Lent and Easter 2019

These days, Christians around the world observe Lent in many ways. Those from a more orthodox background will still observe the fast strictly, beginning with the wearing of ashes on Ash Wednesday and abstinence from meat, fish, eggs and fats until Easter Sunday. Others will choose to give up just one item for Lent, more commonly a 'luxury' such as chocolate, coffee or alcohol. Many Christians also use Lent to study their Bibles and pray more intensively, making use of the many devotional books and courses now available to them. 
By clicking on the links you can find out what is happening at St Peter's, in addition to all our usual services and activities, in Lent and Easter 2019: 

Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday, Roman Catholic, Anglican and some other churches hold special services at which worshippers are marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes.  This service draws on the ancient Biblical traditions of covering one’s head with ashes, wearing sackcloth and fasting as signs of repentance.  As the minister makes the sign of the cross on each person’s forehead these words are said:
Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ
Please come to the Communion Service with Imposition of the Ashes at 11:30 am on Ash Wednesday here at St Peter’s as this season of Lent begins.

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Only Reconnect - Lent Lunchtime RefleXions

Every Thursday, starting after our Communion service from around 11:30 am onwards, Lunchtime RefleXions takes place at St Peter's Church. Delicious light lunches of soup, sandwiches and cakes are served along with inspiring readings and prayers - truly food for the body and soul!
It’s easy to feel disconnected. The patterns of relationship and activity that used to help us feel supported by our local community have, for a long time now, become increasingly difficult to maintain. Alongside this growing sense of isolation there has been a rapid rise in the number of people wrestling with depression and anxiety. The two, it would seem, are not disconnected. This year’s Lent Lunchtime RefleXions, on Thursdays, will consider ways to reconnect: with different aspects of ourselves, and with something larger than ourselves.

7th March Reconnecting with wellbeing Emily Fullarton from Wellspring Therapy and Training.
14th March Reconnecting with creativity Rachel Deniz from The Seasons Art Class
21st March Reconnecting with physical fitness Carl Summerscales and Helen Williams from Parkrun
28th March Reconnecting with nature Ann Beeby from Friends of the Valley Gardens
4th April Reconnecting with learning Christine Hines and Don Mason from the University of the Third Age
11th April Reconnecting with hope Alan Garrow, Vicar St Peter's Church


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The Happiness Lab

What makes us truly happy? Research suggests that the answer may be rather different from what we might expect. The Happiness Lab is an opportunity to explore the impact of six activities on the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. The course will take place from 7:00 - 8:30 pm on Thursdays, starting on 7th March; and from 10:00 - 11:30 am on Fridays, starting on 8th March - if you’d like to join in the experiment, contact Alan Garrow at [email protected]
The course is based on a series of fly-on-the-wall documentaries that follow twelve people exploring the effect of six disciplines. The idea is that, as we observe their journey, space is created enabling us to engage in a conversation about our own happiness.

The themes of each episode are:
Episode 1: Focusing on gratitude and savouring
Episode 2: Practising acts of kindness
Episode 3: Learning to forgive
Episode 4: Investing in friends and family
Episode 5: Looking after your body and soul
Episode 6: Developing coping strategies

This resource does not offer a prescriptive answer. Yes, professionals have pointed to indicators that could aid someone’s journey to greater peace, but the purpose of the course is to help delegates conduct their own experiments and come to their own conclusions. We operate on the belief that happiness comes from living well and that you live well when you exist as a spiritual person in a material age.

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Take a Pilgrim Journey this Lent
There are two groups following the LentPilgrim and EasterPilgrim courses using booklets by Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford. The first on Mondays at 7:30 pm is at Hannah Beck's (4, St Mary's Avenue, tel: 07503 186455) and will be covering The Beatitudes. The second on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm is at Fiona Weare's (26, Hookstone Drive, tel: 07913 259490) and will be covering The Lord's Prayer.

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Mothering Sunday

This year Mothering Sunday is on 31st March. A small posy of flowers, made by St Peter's Brownies and Guides, will be given with love to every mother attending our services today. 


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