Thoughts and reflections

Tag: Easter

The Easter Story

Telling the story…


In the week before Easter I visited our three schools for their end of term Collective Worship. I had prepared a short talk, some additional props to help this incredible and yet, such a hard story. To be honest, I was feeling a little daunted.

Each of the three schools were so well prepared, in different ways, but the amazing thing that bound them all together was their understanding and ability to explain  the whole story by writing, pictures and actions.

Sometimes we should just leave the story to itself and not over-complicate things. Too much theological interpretation is not always a good thing!!

Rev’d Sue Martin

Palm Sunday

Following the donkeys into St Mary's East Walton

Palm Sunday April 2nd 2023 at St Mary’s East Walton 

What a delight to follow behind the young donkeys on our way into church on Palm Sunday. Both young donkeys went straight into church and stayed with us for the first hymn, we have a king who rides a donkey!

Donkeys – what do they mean to us? Calm, loving, spirited, friendly.

As we start Holy Week we remember the entry into Jerusalem by Jesus on the young donkey as the crowds shouted ‘Hosanna’ and waved palm leaves before him.

Much was to happen in this week … Read more in Sermons 2023

Rev’d Sue Martin

Easter 2021

We had a balancing act this year shall we church or shall we Zoom?

In the end we did both! We had the Service of Light at 8.00 a.m. in All Saint’s Ashwicken, which is our church in the fields. Set on a hill in Norfolk with primroses, and daffodils throughout the churchyard, it was joy to meet each other( socially distance of course!)  and to share greetings.

By 11.00 a.m. we were live on Zoom! At home and people celebrating Easter, even though they can’t go out.

At least we are on the way to meeting with each other. At least we have some sense of getting through this pandemic, even if it will take time.

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The stone is rolled away, and a new dawn has begun.

Read more on Easter page.

Happy Easter!

Rev’d Sue Martin Diocese of Norwich

On this day…

Six weeks ago I was one of a number of pilgrims from Norwich Diocese on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We stopped in the Garden of Gethsemane and looked over the valley to Jerusalem. We visited the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest where Jesus spent the night in his dungeons. It was a dark and dismal place.

Today is Maundy Thursday, and amazing that we are all, in some ways contained in our own houses with the Corona virus pandemic.

We hope soon to be able to journey away from our homes and get back to some kind of normality, whatever that will look like, but I strongly suspect that for so many of us life will not be the same again.

The events of the crucifixion and Easter happened over 2000 years ago. Jesus lived among us and died for us. Life can change for us all, His resurrection meant that life would never be  the same again.


Rev’d Sue Martin

Thomas the disciple and Paddington the Bear



Some time ago the film Paddington Bear 2 came out. If, like me you are fan of Paddington, you will know the story and the character of Paddington Bear.

Michael Bond was the author of the Paddington Bear stories, apart from Paddington 2 as he died last year.

I was very fortunate to have gone to his Memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was amazing and many famous people spoke of Michael Bond and also of his most loved character, Paddington.

Preaching at St Paul’s, the Precentor of St Paul’s, Canon Michael Hampel suggested that Paddington’s story was a “kind of parable…. The wisdom of the world is turned on its head and a refugee bear who is accident prone and clearly very different from everyone else around him came to exemplify a very different kind of wisdom. It’s one that says being different is ok: that being cast adrift in the world requires the human response of rescue and that accidents happen, because we are all human.”

Some phrases in there…

A kind of parable,

The wisdom of the world is turned on its head

A refugee bear… is clearly very different from everyone else

Exemplifies a different kind of wisdom

Being cast adrift requires a human response

And accidents happen because we are all human (although Paddington was actually a bear!)

Thomas and the disciples were all human, so like us believing without seeing is often hard.

Read more  in Sermons on Faith Goes Walkabout

Rev’d Sue Martin


Happy Easter

What is Easter all about? Why do we have so much chocolate?

 CBBC explains the history of Easter, eggs and chocolate. 

