THIS YEAR, unusually, we celebrate Easter day on the same day as Christians of the Eastern churches. As we celebrate the victory of the risen Christ over death, this coincidence enables us to think about how much we share with other Christians in all other parts of the world as we mark the festival which gives us our identity as disciples of the risen Christ. This is a good thing because of the triviality which so easily take over Easter in a culture like ours, where its true meaning is often not realised – like rows about what a chocolate egg should be called – and we can look beyond ourselves. We should in particular look to Egypt, where at least 47 of our brothers and sisters in Christ were killed on Palm Sunday in attacks on two churches.

Easter’s celebration of Christ’s triumph is always bound up with martyrdom: our fellow Christians who were martyred last Sunday are united, for all the brutality of the attack, with the risen Christ in his Paschal victory, and their faithfulness to Christ, in a country where the practice of the Christian faith is becoming more and more dangerous, sets us a good example. Please pray this Easter for the Christians of Egypt and for the Coptic church of St John here in Beckenham.