London, Apr 4 (PTI) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his Easter message on Sunday to count on 'brighter days ahead' after a 'very tough' year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While acknowledging that lockdown restrictions will mean scaled-down Easter celebrations, he attempted to strike a note of optimism to point to the lifting of these restrictions in the coming weeks.
'This has been a very tough 12 months. But, as ever, the arrival of Easter brings with it new hope,' said Johnson.
'And, this year more than ever, it brings the promise of brighter days ahead for us all,' he said. The PM also paid tribute to Christians everywhere who had shown the teachings of Christ and the message of his death and resurrection 'permeate through every aspect of daily life'.
He added: 'That's why I've lost count of the number of church leaders and congregations that have stepped up to support us all in these very challenging times.
“Millions of Good Samaritans, each of them showing what loving thy neighbour as thyself really looks like in 21st century Britain. And having done all that during the darkest days of the pandemic, churches across the UK are now helping us light the path out of it by opening their doors as vaccination centres. It's really, very moving to see it.' Opposition Labour Leader Keir Starmer also paid tribute to the Christian spirit in his Easter message, saying the community “has always been there for the marginalised and for those that need support and help, but over the last year that has shone through so strong and so visible for everybody to see'.
“Whether it's vaccine centres in our church or just the pure volunteering and looking out for people within our communities. Thank you for everything you've done during this pandemic. Thank you for all that support and community spirit,' he said.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles recorded a verse by poet and Catholic priest Gerard Manley Hopkins as part of his traditional Easter message.
'The Prince of Wales has recorded the Gerard Manley Hopkins Poem, God's Grandeur, to show support for Christians around the world at Easter,” said a statement from his Clarence House office.
'Easter is the most important festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, and Hopkins's poem captures the hope and joy associated with that season,' it said.
To mark Easter, official images were released of Charles out on a walk with his mother Queen Elizabeth II in the gardens of Frogmore House in Windsor – reuniting outdoors last month after weeks of lockdown. PTI AK RUP RUP