Bishop says Easter is a time for change – to live lives out of love, not fear

Bishop Martin Seeley. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

Bishop Martin Seeley. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s most senior Church of England clergyman has urged the county’s residents to help those in need in the county and beyond this Easter.

In his Easter message, the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said the message of Easter was the gift for people to live their lives differently.

He said: “Jesus’ resurrection from the dead frees us from living defensively, and instead we can live generously and hopefully.

“We let go bit by bit of our fear of death, which lurks in the background of our lives, to live differently out of love.”

Bishop Martin said this could be by volunteering to help in local organisations or raising money for good causes.

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He said: “Every Holy Saturday my family sit around the kitchen table with bowls of coloured water to dye hard boiled eggs – rather sturdier than blown eggs – in time for Easter Day.

“At some point we turned real egg shells into chocolate – because we like to turn everything into chocolate.

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“Those chocolate Easter eggs hold that double image of the new life that will burst out of an egg, and the new life of Jesus bursting out of the empty tomb.

“That new life, living our lives differently, is expressed through the many ways we live for others, generously, selflessly, hopefully.

“So we volunteer to help those in need – volunteering in the hospital or hospice, or in a school, or helping with a lunch club or parents and toddlers group. There are over 5,000 charitable groups across our county, and all welcome our help and support.

“I have encouraged churchgoers this Lent to raise funds for a local charity in their community to match the £50,000 we raised for the starving people of Kagera in Tanzania last year.

“Raising money is just part of giving. Giving ourselves and our time, and building relationships to support those in need, whatever their need may be, is how each of us can live our lives differently, enabling others to live differently too.

“And of course we all know what happens. We visit someone we want to help, and spend time with them, and then come away and realise we have gained far more than we feel we have given them. We have been changed – our life is different, we might even say in some way it is new.

“That is Easter. Living our lives differently, out of love, not fear.”

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