prophesied then delivered to end the tyranny of darkness. Jesus bore the sins of the world so that we may be forever loved and forgiven.

As we meet on Easter Sunday, Jesus beckons to us to follow. He lay down His life to bring us alive. He is alive to call us forward. He will be with us as we prefer others.

May the Lord Jesus enable you to experience a ‘greater’ love this Easter time. 

God bless you all,

 

                                           

Easter 2021

There’s lots going on this Easter.

 

          

Easter Services

   

    

Maundy Thursday 1 April

Communion online at 7.30pm – have your bread and wine ready – get the link here

Good Friday 2 April

All-age Good Friday Zoom 11am – get the link here

Reflections Online 12pm – Clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers from St Michael’s share short reflections interspersed with worship – get the link here

Easter Day 4 April

09.00 Live stream service of Holy Communion – get the link here

10.30 Easter Day Celebration on Zoom with All-Age Communion – get the link here

17.00 Live stream Evensong Service – get the linkhere

18.30 Gathering on Zoom with Communion – get the link here

 


Easter Trail

More details  on our dedicated Easter Trail page.  

From Good Friday and throughout the Easter Holidays, we have two Easter Trails!  One in Stoke Gifford, and one in Cheswick . Follow the trail and answer the questions at each of the numbered points on the map. For the younger children, see how many chicks you can spot!

 


Sunday Themes and Readings

The live stream links for all our services can be found here

The themes and reading for 21 March to 4 April can be seen below


Family Resources

Click here to download some family resources for Holy Week

Easter Saturday Reflection

I have been reminded this morning of a quote I came across (source unknown) many years ago that speaks of the significance of Holy Saturday:

“Ours is the long day’s journey of the Saturday…  Between suffering, aloneness, unutterable waste on the one hand and the dream of liberation, of rebirth on the other…  Holy Saturday is a timeless day, relevant to every era, threading its message through all our experiences of mourning, letting go and waiting… On Holy Saturday we experience the stripping away of all past certainties, the calling into question of all future promises.  After the drama of Good Friday, an immense silence descends upon the followers of Christ.  What next?  If we rush too quickly to the Resurrection, we miss the significance of that day of waiting, a day when faith is pushed to the extreme with nothing to sustain it.”

This quote struck me as being strangely relevant for us at this time, being as we are in a period of waiting – of waiting for life to begin to return to normal; of waiting for opportunities to begin to gather together again to worship; of waiting for all that we are missing and mourning at this time to be resurrected and brought back to life.

And so I pray for you in this holy season that the Lord will encourage, strengthen and give you peace in this time of waiting, knowing that just as Easter Sunday always follows Good Friday and Holy Saturday, so we will come through these testing times and experience the hope and joy of resurrection and new life in the days to come. 

Revd Canon Julie Bradley

 

Easter at St Michael’s 2019

Join in this Holy Week as prepare for the joy of Easter Sunday.
Everyone is welcome to all our services and celebrations.

Maundy Thursday 18 April  Holy Communion

7.30pm St Michael’s Church

Good Friday 19 April Easter Messy Church

The Easter story, crafts and lunch!

11am—12.30pm St Michael’s Centre

Good Friday 19 April Reflective Service “The Nail”

In 15 minute segments, as we hear the story of Jesus’ crucifixion through the eyes of those who were there.12pm St Michael’s Church (with Communion at 1.45pm)

Easter Sunday 21 April

10.30am Family Celebration with Communion St Michael’s Centre

6.30pm Evening Celebration St Michael’s Centre