The Bishop of Northampton - Bishop David Oakley - has this year issued an Easter message to residents via YouTube.
This is what he had to say in his message…
Bishop David said: “So what kind of a world are we living in at the moment?
“There are three great realities that I’m sure for you, as well as me certainly, are part of our daily prayer.
“We think about all those who have suffered and struggled and continue to suffer and struggle with the Coronavirus. It hasn't gone away has it? We have to discover a way of living with the virus and at the same time taking seriously the powerful forces of nature which lie behind it.
“Secondly, I’m thinking of the war taking place in Ukraine at the moment and just the incredible scenes and sounds that we are exposed to in the media of what life is like for the poor people caught up in all of this. My heart breaks for them and I’m sure yours does too.
“And thirdly, and nearer to home in some respects, we have the increased cost of living. The crisis which is coming from a perfect storm, a combination of all sorts of factors, but the bottom line is we are having to pay more for everything. And again I find myself very concerned about those who are struggling with all of this.
“In the midst of all of that, we come to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning like the women who came to anoint the body of Christ. We come with heavy hearts. And what did they find when they got there?
“On one hand they found nothing because there was nothing there. The body has gone.
“As they began to wonder what exactly had happened, no doubt wondering who had taken away the body, they began to receive two moments of revelation.
“First of all the mystery witnesses at the tomb, the angelic beings who told them that ‘this Jesus who was crucified is now risen and has gone before you to Galilee’.
“And then they encountered Jesus himself. Though they did not recognise him at first, they met with the risen Lord.
“And that’s my prayer for you and me in these Easter days that we might experience through the church, the voice of encouragement, the voice of revelation, that this Jesus who we look for, he has risen.
“Of course we encounter him in the blessed sacrament and in the other sacraments too.
“So as we renew of baptisimal promises there is a very real way there that we can find new life here in this moment.
“We can renew our faith in the crucified and risen Jesus, but more than that I hope and pray that through the power of the spirit who God The Father and his beloved son breathed out upon the church and the world on Pentecost Day, I pray that we will be able to encounter the risen Lord.
“That we will meet him, the God of surprises, who comes looking for us sometimes in the dark and shadowy places, sometimes in the places where we least expect to find him.
“May we experience this Easter time all the graces and blessings of this Lord who has risen from the dead and understands us completely now and wants us to experience his new life.
“God bless you.”