The Easter Day service in our tiny village church was led by the Bishop of Knaresborough: he was quite taken with my daughter's owl hat - which she is seldom see without - and evidently arranged a swap! I am impressed with this church man and his humour and humility and the laughter on his face is testament to his joyful personality.
Bishop James also led the Maudy Thursday service, held in a neighbour's house as the church path was still blocked by snow-drifts. This was an intimate and beautiful occasion which I found deeply moving. I went with my partner and children and we sat with, perhaps, a dozen others and listened to a re-telling of the events surrounding Christ's arrest and we shared communion. I felt welcome and included, accepted and even loved. Bishop James spoke the words of the communion liturgy with a liveliness and enthusiasm which I found surprising in a man who has read these words aloud hundreds of times. He opened the service with words to remind us that Jesus welcomes us all, all of us, everyone. My choices in the last couple of years have led some to comment, judge and criticise and my heart was touched to be reminded that I am welcomed by Jesus and that I do have a place in his church.