Next Friday, my youngest son who plays in a brass band up near Manchester, will be taking part in the Whit Friday Marches. It’s a tradition which dates back to 1821 when people from local churches would dress in their best clothes for Whitsun (or Pentecost as we tend to refer to it now) and process accompanied by brass bands. Over the years the tradition developed into a band contest where bands march and compete across the local area. It’s quite a spectacle. Pentecost is a good time for people to gather together from a wide area in celebration because it’s the moment, described in the Acts of the Apostles, when the Holy Spirit came down like a rushing wind on the disciples and they found that they could communicate to the crowds of people in many different languages. We recognise it as the moment when the church began and the disciples were empowered to travel great distances to spread the good news of the Gospel. As we gather together this Sunday, may we be empowered to go out into the world and tell others of the good news of the risen Christ.

Revd Liz