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The season of Lent offers us all a wonderful opportunity to go on a journey of self-discovery, as it is a time when we can strive to live more simply and less self-indulgently; it also invites us to reflect on the things that really matter in life - including the ways in which we are attentive to the needs of our world.
A Prayer for Lent
Lord Christ, who came to call
not the righteous but sinners to repentance:
help us in this season of Lent
to hear and respond to your call;
that by your grace we may turn from whatever in our lives
is at variance with your will,
and walk in the way of holiness and love,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Alongside our regular Sunday services, when we shall be reflecting on the major themes of this important season, there are three additional ways in which you might like to join with us in marking Lent this year:
You might like to support the Diocese of London's 2017 Lent Appeal, 'Sowing seeds for Tomorrow'. This is supporting three essential church-based educational projects in Angola and Mozambique. You can contribute by giving generously to our refreshments collection plate each Sunday during Lent; this money will go directly to the Lent Appeal.
Support local families in crisis by donating non-perishable items for the St Saviour's Priory Foodbank. Bring your gifts to St Bride's on any of the Sundays in Lent, and we shall arrange to have them collected. The Foodbank is particularly grateful for donations of Fruit Juice (Long-life Carton), Vegetables (Tinned), Fruit (Tinned), Sugar (250g or 500g), Milk (UHT or powdered), Tomatoes (Tinned), Pudding (Tinned), Sponge Pudding (Tinned), Instant Mashed Potato, Biscuits or snack bars, Pasta Sauces (Jar), Soup (Tinned) (not Tomato Soup), Meat/Fish (Tinned), Jam, Pulses (Tinned) e.g. kidney beans, lentils, Instant coffee, Cereals (not whole-wheat biscuits), Cooking oil (250ml). (Please note: several small units of an item are often more helpful that one enormous one!)
This year our Lent book which we have chosen to study is David Bryant's book, Glimpses of Glory (The Mowbray Lent Book for 2017), copies of which are on sale in our shop. You are free to read the book in your own time and at your own pace; there will be an opportunity for us to meet together and discuss it after our Maundy Thursday service on 13th April.
Our services in Holy Week, during which we experience anew the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, represent far more than simply the re-telling of a well-known story.
Throughout Holy Week we travel together on the most extraordinary journey, which leads us through a wide range of human experiences and emotions.
We begin in celebratory mood on Palm Sunday (9th April), when the crowds hailed Jesus as their Messiah as he entered Jerusalem (although it is an event that is already overshadowed by the darkness that is yet to come); the atmosphere then changes as we share something of the quiet companionship of Maundy Thursday (13th April), when Jesus shared a final meal with his friends, before his betrayal and his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
We then enter the utter bleakness and desolation of Good Friday (14th April), although we do so in wonder at the radical nature of God's all-embracing love.
And finally we discover that, despite the death of Jesus, the Christ, the story is far from over. For, as we discover on Easter morning (16th April), when we encounter the Risen Lord, in the end death could not contain him.
However deep the darkness and despair of Good Friday, in the end the love was far, far greater. There is new life; there is hope; for Christ is risen from the dead.
Holy Week is not merely another story to be told; rather, it is a reality to be inhabited. It is extraordinary; it is powerful; it is life-transforming. Join us here at St Bride's for our Holy Week services, to share in this remarkable series of events.