GOSPORT CHURCH COLUMN: Come and join me on the beach... at 6am

A re-enactment of Jesus's resurrection as part of the Havant Passion Play
A re-enactment of Jesus's resurrection as part of the Havant Passion Play
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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This Sunday morning, I will be on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent at 6am. I don’t usually go to the beach at this time, but this Sunday is special.

And I won’t be on my own – a group of us from St Faith’s will be there at 6am to start our Easter celebrations. (And if you think 6am is early, last year Easter Day was also the day the clocks changed, so it felt like 5am!).

Why do we start our Easter celebrations at such a stupidly early time?

Well, one of the accounts of the first Easter tells us that people went to Jesus’s tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and found his body gone.

Jesus then appeared to one of those people – Mary Magdalene was the first person to hear the brilliant news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. So that first Easter, the people were up early – and this Easter we will be too.

Easter Day is my favourite day in the year, because of what we are celebrating. On Easter Day we celebrate that not even death could keep Jesus down. Not even death could stop him.

For those of us who follow the way of Jesus, the message of Easter is the most important thing ever, because it shows us Jesus truly was sent from God, and we should listen to him.

If that idea seems bizarre to you, why not come and join us at St Faith’s this Sunday, to see what it’s all about?

We start at the beach near Pier Street at 6am, and then also have services at 8am, 9.30am, 11am and 6pm. I will be at all of them, but most people will only come to one!

Each service has a different style, and you might want to have a look at our website to see which might suit you.

By the end of Easter Day I will be exhausted. But it will be a good exhaustion – the kind of tiredness that comes from a busy day spent celebrating a wonderful event.

Whatever you’re doing this Sunday, I hope you have a great day as well.

•St Faith’s Church, Victoria Square, Lee-on-the-Solent: 6am Dawn Eucharist, starting on the beach; 8am Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion; 9.30am Parish Eucharist; 11am Sundays@11; 6pm Evening Prayer. Website: stfaithslee.org.uk.