Closed but open



Sr Mary Clare in community at Westgate in the southeast of England, reflects on how a stroll into town led her on a path of Easter hope and joy.


A different way of life


The COVID – 19 Pandemic has challenged us all to live life differently in some form or another. With no big gatherings allowed at present, I decided to keep the Good Friday tradition of Christians witnessing to their Faith by processing through their towns to a place for a religious service. I decided to take my one hour’s exercise by walking by the sea into town and greeting everyone I met en route with a smile or a friendly hello.


It was an exceptionally warm morning so there were many people out exercising their dogs on the beach but in the town, it was very quiet and eerie. I read the “CLOSED” notices on the shop doors and was struck by how many gave signs of hope. They thanked people for their custom in the past but looked forward to them returning and all wished them well by keeping safe – In other words respect the “social distancing” rule.



A service of thanksgiving


Then I saw a window display which took me by surprise. It was a gift shop with an Easter window decorated by the owner as her Easter wish for all the residents of Westgate.



Easter wishes to everyone!

Hope the window has cheered you up in these uncertain times.

Stay safe and healthy.

See you when I’m allowed to open again.

Pru X


The window was full of items which depicted Easter as a time of new life – there were eggs, rabbits, sheep in all shapes and sizes as well as artificial spring flowers. The owner had made flowers to hang as a frieze along the top of the window.


Here was someone giving us hope. In his Easter Day sermon transmitted from his kitchen, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said:


“Imagination, ambition, hope, are some of the foods that nourish us in dark times.”




Queen Elizabeth in her first-ever Easter Message said something similar:


“The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose.



This window for me was a sign of hope given to all who passed by from a shop that was closed yet open. I did send the owner a Thank You card for the joy that it brought me as well thanking her for taking the time to decorate a window to give hope and joy to others.


Sr Mary Clare Mason dj



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