"Today whilst in the supermarket, I saw a sign for ‘Pancake Day’. It happens each year – nowhere do we read its rightful name: ‘Shrove Tuesday’ because if we did, no one would have any idea what it means! It is another Christian tradition which has become thoroughly secularised. Of course, within the church we remember it as the day when Christians traditionally attended church to confess and be absolved of their sins before entering into the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. And here lies another day which goes without notice, sadly, both outside and within the church. Ash Wednesday is a day of obligation for Christians – a day when we are called into church to mark the beginning of Lent. On Ash Wednesday we are invited to face the need for penitence, if Lent is to be a true time of spiritual growth and discipline.
Each year we pause on Ash Wednesday to reflect upon how we will spend the weeks of preparation leading us to Holy Week and Easter. Traditionally it is a time for self-denial and self-examination, but it is also a great opportunity for us to really reflect upon the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Who was he?
What did He come to teach us?
Why did He die for us?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God ~ fully human and yet fully divine, was subject, just as we are, to temptation and experienced the vast array of human emotions; He knew joy and happiness and laughter and the love of family and friends; He also knew anger, frustration and hurt. He knew fear, anguish and loneliness, He knew humiliation and mockery. He knew what it was to feel totally alone, and He knew how it felt to be robbed of all dignity. And in Gethsemene, and on the cross, He knew desperation. He experienced life in all its dimensions because Jesus Christ came to share fully in our humanity and it is because of this we can be assured that whatever we have to go through in life, however difficult or daunting it might seem, He has already been there, and He will be there alongside us, walking with us and when we need it, holding on to us tightly.
As we move through Lent we are drawn closer to the foot of the cross where we will witness the very worst the world has to offer ~ hatred, pride, fear, jealousy, greed, cowardice and envy; but where we are also brought face to face with the overwhelming love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of our suffering Lord. The love, grace and mercy of our God on the cross still has the power to defeat all the evil of this temporal existence. We only have to trust in it.
And so, as we move through Lent and we try to give up the little luxuries and avoid temptation, let us also be realistic in accepting that we are merely human. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accept responsibility for our weaknesses, our mistakes and our failures. It means we should accept them, and having accepted them we should bring them to the foot of the cross in real penitence and faith, asking for God’s forgiveness; forgiveness for times when we have doubted Him, forgiveness when pride has obstructed our judgement, forgiveness for the times when we have failed to be as caring and compassionate as Jesus taught us to be, forgiveness for the times we have failed to trust in Him, forgiveness for the times we have just really got our priorities in life all wrong.
Let each of us use the forthcoming Lenten period to reflect upon Jesus and upon our discipleship as we prepare to stand before Him, just as we are, at the foot of the cross."
with the Imposition of Ashes
7.00pm, 14th February
God Bless us all
For a list of our Easter Services in 2024, click the button below
The Bible tells us that the Church is a ‘family’ and we are that - made up of all sorts of people with all kinds of stories. Some of us have been around the Church for decades, others are just beginning to explore what it’s all about. Some live just next-door, others travel from some distance. Not one of us is perfect. As a family, we meet for all manner of things - from school assemblies and Sunday services, to social events, weddings, funerals, christenings, practical support, prayer and bible study. You can find details of all that and more on this website. But most of all, we meet because of Jesus. Because he loves us, came to earth, lived and died to save us - and now, each and every day, gives us new life to serve our Father in heaven. However you’ve found us - and for whatever reason - welcome, we hope you’ll feel at home!
The Church is open most weeks for visitors and private prayer on Fridays from 9:30am - 11:30am. But please note that this is dependent on our cleaning and flower arranging schedules.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-10 21/02/2024