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March 2004

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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            

            Or show                                  

            A downcast look and sour?     


           No: 'tis a fast

           To dole thy sheaf of wheat

           And meat

           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 re-creation.

Naomi Webb

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' - Ann Ralph

Wednesday 10th March - 'Women at the Well' - Anne Whitlam

Wednesday 17th March - 'Esther' - Peter Williams

Wednesday 24th March 'Lydia' - Juliette Guthrie


Drop-In For The Bereaved

Third Monday 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 first.


Ickenham Good Neighbour Scheme

The Ickenham 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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