7th February 2017

Dear Friends

It was good to see so many people to hear our Area Bishop Graham Tomlin in conversation on Sunday evening. It was also good that he was able to license Fr Alan our new curate at this service.

I’m sure you will all make Fr Alan feel at home, do say hello when you meet him.

As the liturgy proclaimed on Sunday we now turn our back on Christmas and now look towards Lent and the coming feast of Easter. The preface to the mass on Ash Wednesday proclaims:

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.”

As you know Mother Eileen is running a Christian basics/Enquirers course at the moment, so we will not be running a dedicated Lent course this year. However, there will be lots of material for you to take home and use during the Lenten period for personal reflection. There will also be lots of materials suitable for children and families to do together. It’s all free, if you want to make a donation it’s up to you.

If you would like to buy a book to read for Lent can I recommend the following.

Being Disciples by Rowan Williams  SPCK  Archbishop Justin Welby writes “Quite the most beautiful writing on discipleship I know.” (I’ve just finished this and I think it is excellent.)

Passionate Christianity – A Journey to the Cross by Cally Hammond also SPCK

Both of these books are usefully divided to correspond with the weeks of Lent and have some simple questions after each chapter which might help your reflection.

I’m re-reading a short book by a Roman Catholic priest I met when I was training in Edinburgh. It’s called  – Costing Not Less Than Everything- notes on holiness today.  Published by DLT its an old book, last reprinted in 1981, but if you can get hold of a copy well worth a read.

I also thought that alongside some spiritual reading I would read a biography so I’ve chosen Citizen Clem a biography of Clement Atlee, written by John Bew, it’s a fascinating exploration of the man and his politics.

And because we are where we are, I thought I’d read Henry Kissinger’s book World Order published by Penguin – it’s a brilliant analysis of how the modern state arose. Well worth a read.

Simon