I wonder if like me, you began the year with some hopes and expectations? A longing for our country to feel more stable. For economic growth and peace across the globe.
Maybe our hopes and dreams were more personal. Family relationships to be stronger. To have more time to appreciate the world around us or even just time to slow down and reflect on who we are and where we are going in life.
The month of February has a serious side to it in the Church calendar. On Ash Wednesday we hold a service that brings us to a place where we come before God to seek him more deeply – to recognise that all of us long for God’s love and forgiveness.
In recent months, I have had to learn to slow down and spend more time listening and receiving rather than doing. It has given me a great and unexpected opportunity to pray for the Parishes and recognise our need to take stock of our lives from time to time.
Every day I meet someone who is feeling anxious or exhausted. We might describe it as being on a treadmill or just how life is at the moment.
After Ash Wednesday we lead into a season of Lent for six weeks. Lent is often thought of as a time of giving things up. We forget that it is a time for all of us to come before God with our lives – our hopes and fears – our anxieties and joys. There will be areas of our lives where we recognise that we want to say sorry to God for our words and actions.
This year we will be holding five sessions in St Mary’s Church on Wednesday evenings. You are welcome to come and join us for a time of listening, sharing and prayer.
26th February, 11am: Ash Wednesday. A time of prayer and Holy Communion with a cross of ash on the forehead for those who would like to receive it.
4th March, 7:30 to 8:30pm: A short service of listening prayer by candlelight ending with Compline (short service of evening prayer)
11th March, 7:30 – 9pm: Theme will be sacred space with music and candlelight.
18th March, 7:30 – 9pm: Theme based on Psalm 86 Hear my prayer O Lord
25th March, 7:30 – 9pm: Theme – The servant King
1st April, 7:30 – 9pm: Gathered together. A service of Holy Communion with music by candlelight.
All these evenings will commence with coffee and cake on arrival. There will be times of sharing and times of silence. We will finish prompt at 9pm
If you would like to talk more about anything related or unrelated to the Lent sessions, I am always available to listen.
With every blessing