St. Nicholas Church, Silton, Dorset

   St Nicholas Church
   Silton, Dorset
   SP8 5PR

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Lent, Holy Week and Easter 

This year March and April take us all the way through Lent and Holy Week to Easter Sunday. 

Lent begins on 6th March, Ash Wednesday, and we will mark the day in St Nicholas Church at 6.00 p.m. with a service of Holy Communion.    We celebrate Easter Sunday on Sunday 21st April with our Parish Communion service at 10.30 a.m.    I hope you will be able to come to both these services and many of the wonderful moving services in between which take us through Lent and Holy Week.   They are all listed here in this leaflet. 

Lent, Holy Week and Easter is the liturgical community opportunity for us metaphorically to walk the path with Jesus through life towards death and resurrection.   The practice of observing Lent, Holy Week and Easter each year, in sickness and in health, prepares us for that moment when we will walk that path in earnest.   It’s good to practice. 

A tradition is to give something up and take something up for Lent.   If you haven’t chosen anything to take up yet may I commend a small book to you - Janet Morley’s “The heart’s time”?    In this book Janet gives us a poem and some commentary for every week day during Lent. 

On the Friday following Ash Wednesday she gives us this poem, Lent by Jean M. Watt. 

Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf, 
Barer than blackthorn in its winter sleep, 
All unadorned.    Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees,
Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding-place, only an emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.

Janet closes her commentary with these words about the poem’s last line, “Suddenly the whole perspective of the poem has shifted from close inspection of the blackthorn hedges and Christmas trees to the vastness of the universe.   In the same way, we are invited to allow the intentional keeping of Lent to rearrange our habitual perspectives on life, to let ourselves be unsettled so that we do not miss God’s wider vision.” 

This Lent let us together embrace the emptiness, the precious space, the leaves, the flowers and the stars so that we too may be so unsettled that we do not miss God’s wider vision.

One in the love that unites us all


Revd Canon Peter Greenwood

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