Sidmouth vicar gives message of hope for Easter

Left to right: Rev David Caporn, Rev Nigel Candelent, curate, Kirsty Hammond, youth minister, Rev An

Left to right: Rev David Caporn, Rev Nigel Candelent, curate, Kirsty Hammond, youth minister, Rev Annita Denny, associate priest. Picture: Sid Valley Mission Community - Credit: Archant

An Easter message from Rev David Caporn, Vicar of All Saints’ Sidmouth, St Mary and St Peter Salcombe Regis, and Team Rector for Sid Valley Mission Community

The buildings may be closed but things have continued apace for the local Church of England churches, Sidmouth Parish Church, All Saints’, Salcombe Regis, Sidbury, Sidford and Woolbrook.

Hundreds have listened to Sunday services recorded by All Saints and Sidmouth Parish Church (available through the websites and while others have joined in with acts of worship at home through printed materials and listening to radio broadcasts.

Many groups have continued to meet using online tools such as Zoom and Skype or telephone conferences, whilst congregations such as that at Salcombe Regis have been sending weekly news around and keeping in touch by phone with those who do not have access to the internet.

People are helping friends and neighbours who cannot get out with essentials, and through enquiries received through our website we have been able to support some whose family live far away. Kirsty Hammond, the youth and children’s minister, has been providing resources for children at home and been in touch with those who come to popular toddler groups such as Happy Feet. This is church in the midst of Coronavirus.

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This will all continue throughout Holy Week with Sidmouth Parish church posting recordings daily with virtual services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and daily reflections plus services for Good Friday and Easter Day being available through the All Saints website so do please join us.

It is unusual not being able to meet together in our church buildings during Holy Week, but the story of Holy Week itself is one of disorientation, disappointment, fragility, futility but ultimately joy. Jesus is welcomed as king on Palm Sunday, is anguished in Gethsemene and rejected and killed on Good Friday. What appears a failure is in fact triumph with Jesus’s death enabling us to be forgiven, made right with God. The empty tomb on Easter Sunday shows that death has been defeated once and for all.

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Over the last few weeks we have seen the best and the worst of human behaviour and been reminded of our vulnerabilities. But this Holy Week we can be reminded that God doesn’t abandon us but forgives us and gives us hope. Join with us as we worship in turbulent times.

The Reverend David Caporn

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