A Letter from our Rector, Mark: February - from Christmas to Lent! At the beginning of this month we have the lovely Christingle Service - please note it is a family service with Sing Praise! and with Saxtead joining us so the service will be at 11am not 9.30. It marks the feast of the Presentation when Jesus as a baby was taken to the Temple and is traditionally the last bit of the Christmas celebration. The Christingle service lightens up our February and we hope there will be lots of us to enjoy it. The 26th February is Ash Wednesday and we are into Lent. Happily but by accident St Michael’s and Saxtead’s plans for Lent all coincide with the Bishop’s Lent appeal and by the end of the month there will be more information. But the PCCs had agreed that the book for Lent should be the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book: “Saying Yes to Life”, a delightful and thought-provoking exploration of the biblical story of creation in which God himself said “Yes” to life. This comes recommended by the Archbishop as well as the Bishops and we will use it for Lent Study Groups and for private reading. The Diocese has developed a number of challenges and resources and the it is the subject of the Bishops’ Lent Appeal this year - more will follow on this. How we care for the environment is perhaps the most important world political and humanitarian topic and it is good that we have a resource to help us think about it in the light of our faith. We need to be challenged to think about what is truly happening and what our part in finding solutions is. The story of God’s care and loving creation in Genesis 1 seems a good place to begin. Mark.
St Michael’s Community Rooms project: Exhibition of plans for St Michael’s Community Rooms Thank you to everyone who came to the exhibition; we had a good number of visitors, and useful responses which we are working through. February will see us considering what was said and meeting with the Architects Quantity Surveyor and Structural Engineer to work out the plans which we would like to send as the Planning Application during the Spring. The Fund Raising Group has been meeting and is planning a Ceilidh and a Singalongathon for the summer - more about those in the March newsletter. The Bishops’ Lent Challenge 2020 The Bishops write: ‘Christians are rediscovering that caring for the creation God brought into being, and which He loves, is a vital part of our mission as well as being an issue of justice. Our appeal this year is not just about fundraising but offers a set of resources for groups and individuals to engage positively and actively with environmental issues, including study aids on what the Bible has to say on these matters, what God’s creation itself is telling us, and what our brothers and sisters across the globe are experiencing at this time. We urge every member of the Church in Suffolk to consider taking up at least one of the ideas in this leaflet in 2020. Grace and peace for a blessed Lent.’