The new year is well under way, and this year, with another late(ish) Easter, we can enjoy a few weeks of Ordinary Time during February. Thank you to all who have offered such kind words and prayers as Penny and Buddy finally moved into the Vicarage, and to all who supported Penny at her licensing at St George’s Stalybridge on 26th January.
This isn't an article about giving something up for Lent - if you want to do that, and if it’s a helpful spiritual discipline then good, and if that helps you focus your prayers, even better. This is an article, and I hope for us as a community will be a Lent, about taking new things up - some of those things for the period of fasting before Easter, and hopefully spilling over into a longer lasting cycle and discipline.
This Lent, we shall hold another study course on Wednesday evenings, beginning on 4th March, using another film as our conversation starter - this time, The Greatest Showman. I’d like to also remind you of the availability of spiritual MOTs - an opportunity to meet with Fr Ian or I for a conversation, in confidence, about whatever you like - to talk about where you are in your journey with God. It is a privilege to meet with people and talk about where they are, and where God may be calling. If you would like to have such a meeting, do please be in touch with us directly.
There are lots of opportunities for worship in Lent, and you may like to think about coming to a different service, or making a particular time for prayer each day at home, or wherever you happen to find yourself. Details of our worship for Holy Week and Easter will be available in the March magazine.
On Ash Wednesday (26th February) at St George’s, there will be school Eucharist at 2.30pm (to which all are welcome) and a United Eucharist with the imposition of ashes at 7pm. This powerful day with its special observances form a moment to stop and think as we join Jesus in the wilderness before the long journey to the cross, the tomb and the joy of Easter day.
If you possibly can, do join us on Ash Wednesday and perhaps one of the things we could all take up for Lent, and take on from Lent, is pushing beyond the comfortable limits we set ourselves, and opening ourselves to the unexpected and limitless love and opportunity found in God.
With my prayers and good wishes