Archbishop of Canterbury working to fix the date of Easter

Justin Welby and other Christian leaders are in discussions to set a common globally accepted time to mark the Resurrection

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is working with other Christian leaders to fix the date of Easter.

In the UK, an act of Parliament passed in 1928 allows for Easter Sunday to be fixed on the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April.

It was not activated and Easter has remained variable, determined by the moon’s cycle.

Mr Welby has been in talks with Pope Francis, Coptic leader Pope Tawadros and the leader of the Orthodox church Patriarch Bartholomew.

He said: “I hope the change will happen in between five and 10 years time. I would love to see it before I retired.”,

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

But Mr Welby admitted the first attempt to make the change was in the 10th Century.

Easter is on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon following the spring equinox.

It can be celebrated on a Sunday between 22 March and 25 April.

But the Orthodox church follows the Julian calendar which celebrates it later.

Easter is the most important Christian festival, as it celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ following his death by crucifixion on Good Friday.

At last year’s Easter Sunday service at Canterbury Cathedral, Mr Welby said: “There is only one finality: Jesus the crucified one is alive.

“In the hard journeys we all face, in every moment of loss, the community of witnesses to the resurrection must come alongside and, with love and gentleness, bring restoration and hope.

“The church, all of us, is that community. The world around us unknowingly awaits our testimony to the new world of which they may dream, but that they have not yet known.

“In our world today the only certain ground for hopeful expectation is the news of today – it happened, Jesus is alive.”


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