What is Lent?
LENT originally meant
'Spring', which relates to new life and growth.
LENT was a time in the early church to prepare
people for Baptism.
LENT is the name given to the period when
Christians recall the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being
tempted by the Devil. It begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes
at Easter in the Christian Church.
"It is a reminder of the journey we
take with Jesus, to realise again the wonder of the life, death
and resurrection of Jesus, an opportunity to learn or re-learn
the disciplines of faith, hope and love" *
Mention the word LENT to people and one
very often receives the comment, "Giving up.... chocolate
...or.... sugar in your tea...or...."
"It's a pity that we think of LENT
as a time when we try to make ourselves uncomfortable in some
fiddling but irritating way, or trying to feel it's wicked to
be you" **
Robert Herrick (1591-1674), priest and poet,
views LENT as a positive giving of, rather than a negative concern
with, self :-
Is it to fast an hour
Or ragg'd to go
A downcast look and sour?
No: 'tis a fast
To dole thy sheaf of wheat
Unto the hungry soul
"It is wise in LENT to take on extra
prayers as well as to give something up. For instance,
we might deprive ourselves of an hour or so of television once
in a while, and do some spiritual reading instead. We might go
to see a sick or old person. The key is to be able to say 'no'
to ourselves, and this, not just for the sake of saying 'no',
but to train ourselves to saying 'yes' to God. It is this
which matters." ***
The purpose of LENT is the pursuit of holiness.
Mother Teresa suggests "Holiness is doing work for God -
with a smile"
With acknowledgement: -
* 'Meditations through
the Year' - Denis Duncan pub. John Hunt 2002
** 'The True Wilderness'
- H.A.Williams pub. Constable & Co.Ltd 1965
*** 'To be a Pilgrim' (a spiritual
notebook) - Cardinal Basil Hume pub St. Paul Publications 1984
Every year in the Ickenham Churches there
is opportunity to do something to make Lent a time of spiritual
The picture depicts a tableau created
by one of the 2003 Lent groups. Each member of the group,
after prayerful, thoughtful, consideration, placed a figure of
a person in the position in which they would have stood had they
been a witness at the Crucifixion. It was optional whether
they explained their decision or kept silent.
Ickenham Churches' Lent Programme 2004
Lent Small Groups - 'Face to Faceí
' Five informal explorations about growing into the image and
likeness of God. Groups will meet at the following times so please
sign up at either St. Gilesí Church or the U.R.C.
Course materials cost £3.
Beginning Monday 1st March
Mondays 8.00 - 9.30 p.m.
Tuesdays 1.30 - 3.00 p.m.
Thursdays 2.00 - 3.30 p.m.
Thursdays 8.00 - 9.30 p.m.
Midweek Reflections - A service
of Compline will be followed by a talk in a series titled 'Women
of the Bible'. All will be held at St. Giles' Church on Wednesday
evenings beginning at 8.00 p.m.
Derek Parker gave a very interesting talk
about 'Ruth' at the Ash Wednesday evening service of Communion
on 24th February. Thereafter the programme is as follows:
Wednesday 3rd March 'Mary and Martha' -
Wednesday 10th March - 'Women at the Well'
- Anne Whitlam
Wednesday 17th March - 'Esther' - Peter
Wednesday 24th March 'Lydia' - Juliette
For The Bereaved
of each month. St.Giles' Church Hall, 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. A friendly,
informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other
bereaved people and pastoral visitors. The next meeting
is Monday 15th March (also Monday 19th April). Just come along,
or ring the Rectory (622970), if you would like to talk to someone
Good Neighbour Scheme
Good Neighbour Scheme exists to serve the whole of Ickenham.
We're here to assist in an emergency. If you need help, the daytime
contact numbers are: 01895 633020 or 01895 235061.
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