It feels much like Easter has come around very quickly this year, perhaps more so given the recent falls of snow and wintery weather.

Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

It is a time of new life, warmth and colour after the darker days of winter, and a time of renewal and hope.

Let us also celebrate this Easter the strong tradition that we have in the United Kingdom for religious tolerance and freedom of speech. We must continue to ensure that everyone feels able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ.

This weekend will be an important time to reflect and important time for Christians and others to gather with family and friends.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and Happy Easter.