Lent is almost upon us, although looking out of the window at the sunshine and warmth and you would almost be fooled into believing we are in the middle of June with Lent and Easter well behind us. Our weather is full of surprises. Lent is full of paradoxes and surprises if you know where to look. Light from darkness, triumph from humiliation and pain. The Christian faith tells us we live by surprises, we increase through letting go, we live by dying, we achieve great things by denying to ourselves. We grow in Lent by following Jesus, in the silence of our contemplation, in the generosity of our almsgiving and in the determination to follow a course of action through.
This year we have provided a myriad of materials and events to help you grow close to Jesus.
To deepen our prayer life we have our course Grit and Grace. It’s a course we can follow ourselves at our own pace. Through reflection on particular scriptural texts we can grow in prayer and in confidence. You can either have this course emailed to you, or just pick up a paper copy at the back of church.
We have our daily short bible studies which includes a few helpful notes and a couple of prayer pointers. Again we can either email this to you or you can pick up a hard copy at the back of church.
We are very lucky to be able to have Fr Fabrizio Pesce among us leading a course on Mindfulness and Christian Meditation. On Tuesdays in March 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th. In St Deny’s Hall 8pm till 9pm.
Our Lent appeal this year is directed towards Crosslight our own debt counselling service led by Michele Rooney.
Such a wealth of resources I do hope you will all participate in some way.
Many of you will have read accounts of the meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England held last week in London. Amongst the various topics of discussion was, perhaps not surprisingly, the ongoing saga of Brexit and recognition of the anxiety being created by the lack of clarity regarding an outcome. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York tabled a motion which was passed by Synod almost unanimously, saying that the voices of the poor and marginalised must be put at the heart of the nation’s concerns. They also urged congregations to take part in five days of prayer as we approach the deadline for leaving the EU.
The Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, has written a prayer for all the cathedrals to use. I have included it below in the hope that we might like to pray it as individuals too.
God of reconciling hope,
as you guided your people in the past
guide us through the turmoil of the present time
and bring us to that place of flourishing
where our unity can be restored,
the common good served
and all shall be made well.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
With every blessing