This is the final Sunday before we enter the season of Lent and we welcome all our guests who will be joining us at the Solemn Mass for our Annual Civic service. This is an occasion to celebrate the life of our local community as we pray for all who serve and hold office in our region and a chance to acknowledge the part we are called to play as a church in contributing to the good of our city and region and its peoples.
The season of Lent begins with the blessing and reception of Ashes which will be distributed at the three Masses that day and a later evening Service of the Word. We begin a journey of penance and renewal as a church community which culminates in the life giving celebrations of Holy Week and Easter.
The Bishops of England and Wales have dedicated this year for all our parishes to focus on the Word of God and encourage people to read passages of the scriptures more frequently so that it is a greater guide and strength in their daily life. Perhaps we could all make this part of our Lenten resolution to read and reflect on a few sentences of the Gospel or one of the Epistles at times during the week. We will be having a Lenten reflection each week on a Tuesday night focussed on the previous Sunday Gospel.
We will be holding a series of reflections focused on the Lenten Sunday Gospels which will then be followed by some time for prayer and contemplation and then in the ‘spirit of kindness’ we will be given a practical weekly Lenten resolution/challenge to carry out during the week based on the Sunday Gospel.
Tuesday 3 March: Lent – A desert experience
Tuesday 10 March: It’s wonderful for us to be here
Tuesday 17 March: We thirst for living water
Tuesday 24 March: Lord, help us to see
Tuesday 31 March: Dying and Rising
We will meet between 6-7pm after evening mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with a chance for a cup of tea and chat in the Gibberd Room afterwards.
Last weekend a group of workmen turned up in a white van and digger and proceeded to excavate part of the pavement area in front of the Cathedral. As the week has progressed the area under excavation has expanded right across the main entrance with a deep trench running across almost the width of the steps area. With all the road closures and now this I am beginning to think there is some secret plot to make the Cathedral completely inaccessible.
So far the week has almost run its course and they are still digging. If you manage to eventually arrive here you may have to cross a moat to this weekend to enter the Cathedral environs – from a distance it looks there is a barrier across the front of the building however it would take a lot more than this to fence us in!
Canon Anthony O’Brien