The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Right Reverend Paul Williams, has recorded an Easter message in which he says: "Jesus’ life, death and resurrection declare the true value that God places on every single person.
"Every church in this city and across all the diocese exists only because of the events of that first Holy Week and Easter.”
The message was filmed in the diocese’s newest church, Trinity, which has opened in the former Neale’s auction house on Mansfield Road, Nottingham.
Bishop Paul's Easter message in full:
"Going, going, gone! That will have been said many times over on this very spot. I’m in the old Neale’s Auction House at the top of the Mansfield Road and for over a hundred years this was the premier auction house in the East Midlands. On Easter Sunday this year it will become the Church of England’s newest church here in this vibrant city.
"The one thing you learn in an auction house is that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection declare the true value that God places on every single person. Every church in this city and across all the diocese exists only because of the events of that first Holy Week and Easter.
"Many people wonder how, if there is a God of love who made the universe, then how can he allow so much suffering. There’s no easy answer to that question, especially when that suffering is intensely personal. But as Christians we believe that God is not remote or indifferent to suffering. He suffers with us and he suffers for us. On the cross Jesus experiences the worst that a broken world can throw at someone. But he doesn’t simply die as the result of a random act of cruel brutality or injustice – Jesus willingly chooses the way of the cross.
"Jesus took upon himself the sin of the world."
"That is why John in his Gospel writes: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
"For nearly 400 years the top of the Mansfield Road, just a short distance from here, was known as Gallows Hill, because that was the place just outside the perimeter of the old city where the worst criminals were punished for their offences, though at times a brief glance at the history books would suggest it was a fairly rough justice. Three thousand miles away outside another city wall, Jesus took upon himself the sin of the world to bring us back into relationship with God, to reconcile us to God.
"So now, in every community across the county, churches are seeking to live out that message of God’s reconciling love, doing that through practical action and through compassionate care in every one of the 320 churches across the diocese; from Bawtry in the north to East Leake in the south, from Huthwaite in the west, to Collingham across in the east, every community of faith seeking to live out this message of shining hope for our world, communities alive and committed to sharing good news about the true worth of every person to God.
"This is what inspires us to reach out wider, to connect in fresh ways with new and younger generations and to grow disciples with deep roots of faith in the risen Lord Jesus.
"May the Lord bless you this Holy Week and Easter."