The Bishop of Burnley, the Right Reverend Philip North, has released his Easter message, extolling the virtues of harmony and saying "we all need peace just right now."
Speaking with the other two Bishops from the Blackburn Diocese (The Church of England in Lancashire), Bishop Philip said: "Imagine you are just about to walk into a room full of people. What would be the first words you say? Some people would say nothing, they would just merge into the room, shyly, nervously, not really wanting to be noticed.
"Some people might utter a modest ‘hello’ or comment on the weather; others though would want to grab hold of the scene, a great fanfare, ‘Look at me, I am here’ they would say ‘the party can begin’," he added. "In John’s gospel, on the first Easter morning, Jesus walked into a room filled with disciples and He has every reason for taking that third, attention-seeking option.
Think what he has just done: he has overcome the cross; he’s risen from the dead; he has brought about the new creation ‘Look at me he could say, I have only just been in a harrowed hell!’ but he doesn’t do any of that, instead he looks at the disciples and the first words he speaks are these: ‘peace, peace be with you’."
Asserting the peace's nature as a a proclamation, the Bishop continued, saying: "We all need peace just right now, we need peace first of all in our nation riven as it is at the moment by this endless, insidious argument over Brexit… one which is causing such disharmony, not just within our political system, but often within communities and families.
"And perhaps you also need to know peace in your own life, perhaps you are weighed down by anxiety or worry, or by conflict, or by a sense of sin," he added. "Perhaps there’s problems in your family or perhaps you are dealing with issues and problems where you can’t see a solution. We need peace, but that peace isn’t something that we can simply build on our own. No, that peace is a gift from God.
"May you know the peace of Easter; that peace which flows from the Father and so be able to share that peace with others. Happy Easter, hallelujah Christ is risen, he is risen indeed and may His peace be yours."