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I am writing this article sat in my kitchen dining room, enjoying a cold lager whilst looking out into our back garden. The sun is shining, the sky is blue with a few clouds. Blossom on the tree. Spring has sprung and hope for a new season is in the air. This is why I love April. I have to admit I found this last winter very difficult; leaving home for work in the dark and arriving home in the dark too. I wasn’t that keen once home to go back out for a walk with the dog later on that night in the rain, cold and dark. I have to agree with Jen Selinsky when she said:

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter.”

– Jen Selinsky

Now we have the lighter nights, daffodils are popping up everywhere and there seems to be a lot more smiles on people’s faces as various colours begin to appear in the parks, gardens and roadsides.

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

– Lady Bird Johnson

And this weekend we also celebrate Easter. Easter means many different things to people. Easter egg hunts for children is a popular thing for families to do. Easter is celebrated with eggs as eggs represent new life and birth. An ancient custom became part of the Easter celebrations during the medieval period as eating eggs during lent was forbidden. So, Easter Sunday was a day when they could eat and enjoy an egg after 40 days of fasting eggs.

In the sporting world, the Easter Bank holiday weekend is a big event that has a huge impact on teams during Friday and Monday’s games. It can be a challenging and defining weekend for teams pushing for promotion or fighting for survival at the bottom of the league. So much is asked, and expected, of the players over this weekend with little time of recovery from the Friday game to the Monday game. So quickly they can fall from being heroes to villains depending how the results go. I always find this hard to accept, as no player goes out on the field not to give their all for the club and their team mates. Just like a lot can happen within four days over the Easter weekend, a lot can and did happen over seven days which Christians celebrate during the Easter period.

“The great gift of Easter is hope.”

– Basil Hume

The Easter account talks of a triumphant entrance into Jerusalem by Jesus worshipped by hundreds if not thousands, to betrayal by one of his followers, denial by others, severe beating by the Roman soldiers to horrendous crucifixion, followed by a miraculous rise from the dead in which over 500 people were recorded as seeing him.

“The story of Easter is the story of God’s wonderful window of divine surprise.”

– Carl Knudsen.

Easter’s main story for Christians around the world is that they celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead three days after he was executed by crucifixion.

I hope you have a good Easter weekend and that April is a month that brings fresh hope and colour into your life for the rest of the year.

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.”

– Janine di Giovanni

Happy Easter to you all

Baz (co-CEO and Lead Chaplain)