The priest-in-charge of Tavistock will be found washing his parishioners’ feet on Thursday evening in a special service at Tavistock parish church. Commemorating the Last Supper, when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet in a symbolic act of service, the Reverend Michael Brierley will carry out the gesture in a dramatic re-enactment in St Eustachius’ church.
‘It’s an important sign,’ said Mr Brierley, ‘that none of us is more important than another - indeed, that those who lead should be dedicated above all to serving those for whom they care, and that we should all be serving each other.’
The service begins at , and is held to mark Maundy Thursday. It will end with a stark stripping of the interior furnishings of the church, to give the church a desolate appearance for Good Friday.
On Good Friday itself, the parish church is featuring a special children’s service at , which will be followed by the making of an Easter garden in the parish centre, and hot cross buns. At , a three-hour service begins in the parish church, with addresses by a visiting preacher, the Reverend Canon Michael Roberts, former principal of Westcott House theological college, Cambridge.
‘We ask parishioners who are not able to stay for the full three hours, to come and go at and ,’ said Mr Brierley, ‘in order to minimize distraction.’ The service marks the three hours during which Jesus, according to the Bible, hung on the cross.
‘It’s one of the few opportunities that we get,’ continued Mr Brierley, ‘really to get to the heart of what our faith is all about - the tragic end of a man whose death has so hugely changed the world, and whose death changes it still, for very much the better.’
On Easter Day, Christians across Tavistock will gather for the customary vigil at the Pimple, at , awaiting the dawn, when they will celebrate communion at , followed by a hearty breakfast in Whitchurch village hall. The Easter festivities continue in Tavistock parish church at . Everyone is warmly invited.