The historic church of St Paul’s in Jarrow on South Tyneside, which can trace its history back to the Venerable Bede, is preparing for its Easter celebrations.
The date of Easter has special significance for the church, whose 7th Century chancel was prayed in daily by the Venerable Bede, monk, scholar and scientist in the Wearmouth-Jarrow Anglo-Saxon monastery.
Bede was fascinated by ‘computus’, the science of reckoning time and art of calendar construction, including calculating the date of Easter, which falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal full moon. Bede’s work “The Reckoning of Time” was the first major treatise on the topic, and in his “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” he gave an account of the controversies within the Church in these lands over the date of Easter, which were settled at the Synod of Whitby in 664AD. He was also the first historian to use the Anno Domini (AD) dating system, and his work was very influential in its adoption throughout western Europe.
The celebration of Easter at St Paul’s will take place at 11.00am on Easter Sunday with an Easter Festival Eucharist, and reception of the Easter Candle which will have been lit and blessed at the Easter Vigil service in St John the Baptist, Nairn Street, Jarrow earlier that morning (7.30am).
As part of the Parish of Jarrow’s Holy Week services, the Eucharist will be celebrated in St Paul’s at 7.00pm on Wednesday 23rd March, and the Good Friday Liturgy with Passion Gospel and Proclamation of the Cross is at 2.00pm on 25th March. The Maundy Thursday service takes place in St Peter’s, York Avenue at 7.30pm
Priest in Charge The Revd Gilly Maude said: “Holy Week speaks to the heights and depths of our being and we hope that many people will join us in poignant observance of Good Friday when we share in Christ’s death, and the joyful proclamation of Easter, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.”
All are welcome at any of the services, and outside those times the church is open to welcome visitors and pilgrims between 11.00am and 3pm (Monday – Saturday). The monastic ruins adjacent to the church are open at all times.