Easter communion on the beach


Rev Jonathan Meyer, vicar of Winchelsea, held a moving service at dawn on Easter morning on the beach at Pett Level. Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death, is one of the principal feasts of Christianity and is the celebration and joyful end to Lent, a time of fasting and penitence.

Rev Jonathan Meyer dawn service at Pett Level

Jonathan explains, “For the last five years we have celebrated the first communion of Easter on the beach at Winchelsea. This year for the first time we celebrated at Pett Level near to our chapel of Saint Nicholas.

Communion at Pett Level

“The service is timed to coincide with sunrise and much of the liturgy is based on Celtic spirituality which emphasises the importance of natural surroundings. This year we did not see the sunrise but the skies lightened and in spite of a cold, strong wind we attracted many parishioners who shared the mystery of Easter with us.

“Communion in the form of bread and wine was shared and those who preferred not receive communion were offered a blessing. After the service we all went into Saint Nicholas’ Chapel and in spite of the cold weather everyone I spoke to agreed it was a moving and special occasion. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, hallelujah.”

John Case was in the congregation: “Getting up at 5am is not something I normally relish, but the dawn service on the beach at Pett Level is always a special occasion and last Sunday was no exception. Led by the Rev Jonathan Meyer, over fifty-four folk gathered for a communion service as the sun rose, admittedly masked by scudding clouds!

“The sound of the waves, and even the wind and cold, gave a raw and elemental atmosphere that you don’t get normally get inside a physical building, and this seemed appropriate for Easter Sunday morning, reminding us of Mary Magdalene and her fellow companions arrival at the empty tomb on that first Sunday, over two thousand years ago.”

After the service everyone enjoyed pastries, croissants and very welcome tea and coffee in the little church of St Nicholas.

Image Credits: John Case , Natasha Robinson .

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