Spring and Easter

The following article was published in the Spring 2024 edition of Roqueta, Menorca’s English-language magazine.

Easter Morning 2024 at Punta Prima (picture courtesy of Margaret Jones)

Easter arrives early this year.  For those who collect items of obscure knowledge (for example, in case a question arises during a quiz!), the date of Easter is fixed as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox.  That is why it is known as a ‘moveable feast;’ to the uninitiated it can seem as though the date is plucked randomly out of some sort of lottery bucket.  This year, in Europe, it will also be the day that we set our clocks forward an hour for summer time, or daylight saving time, as it is sometimes known.  The theme of Easter is, of course, resurrection, the new life that springs forth after death.  It’s theme that resonates with spring, when (in most places) the world witnesses new life bursting forth after the apparent death of winter.  It’s all part of a cycle, with a little zest added in the ever-shifting date of the Easter celebration based upon the shifting (but astronomically predictable) cycles of sun and moon.  But being part of a cycle does not need to imply stagnation.

Several years ago in Canada, we framed our Easter Vigil celebration with the story of the Irish saint, Brendan the Navigator.  Brendan set out in a boat with fourteen companions to seek the island of Paradise.  Amongst many adventures, the group encountered a bird, who told them that the year-long cycle that they had just completed would need to be continued for seven years before they would be sufficiently holy to reach the island of Paradise. 

The moral of Brendan’s story is that life is intended to contain its cyclical patterns that help us to refine faith as we encounter our scripture, tradition, experience and culture in different ways for each stage of life.  This is just a natural process of learning.  Yet even Brendan was permitted to conclude his seven-year cycle eventually.  While it may be true that ‘it is important to concentrate on the journey, rather than the destination,’ there are very few worthwhile journeys that do not have a destination of some sort or another. 

This is especially true of the journey that we make through Lent towards Easter.  That journey has a double destination: the first is Good Friday; and after that, Easter.  We journey to death, and after death has occurred, we are offered an encounter with new life.  Death is often painful.  Birth is often painful.  There is no point in minimising the pain.  Yet beyond pain, there is life.  We have a choice of remaining stuck in the pain, or we can look for ways to encounter something more positive from life. 

We make this journey through Lent every year, so we intentionally repeat an experience that could superficially seem the same.  Yet each Lent seems to generate its own special feeling.  For many of us, this is a journey to a familiar place that we hope will bring new layers of understanding and learning along the way: learning about ourselves, about our world and about our God. In other words, we expect that in the midst of familiarity we will find something different. 

As we repeat our way through the final stages of Lent, the sanctity of Holy Week and the darkness of Good Friday, the journey may lead us all to discover our own new life in Christ, and our hope for life in the eternal presence of God.  And it may lead us to discover new aspects of spring after each winter of life.  

In the Anglican Church in Menorca, we have found that we can be active participants in contributing to bring new life through a relationship with students in Peru whose educational progress had been halted by lack of funds.  


Our Archdeaconry has an association, or affiliation with the Anglican Diocese of Peru. That is a sentence that probably merits some clarification, because I suspect to those outside the church (and some inside!) it is not immediately obvious what it means.  For example, what is an Archdeaconry?  In our case, the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar encompasses all of the Anglican chaplaincies in Spain (mostly along the coast, plus the Balearics, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga), Portugal and Morocco.  It includes the Canary Islands and Madeira, as well as Andorra and (of course) Gibraltar.  Our Archdeacon is the Ven. David Waller, based in Mallorca. 

What about the Anglican Diocese in Peru?  Well there are branches of the Anglican Communion all over the world.  Many of them have roots in Britain’s colonial history, but not all.  Peru is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, but it has a long-standing Anglican presence, primarily in the poorer areas of the country – which are often very poor indeed. 

At the beginning of this year, a small group of clergy and lay people from the Archdeaconry visited Peru, to meet clergy and members of the congregations of some of the Peruvian Anglican churches.  It was a very enlightening, and, despite the poverty, an uplifting experience for those who went.  As one of my clergy colleagues wrote, ‘The lasting impression is one of what it means to be an Anglican through Latin eyes.’  He was also led to the realisation that all of our chaplaincies are ‘work in progress,’ something made manifest in the continuing evolution of Anglican churches in Peru. 

In Menorca, we have for some years sought to find a project that would allow us to participate in the relationship with Peru in a practical way.  We had heard of sponsorships of students, but lacked the appropriate contacts.  From a chance remark, during a Zoom call between members of the Archdeaconry last year, we were led to a contact who found two students whose education had been interrupted by lack of funds: true serendipity. Through this contact we were able to direct funds to enable them to resume studies that will have an impact on their lives. 

One student is a young man who dropped out of school but is now studying in an accelerated form of schooling which exists in Peru for people who need to catch up quickly.  Once he completes this, he will be able to look for a much better job than just a moto-taxi, which gives him a precarious and low income.  He also hopes to specialise in studying music, to expand the ways in which he has been able to serve the church at the local and diocesan level.

The other is a young woman whose father died before she could finish her university studies, and who will now be able to complete her B.Sc, degree in psychology to obtain regular employment. 

In both cases, education will enable these students to enter new and rewarding phases of their lives.  We hope that this will be a springtime after wintry patches for both of them.  The Anglican Church in Menorca is committed to direct a portion of the income that it receives to organisations outside the church, both in Menorca and outside.  It is our hope that the relationship with Peru will extend to other students.  

Resurrection isn’t just something that happens: we can participate actively in making it a reality in the lives of those around us! 

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