Spring officially begins this month and with it a new season. The traditional pattern of spring cleaning derived from the understanding that with winter past and the promise of better weather now was a good moment to refresh and make new. The season of Lent also begins this month. It similarly encourages us to reflect, take stock and focus on the things that really matter. With that in mind I, with others wish to encourage us all this Lent to give time for some particular attention to prayer. You will have received a letter with venues, dates and times. If not, details can be checked on our Diocesan Website. Four services are planned, to be led by me with the assistance of Bishop David Thomson and Tessa Wilkinson. Services start at 11am, and will include a period of extended prayer (with different “ways” available including silence), and will end by 1pm, with drinks available afterwards. Attenders can bring a packed lunch if they wish. The dates and times are:
Do take note. As a diocese we are in a time of change and transition, both challenging and exciting.Please, if you can, join me to pray. We will have a range of topics including our diocese, our communities, our commitments as an Eco Diocese to care for the environment and importantly for our new Bishop Richard. My wish is for the renewal of our own lives as we live Lent together.
Two booklets are available, for adults and for families. You can download a sample or buy copies at https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/features/live-lent
There will also be an updated #LiveLent app, an email feed, a social media campaign, a skill for smart speakers and more.
See The Church of England website for more information and for details. Please help publicise the campaign by using the online resources from The Church of England and visiting our #LiveLent web pages.
On a personal note this will be my last parish letter as Bishop of Ludlow. After nearly 11 years I am retiring in early May with my final farewell service being at Cathedral Evensong on the 26th April. All are welcome and there will be refreshments afterwards. Simply let the Cathedral know numbers. It has been a joy and privilege to be part of this diocese over these years. I leave with many happy memories from sharing ministry, embracing our common life together and in seeking to serve over these years. In a poignant way this is for me certainly a new season.