Dear friends, as we move into May, my thoughts went back to the 1990’s which as a family we spent living in Guernsey.  Each year on May 9th we were able to join-in with the celebrations for Liberation Day.  During the Second World War, Guernsey, together with the other Channel Islands, was an occupied territory, and the freeing of the islands at the end of the war was a significant reason for celebration.  

Whilst this was a always special day for residents and holiday-makers alike, for those who had been evacuated from Guernsey during the War, or who had remained there in extremely difficult circumstances during the Occupation, each Liberation Day was especially significant.  

This year, of course, marks the 75th Anniversary of the ending of the Second World War, and this will need to be celebrated here and in the Channel Islands, in rather different ways than were initially planned.

Although we were not able to be present in Church over Easter, resources have helped us to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.   In the different readings, we can hear of socially-isolated disciples who found themselves to be released from fear by the presence of the risen Jesus.  Whilst the dangers around them were not diminished, their sense of liberation was renewed.

The desire for liberation is such a strong theme in human history.   Liberation from oppression, from imprisonment, from slavery, from poverty and so on.   Whilst our current situation is, we hope, both temporary and very different from the historical situations noted above, we are aware of those who are living with anxieties and fears for themselves, and for those whom they love.  

On May 9th my thoughts will inevitably go to our time in the Channel Islands, as they celebrate their liberation in a very different way this year.   And together as a Church family at Rose Hill, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all who feel trapped for whatever reason, and with those who are working so hard at personal cost to bring health and wholeness to others.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.

The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19-20)    

May each one of us continue to know the peace of God in troubling times.

With every blessing,  Stephen