If it wasn’t for Easter, the Christian faith would never have got off the ground; none of our churches would be here.

“If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

That’s how St Paul put it to the Corinthians.

Without the death and resurrection of Jesus the gospel is a beautiful tale about an exceptionally saintly person, a tale that might inspire good thoughts and good deeds; but there are other stories of that sort. If you don’t see and feel that for yourself, then the gospel can be, at most, interesting, but it can never renew your heart and make you a reborn human being.”

Those aren’t my words, but those of a Dutch theologian, Henri Nouwen, writing to his young nephew, seeking to address the spiritual search of a young adult today.

Across the parishes, we’re trying to emphasise how important it is for us to be “intergenerational”, to ensure that we are a church for all ages, including those like Henri Nouwen’s nephew.  Rightly, there is talk about appropriate styles of worship, openness to change, a variety of ways of doing things.

But none of this will be of any significance whatsoever if there is not underlying it our basic faith in Jesus Christ, crucified and raised from the dead.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.


A letter from the Bishop of Hereford

February  2012