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World News

A call to put Easter crosses in windows as rainbows spread hope brightly across UK

by Ruth Sax

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and many people will miss the blessing and distribution of palm crosses at churches, they traditionally mark an important day in the Christian calendar at the start of Holy Week.
 
Due to the UK coronavirus lockdown preventing people from going to church or meeting with anyone else outside of their household, one bishop is encouraging Christians to get creative in response to the situation.

Bishop of Blackburn Rt Rev Julian Henderson, has encouraged homes to make a cross and place it in their window, leaving it there throughout Holy Week.

The idea was inspired by the pictures of rainbows that have started appearing in windows up and down the country as a symbol of hope and positivity during lockdown. Thousands of homes in the UK have displayed them, and they are often drawn by children and stuck on windows so people on their daily exercise can see and be encouraged.

 

The rainbow is the sign of hope and of God's promises and covenant, displayed visually through his creation.
In the Bible, the presence of a rainbow was a message from God, God said: "I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth" (Genesis 9:13). 

The covenant God refers to is that he would never again flood the whole earth as he had done. He told Noah that, every time he saw a rainbow, he could know that God had established a covenant with "all flesh that is on the earth" (verse 17).

Bishop Julian has encouraged people to create crosses made from whatever materials they have available, paper, card, wood or  leaves - people can be as imaginative as they like.  

 

 

Once the cross is in the window people are being encouraged to take a picture and upload it to social media using handles @cofelancs and @churchofengland and #holyweekcross.

Bishop Julian said: "Holy Week marks the death and resurrection of Christ and is when we renew our faith and hope in the resurrection. To not be able to meet in the usual ways on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be deeply sad for people in our parishes across the County. 

"Creating a Palm Cross to go in your window is a wonderfully creative response to the situation and will also be an opportunity to witness to others about our faith at this difficult time for all of us. I would encourage our congregations and in other denominations in Lancashire to embrace the idea. 

"A cross in the window will also be a sign to our communities that, in the cross of Christ, all the world's ills are healed."

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