This weekend we will be praying for 24 hours in response to the Archbishop’s call to prayer for Pentecost. Members of church will sign up to pray in the chapel for an hour through the day and night.
Our chapel room has been transformed into a creative prayer space, and will gradually be filled with creative expressions of prayer.
Holy week is the most solemn week in the Christian year, marking the days leading up to Good Friday and the crucifixion. It begins with Palm Sunday and then enters into the last days of Jesus earthly ministry and ending with the great celebration of Easter – traditionally the time for Baptism & Confirmation.
Fittingly we celebrate these events alongside the other Christians in our community and so there is a different pattern of services at church.
20th – Palm Sunday – 7pm at COTC
24th- Maundy Thursday – “The Last Supper” 7.45pm at the Padget Centre
25th – Good Friday
Walk of Witness – 12pm in the Angel Centre
The Service of Shadows – 6.30pm at COTC
26th – Easter Sunday
10.30am Family Service at St Andrews
2.30pm Baptism Service at St Andrews
No evening Service at COTC.
Our Church Weekend Away from 4th-6th March will be a lovely mix of teaching, worship, country walks, good food and relaxation. We will be staying at Latimer place in Hertfordshire, and we have the Canon Pastor of St Pauls Cathedral, Tricia Hillas speaking on the theme of ‘All Saints, All Sinners’.
In our homegroups over Lent we are going to be using some excellent material created by Winchester Diocese based on the Rule of St Benedict.
St Benedict wrote his rule for christian communities over 1500 years ago, and it has been one of the most influential documents in the history of the world. Probably no document other than the Bible has so shaped western Christianity, and ‘The Rule’ is credited amongst other things as being one of the foundations of democracy, and saving civilisation in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. As a result St Benedict is the Patron Saint of Europe.
It will be unfamiliar to many of us, and isn’t always comfortable reading, but it is filled with practical, pastoral wisdom, and many would attest to the benefit of its spiritual disciplines.
The material can be found on the Winchester Lent Course website.
If you are looking for good reading this Lent I would recommend a couple of books based on the rule of St Benedict.
One is by my new favourite Author Kathleen Norris called ‘The Cloister walk’. (You can find my review of her first book ‘Dakota’ here.)
And the second is called ‘Seeking God – The Way of St Benedict’ by Esther de Waal.
The Bishop of London writes:
Whatever our church tradition, we know that authentic prayer – listening deeply and responding obediently – takes time. Our busy city life will eat up all available hours and it is a good discipline to remind each other of the importance of prayer by having deliberate seasons of waiting upon God.
With this in mind, I am very happy to be a part of ‘Prayers on the Move’, a campaign during Lent by SPCK to encourage prayer as part of London’s daily life.
There will be many ways for us to be involved in this endeavour. The adverts on the Tube will provide an opportunity for Christians to talk to their friends about prayer. Parishes may wish to organise a related outreach event, hold a prayer vigil, walk or flashmob near their local Tube stations or distribute prayer leaflets.
Prayers on the Move will launch on 9 February and the adverts will be in trains for the last two weeks of February. Resources to support churches in engaging with the campaign will be available from www.prayersonthemove.com