 A weekend of wet weather in the UK could certainly turn us all into eating chocolate.

But the real Easter message is about Jesus, risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.

The cross that we wear and the cross that he bore gives us the light to walk out into the world and proclaim him Lord, It takes away the power of darkness, it takes away the things that we do wrong and leads us in to an eternal life.

It is a love proclaimed, God who sent his only Son to be with us to show his love for all his people.

We are  lucky indeed

Rev’d Sue Martin

Easter 2016

Easter  March 27th 2016

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

The Easter story is at the heart of Christianity.

Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection  of Jesus, three days after he was executed.

The story has some very significant dates and places. In the week leading up to Easter, which is called Holy Week, the pace changes dramatically from the entry into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday, followed by Fig Monday, when Jesus finds a fig tree with no fruit, to table Tuesday, when Jesus enters the temple and becomes angry at the tables of the money lenders,the Wednesday when a woman anoints him with oil, and then to Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper.

After Jesus was crucified on the Friday , his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance, so that no-one could steal the body.

Easter Sunday marks Jesus’ resurrection. On the Sunday, Mary Magdalene, visited the tomb and found that the stone had been moved, and that Jesus’ body had gone. Jesus himself was seen that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Rev’d Sue Martin

The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday

Via Dolorosa

Station 1

Last year on pilgrimage to the Holy Land we walked along the Via Dolorosa.

The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrow, winds along the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. It is the traditional route and follows the way of Jesus as he carried his cross from Pilot’s Judgement Hall to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion.

Along this route are the Stations of the Cross, where each station or place, marks an event as Jesus walked along the way.


Saturday 31st January, we walked along the Via Delarosa, entering Jerusalem through St Stephens’ gate and stopped a while by the Pool of Bethesda. The day was sunny and bright, it was remarkable to feel so close to that day over two thousand years ago. But in the midst of walking along this route, there was a discovery of ourselves, our belief and our Christianity.

Through the streets we walked, in a group at times, and at times as individuals, with other people, tourists, local people, shop sellers. What had happened here to Jesus, could just have happened yesterday. It was in the midst of this life of a busy, bustling city where crowds gathered that saw the mood of Jerusalem change from a welcome to Jesus who had healed and performed miracles to the scourging, agony of carrying the cross and to the crucifixion.

Lost for words I walked the streets, I saw the sights, the people and the gifts for the tourists who cared to stop and to buy. The readings that we shared together at each of the stations are shortened and held as memories of that time, in that place and on that day. At some of the stations we hear about those in the crowds who helped, who are reminders of our own humanity for others who are suffering.

At each station Bishop Graham read a passage from the Bible and prayers were said at each place using

First Station

Jesus is condemned to death.

‘ Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium‘ John 18:28

Second Station

Jesus takes up the cross.

‘Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.’ John 19:1,

‘Then they handed Him over to them to be crucified.’ John 19:16

‘ Give us courage to take up our cross and follow you.’

Third Station

Jesus falls for the first time.

‘He would console me, and give me back my life, is far from me.’ Lamentations 1:16

Fourth Station

At the corner of 2 streets. Jesus meets his mother.

‘All you that look and see; is there any sorrow like the sorrow that afflicts me?‘ Lamentations 1:12

Let us never fail to call out for all those who suffer.

Fifth Station

Simon the Cyrenian carries the cross.

‘ They enlisted a passer by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry His Cross. Mark 15:23

Those who come after me, take up the cross. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Sixth Station

Veronica wipes the sweat from Jesus face.

‘ May the Lord’s face shine upon you.‘ Numbers 6:25

Nothing is too big or too small for us to give or offer.

The chapel of the Little Sisters of Jesus is now thought to be on the site of Veronica’s house.

Seventh Station

Jesus falls a second time, at the place of the death notice.

‘With their affliction, He was afflicted. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.‘ Isaiah 63:9

Help us to turn from our ways that suffering may cease.

Eighth Station

Jesus meets the women.

