Vicar’s Newsletter – February 2016

From the Vicar

At last it feels like winter. In recent days we’ve had much rain, some snow, and stormy winds. Whilst the days are supposed to be getting longer and the nights shorter, it certainly doesn’t feel like it!

As the seasons come and go, so too does the Church’s year. The Advent, Christmas, Epiphany cycle has gone, and we have a short few days to prepare for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. As in previous years, there is a program of activities for Lent, and much encouragement for everyone to DO SOMETHING! Jonathan Bish has prepared a booklet with information about: books to order and read; Sung Compline on Tuesdays; Lent discussion groups; and what’s happening in Holy Week. If it’s cold and wet, stay at home and read one of the recommended books, or make the effort to come and pray more often and/or join in one of the discussion groups.

This year’s Lent Groups will be using some material from the Diocese looking at the three themes which are emerging for the new diocese: confident Christians, growing Churches, and changing communities. They are strong themes for us and the whole church, and ones which merit discussion. Many clergy and laity are fed up with the media constantly saying we’re doomed and about to die out, and although there has been significant decline, many of us won’t go quietly and without a fight. Here at the Minster we’d like to buck the trend, and have a growing church rather than a declining church, and that will be the subject of many sermons, Church Council meetings, and no doubt the new Development Plan, which Anne Dawtry, as Archdeacon will come to speak about when she preaches in the Minster on the first Sunday in Lent.

It’s all happening in the Minster as the work to repair the Nave floor continues. So far, everything has gone according to plan, and we hope to have the Nave back for Palm Sunday the 20th March. Now the floor is up, one can see what a huge expanse of space it has created, and we hope and pray that it will enable the Minster to serve the community more effectively as well as improve our worship. The heating has been turned off during the week to save money, and it is set to come on at 4am on Sunday morning, to try and bring the Minster up to a more comfortable temperature. Please do wrap up warm when you come to church, and be very careful of moving about the Chancel, because there are numerous trip hazards to navigate.

The word Lent literally means Spring. Let’s look forward to some sunshine and warmer days as the daffodils come through and new life emerges from the death of winter, and we can all look forward to celebrating the new life that Easter brings to the world.