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Bishop Martin speaks to Suffolk about Easter love and the need for compassion and forgiveness

PUBLISHED: 10:30 14 April 2017

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, taking part in an 11-day Lent pilgrimage, from Dunwich to Bury St Edmunds, in preparation for Easter. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, taking part in an 11-day Lent pilgrimage, from Dunwich to Bury St Edmunds, in preparation for Easter. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

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Suffolk’s leading clergyman is urging people to show God’s love to one another and a spirit of compassion, generosity and forgiveness this Easter.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, getting messy with youngsters during his 11-day Lent pilgrimage visiting youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, farmers and pubs en route. Picture: KEITH MINDHAMThe Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, getting messy with youngsters during his 11-day Lent pilgrimage visiting youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, farmers and pubs en route. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, highlighted the outpouring of love to the families involved following the recent terror attacks in Westminster and the Coptic churches bombed in Egypt on Palm Sunday.

In his Easter message, he said: “Easter is about love. It is about God’s love, and how this love is greater than death, greater than all the evil and wrong in the world.

“We see God’s love in Jesus on Good Friday, at his crucifixion. We see it as he gives himself up to die knowing that somehow his death will make the world a better place.

“We see it as he prays for the soldiers who are nailing him to the cross, praying that they be forgiven.

“We see it as he hangs from the cross and tells his mother and his closest follower that they are family now and must take care of one another. We see it as he reaches out to the thief crucified next to him.

“God’s love, even at this most dreadful moment, is selfless, thinking only of others, it is about forgiveness, generosity, kindness, compassion and gentleness.”

Bishop Martin said after Jesus’ resurrection, he does not return with reprisals or judgement on those who had executed him.

Instead, he shows the same love, gentleness, compassion and kindness, generosity and forgiveness, he had shown before his death as he gently helps his followers come to terms with the new reality of his risen life.

“Which is the love that we see small ways and big ways, at times of celebration and times of tragedy,” said Bishop Martin.

“It is the love poured out after the recent Westminster attack, for the families and friends of the victims, for the communities affected, at the funeral of PC Keith Palmer’s funeral.

“It is the same love poured out to the Coptic Christian victims of the terrorist bombs on Palm Sunday in Egypt. Love from within the Christian community and from Egyptian Muslims and from many others across the world.

“This is us, human beings, sharing and showing God’s love, which was revealed by Jesus’ resurrection as indestructible and forever, overcoming evil and suffering.”

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