‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.’ So says Dorothy when she wakes up in the Land of Oz.

We might feel a bit like this as we prepare for our arrival in Lent this year – we’re not in a world we know anymore with the horizon having somehow shifted and familiar landmarks now in different places.

As we journey through Lent this year, rather like Oz – where things are similar but not quite the same – there will be echoes of a ‘normal’ Lent but these will be offered slightly differently.

We will begin all activities and groups in the week beginning Sunday 21 February. Initially, they will take place on Zoom and move to meeting face-to-face if we are able.

However you participate in our observing of Lent this year, I hope it will be holy and blessed season of faithfulness for you.

Deborah

Setting out on the journey

6.00pm Making the ash!

Join Deborah online for the annual ritual of burning palm crosses from previous years to make ash for this year’s ashing.

If you would like your cross to be burned, place it in the box outside the Vicarage or burn yours at home for use on Ash Wednesday.

10.00am Worship in the Churchyard for Ash Wednesday

As the season of Lent begins, we are marked again with the cross with which we were signed at our baptism – a reminder of both death to life and life in death.

At this short service in the churchyard the Imposition of Ashes will take place.

The service will be socially distanced and with COVID-19 measures in place.

7.45pm Worship@Home for Ash Wednesday

At this service we will each use either ash or water to make the sign of the cross with which we were signed at our baptism – a reminder of both death to life and life in death.

This service will be on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Opportunities for study

Living His Story, Hannah Steele

Wednesdays @ 10.30am, facilitated by Dorothy Champion

Wednesdays @ 2.30pm, facilitated by Christine Payne

How can we convey the love of God to our neighbours in a post-Christian world that has largely forgotten the gospel of Jesus Christ? In Living His Story, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2021, Hannah Steele uncovers liberating and practical ways of sharing the gospel story afresh. With warmth and encouragement, she shows us how we can live Jesus’ story in our own lives simply by being the people God made us and allowing people to be drawn to him through our natural gifts.

Thy will be done, Stephen Cherry

Thursdays @ 7.45pm, facilitated by David Carruthers

At a time of change, uncertainty and widespread anxiety, we need to discover again the freshness of our most familiar spiritual resources.

Stephen Cherry’s Lent book does exactly this by inviting the reader to immerse themselves in the most central, important and iconic of Christian prayers – the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father.

Mining the tradition for wisdom and insight, and finding inspiration in the theologians of the past such as St Paul, Gregory of Nyssa, John Calvin, but also more contemporary voices such as Evelyn Underhill, Simone Weil, and Michelle Obama.

This most accessible Lent Book, rich in anecdote as well as analysis, is daily bread for the spiritually hungry.

Opportunities for prayer, reflection and worship

Saturdays @ 9.30am, facilitated by Deborah

Lectio divina – holy reading – is a very different approach to the reading of scripture than the one generally employed by many Christians.

Lectio divina shows us another way: ‘holy leisure’, a space in the day for prayerful reading of the scriptures, where we read slowly, reverently and appreciatively.

It is reading not for gathering information or for study, but to interact with the Word of God and to respond to what God is offering us.

Sundays @ 8pm, facilitated by Deborah

Come and sit around a metaphorical campfire with your cocoa in hand as stories of faith are shared to warm our hearts.

We give thanks for the times and places we have experienced the gifts which we recognise in the Diocesan Living God’s Love Prayer:

Living God, draw us deeper into your love; Jesus our Lord, send us to care and serve; Holy Spirit, make us heralds of good news. Stir us, strengthen us, teach and inspire us to live your love with generosity and joy, imagination and courage; for the sake of your world and in the name of Jesus. Amen.

If you have Bible passages, poems, prose, stories from your life of faith, come and share them as we journey through the Lenten desert together.

Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays @ 9.15pm

Using the ancient office of Compline, we close the day using scripture, psalm and prayer.

Download the order of service for Compline

Wednesdays 3 March and 7 April @ 7.45pm, facilitated by Deborah

Taking a psalm and hymn or song as our inspiration, we see where the conversation goes and how our understanding and experience of God might be widened and deepened through the words of our forebears and companions in faith.

With Deborah

Take some time this Lent to reflect on where and how God might want to speak to you, nudge you, lead you by having a kind of ‘Spiritual MOT’.

We’ll listen together and discover what God has been up to – and might want to be up to – in your life.

This is the kind of conversation I love and am always inspired by too. Email or phone me to make an appointment to give it a go!

Other resources

Daily emails from the CofE relating to the #LiveLent initiative

Prayers from the Methodist Church for Lent and Easter

A Prayer for the Day from the Methodist Church

Daily Prayer from the Church of England

An app/website offering a short passage of scripture with daily reflection.

Download our leaflet about Lent 2021
Lent - the period of time leading up to Easter

A Prayer for Lent

As we walk together this journey of Lent, Lord Jesus,

let me know you walking beside me, walking before me, walking behind me surrounding me with love.

As we walk together this journey of Lent, Lord Jesus, may you know me walking beside you, walking before you, walking behind you surrounding you with love.

May our walk together be one of blessing, of challenge, of hope surrounded with love.

Amen.

We are supporting WaterAid through our Lent Appeal

This Lent, we are supporting WaterAid.