Vicar's Letter April 2018
Jesus' resurrection at Easter
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. John 7:37-39
We have probably all heard of the healing shrine at Lourdes, and indeed some people from Burnham may well have been there. But did you know that there is an ancient Holy Shrine, accredited with healings and known as ‘The Lourdes of Wales’? St Winefide’s well, at Holywell, North Wales, has been a shrine and place of pilgrimage since 630 AD, following the miraculous healing and resurrection of Winefride, a young pious girl attacked and murdered by a male suitor. According to legend, Winefride rose from the dead, following the prayers of her uncle, the Abbot, who prayed faithfully at the place of her death.
Winefride went on to become a Nun, later an Abbess, and was credited with goodness and compassion throughout her life. Now, some of us may be far too sophisticated to believe in such legends, yet St Winefirde’s well is the oldest continuously used place of pilgrimage in the UK. Something of the story speaks to us, draws us. Perhaps it speaks to young women whohave been brutalised, as Winefride was.
And at Easter, Christians proclaim- loudly- that we believe in resurrection- firstly of Jesus, then for each of us. Perhaps the Story of St Winefride speaks to us because it declares just that- a profound belief in the resurrection of the dead.
At the well, (said to have sprung up in the exact spot of Winefide’s murder), there is a pool where pilgrims still come to bathe to this day. The water of the pool is thought to have healing properties, and indeed there are thousands of testimonies of various healings resulting from taking the waters in faith.
At times each of us long for fresh, healing waters; something to restore us; something to revive our mind, body and spirit. Well the Good News of Easter is that each of us can receive and bathe in Holy, life-giving water, right where we are.
Jesus is the fountain of life, and He invites each one of us, to drink of Him, and to receive the life-giving, life-affirming living water, The Holy Spirit, gifted to each of us. The well of living water, available to each of us to draw from, all the days of our lives.
Your friend and Associate Vicar,