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St John 

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Storridge

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NEWS SHEET

 

The parish news sheet is produced every week and contains details of forth-coming services, events and meetings along with other notices that may be of interest to those who live in the parish or wider benefice.

 

A digital (.pdf) version of the parish news sheet (also known as the 'pew sheet') of the current news sheet is available here.

 

 

 

 

A MARCH LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

JOIN PILGRIMS, PAST AND PRESENT.....

 

When April with his showers sharp and short the drought of March has pierced to the root.... then longeth men to go on pilgrimage.... 

 

And specially from every shire's end of Engelond to Canterbury they wende, the holy blissful martyr for to seek, which them hath holpen when that they were sick... 

 

With these words, or words very like them, allowing for the taking of modern liberties, Geoffrey Chaucer began his Canterbury Tales some time around the year 1400. With these words, then, we launch our March and April pilgrimage in our three parishes, inviting 'all sorts and conditions of men', and of women too, to travel with us at some point along the way. 

 

From early times, the season of the Lord's passion, death and resurrection was kept by all Christians as a time of special devotion, and the season of Lent which leads up to it as a time to seek reconciliation with God and, especially where wrong had been done or injury given, reconciliation with others, and with the community as a whole. Moreover, it was a time for those seeking baptism and first admission to the Christian community to prepare for that to take place at Easter, to make preparation, and to seek instruction. So it was always a time for a journey toward renewal of life and renewal of community: perhaps all the more so as people began to emerge out into the public space after the cold, dark and forbidding winter months, which now as then tend to drive us into our own homes and separate us one from another. It isn't only Chaucer's pilgrims who take advantage of the burgeoning of the Spring to stretch their legs, fill their lungs with air, and set out on new journeys into life. 

 

We invite you then to travel with us, this Lent. On Tuesday evenings in Mathon Parish Hall between now and Easter we welcome a series of speakers on different kinds of pilgrim journeys, at the same time both past and present - to the Holy Land, to the High Places of Everest and the Alps, to holy sites in Yorkshire sought out by hermits and monks of the twelfth to sixteenth centuries, to the holy places of the Celtic fringes of our islands, and - last but not least - to Canterbury, to the previously mentioned shrine of the 'holy blissful martyr' Thomas Becket. Our travel guides range from members of our own communities in our three villages, to Michael Tavinor, our own very gifted Dean of Hereford, a specialist on medieval shrines and holy pilgrimage, and Chris Pullin, Canon Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral. 

 

On Wednesdays, as we have often done in recent years, we invite you to a simple lunch of soup, bread and cheese, and to make some contribution to our two Lenten charities: the Anthony Nolan Trust for sufferers from Leukaemia, and projects run by TEAR Fund to meet the needs of those affected by the conflicts in Syria. The five venues to which our hosts for those occasions have kindly invited us will be found elsewhere in the magazine. 

 

In addition there is, as always at this time of year, a programme of opportunities to meet with God and with fellow travellers at any of our Lent, Holy Week and Easter services, all of which appear in these Newsletters and also in the separate brochures we are publishing to contain all the information needed as a guide to the season, as well as on the parish web-sites. 

 

We wish you happy (and holy) travelling! 

 

Your Rector,

 

Robert Ward

 

Storridge Parochial Church Council, 2013