Category Archives: Weekly Letter

Mercy Me!

In my Ash Wednesday sermon I suggested that we make our first order of business this Lent a recommitment to mercy.

Mercy is one of those words that we all understand, but is nevertheless difficult to define. It’s present behind everyday phrases like ‘give him a break’ as well as the routine acts of forgiveness we all perform. Mercy is a disposition, an attitude, a willingness to forego our right of revenge (as well as our predilection for resentment) and respond to the shortcomings of others (as well as our own) with kindness, patience and love. Jesus said that the merciful will be shown mercy. He also said that those who judge others will be judged by the same standard that they use.

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The Joy of Lent

A few weeks ago, my younger son asked me at the dinner table when Lent began. I replied ‘Ash Wednesday’.

My children are patient with me, and fortunately found this more amusing than irritating. Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday. What varies is when Ash Wednesday happens. Unlike Christmas Day, which is always on the same date, Ash Wednesday can move around by over a month, from early February at its earliest, to mid March at its latest.

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Be Kind to Everyone – Including Yourself

If you have opportunity to ask people how they are these days, whether by phone or email or video call, the chances are that one word will jump out at you – weary. There is a tiredness, a peculiar kind of tiredness, that has come with the experience of spending much of the last year under a kind of house arrest. It isn’t a physical tiredness, or even a mental one. Whether you’re very busy or don’t have quite enough to do – and there are plenty of people in both camps – the weariness comes not from activity or inactivity but from the constant strain of the pandemic.

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A Different Kind of Hope

Back in the early summer I had a notion that we might be able to restore our normal pattern of worship around the middle of the autumn. It seemed like a conservative hope at the time. Yet here we are at Christmas with Covid cases rising once more, restrictions still in place in what we are permitted to do in church, and the spectre of a third national lockdown haunting us. It’s an odd time to be writing about hope.

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