Dear Friends,

The month of February marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a 40 day or 6 week period when we remember Jesus fasting in the wilderness after being commissioned at His baptism and beginning his public ministry.

Christians have always used this period as an opportunity to deepen their own spiritual life and many use the visual image of a journey as the period of Lent ends with a focussed concentration on the last week of Jesus’ earthly life before His crucifixion and death. That’s the week we usually refer to as Holy Week.

Each Thursday night in Lent we hope to have a short reflective service built around the services of a Late Evening Office or Compline. The services
will be about 35 minutes in length and we will be thinking about some of the spirituality of that great saint, St. Benedict.

St. Benedict of Nursia, who lived from 480-550, was an Italian monk who founded monasteries which exist up to the present day. They were centres of worship, prayer and learning and places of welcome. There is a benedictine monastery not too far from us in Warrenpoint and the community there have a great ministry right across the denominations.He wrote the rule of St. Benedict which was like a collection of some of his important teachings and we are going to think about the blessing behind some of these teachings over the season of Lent. We will begin on
Thursday 15th February as we consider the blessing of beginning.

We hope to think a little more during Holy Week about this idea of spiritual
journeys and during the course of the week we hope to have some guests who will share something of their spiritual journey with us as we reflect in
our liturgies on the final week of Jesus’ life.

It’s always a very powerful season and we do hope people will make a special effort to come along and take the opportunity to go a little deeper on their own walk with God.

At the end of February we hope to have a special Service of Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for the completion of the accessibility project in the church and around the grounds making it easier for people to enter and exit the building especially if they have mobility issues. The path from the hall to the church and the garden of remembrance is being well used and we want to invite the contractors and some local guests and visitors to give thanks to God for the work being completed.

If you are considering coming to the Lenten services, it’s a lovely thing to invite friends or neighbours and particularly if you can give them a lift. It’s not always easy for people to come to a strange building or place and yet there is so much that is beautiful both in terms of our building and our worship that might well be a blessing to others.

Can we remind parishioners that if someone is going to be in hospital we don’t always hear about that because of the regulations with data protection and if you would like a visit from one of the clergy please let us know. We are always delighted to come and to pray with people and are usually in the hospitals most weeks so please let us know so we don’t miss you if you are there.

With very best wishes.

Jonathan Pierce (Rector)

Telephone 02890 793822