Last year
Last year's service to mark Orthodox Easter in Wood Green

As the newly appointed Shadow Minister for Europe I wanted to wish you all Christos Anesti and to send my very best wishes for a Blessed Orthodox Easter this Sunday 19th April.

This Easter is unlike previous years for all of us. The coronavirus crisis means that we all need to stay home to save lives and protect our wonderful NHS.

Unfortunately the large family gatherings that are the hallmark of the Orthodox Easter and Cypriot culture won’t be able to take place this year. Instead of family gatherings, there is still the opportunity to mark this special time of year in your own, personal way. I also know that many in the Cypriot community are also mourning the loss of loved ones, which makes this period especially difficult. I want to express my heartfelt condolences those who have lost friends or family to the coronavirus. I have always admired the resilience and optimism of the Cypriot community, qualities that will certainly help the community get through this challenging period.

Sadly this Easter, the Orthodox Churches won’t be filled with worshipers, joy and light. I will greatly miss celebrating the Good Friday liturgy at St Mary’s Cathedral and processing around the streets of Wood Green with the Epitaphio. This is a service that I enjoy attending every year in my constituency, as many others do at Greek Orthodox Churches across the UK. I look forward to attending next year’s service when we return to normality.

Whilst the faithful won’t be able to worship at church this year, the strength of the Easter message of renewal and hope is more powerful and relevant today, than it has ever been. The darkness of today will be replaced by light and we will get through this difficult time.

Catherine West MP

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