St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - February 2024

Lent comes early this year, we have barely drawn breath from Epiphany and Candlemas before we find ourselves turning towards the cross and resurrection.

There are many ways in which you may wish to mark out the 40 days from February 14th to March 31st but whatever you decide please do make use of all that the church community will have to offer over this time of reflection and contemplation. We have a smorgasbord of offerings from public witness to your faith through vigil in London, through walks across the diocese or join in with quiet local times of enquiry and reflection in our Lent Lectio sessions. Alongside this there are of course our usual weekly services which will help us to walk through Lent together.

Perhaps you could give something up or give something away.

Lent offers us an opportunity to look towards the cross and consider how the life of Christ touches our hearts and minds in this complex world and to journey together sharing our hopes and fears and learning together.

In this newsletter you will find a few ideas to get you thinking about Lent 2024 – I look forward to sharing this season with you all.

A letter from Barbara Echlin Vice Chair of Green Christian

Green Christian is joining with Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, A Rocha, the Salvation Army, CCA and others in planning a prayerful and powerful climate action in Lent this year.

From Ash Wednesday, for ten days, a 24/7 Lent Vigil for Climate Justice will take place outside Parliament. Can you have a think to see if you could give an hour or two to it and if so when? It doesn’t have to be the night shift! There will be a rota to ensure every hour is covered. It would be so lovely if your church could participate by
taking a slot.

The Vigil begins with a reflective Service at St John’s Waterloo at 12 noon on Wednesday 14 February. An Ashing ceremony will follow the Service outside in the church garden. From there we will make our way to Parliament where the 24/7 Lent Vigil for Climate Justice will begin at 3pm.

At the Service we will be lamenting the failure to address the climate and environmental crisis. We will bear witness to the impacts of climate disruption on our global neighbours who have done the least to cause the crisis.

As we approach the resurrection transformation of Easter, in longing for the change we want to see, we will pray for transformation, even in the midst of injustice. Our prayers will be for bold climate action from the UK Government.

Wednesday 14 February is also St Valentine’s Day: a day to show our love for this beautiful planet, our common home, which we share with all God’s creatures.

Around the world creation is crying out. Heatwaves, fires, droughts and floods are becoming more frequent, wrecking lives, land, and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the biggest polluters who have caused this crisis make vast profits from fossil fuels. As creation groans, the poorest, who have done the least to cause the problem, are paying the price. This is unjust. Locating our vigil outside Westminster is a political move. We want to bear witness to past failures to act on and to the impacts of the climate crisis, and pray for the UK Government to take bold climate action. We also want our prayers to move us into action to call on our politicians for climate justice.