Bishop of Huntingdon’s message for Ash Wednesday and Lent

Rt Rev David Thomson

Rt Rev David Thomson - Credit: Archant

Don’t just give up chocolate or alcohol for Lent instead take up three things - that’s the message from the Bishop of Huntingdon.

The Rt Rev David Thomson, in the absence of the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Rev Stephen Conway, on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, sent a message to the people of Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk for Ash Wednesday (February 10), the start of the six-week season of Lent, leading up to Holy Week and Easter:

“Once again, with Christmas behind us, we turn towards Easter and turn again to Christ, our crucified and risen Saviour.

“Many of us will go to church to receive his sign, the sign of the Cross, in ash on our foreheads as a powerful symbol of that turning to him.

“As our journey into his new life, not just ordinary life shined up but life in all its fullness, begins again, and we pray that as the world around us wakens into spring, so we too will spring up in the power of God’s Spirit to be a generous and visible people fully alive in Jesus Christ our Lord.

“’Keeping Lent’ is an ancient part of our discipleship as Christians. There are no rules! But one way to have a balanced diet, which I’ll be using, and which has more bite to it than giving up chocolate or alcohol (though I’ll be aiming at those as well), is to commit for Lent to taking up three things:

• One to help you engage practically with the needs of others

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• One to help you grow in thoughtfulness as disciples, and

• One to help you deepen your prayer life and spirit.

“Those three words (engage, deepen and grow), linked here with body, mind and spirit, are of course at the heart of our diocesan strategy, so this isn’t something in which we have to go it alone. I’ll try to remember to blog a bit about how I’m getting on, and perhaps you will find it helpful to share your journey with a few friends too.”