Opinion

Opinion

A simple, easy way to change lives

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the stories of bombings, refugees and famine? I do.

Opinion
The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury ANL-161103-110230001

It’s deeper than tinsel and chocolate

Bringing up the tail end, on Friday, Good Friday, of the Bury St Edmunds Churches Together walk of witness, we were behind a large banner that said “Good Friday march: Today is Good Friday”. There must have been 600 there, a long crocodile of folk all witnessing to their Christian faith as we made our way from the Cathedral to the Market Square.

This is in a world where there are fears that Christianity is being forgotten, despised. Where many fear that materialism and consumerism have won the day. The Archbishop of York has put on record his dismay that Egg Hunts no longer mark Easter. A leading supermarket puts out an ad: ‘Great offers on beer and cider. Good Friday just got better’. These and other signs that the real reason behind Easter is being lost. Obscured at best, ridiculed at worst.

Just before the walk set off from the Cathedral, I’d been interviewed for Radio Suffolk and had said how serious Good Friday was, is, for me and countless Christians. How, with Jesus Christ, we are taken to the depths of suffering, of pain and insult, of grief and sorrow. How this day is Good, because it’s not the final state, it’s not the last word. Good Friday makes sense because of what follows. Jesus comes gloriously back to life three days later: the triumph of love over death. A story that makes meaning for each of us in our daily lives. That means we can hope even in the face of the most awful tragedy and loss in our lives. We know that God in Christ takes seriously our human condition and shapes it in hope.

So there I was, walking along in my cassock, a visible presence witnessing along with so many others. We walked passed a busker on Abbeygate Street and he, bless him, recognised our purpose and wanted to honour us. He obviously couldn’t think of any Good Friday hymns to play, so he struck up with Silent Night, Holy Night. Along with those walking with me, I was immediately taken aback. And then smiled. That he had bothered mattered a lot. That he chose a Christmas carol to play seemed strangely poignant and rather moving.

For me it brought it home suddenly that this same Jesus who was crucified on a cross – a grown man, suffering the most awful torture – was also the little baby born in a stable on that silent and holy night. The Christchild born in innocence as a refugee far from home, to poor parents, in a humble stable is the same person who died on the cross, watched by that same mother who grieved as a sword pierced her soul. In him all the despised and tortured, the lost and displaced of the world, throughout the ages, find themselves.

Both birth and death are gift. The gift of God who so loved the world that he gives us a person, a story that lasts for all time. The real story of child and man so at one with the love of God that he gives his life even unto death. He shows us a deeper humanity that takes all our grief and sorrow and enables us, despite it all, to sing the sound of the silent holiness of love, joy and hope for ever. All so that we might know a deeper humanity than tinsel and chocolate.

Happy Easter. And Happy Christmas too.

Opinion
Michael Apichella ANL-151123-125029001

I’ve been losing it in Suffolk . . .

Humourist Dave Berry shed two stones. Thereafter, when he went out for dinner, he wished the waiter would roll out a rack of suits he could happily try on while his friends gorged themselves on rich, creamy puddings from the dessert cart.

Opinion
A personal view

Marathon runners are an inspiration

For me, two of the most important parts to a successful fund-raising event is supporting something you are passionate about and doing something others wouldn’t.

Opinion
Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

Politics: It’s shake, rattle and poll

Brexit. Potholes. Education. The NHS.

Opinion
Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

Work on a plan to make A14 fit for all

The positive welcome for a new report into improving A14 junctions between Newmarket and Ipswich is good news indeed.

Opinion
Nicola Miller

A glimpse into our post-Brexit future

Good citizens and patriots, imagine it’s 2034 and over a decade has passed since we were ejected from the EU in disgrace after a failed attempt to blast the Rock of Gibraltar free from its Spanish moorings.

Opinion 1
Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: ‘We need dynamic duo to galvanize the club should Mick leave’

There’s an air of resignation about this season — and the future of boss Mick McCarthy.

Football
Jo Churchill MP

A strategy for future success

Now that Article 50 has been triggered, what matters most is making a success of Brexit in our negotiations.

Opinion
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001

Ours is not the budget that matters

Philip Hammond made a faux pas a few weeks ago by breaking a manifesto promise and raising National Insurance in the spring budget.

Opinion
Baked cheesecake

Straight from the streets of New York

When I was a teenager I loved reading those sex ’n’ shopping novels that were popular in the eighties. Bonkbusters by Jacqueline Susann, Judith Krantz and June Flaum Singer kept me sane during two years of A-level English where the syllabus was dominated by Lawrence, Hardy and Plath.

Opinion
Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: ‘A drab Saturday, a nice Tuesday — but players must keep pressure on’

I like to think I have a decent sense of humour — I’ve been had on April Fools Day on more than one occasion.

Football
Neil Courtier

A time for lamb and chocolate

Brighter evenings, warmer spring weather and we are moving towards the Easter weekend. It’s time to start planning menus, devising shopping lists, with maybe spring lamb and, of course, chocolate will be firmly in our thoughts.

Opinion
Green View by Peter Gudde

Easy to take our energy supplies for granted

We ran out of oil at home last weekend. On Friday, we noticed that the heating was not coming on. It happens to the best of us; you’re busy getting on with life, you forget the routine jobs and then you’ve missed a deadline, a date or in my case, the level of boiler juice.

Opinion
Social media columnist

Ways to define your ideal client

I often talk about a client/customer avatar or profile and I know it’s an area businesses often struggle with. Defining your ideal client can happen in a variety of ways.

Opinion
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001

YOUTH VIEW: Computer games have their uses

Video games rot the brain. Well, that is what a lot of people will tell you. They influence the mind to act differently and thus cause the child to misbehave.

Opinion
A Personal View

I take pride in the future and past

Some people must assume it was a conspiracy. Education was on the front page of the Bury Free Press again last week. And there, to illustrate the story, was a picture of me. No wonder one of our new Year 7 students said to me recently: “My mum calls it the Barton Free Press.”

Opinion
Comic Relief funded project in Suffolk -  Poppies Care Farm, just outside Ipswich, which provides a wealth of practical and social activities for adults with learning difficulties.

Inspirational farm where care grows

Well, a week goes quickly around these parts. And it is highly likely that you’ll know someone who this time last week was Red Nose Day fundraising or donating money to Comic Relief.

Opinion
Barry Peters, editor ANL-141113-155212001

This £40 council charge still browns me off

It’s hardly surprising that less than half the households with gardens in St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath have signed up to the new Garden Waste Collection service.

Opinion
Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: ‘How we would take mid-table mediocrity now’

Just a few weeks ago, many were bemoaning the fact we looked set to finish the season mid table.

Football
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