Bishop Says Easing of Coronavirus Restrictions Close to Easter Feels “Like A Resurrection”
The Bishop of Exeter has said the relaxing of some of the coronavirus restrictions in time for Easter feels like a resurrection of sorts.
The Right Reverend Robert Atwell said, “The sun is shining, the flowers are coming out, there’s a real sense of buzz in the air and energy.
“It does feel like a resurrection and, as a Christian, it fills me with great joy, because the risen Christ is here amongst us and bids us, live our lives to the full – which is what God wants.
In terms of the Government’s coronavirus roadmap, it is now possible for groups of six or two households to meet outside and people no longer have to stay at home.
Weddings with up to six guests and funerals with 30 present can take place.
Small singing groups are able to lead worship in church buildings and the whole congregation is permitted to sing outside on church land.
Bishop Robert said he was looking forward to preaching the sermon at Exeter Cathedral’s Easter services, where a choir and congregation would be present together for the first time “in months”.
“In a sense that is a real act of joy too,” he said.
Many churches across Devon are preparing to hold Easter Sunday services in their church buildings or online. A number will be livestreaming services. Some will hold part of the service outside to enable members of the congregation to sing.
It is a contrast to Easter 2020 when all places of worship were closed and every Easter service was online.
Bishop Robert said, “So many people are looking for a sense of hope and direction as we go forward, It has been a dramatic experience, the past 12 months.
“A number of people are actually in deep and profound mourning. Easter is about speaking light into that darkness and hope to those who despair.
“It is the offering of new life which God gives us.
“That is the message that I want to be sharing with people on Easter day and I hope wherever people are across Devon it is what they experience in their families and their communities and wherever they celebrate.