Easter 2024: Faith, family, and a furry friend

For orthodox and non-orthodox Christians alike, Easter marks the holiest of celebrations in the religious calendar and an opportunity to rejoice in Christ’s resurrection. It also serves as a timely reminder  ̶  as the seasons change  ̶  of nature’s cyclical regeneration.

Fortunately, at The Old Rectory we are blessed by regular visits from the children of Rainbow’s End Pre-School whose youthful energy is a constant joy. And so it was on Sunday, March 24 when they joined us for an Easter egg hunt to kick-start our week. We also welcomed the Easter Bunny who enlivened proceedings by strolling through the house and gardens distributing chocolate eggs   ̶  a symbol of new life  ̶  to everyone present. And as the children foraged for further treats, refreshments were served with hot cross buns.

The Easter-themed celebrations resumed on Tuesday with a craft session dedicated to decorating ceramic eggs and creating ‘nests’  ̶  a lot of fun that produced some impressive results, continuing the following day with a special screening of Easter Parade: a perennial Hollywood classic that still feels fresh today.

On Good Friday, the conservatory made room for a miniature Easter garden. We all gathered over glasses of sherry to admire Barbara’s handiwork and plant flags for a chance to win a prize come Easter Sunday. And in honour of Christ’s commissioning of his disciples to be ‘fishers of men’ we embraced tradition by partaking of a fish lunch consisting of salmon in a hollandaise sauce with new potatoes.

And when Easter Sunday arrived, those residents who wished to attend a special service were accompanied to the local church, before returning for drinks with family and friends who were invited to participate in a prize draw. With five ‘treasure spots’ in play, five residents and five members of staff became the afternoon’s lucky prize-winners. Later, we assembled in the dining room to enjoy a communal, Easter-themed lunch that included lamb, followed by Simnel cake  ̶  a dish traditionally served during Lent on Mothering Sunday.

As our busy Easter week came to an end, the message of Easter resonated in the hearts and minds of all who took part, leaving us content that respectful reflection, worship, and joyful celebration were fitting ways to give thanks for the life of Jesus Christ.