St Bartholomew and All Saints

Royal Wootton Bassett

Dear Friends,

I cannot see myself ever being asked to guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs – or feature in a BBC’s Songs of Praise.

If I were however I think the following Easter hymn would have to feature:

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,

wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;

Love lives again, that with the dead has been:

Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green

In the grave they laid him, Love whom men had slain,

thinking that never he would wake again,

laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:

Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.


Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,

he that for three days in the grave had lain,

quick from the dead, my risen Lord is seen:

Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.


When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

Thy touch can call us back to life again,

fields of our hearts, that dead and bare have been:

Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.


It was written by the Revd Canon John Macleod Campbell Crum, who finished his ordained career serving as a Canon at Canterbury from 1928-43. And it is set to a medieval French carol tune. But because it is not the easiest thing to sing it rarely features in our Easter services.

The words remind us of what it is that the Christian church celebrates each Easter: the desperation of the Saturday following Jesus’ death on the cross the day before; Jesus’ friends finding his tomb empty that first Easter Sunday; and those who loved Jesus meeting with him subsequently in strange and unaccountable ways in the garden, on the road and behind closed doors. Hearts were wintry and grieving, and yet somehow Love came and called them back to life again.

We all face situations that seem unbearable, and threaten to be the death of us. It might be the depression that will not lift, the family whom we dread facing, the addiction we cannot break, the relationship that traps us, or the grief that overwhelms us. The promise of Easter is that God who is Love seeks always to call us back to life again, like wheat that springeth green, and that is something very worthwhile celebrating. 

Wishing you a very happy Easter.

Canon Jane Curtis