Click here to download our programme for Lent
Lent is springtime: the springtime of the Church and the springtime of our souls. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grasp something of the life of Christ, and make it part of our own lives. Above all, Lent is the season in which we prepare ourselves in mind and heart for Holy Week and the celebration of Christ’s death and Resurrection.
Before we get to Holy Week, the Church gives us the days of Lent as a time of growth and renewal – a time to move forward and leave the past behind. We begin together on Ash Wednesday as we receive the ashes of contrition and sorrow, and turn again to the mercy of Christ in hopeful trust. The Eucharist will be said at 10am and sung at 7.30pm.
During the days of Lent, we both give things up and take things on. It is a season of penitence, so it needs to include some element of self-denial – perhaps some harmless luxury, innocent in itself, or perhaps something more serious which has been weighing us down.
It’s also a season of growth, so we take things on. There is a rich programme for Lent in our parish and it would be wonderful to see every member of the Church Family taking some part in it. What might you do? New determination to be faithful in personal prayer? Daily reading of the Bible or a devotional book? Saving money in order to make a Lent offering to the Bishop’s Appeal or some other charity? Coming to church for a few minutes’ prayer near the Holy Sacrament each day? Maybe you could come to a weekday Eucharist, or to Morning or Evening Prayer? Are there neighbours who need your kindness? The clergy are always available if you wish to talk about the Christian faith, or the spiritual life, or if you wish to make your confession.
The Sunday Eucharist together is at the heart of our keeping of Lent: the gathering of the Lord’s People for the Lord’s Service on the Lord’s Day. Then there’s Bible Study on Monday evenings. There’s the Lent study series ‘Faith at work’ on Tuesday evenings. There’s the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings. We’re hoping to have Lent fellowship lunches throughout the season.
A wide selection of Lent books will be on sale in the Church Hall after the Parish Eucharist on Sundays 28 January, 4 February and 11 February: come, browse and buy something to read for the holy season. At the back of the church you can find copies of a ‘Count your blessings’ calendar produced by Christian Aid: for each day of Lent it gives a reflection, prayer point or activity to help us walk alongside our global neighbours. Help yourself to a calendar and use it.
Let’s pray for God’s blessing as we celebrate Lent together, that we might be more fervent in prayer, more generous in works of charity, and more eager in celebrating the mysteries by which we are reborn.
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