Happy Easter to everyone.
This year Easter falls at the quarter of the year, and marks the end of a really cold and lingering winter for homeless and poor people. It coincides with Passover too and it feels like a turning point in the year.
Hope is incredibly busy at Christmas, then really busy running our sleepout at the end of Jan (the most successful ever with over £62k raised); and then we have been horribly busy with the triple pressures of a long SWEP (emergency cold weather shelter) period and the launch of the foodclub project, growing project, and associated crowdfunding campaign – which also hit its target. We have not stopped, doing new things, and doing old things harder, helping more people, and helping them to change, grow and overcome the huge challenges they face. The Easter break (even though of course we are open both bank holidays!), feels like a point to draw breath after so much effort expended, for which we thank all our staff, volunteers, donors and supporters.
Alongside scoffing the chocolate that Easter promises, including the donations of eggs to all our foodclub and day centre users, Easter, the promise of new life, is of course much more.
For nearly everyone, the coming of spring and the end of winter is a moment of change, looking forward and feeling life begins again, and it always has been, in almost every society since time began. Almost all religions celebrate that new life stirring. In the Christian faith that Easter is about, personalised in Jesus, it is the supreme moment in the year when Christians declare the victory of life over death, an expression of recognition of a sacrifice that is transcended. It’s a vision of hope. There is hope and faith that despite all the horror, violence, inhumanity and cruelty in the world, it can be transcended by sacrifice, grace and love.
Although not an agency defined by faith, Hope tries to walk in this path; to have hope; to believe life can be better, and can be redeemed. We believe we must reflect that supreme sacrifice in what we do to help others, trying, and sometimes failing, but always having hope. We have a duty, and a willingness, to use our energies, poor and weak though they are, to create new shoots of growth from out of the broken ground.