Easter-egg initiative spreads

27 March 2015

DIOCESE OF ROCHESTER

Easter gifts: the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, visits Abbey Court special needs primary school, Rainham, last Friday. The Bishop brought Real Easter eggs and booklets telling the Easter story 

Easter gifts: the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, visits Abbey Court special needs primary school, Rainham, last Friday. The...

AN IMPULSE that struck in a supermarket queue - to buy 100 Easter eggs and give them to strangers - was the beginning of a kindness campaign in which hundreds of others repeated the gesture.

The campaign Share the Miracle was the idea of Dan Usher, from London, who said that, while he was queuing at a supermarket, the idea came to him to buy 100 Easter eggs and give them away.

The response he received when he knocked on people's doors and gave the eggs was so positive that he and a group of friends decided to do it again the next year, and, under the banner of Share the Miracle, some 7500 eggs were given away. Mr Usher hopes that even more will be given out this year, along with an invitation to an Easter service or other community event; and the initiative is spreading beyond the UK to Romania.

Mr Usher said: "I believe that Easter is about new life and hope; but I also recognise that it means many things to many people. A group of students from Richmond Park Academy went out last Easter, and they interviewed lots of passers-by, and asked them: 'What does Easter mean to you?' The variety of responses ranged from 'Time off with my family', and 'Hot-cross buns', to 'New life and hope' and 'Love'.

"We're encouraging people to reach out at Easter, believing that relationships are key and community matters. We think that kindness and invitation can act as a powerful catalyst to transform situations, bringing about new friendships, the breaking down of social barriers, and a whole lot more.

"For many Churches and Christian work-groups, Share the Miracle has provided a simple and effective way to reach out at Easter. They are using Share the Miracle creatively to reach out to all areas of their community, including neighbours, colleagues in the office, the homeless person at the end of their street, and victims of human trafficking.

"I heard last week that one church is aiming to invite some of their local homeless on a boat trip on the Thames. Others will extend invitations to coffee mornings, dinner in their homes, men's breakfasts, mums-and-toddlers groups, or Easter services.

"One church leader told me recently about a person in his congregation who would never feel able to get involved in 'evangelism', but did feel confident when handing out eggs and invitations."

This year, like last year, volunteers will visit Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, to hand out gifts to the children.

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