Robert’s recommended book for Lent – The Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen “Living His Story” as his Lent Book for 2021.
It is an encouragement to tell our own authentic stories of faith and discipleship in way that doesn’t have our friends and families cringing and running away. It seems strange that we feel embarrassed to tell people about the best thing that has happened to us. Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen evangelism done so badly, or even been the ones doing it badly. Hannah Steele in this book recaptures the beauty of a well told story and asks us to believe that our story of faith can be beautiful.
Lent Pilgrimage – Pilgrimage is described as a meaningful journey to a sacred place and has been part of the world’s major religions since ancient times. In our modern times, it provides the opportunity to step out of the non-stop busyness of our lives, to seek a time of quiet and reflection. It gives us the chance to ‘walk through’ those issues that we have on our minds, whatever they might be. It is a time of simply ‘being’ rather than always ‘doing’. It gives us the chance re-energise mentally, physically and spiritually. And it allows us to reconnect with our cultural heritage and the natural world—as well as to refresh our faith or seek spiritual direction.
This lent, we invite you all to make a pilgrimage on foot (or cycle) from your home to your village church, or if you are able why not visit the church in the next village or challenge yourself to do all 10 of our churches this lent! If you can journey with others from your household or within the ‘rules’ then please do as pilgrimage is as much about the journey and conversations as the place you end up. As you make your pilgrimage, travel slowly through the familiar landscape and take the opportunity to look around, consider the range of places, homes, village halls, bus stops, shops, playgrounds, schools where the people who make up our communities gather, and offer your own thoughts or prayers of thanks or concern to God as you pass by.
When you arrive at the sacred place, nine of our ten churches have a covered porch and these will all be open during lent for you to rest on your journey and to reflect, unfortunately current restrictions prevent us from opening our churches daily. In each porch will be a notice board with information, together with thoughts and reflections. And when you have rested our prayer is that you will return home having encountered God in some small way.