Ideas for Lent

I wonder whether you are doing something special for Lent.  Many people do, even if they don’t quite understand the significance.  One of this week’s news items was that Teresa May is giving up salt and vinegar crisps for Lent!

I suppose the tradition of fasting through Lent – through the 40 days of Jesus’ time in the wilderness – is what leads to the idea of, well, not an actual fast, but giving up some things in Lent.  Actually the point of the Lenten fast was never supposed to be about the giving up alone.  Giving something up is not an end in itself, rather giving something up is a means to a further end.   It is intended to be a reminder to think about how we live, it was supposed to be a spur to self-reflection and alongside that to prayer.  Continue reading

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Ash Wednesday – A poetic start to Lent

Thank you to Beth (Revd Dr Beth Cope, Team Pioneer Curate) for our Ash Wednesday reflections this year in which she intersperses the bible readings set for the day – Joel 2:1-2 & 12-17 and Matthew 6:1-6 – with contemporary poems.  (The slightly random pictures are mine!)

img_1755Today is Ash Wednesday… the first day in our journey of preparation as we turn our faces Continue reading

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Lent through the Lens

img_2566Are you interested in photography?  Do you want a project for Lent?  Something mindful, contemplative and community centred?

Steve Radley is a priest and a photographer.  This is what Steve says about the project –

Vision
To help people both within the church and who have little or no engagement with the church learn to see their local environment in new ways leading to a renewed passion and appreciation for their community. Continue reading

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Chalking the door, a new year blessing

Chouse_blessinghalking the door is a modern take on an old tradition of praying for God’s blessing on a home and those who live there, remembering the wise men coming to Jesus’ house and looking forward to a new year. Bless your home and family this January by chalking the door. 

Chalk is used to mark the door, or the doorframe, or the floor near the entrance, with this mark or something similar: 20 + C  M  B + 17 . 2017 for the year and C M B for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which is Latin for ‘May Christ bless this dwelling’.

You could also say one or both of these prayers:

Loving God, may all who cross this threshold and see this sign know your faithfulness this year and be reminded of the story of your Son Jesus Christ.  We ask it in his name. Amen.

May the Lord watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for evermore. Amen.

You could do this on your own, with younger members of your family, or as a group visiting each other’s homes at the start of the year.

This is an idea from http://www.faithinhomes.org.uk.  More details including other prayers and readings are here

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The following note has just come through from the Diocesan Office

ChildrenThe Children’s Ministry Training Course
Come and be inspired! Learn new skills and develop your
practice for working with children

For all children’s leaders and part of the Authorised Lay Ministry qualification

The main aim of this course is to provide a series of spotlights which highlight different aspects of children’s ministry and will enable the delegate to confidently approach a variety of tasks in their local area with a range of skills, techniques and resources to draw on

The training will consist of six sessions plus an optional Basic Safeguarding Awareness Training
Saturday 18 February: Childhood Past and Present and Current TheologyThursday 2 March: Baptism Matters; Bishop’s Study Day
Saturday 11 March: Everyone Loves a Good Story and Child Development
Saturday 25 March: Learning Styles, Multi-Sensory Learning and Creative Prayer
Wednesday 26 April: Basic Safeguarding Awareness Training@7pm
Saturday 6 May: Welcome, Hospitality and Evangelism
Saturday 20 May: Joining the Dots; a Faith for Life

All sessions will be held at the Diocesan Offices, Bishop Woodford House CB7 4DX 9am to 1pm
Led by Debbie Hill, Children’s Adviser and Messy Church Regional Co-ordinator for Cambridgeshire
except
Baptism Matters will be held at Over Community Centre CB24 5NW 9.30am-4pm
Led by Revd Canon Dr Sandra Millar, Head of Projects and Developments, Church of England

Places are free of charge but should be booked with mission.events@elydiocese.org or 01353 652736

Course tutor: Debbie Hill Department of Mission debbie.hill@elydiocese.org
01353 652714 or 07837 699016

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From Jill and Adrian Chatfield

ChatfieldsDear all at St Mary’s,

We really enjoyed spending our last Sunday here in Cambridge with you – worshipping with you and partying with you!

It has been lovely to get to know you, particularly over the last couple of years – it wasn’t long before you became very much another lovely church family alongside St Mary’s, Comberton. Thank you for your welcome, your acceptance of our ministry among you, and thank you for your fellowship and friendship.

 Thank you too for a wonderful BBQ – to all who contributed and to Jim for being his amazing stamina over the BBQ fire.

 Thank you for your very generous gift – absolutely inspired as Adrian and I love the outdoors and are always in need of the gear that goes with that! Shows how well Tom and Naomi and the Hardwick folks know us!

We never say ‘goodbye’ but ‘au revoir’ – ‘till we meet again’ for non French speakers! We are always joined together in the amazing Body of Christ, we never know when our paths will cross, and we shall certainly meet in heaven.

Here are our contact details:
63 Wesley Street
Ilkeston
Derbyshire
DE7 8 QW
Tel: 01159 301065

If you are ever passing through – please feel free to stop for a coffee or a meal. We do have space for overnight stays, so please be cheeky and ask.

With love and with prayers for your ongoing ministry in Hardwick

 Jill and Adrian

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The wind and the coracle 

Chris Duffett recently created this wonderful painting for Beth Cope as a gift to mark her ordination and the start of her new job as Team Pioneer Curate in the Lordsbridge Team. Welcome Beth!

be the light


I was recently commissioned to do a painting for a friend who was ordained in the Church of England. It’s based on the idea of how ancient Christian Celts would get into a Coracle and go where the wind took them.

A dangerous missionary strategy but one that took them to distant islands and ‘far off’ lands.

The words in the wind are from John’s gospel:

The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.

I enjoyed layering the paints to give the effect of how the wind would feel:

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