Father Croft is having to self-isolate and does not have access to a computer to write and transmit messages.  This is his message: ” I send my good wishes and prayers for you all in the hope that this trial will soon be over and we can come back together in worship and friendship at St Hilda’s”.

————————————————————————————————————-

Here we are once again into the season of Lent. Forty Days of waiting, of preparation. The Forty Days come to a glorious climax with the celebration of Easter – the Feast that expresses the real meaning of our belief as Christians.

We hear stories so often that there is a tendency to switch off, to forget exactly what it is that we are commemorating.  At the end of Lent, Good Friday, in the solemn ritual at 2pm we will remember how Jesus was put to death by being nailed to a cross. Yet two days later on Easter Sunday we remember how he rose triumphant over death. He had suffered the torment of the Passion and such an horrific death to atone for the sin of all mankind yet by overcoming death, through his Resurrection we know that the pathway to heaven is clear and open to all those who choose to follow it.

In Lent we are  getting ourselves ready to join all churches throughout the world in the Paschal celebrations. We need at this time to take a hard look at ourselves; no-one is spiritually perfect. How can we improve? There is a tradition that we improve by giving something up during Lent. That is one way but another way is to do something extra. We are so well off, we have much more than we need. How can we share our good fortune with somebody else who is in need of help?

As part of your Lenten preparation why not join us in the service of Stations of the Cross on Sundays at 6pm (not March 22nd).  Please take home a Lent collection box to donate money for charity.

God bless.

—————————————————————————————————————

February

Spring is upon us! The days are getting longer.  When I was in Oldham at St James the ladies always commented that from the second Sunday in February you could eat your Tea without lighting the Gas.

On 2nd Feb we celebrate the Presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple; the Jewish custom was to bring a new baby to be presented in the Temple forty days after the birth.  On the same day we celebrate the Feast of Candlemas – light is being restored in the world; darkness has been overcome.  Candles are blessed and taken home; in the past they would have been the only evening light in the house.

In the Temple Mary and Joseph meet Simeon, a very old man who had been promised by the Lord that he would see the Messiah before he died. He holds the child and recites the beautiful words of the Nunc Dimittis – we repeat his words each month at our service of Compline.

We are almost in Lent – Ash Wednesday is on the 26th Feb.  Let us make a resolution that this will be a time of prayer and preparation; it doesn’t have to be a time of “giving up” but should be a time for doing something extra as we prepare ourselves for the momentous events of Holy Week and Easter.

God Bless