‘ Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me. Weep rather over yourselves and your children’.

Luke 23: 28

Help us to know when to grieve and when to act.

Ninth Station

Jesus falls for the third time.

‘ I have come to do your will, O God.’ Psalm 40:8

When the shouting dies, we may still walk beside you.

Tenth Station

At Golgotha Jesus is stripped of His garments and the soldiers cast lots for his clothes.

‘From the sole of the feet to the head are bruises and sores and bleeding wounds.’ Isaiah 1:6

Help us to remember there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from your love.

Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross and he was numbered with transgressors.

‘They crucified Jesus there with criminals, one on his right and one on his left.‘ Luke 23:33

Clothe us in your spirit, that we may bring love to those who do not know you.

Twelfth Station

Jesus on the cross. Mary, his mother and Simon Peter, his friend were at the foot of the cross…


Palm Sunday

Image 2

Palm Sunday

Turmoil, Trouble and Triumph


Palm Sunday is a real marker in the church year. We go from Lent and within a week are at the cross. A week full of downs and ups, but it starts on a high note.
A day of triumph, a welcome into the city of Jerusalem.

Palm crosses remind us today and through the year about this very day.

You know what it’s like before a Bank Holiday, people travelling everywhere, more shopping, rushing around, bit of panic buying or in our case panic petrol buying….
Well, Jerusalem would have been a bit like that. The Feast of the Passover was at the end of the week, a big event for Jewish people then and now.

We know that the Jewish leaders were getting worried; lots of people would be coming to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, crowds expected everywhere. The last thing they wanted was this new prophet/teacher causing a problem, they really couldn’t be doing with it.

Today he would have been called a disruptive influence.

Read more in sermons…

Rev’d Sue Martin

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday April 5th

Is there Hope? 

Ch Anunc Naz

Matthew 28:1- 10  Acts 10 34-43

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

What a week!

Quite a story, starting with the triumphal ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the humble donkey. Crowded streets, the place packed with people preparing for the feast of the Passover, Jesus turning over the tables in the temple, the Last Supper in the upstairs room, for fear of being found, the long night in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the capture by the soldiers, Jesus coming before Pontius Pilate, the crowds calling for him to be crucified and the release of Barabbas.

And then the crucifixion.

Saturday, the holy day for the Jews. What was that like then?

And so to today, the good news that Jesus is risen.! Alleluia!

This is the good news, the news we all share even today 2000 years after the event and it hasn’t changed, He is risen indeed Alleluia!

But let’s go back to that tomb, the tomb given by Joseph of Arimathea. There are tombs in Jerusalem just like the one given by Joseph and I have seen a later tomb where they think Joseph of Arimathea was later buried.

In the morning Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus had gone to visit the tomb and see where they had laid his body. It had been such a dreadful day on Friday their sorrow and grief were unmeasurable but together they walked to the tomb, maybe like us today to visit the gravesides of our relatives, in respect and in love.

In Matthew we hear that an angel had rolled back the stone and was sitting there. This is a very short passage, but it says all that is needed.

The guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women,

‘Do not be afraid, He is risen. Go and tell his disciples.’

What could have been in the minds of the two Mary’s – joy, exhilaration, fear, wonder.And then on the way to the disciples they met Jesus. Immediately they bowed down and worshipped him.

In the meantime the soldiers had described what had happened and the story was made that his body had been taken by the soldiers, for fear of reprisal from the crowds.

The eleven disciples were making their way to the mountain in Galilee, when Jesus appeared to them.Jesus said to them,

‘Remember I am with you always to the end of the age.’

And that surely is what the Easter message is about. Hope, resurrection, a life hereafter.

What happen to us in this world when we lose all hope? This is such a sad and miserable place to be, the depths of despair.

But Hope… Jesus gives us that hope forever, a love that never ends, a hope for all to be well, a love that is unconditional, a hope that one day we will all meet with Jesus.

Jesus risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.

Rev’d Sue Martin Diocese of Norwich

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