FOR some Easter is a time to enjoy an extended break and feast on chocolate but for others it holds far greater significance.
Easter is viewed by Christians as the foundation of their religion. It is commemorated as the time of Jesus Christ’s crucifiction on Good Friday and subsequent resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Rev Canon John Cunningham, from Holy Rood Catholic Church, believes this shouldn’t be forgotten.
He said: “Easter is the most important festival in the Christian church. Like Christmas, both events do tend to get a little removed from people’s actual beliefs.
“If you’re not a Christian the commercialisation of Easter doesn’t matter but if you’re a Christian it ignores the reason it actually exists.”
The church, in Groundwell Road, will be holding services at 8am, 9.30am, 11am and 5pm on Sunday.
Yesterday, the Bible Society, based in Stonehill Green, released results of a survey of British children that shows one in three children don’t know why Good Friday is celebrated.
In response, the group has launched a free app, called Bible Bedtimes, which includes a reworking of the Easter story, and other tales from the bible, by children’s author Martin Coleman, based in Wootton Bassett, as part of its Pass It On campaign.
James Catford, Bible Society group chief executive, said: “The lack of knowledge about Easter should cause us all concern. We want every child to have the opportunity to encounter the greatest story ever told.”
Swindon’s branch of chocolate shop Thorntons, in The Parade, has sold dozens and dozens of Easter eggs this week and manager Howard Chitty believes there is nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat this weekend.
He said: “The shop has been manic this week. I think the good school holiday weather has brought people out to the shops.
“I think the fact that we can do personal messages on our eggs makes us a good destination to buy Easter eggs.
“Personally, I’m nuts about chocolate and love Easter for that reason and that it brings families closer together.”
Christ Church Community Centre, in Cricklade Street, is running a children’s hot cross baking class between noon and 3pm today. Visitors to the church’s burial ground will also be given hot cross buns between 10am and 1pm tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Easter Sunday services will take place at the church at 10am and 6.30pm.
Rev Canon Simon Stevenette, based at the church, said: “Easter is a very poignant time – both sad and joyful.
“I think there’s a lot of love that comes through Easter and I’m proud of the way it connects Swindon. I’d like to wish everyone a happy Easter.”
It’s about a lot more than chocolate
Michelle Betteron, 33, works in procurement, of Coate: I’m a Catholic so Easter means more than just chocolate. The commercialisation of Easter isn’t a problem as everybody has the right to choose what they believe
David Fisher, 32, unemployed, of east Swindon: Easter is that time of year to chill out over the long Bank Holiday weekend and enjoy a little chocolate. It is like a cheaper version of Christmas
Louise Oakwell, 50, shop assistant, of Cricklade: I’ve worked in Thorntons for 17 years and I love being part of the Easter buzz. We dress up and have lots of fun. I love having a bit of chocolate too
Francesca Nightingale, 18, student, of West Swindon: I don’t celebrate Easter as I’m not religious. It is just another day and I’ll be going to bingo rather than having Easter eggs
John Dunn, 47, preacher, of Moredon: Easter means eternal life to me through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I get angry with the commercialisation of Easter and I believe in passover rather than Easter as it is about eternal life