Alison’s February Letter

“Following the sad death of Minty’s mother near the end of January I am sure you will wish to join me in offering her our condolences.

February 3rd is the closing date for applications for the post of Vicar of St Matthew and St Nathanael Church. The following week the applications are sorted and the candidates shortlisted. The interviews will take place in March. Please continue to pray for our parish representatives Phil May and Vanessa Conte as they are involved in the short listing and interview process. Pray also that God prepares us as a church for our new Vicar and brings the person of his choice to lead us.

Shrove Tuesday falls on February 17th. This day is traditionally celebrated with pancakes to use up eggs and butter, which were not allowed to be eaten during Lent. The following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and turning to God as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week and Easter. On Ash Wednesday we will be joining in an evening service with others in the wider Partnership at St Paul’s, Clifton. Lent gives us all the opportunity to focus afresh on our discipleship. To help us there will be a new sermon series “Dying to Live” exploring different aspects of discipleship.

Traditionally during Lent people fasted for 40 days (excluding Sundays) reflecting Jesus’ time of fasting in the wilderness after his baptism. One meal a day was allowed in the evening and meat, fish, eggs and butter were forbidden. Over the years this has been relaxed in the western church.

Instead during Lent some people like to give up something, e.g. chocolate, wine or television. Others prefer to take on something like spending more time in prayer and reading the Bible. Either way our focus is on our relationship with God, with soul searching and repentance, to prepare us to celebrate Good Friday and Easter.

Alison Edmonds, Church Warden

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