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February 2016

Dear Friends,

It made me jump a little when on Sunday the 3rd January Judy improved my end of service notices by pointing out that she had pancake party tickets in her pocket on sale on behalf of the care committee. Whoa! I thought I am still in Christmas mode particularly before Epiphany and with mince pies still in the tin! But Judy was right; Easter does fall quite early this year with Lent beginning on the 10th February and the pancake party on Saturday the 6th at 7.00 p.m.

Following our custom this is one of the alternate years when our Lent study groups are offered with the other member churches of Churches Together in Limbury. By joining with local churches and their leaders we can offer a range of days and times for the Lent groups so hopefully making them more accessible to more of us.

Why though would you want to come? Actually one reason may be related to my surprise at Judy’s announcement – going to a Lent group is a way of marking the season. There is a trend in our fast moving world to rush from one excitement to the next those television summer holiday advertisements for example seem to me to have been promoted from what used already to be the impossibly early Boxing Day to Christmas Day itself if not the week before. Lent though is a time of its own, a time to pause, to go more slowly thoughtfully and deeply, to savour for its own qualities. I encourage you to think of it as more than a preamble to Easter to be avoided or rushed through but as a particular intellectual season of its own.

In our part of the world this naturally coincides with germination and the fresh growing season when seeds derive the goodness from the earth and I wonder if a Lent group may be the loam for your spiritual growth too?

As well as this you will meet people from traditions other than our own, from the Catholic, Baptist and Methodist churches for example and this itself can be invigorating, there will be learning, exploration of our Christian faith and what that means to different people, there will be conviviality and conversation. Sometimes these groups spawn new friendships which may continue well beyond their meeting.

There will be five sessions starting in the week of the 8th February and the study book is “Exploring God’s Mercy” by Steven Croft who is presently the Bishop of Sheffield. Please think seriously about coming along to at least one of the sessions to try them out and to discover the special pleasures of the season.

With very best wishes,



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