Vicars Monthly Letter

April Letter

Dear Friends, 

As I’m writing this it is unseasonably warm, and I’m enjoying the sunshine outside albeit through the study window. It’s amazing how the glimpse of sunshine does actually make us feel better. I have even started to tackle the jungle which is also known as the vicarage garden. According to Radio 4 (when you get to my age you will listen to it as well) the seasons are less defined more and more each year.

In the church year we are three quarters of the way through Lent, Easter Sunday is on the 17th April. Lent is the season when we with Jesus, turn our face towards the Passion and the Cross to come.

Traditionally, Lent is a penitential time, when we reflect upon our lives, and lay our sin and brokenness, in repentance before God. As we remember the Wilderness wanderings of our Lord, and the ultimate sacrifice made once for all of us on the Easter Cross. A traditional time for fasting or abstinence. Lent should also be more than about giving up chocolate or the tipple of our favourite alcoholic drink, it’s also about what we can do better. By doing something better or starting something new we can make a distance and make the Kingdom ever nearer. And that starts with me and you.  St Paul put it this way in his letter to the Ephesians (4:31)   

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.’ 

Imagine, if every human being fasted from anger. From bitterness. From thinking and speaking badly about others. Imagine if we fasted from holding grudges. From hurtful words or actions. Imagine if, instead of these things, we filled each other instead with these further words from Paul to the Ephesians (4:32): 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’

As I type this letter the invasion, let’s be honest that’s what it is, is still ongoing in the Ukraine. This isn’t a war at the other side of the world but a war in our own back garden. Not since the second world war and the cold war have we seen and heard of such brutality in Europe. Let us pray, as St Paul wrote for ‘compassion,’ also for unity amongst the nations to stand up for freedom. Let’s pray for peace and reconciliation, for generosity towards all refugees wherever they are from. Let us this Lent look to ourselves and say this has to stop, we may only think we are just one lone voice in the wilderness but let us all come together and defend all who are victims of war and all who are persecuted. As we continue to travel in the desert of Lent, let us all work towards making this planet the paradise that God intended for all people.

Please hold the people of the Ukraine in your prayers.

Your friend and priest.





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