THE Archbishop of York encourages us to look beyond the easter bunnies and chocolate eggs - and find a place where we can get involved and make a difference this Easter.

Stephen Cottrell has written an Easter message to readers of The Press today for Easter 2023.

Despite the challenges that are facing us daily in our lives and around the world, as we witness the reawakening of the earth after its Winter rest, it’s a reminder of new life and the hope that it brings. In the midst of all the stress and busyness of life, a reminder that all things are made new. 

Being made new is central to the celebration of Easter. Being made a new creation, as Christians believe we are in Christ, is an opportunity for each one of us to consider how we live our lives, how we try to encourage a better way of living in this world that allows all people, indeed, the whole of creation to flourish. The cycles and rhythms of life in nature offer an invitation to us to participate in the rhythms of human life. We aren’t stuck in a way of life that is unchanging or unchangeable. Rather, we are all called to be part of community, part of being with each other, part of creating a future world for our children and grandchildren that will nurture them and give them opportunities to use their talents.   

As we see Winter turn into Spring, turn into Summer, and eventually into Autumn, we should take joy in these things and look for opportunities in which we can participate in the lifecycle of the world. Many churches are offering opportunity to help change the local community by providing foodbanks, carer and toddler groups, warm spaces. This Easter I offer to you the challenge that I am giving myself – to look beyond the easter bunnies and chocolate eggs - and find a place where I can get involved and make a difference, because the new life that we have in Christ is for all of us.   

We are also reminded of the cycle of life as this May we celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. It will likely bring back memories of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and all that she gave in service to the nation and Commonwealth throughout her 70 years as sovereign. But we can welcome a new chapter in our nation’s story, when we recognise that change can bring new hope, new energy, new perspectives.   

As we look to the future, can I encourage you to consider joining in the Easter services at your local church, proclaiming as has been done for 2000 years: Alleluia! Christ is risen!   

Happy Easter!  

York Press: The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell (Image: Duncan Lomax)