Bishop's Lent Appeal 2024
Every year in Lent, Bishop Martin and Bishop Mike encourage us to reflect as well as to give.
This year the Bishop's Lent Appeal will be raising money for our link Diocese of Kagera in Tanzania. Throughout Lent you will be able to learn more about life in Kagera, to pray and to raise funds. Please click HERE for all the information you need, including fundraising ideas and how to donate.
Watch and Pray
“Watch and Pray challenges us to seek God in both familiar and unfamiliar places: in darkness and in quiet; in movement and migration; in the healing and transforming work of the Spirit; in the weeping of Holy Week and in the joy of Easter morning.” Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrel.
The Church of England’s Lent theme for 2024 is Watch and Pray: Wisdom and hope for Lent and life. On the night he was betrayed, Jesus kneels in darkness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Though he pleads with his disciples, “Stay here with me … Watch and pray,” they all fall asleep, leaving him alone in his hour of deepest suffering.
This Lent all of us are encouraged to draw on the wisdom of Black Spirituality, particularly the practice of “tarrying” (waiting) as a community to draw closer to Jesus and to each other. Combining exuberant singing, fervent prayer and quiet lament, such services typically take place at night and last somewhat longer than the “one hour” Jesus asked of those first followers.
This year’s resources have been inspired and informed by the 2024 Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book, Tarry Awhile: Wisdom from Black Spirituality for people of faith by Selina Stone (SPCK). The daily reflections booklet for adults (CHP) exploring the same themes has been written by Carlton Turner, and there is also a daily challenge booklet for children and families (CHP).
Walk the Way of the Cross with the Blyth Valley Churches This Easter!
This spring, the churches of the Blyth Valley are giving you the opportunity to visit the Holy Land without leaving Suffolk! Across their 14 churches they are presenting an exhibition of original paintings by nationally acclaimed, local, religious artist Iain McKillop. These Stations of The Cross focus the attention of visitors on the last known movements of Jesus, among them: his mock trial, him meeting women in the crowds and his
The Blyth Valley Stations of the Cross 2024 will open with Bishop Mike Harrison leading a full set of reflections for a seated congregation at All Saints, Blyford, at 7:30pm on Friday 15 March. The Queens Head, Blyford, will be open afterwards so people may stay and buy refreshments. A copy of each of the images will be prayerfully presented in each of the fourteen churches of the benefices for the following week. From 7:30pm on Friday 22nd March, the artist Iain McKillop will talk about his creative encounters with the Stations concept. Again, refreshments may be purchased at the Queens Head afterwards.
On Saturday 23rd March Team Rector Dominic Doble and colleagues will lead a pilgrimage presenting a short contemplation at each parish church in the benefices.
'It is always a joy and a challenge to be confronted by beautiful art work that explores difficult aspects of life' writes Bishop Mike. 'I am so grateful to Iain for his remarkable Stations of the Cross sequence. He says he 'looks forward to offering some thoughts alongside these images to honour the injustice, isolation and pain of our own experiences. Iain McKillop said 'it has been special creating a new Passion series for my local parishes, hoping that neighbours can find through them, meaning in Christ’s self-offering, which reaches into their own lives and the world in which we live today.'
All churches will be open during daylight hours. There is no charge for any of these events. However, our church committees are grateful for your generosity towards maintaining the parochial ministry that underpins events such as this.
True Freedom, a new Lent resource produced with the World Council of Churches and the Clewer Initiative. Offering a six-week course for Lent, it draws on themes from the book of Galatians, and encourages individuals and churches to respond to modern slavery in their communities. The campaign includes resources, prayers, stories and action points. To find out more click here.
Living Faith Series
|Living Lent 1
|A five session course for small groups looking at traditional themes of Lent
|Living Lent 2 Who is this Jesus?
|Daily reflections from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day
|Living Lent with Mark
|A six session course for use by individuals or groups reflecting on the Passion narrative in Mark's Gospel
Lent | Weblink