‘…have compassion…’

Bishop Christopher writes:

As we begin Lent many of us will take up a discipline to help us to observe a reflective and prayerful time in preparing for Holy Week and Easter. Some of you, I know, will have decided upon a Lenten book and others of you will join a Lent Group through your church or decide to try a different daily prayer routine. Many – those who are a part of our churches and those who are not – will give up something as part of their Lenten discipline. It might be meat or alcohol or sugar or any number of things that you really enjoy. Others, too, might take something up for Lent such as trying to pray more or going for longer walks in order to have some time alone to reflect upon the day. Whatever you do I hope that you will find Lent to be a helpful time in which to reflect upon and grow in your faith.

Each year I invite individuals, churches and schools to join me in offering prayer and donations to my Lent Call projects. Usually the majority of the projects are in other parts  of the world but, this year, my brother Bishops and I are so aware of the need here at home too that we have decided that we will feature projects in this Diocese for three weeks of Lent and projects in our Link Dioceses for the other two. We have decided to feature food insecurity because this is a real issue for many here in the Diocese and for people in Zimbabwe and the Diocese of Jerusalem.  

The pandemic has changed many people’s lives in the last year as they have lost loved ones and found it harder to support themselves day by day. For some, the loss of income and security caused by the effects of the lockdowns has been the thing that has tipped them over into needing to use food banks and feeding projects both here and overseas.   

I hope that you will feel able to support these projects generously in the coming weeks, giving what you can to help others who have less. I know that some will have been spending less as a result of the lockdown and I hope and pray that, if this is the case for you, you will feel able to be generous in giving to the Lent projects. I know that for some this year has been very hard and if you are not able to give to the projects, please do pray for them.

I have recorded this video which talks about the projects that we are featuring:

Each week we will bring you a brief video about the projects that are featured. We have also produced some materials to help you to reflect upon the need for the work of the projects and the narrative of the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8: 1-8), as well as a prayer.  Do please follow the Lent Call material and consider how you can best support the projects featured. Thank you.

A prayer for use with the Lent Call material:

Creator God,
we give thanks for all that you have given to us.
We pray for those who are experiencing food insecurity
in the places featured in the Lent Call and elsewhere.
Help us to show compassion for them.
Give us the will to work with others to help to bring about change.
Help us to show our care and concern for those around us who are in need.
Bring justice and fullness of life to all your people.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

Amen.

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