23rd January 2019

Dear Friends

Easter is about as late as it can possibly be this year, as a consequence we do not begin our Lenten pilgrimage until Wednesday 6 March.  I’m hoping we can use this Lenten period of reflection to explore as a church and as individuals how we pray. For the Christian, prayer is at the heart of everything we do, it is the means of conscious union with God our creator and it expresses the powerful bond between the two. Without prayer our faith and the faith of the Church withers. It is vital that we maintain a healthy prayer life,. We can all get stuck in familiar ruts, where relationships are taken for granted and neglected. I am hoping that we can use Lent 2019 to explore how our prayer life might deepen and grow. All of us live busy lives and the opportunity for silence and contemplation is limited.  After each 6pm Sunday service of Stations of the Cross we will use music to explore how we can be silent and attentive. We hope to be able to have a course running during Lent on the practice of Christian Mindfulness, which will be an opportunity to explore how we might benefit most from our use of silence, however limited that might be. Some of us have signed up for a weeks course of guided prayer, I know for many of you the demands of daily attendance for Spiritual Direction was just too difficult to manage. As an alternative we will be offering a six week course on guided prayer called Grit and Grace. Each week you will receive some material to use privately and there will be two weekly opportunities to meet in small groups, or individually, to talk with a facilitator about your weeks experience. If you do not want to meet with a facilitator that is also fine. I hope there will be something for everyone here, something we can all use to grow in grace.

Simon