Here’s a link to our March 2019 magazine:
The hard copy version is available in both our churches, St John and St Mark’s Bury and Christ Church Walmersley. If you want to come and pick one up then we’d love to see you!
It includes news and views as well as prayers, reflections and what’s on. There’s a special piece on John Wesley and an advert at the end for our Lent Bible Studies.
The letter this month is from the Vicar, Dave Thompson:
Preparing for Easter
Dear Friends – The date of Easter is determined by the phases of the moon. Easter Day is always the Sunday following the paschal full moon date – 20th March. Thus Easter can begin any date between March 21st to April 25th.
This year, Easter is regarded as “late”, falling as it does on 21st April. Lent therefore begins on Wednesday 6th March – forty days before Easter, excluding Sundays.
Ash Wednesday is so called because of the tradition in the ancient world of “sitting in sackcloth and ashes” as a sign of sorrow and repentance. According to the book of Jonah when the prophet preached to the people of Nineveh that they should turn from their wicked ways, the population responded by donning sackcloth and ashes.
On Ash Wednesday churches use ash – often gathered from the burning of the previous year’s palm crosses – to make the sign of the cross on people’s foreheads. The words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ” are used in the liturgy.
Moving in a different direction
An important principle in the Lent season is that of repentance. For Christians this means not merely saying sorry for our sins but turning away from our wrongdoing and moving in a different direction.
This Lenten prayer sums up the essence of this important part of the Church Year.
Lord our God, grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart; that so desiring, we may see and find you; and so finding, may love you; and so loving, may hate those sins from which you have delivered us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
May God guide and bless us as we seek to have a holy Lent in preparation for a joyful celebration of Easter. Dave
[For more about St John with St Mark, Bury please follow this link.]