Easter in Lower Strangling

The sun shone brightly over Lower Strangling, as Easter finally arrived.

But before the villagers could enjoy the sun and the hot weather, they had an Easter zoom service to attend.

Dave, Sarah, Will, and Eleanor Peterson sat in the living room of their manor, as Dave, who was in charge of the technical side of the service, twiddled with his laptop, making sure everything went along swimmingly.

“Everything as it should be?” Sarah Peterson asked her husband Dave.

“Nothing seems to be out of order at the moment,” Dave said.

“Good,” Sarah replied.

“Can we have our eggs now, mum?” Will and Eleanor asked Sarah.

“I suppose you can have a nibble while we wait.” Sarah replied.

Will and Eleanor cheered and dug into their Easter eggs that Dave and Sarah gave them.

Just then, the Rev. Simon Abernathy entered the Zoom meeting, or rather John Granger the publican did before hoisting the laptop up to the top of a pile of bibles and prayer blocks so that it was in eye view of Simon, who was standing in the pulpit.

“Ah, hello Dave,” Simon waved from the pulpit.

“Simon, hi,” Dave said to Simon on the screen.

“I’ve got to admit, I’m impressed,” Sarah said, “I thought balancing an expensive laptop on a two metre pile of bibles and kneeling blocks sounded a bit precarious, but it might just work.”

“Don’t speak too soon, the pile could still fall.” Dave said.

As if it heard Dave, the pile wobbled slightly.

“It’s ok. I’ve steadied it.” John said from down below.

“Perhaps I should just do the service from the dais?” Simon suggested. “It would be a lot safer than this.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Dave said, “that laptop is free. I’m sure the guys as work will be willing to give me another one if that one broke.”

“That wouldn’t help with the service though, would it?” Simon said.

“No. I suppose it wouldn’t.” Dave responded.

“Have you tried connecting to the Cathedral choir yet?” Simon asked.

“Not yet. I’ll try now though,” Dave said.

“This is all rather ambitious,” Sarah said.

“It’s less ambitious that holding the service as normal in church whilst praying that no one gets COVID,” Dave said.

“Fair point,” Sarah said.

With that, Dave connected the Zoom to Warwick Cathedral’s Facebook Live Easter service, which hadn’t started yet.

“Can you see that?” Dave asked.

“Yes I can,” Simon replied. “I think this going to go very well.”

Just then, the pile wobbled slightly.

After a while, when everything was all set, the rest of the village plus other people who would have attended the service anyway were on the Zoom meeting, and Simon began the service.

“Good morning, everyone, to our Easter service live from St Gerald the Damned, with live music from the choir of Warwick Cathedral,” Simon announced as if he was finally achieving his dream of his service being broadcast on Songs of Praise. “And now, with a bit of luck, we will see them now.”

Luckily, Dave seamlessly connected to the choir of Warwick Cathedral singing, but the angle of the laptop meant that they were partially obscured by their choirmaster, Fagin Knight, with his distinctive jet black suit and long brown hair.

“All good so far,” Sarah said to Dave as they listened to the choir.

“With the emphasis on so far,” Dave said.

“Pity about the angle of Warwick Cathedral’s laptop,” Sarah said.

“Yeah, but we can’t do anything about that.” Dave said.

After the choir had finished singing, Dave went back to Simon.

“Alleluia, Christ is risen,” Simon said.

“He is risen indeed, Alleluia!” Everyone else said.

Everyone then sung Jesus Christ is Risen Today and the service continued normally.

“I guess I was wrong,” Sarah said, as John read the bible passage from the pulpit.

But then, as John swapped places with Simon, he accidentally brushed past the fragile pile.

He tried to stop it from falling, but it was too late. The pile came crashing down, and Simon disappeared from view.

“I guess you were right,” Dave said.

“Yeah, suppose I was,” Sarah said.

“Now what do we do?” Robert the brewer said to everyone who was left on the Zoom meeting.

“Dunno? Watch Warwick Cathedral’s livestream?” Dave suggested.

“Yeah, why not?” Robert replied.

And so Dave ended the Zoom meeting and everyone just watched Warwick Cathedral’s livestream instead.

“We should have just done this from the beginning,” Sarah said.

“Yeah, but at least we tried,” Dave said.

“Yes, I suppose you did,” Sarah said.

After Warwick Cathedral’s livestream was over, the Peterson’s went for a walk in the sun.

Just then, Simon rushed up to Dave.

“Dave! There you are!” He said. “I think we need a new laptop.”

“I thought as much,” Dave replied.

“What happened after I was cut off?” Simon said.

“We just watched Warwick Cathedral’s livestream,” Dave said.

“Well, at least you thought of something. Shame our service ended abruptly,” Simon said, “I was so looking forward to presenting a big televised service from the pulpit.”

“Which you did, before John pushed the pile over,” Dave said.

“Indeed. But hey, at least we no longer need to whip ourselves,” Simon said.

“Yes, at least there’s that.” Dave responded.

And so the Peterson’s and Simon wished each other a Happy Easter and walked their separate ways into the hot Easter sun.

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