From the Associate Priest - March 2021

Dear Friends,

June LaneAs I write this I should not be surprised if many people are thinking about food in a very special way. Today, many of us are planning our Pancake recipe with Ash Wednesday tomorrow bringing the beginning of Lent, typically a time when people try to exercise some self discipline by giving up a special treat until Easter. One of the reasons that chocolate Easter eggs are so popular is that chocolate is a favourite choice in the Denial column and when Lent is over you feel you can really indulge and make up for the weeks of deprivation.

But is that the right attitude for this particular Season? Do we actually benefit from our self denials during Lent, for many it is just an excuse to cover the fact that we are dieting so that we can fit into new Spring outfits, apart from the obvious physical improvement what benefit is there in our hearts and spirits for such a frivolous approach to Lent?

Perhaps this year, this year when almost every aspect of our lives has been affected by the Covid Pandemic, when for many there has been too much time to brood and think about difficulties and problems, about loneliness and fear, perhaps it is a time when we need to look at Lent, not as a time to give things up, but rather as a time to introduce new ideas and actions into our lives. A time to be Positive!!

A couple of years ago I was at a clergy meeting where we were discussing the various personal ways in which we each planned to use the coming Lenten season and one of my colleagues said that he planned to give up meetings!! For the whole period he would not attend a single meeting! For all of us that seemed such an attractive idea, meetings can be numerous and very time consuming, but they are necessary for face to face communication, for joint planning, for pursuing God’s work in our parishes, without them people so easily become disconnected. Right now we have thanked and blessed technology for allowing us to continue to ‘meet’ and ‘see’ each other regularly on Zoom, we have understood the importance of human contact, even virtually!

So what should we do in Lent to mark this season. This year particularly I would encourage each and everyone of us to not only spend some quiet time in prayer and contemplation, to assess where we are, but to definitely make a resolution to do something positive either for yourself, or for others. It can be as simple or easy, even difficult, as you wish, just the very act of being positive will make this Lent special.

God Bless you all, may He keep you safe and well, as you enter this very special season.

June Lane