From the Revd Timothy D. Wilby
Sir, — Here at St George’s, Chorley, in common with many churches round the country, we recently celebrated our patron saint. Recognising that St George is increasingly marked as a national and civic celebration, we enjoyed a service that brought together town, school, and church. The planning team for the event saw it primarily as a mission opportunity, a goal realised in the attendance of many passing visitors, as well as our Mayor, MP, and other civic representatives.
In 2011, 23 April presents a rare problem, in that Christians will, I trust, consider that Easter Eve takes precedence, as the Calendar directs. St George’s Day 2011 is transferred to Monday 2 May, which will be, conveniently, a Bank Holiday.
Could I urge your readers to see this clash of dates as a mission opportunity in itself rather than a mere inconvenience? We have the chance to shake off our feelings of being marginalised, to proclaim the supreme importance of our Lord’s death and resurrection, and to invite our communities to celebrate Easter in one weekend, and St George the week after.
Of course, some (even our own) will ignore us, but others may hear us, if we plan now; possibly this could be taken up at national level. The alternative? Well, perhaps we should withdraw from the marketplace altogether, in case people think we are fools, for Christ’s sake.
TIMOTHY D. WILBY
St George’s Vicarage
Chorley PR7 2HJ