An extensive programme of arts and community activities has been announced to enable people to reveal their artistic talents, inspired by a spectacular exhibition heading to Hull.
I write this before my final Sunday in August as I prepare to leave Hull and move to Leeds to begin my role as Associate Rector at St. George’s Leeds in September. It is hard to sum up all that Hull Minster, its people and community, has meant to me over the last three years. I have been so encouraged, released and inspired during my time here! Working with this team, both the staff and the many wonderful volunteers, has been an absolute privilege and I’ve learnt so much from everyone I’ve worked with. I hope I have offered something too.
Hull Minster is a distinctive place - we have continued to be the ‘civic’ church, offering prayer, presence and a prophetic voice to the city. I have been so chuffed to see the visitor numbers increase, and to be part of Minster Making, and many other events which see thousands of people enjoying the amazing space, and finding a moment of quiet and peace in their busy lives. Alongside this important role, we have seen congregations increase as new members have joined us, some from no church or faith background at all – this is so wonderful! Baptising new believers and seeing others confirm their faith is one of the favourite parts of this ‘job’, when it feels much more like a vocation than tasks to do! We worship in a diverse range of styles and traditions that I’m confident to say is unique in the UK, and such a significant demonstration of God’s people worshipping in His Kingdom, many members, One Body. Everyone has a part to play, everyone is valuable.
My prayer for Hull Minster as it continues as a worshipping community into the coming years is that you stand confident in your distinctiveness (in worship, in diversity of community, and in your role in the city), knowing that it is Jesus Christ that unites you, and that it is following Jesus that give you your calling as your serve the city. With God, we lack nothing (Psalm 23). Without God, we can do no good thing (John 15:5; Psalm 16:2).
Worship God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is everything.
Enjoy the amazing community this place offers – and pray for one another.
Explore your faith (however deep, or floundering), with enthusiasm and purpose. God won’t disappoint you.
Belong with others, and invite others to belong. So many are longing to be part of what we are
As a fair number of you will know, I’ve recently returned from a long trip to Japan. Back in 2015, I had the privilege of working with a church in the town of Yotsukaido and I visited them again on this trip. Reflecting on my visit got me thinking about the history of Japanese Christianity, its modern expression and how that impacts how they view their faith.
After twenty years in the Hull area, we are finally forsaking the east coast to head to the west coast and another port city.
Wow, what an Easter!
The Holy Week Experience saw hundreds come through to experience the full story of Jesus’ final week on earth. On Easter Day we welcomed increased numbers at our morning services. We baptised two new members of our church (through our growing children’s choir) at the 11.15am, welcoming them into the family of God and celebrating new life in Christ. We watch (and listen!) in joy as our Minster Choir grows and leads us in beautiful worship. On Easter Eve the Minster Choir sang ‘I sat down’ by Bairstow, using text from Song of Solomon, in which we remember
‘His [God’s] Banner over me is Love’.
On Easter evening we praised God with over 500 people gathering for Easter Praise, hosted by Believe in Hull. This was a very creative service, with ‘Giants’ of shame, pride and more (shown in puppetry) ‘falling down’ in the presence of our intercession and declaring the Word of God. The ‘Roar Chorus’ used the song ‘Ain’t no Grave’ to lead us in worship:
There ain't no grave
Gonna hold my body down…
Oh, fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue
Fear is a tyrant, he's always telling me to run
Oh, love is a resurrection and love is a trumpet sound
Love is my weapon, I'm gonna take my giants down
Oh, there was a battle, a war between death and life
And there on a tree, the Lamb of God was crucified
And He went on down to hell, He took back every key
He rose up as a lion and He set all captives free
But Easter isn’t over! We are now in Easter season, celebrating the truth that we, the Church, are Easter people! Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is available! So, we should be expectant of more growth, more baptisms, and more people coming to explore Jesus life. So let’s go!
Rev. Eve Ridgeway
This joyful Eastertide!
This month, we celebrate the event that is at the very heart of the Christian faith and our church life. The Apostle St. Paul, one of the earliest followers of Jesus, wrote:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Note the emphasis on ‘first importance’!
Later in that Chapter, he writes: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Talk about saying it as it is! In other words, if Easter is a complete illusion then what we do on Sundays and during the week is a complete waste of time! We’d be better off having a lie in, going for a nice coffee or a walk by the sea.
But Easter is true! Firstly, the tomb was empty on Easter morning and no one has ever provided an alternative explanation of why that was the case, despite many people (including deep cynics) trying their best. In fact, one lawyer who attempted to do that came to the conclusion that the only explanation was that Jesus had indeed risen physically from being dead – and then that lawyer became a believer himself!
Secondly, Jesus appeared to lots of people! These eyewitnesses recorded what they saw. What’s more, when challenged about it, they stuck to their guns, even when that meant facing death. They would surely not have wanted to die for something they knew to be a lie?!
So please come and join us for worship, and/or a visit to our ‘Holy Week Experience’ around the church. Be renewed in Easter joy. Because the tomb was empty and Jesus appeared. Happy Easter!