Bishop of Chichester’s hopes for the future in Easter Day sermon

The Bishop of Chichester spoke of hope for the future in his Easter Day sermon in Chichester Cathedral.

The Right Rev Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester SUS-210404-140058001
The Right Rev Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester SUS-210404-140058001

Dr Martin Warner said: “This year’s celebration of the paschal mystery of Easter is a joyful sign of hope for the future, as we seem to be emerging from the destructive shadow of the Covid pandemic.

“We shall need time to lament the loss of so very many loved ones, and to plan how we record with imagination and dignity our gratitude to those who have cared for us in this time, forgetful of their own needs. They are the heroes and the role models of our age.”

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Dr Warner said that over time society will also ‘need wisdom to learn the lessons of this pandemic, which in so many ways has held up a mirror to our national and global society’.

He said: “What has it taught us about the absence of mercy in our care of the stranger, the lack of truth in public discourse, the reality of justice denied to those who cannot pay, and the pretence of peace beneath which ethnic cleansing is ruthlessly progressed?”

The bishop reiterated his belief that society will need to see what recent times have taught people ‘about the greed and waste that are driving a catastrophic level of damage to the earth’.

In an address which examined the pomegranate fruit as a symbol of resurrection and also reflected on the lyrics of a Kate Melua song “How can misery feel so sweet? This is the nearest thing to crazy I have ever known, I was never crazy on my own” the bishop also focused on the words of a hymn: Love to the loveless shown that we might lovely be.

He added: “The themes of abundant fragrance, flowers, fruitfulness and the rising of the summer sun, coalesce across the Christian centuries to shape the language and the visual images of our celebration of Easter.

“On this Easter Day, let us look with joy and confidence to the recovery of public worship in which we also rediscover our social, moral and spiritual lives.”