Benefice Letter for March

Well, we are in March already – a long month, a month of Lenten discipline and a time for our spiritual cleaning out and renewal. Many people give something up for Lent. If it is a meal one day a week then save the money you would have spent and give it to out Lent Appeal for Toilet Twinning. Many will take up something new and perhaps decide to spend more time in prayer or reading scripture. If this is what you are doing I am certain that you will find it will draw you closer to God and you will find an inner peace that you didn’t have before. Perhaps you could simply try and fit in a little – 5 minutes – of either silence or stillness into your day, just listening to God. Go on, give it a try! Also, thinking back to my thoughts from last month, I would like to invite us all to put into practice that Great Commandment ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. The whole world needs to be shown more love and that love should begin at home and in our own communities with those we see every day.

As we look forward to the joy of Easter and the coming of spring it is wonderful to watch God’s amazing creation. From my study window I watch the birds on the feeders and out of my kitchen window I have watched as the crocus and daffodils have pushed their way out of the ground and are beginning to give a wonderful display of shape and colour, although my Tete-a-Tete’s have been in flower for most of February – we have so much to be thankful for!

Our Lent course in Shaldon has already started and will continue throughout the time leading up to Easter. I am sure that it will be thought provoking and fulfilling for all those who attend and my grateful thanks go to our leaders, Keith Robinson and Reverend Caroline Luff. My sincere apologies for not organising a Lent course in Stoke this year – purely down to my being off sick for a prolonged period – on the subject of which I would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes, thoughts, cards and especially prayers and practical help in our churches for their love and support – it is good to be back!

There will be a Lent lunch of soup and bread and cheese held at Old Howes Farm, Netherton from 12 midday on Saturday 3rd March. This is always a lovely event with a raffle and sale stall. Oh, and there is cake too!

The Lent lunch in Shaldon will take place at the Methodist Hall also on Saturday 3rd March from 10.30am. This will be a simple lunch of soup and bread, will cost a small sum and which will undoubtedly be enjoyed by all.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer service with be held on Friday 2nd March at 11am. This year it is the turn of the Roman Catholic Church in Shaldon to host and although this is called the Women’s World Day of Prayer men are very welcome too!!

On Maundy Thursday I propose to share ‘the Last Supper’ in St Peter’s Church. We shall sit down together and share a simple meal before a short Eucharist and the stripping of the altar. All are welcome to attend but numbers will be needed for catering purposes. We shall be ready to eat at 6.30pm. Further details will be available in the churches in due course.

My thanks go to all who work tirelessly to make these events such a success.

This spring take pleasure in the simple things, take care of yourselves and each other – all within the love of God.

With love from the Rectory.

Annie x

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