Diocese of Manchester

    Bishop David to lead national Palm Sunday virtual service

    Christians are to be encouraged to make their own paper or card ‘palm’ crosses and display these in their windows in a national virtual church service for Palm Sunday to be broadcast by the Church of England.

    The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will put a paper ‘palm’ cross in the window of his Salford home in a national service he will lead for Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week and Easter.

    The Holy Communion service, will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page with readings from the Archdeacon of Manchester, Karen Lund and prayers by Lucy Hargraves from St Peter’s Church in Bolton. All three record contributions from their own homes in keeping with the rules on physical distancing.

    Bishop David, Lucy Hargraves and Karen Lund

    In his sermon, Bishop David will speak of the strength and mutual support from the crowd that he addressed in Manchester city centre following the Manchester Arena attacks in 2017.

    At a time when gatherings are no longer permitted in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, he said support and comfort was being drawn from events such as virtual church services and campaigns such as #clapforcarers to thank NHS staff and key workers.

    “In this time of social, or more accurately physical, distancing, the ways in which we can come together matter even more,” he will say in this sermon.

    “It wasn’t only our health workers who took strength from that recent evening when so many emerged from their front doors to offer a round of applause.

    “Each might only have been able to see or hear at most a handful of others, but everyone knew that this was something huge - a mighty crowd.”

    Palm Sunday is the start of the most solemn week of the Christian calendar when events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ are commemorated. 

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