From silent vigil to wonderful voices; deep darkness to visual splendour; stark and bare to vibrant beauty and colour. These were the experiences which made this Easter season so special for me, and for many, at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Woodbridge. Never before have contrasts seemed so great, from a most moving occasion on the evening of Maundy Thursday, through to another moving day on Easter Sunday, as different as they could possibly be.
The Easter story may be well known, but for those of us who witnessed the Oberammergau Passion Play last year, it took on a whole new depth and understanding in 2011. As familiar words were spoken in Woodbridge, my mind was back in the tiny German village, watching the reality unfold on that enormous stage, set with mountains as a backdrop. Perhaps, a similar experience for those who watched the Passion Play in Elmhurst Park on Good Friday? Not just words in a book, but a real story with real people.
This year, the choir of St. Mary’s was outstanding. The sounds produced were amazing and brought tears to the eyes of many in the huge congregation, so professional was the singing. In a setting of glory, created by this beautiful building greatly enhanced by the stunning displays of lilies and spring flowers, arranged by our dedicated team of ladies, with rays of sun streaming through the glorious stained glass windows, it was a sight to behold. And the powerful Easter message of hope and joy shone so clearly, we all felt glad to be here.
Our first ‘At Home’ on Easter Monday was a great success (see photos), with many visitors enjoying the opportunity to come and see what goes on in this vibrant Parish Church and its community. Some came for a first visit, others were familiar with the building but were able to spend time in a friendly, relaxed setting, where they found much to interest them. There was an opportunity to see the newly acquired oil painting displayed in the chapel; purchase the new illustrated guide book, on sale for the first time; see displays of life and work here; meet and chat with the clergy and members of the congregation; enjoy refreshments and sit in the sun in the lovely grounds.
Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this event possible; to all who came and to those who gave so generously towards the upkeep of this historic building. And to those who shared our Easter services with us. Please come and see us again soon. You will always be welcome.
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