Hull Minster is to host a must-see exhibition of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece…
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!
The Vicar of Hull Minster, the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, is leaving after nine years in the city.
Canon Barnes will take up a new position of Canon for Mission and Faith Development at Liverpool Cathedral in July.
A former engineer, Canon Barnes first came to East Yorkshire in 1999 to become Vicar of Anlaby. In 2010, he was appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Hull, which in 2017 was re-designated as Hull Minster during Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.
Canon Barnes said: “My wife Stella and I would particularly value your prayers as we prepare to move to Liverpool.