Pastoral letter from Nick February 2018

Dear friends

“Overdose for Christmas, give it for Lent” sang Robbie Williams in his song Millennium. Perhaps this was a critique of modern society/religion but the idea of “giving it for Lent” has been around for as long as I can remember – the “it” being whatever we choose – coffee, chocolate, alcohol, etc.

This may be a way in to Lent but it misdirects us from the richness of the season. In her recently published book the Divine Heart of Darkness, Methodist Minister Cathy Bird reflects on her experience in Longyearbyen in Svalbard – the most northerly inhabited town in the world. Staying during a period of perpetual night Cathy delves into the darkness “finding God in the shadows”.

Lent offers a time to explore – the idea of giving things up flows from the tradition of fasting – a practice of self-denial allowing us to focus more thoughtfully on our relationship with the living God.

The first words Jesus speaks in the gospel according to Mark includes the phrase “repent and believe the good news”. It is both a turning away from but also a positive embracing of the kingdom. In this spirit I invite you to join with me to take some time, delve into the darkness, and as part of this pray week by week for the communities of which we are a part; as a member of the local church to pray for the preacher who is preparing to lead worship at the church in that week; and for Preachers to pray for the churches where you will be leading worship. Together we build one another up to the glory of God. (And if you are still worried about chocolate – don’t give it up just commit yourself to buying fairtrade)!

With love

Lent 1 Liturgy

Psalm 91


I, who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord,
‘My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’

For you will deliver me
from the snare of the fowler,
and from the deadly pestilence;
you will cover me with your pinions,
and under your wings I will find refuge;
your faithfulness is a shield and buckler.


(c) ROOTS for the Churches Ltd

Are you able to help with stewarding?

Jenny Easson has taken on, for the present, the task of compiling the rota for Sunday duties. We need volunteers to be stewards at the door before the service, to serve and clear up after coffee and to assist in counting the collection, both after the service. If you are willing to join the teams for these duties, please contact Jenny.

Lent 2018

The Lenten liturgy to be used in worship this year comprises the reading of and a reflection on a selected Psalm for each week. A copy of each Psalm will be placed on the Cross in the worship area.

A display in the porch has also been created to assist our own meditation and to be visible, like the Nativity figures during Advent and Christmas, to people outside.

Building redevelopment

We have now received plans from the architect showing what might be possible. The Church Council agreed that the next step was to commission a structural engineer, who should be able to tell us whether the proposals are structurally feasible.

If the structural engineer’s report is favourable, we will proceed to commission a quantity surveyor, who will be able to work out how much various parts of the proposals would cost.