Easter Day was, well, different. At the 9.45 a.m. Eucharist in Ilketshall St Margaret there was a congregation of about 35 adults and 5 children. A good turn-out and the service was enjoyable, with an Easter Egg hunt for those young in years and young in spirit in the churchyard afterwards. I left them enjoying coffee and chat and headed off to St Peter South Elmham for the 11.15 a.m. BCP Holy Communion.
I wasn't expecting a great attendance here, and as the church has been out of use for about 8 months due to building works, I had pushed to get us back in there for this morning. The glaziers managed to re-install the East window last Tuesday, and the builders put the choir pews back and cleaned the chancel area on Holy Wednesday. The nave was still a building site and so there was a plastic screen across the rood screen to cut off that pert of the church. However, there was seating for about 14 people, so I thought that would be adequate.
The small chancel of St Peter's
But they kept coming! Before we started we were already full, people squeezed into the stalls and the clergy kneeling stools being used to sit on. Then, just before the Gospel reading, another two adults and four children arrived. Eventually we numbered about 24 adults and 7 children, and they were everywhere, some sitting on the the altar step, and 1 adult and 3 children standing inside the altar rail in the sanctuary. One person commented afterwards that the "Dunkirk Spirit" had prevailed - we just carried on and coped.
Communion itself was not as orderly as usual, but everyone got to the rail, eventually. Just as well that I took some extra communion wafers as the the single slice of bread provided would not have been enough.
The evening "Stations of the Resurrection" was small by comparison, just 8 of us walking the "Via Lucis". I shall have to consider whether I put this service onto the rota again next year, though I have had appreciative comments from some who were there.