Dear friends,

Alleluia, Christ is risen! A very happy Easter to you all. And what a wonderful celebration it was here at St Mary’s over the Easter weekend. So many of you have kindly expressed your own surprise, delight and happiness at seeing the church so full on Easter Day, as we welcomed more than 130 worshippers, including nearly 30 children! The Mass was uplifting, and the two Easter parties (after the Vigil and on Easter Day itself, respectively) characteristically joyous. Thank you to all whose hard work and generosity of spirit made our celebrations so memorable – particularly to the group of more than a dozen parishioners who gathered on Holy Saturday morning to clean and decorate the church from top to bottom, which was then looking its best for our many guests and visitors.

Worship, fellowship and service – simple but indispensable elements of our life together, and strengths upon which we should seek to build, by the grace of God. Upcoming and important opportunities for service in the parish include election as a churchwarden, PCC member or parish representative to the Harrow Deanery Synod: nomination papers for the first two of these are herewith attached, and will also be available in hardcopy on Sunday.

Churchwardens are the senior laypeople in a congregation, and are responsible with the priest for the wellbeing of the parish. In practice, churchwardens have a special responsibility for the fabric and ornaments of the church – but share in oversight of the whole mission of the parish, and occupy a key role liaising between the congregation and the clergy.

Members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) are, in effect, the Trustees of the parish, and regularly review a wide variety of elements of parish life, including mission, worship, finances and safeguarding. Members of the PCC can ask the Council to consider any issue which they feel to be of importance in parish life.

Representatives to the Deanery Synod meet three to four times a year with delegates from other parishes in Harrow: they consider subjects of common concern, and also elect the members of the national General Synod of the Church of England.

If you feel called to serve the Church in one of these roles – or feel that another member of the congregation might be a  good fit for one of them – please consider standing or nominating as appropriate.

With best wishes, and every Easter blessing,

Fr Richard