Lent invites us to travel towards Holy Week and Easter increasingly experiencing in heart and mind the shadow of the cross.
Never in my lifetime has there been a time before when the whole human family has experienced the increased and increasing shadow of the cross in the challenging way we do now with the Coronavirus.
This is an invitation to pray, support each other and to share such positivity and hope as we can, even as we sit in the shadow of Jesus’ cross. We are challenged to change our lifestyles in positive ways whilst keeping strictly to government advice, as reinforced by our bishops.
Bournemouth Town Centre Parish is responding with a spirit of cooperation to this advice. Therefore, sadly but necessarily, all public worship except authorised church funerals will now cease until further notice. Church social activities, concerts and all governance meetings (PCC & DCC), choir and Bellringers’s gatherings must, I’m afraid, now not happen until further notice. Church buildings will be, as much as is reasonably possible, kept open during daylight hours for prayer; but bear with us, please, if this is not always as easy to achieve as we would wish. Quite simply, all of us must take great care of ourselves and those close to us; particularly those aged 70 or over, and anyone with underlying health conditions, must be very careful. That applies to many of us in our churches, as it does in the general population. Arrangements are in place, as much as they can be, to safeguard the homeless and vulnerable in our midst. Do ask if you need help.
Help will always be available from God, albeit there is no way of avoiding walking the way of the cross with Jesus.
Let us remember that beyond the cross lies the light and hope of resurrection- the ‘endgame’ for which all humanity is created.
Each day, starting next Sunday, I shall offer a short meditation, often with a Biblical verse, and sometimes with a picture (as today – from St Martin in the Fields, London) – on our website. I hope this will help us to keep praying and hoping.
Jesus says to us all, as to his first disciples:
‘In the world you shall have tribulation- but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33