Church considers set date for Easter

Celebrating Easter at the same time every year will make life easier, but won't go down well with traditionalists, an Anglican reverend says.

The Archbishop of Canterbury announced over the weekend that churches worldwide are working to agree a fixed date for the Christian festival.

Justin Welby made the announcement after a meeting of primates from the Anglican Communion in Canterbury.

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

However, this has never been activated and Easter has remained variable, determined by the moon's cycle.

It is traditionally marked on the first Sunday following the spring equinox.

Anglican church spokesperson Reverend Jayson Rhodes told Morning Report there was a lot of support for having a set date, and if was around the first week of April it would make school terms easier.

He said while some want to continue the tradition of relying on the moon cycle, the focus of Easter should be on its theological meaning and not its date.

Justin Welby said he hoped the change would happen "in between five and 10 years time".

"I would love to see it before I retired", he said, although he warned the first attempt to make such a change was in the 10th Century.



Radio New Zealand International