fr_simonDear Friends

I hope you are enjoying our Lent booklet this year, a compilation of thoughts and readings from C S Lewis and J M Nouwen. I use them as a short meditation, after I have read the gospel during our weekday mass. Today’s reading was particularly poignant and I would like to share a few lines with you.

” To pray for one another is, first of all, to acknowledge, in the presence of God, that we belong to each other as children of the same God. Without this acknowledgement of human solidarity, what we do for one another does not flow from who we truly are. We are sisters and brothers, not competitors or rivals. We are children of one God….to pray, that is, to listen to the voice of the One who calls us the ‘beloved,’ is to learn that that voice excludes no one”.

To live this truth is not only to live in love, but to live with our eyes fully open to the complexities and tensions of our world. Human relationships are never easy, they take time, confidence and trust. May be Lent is just the time to stretch out a hand of friendship to somebody we do not know, or find difficult to understand.

in Love,

Fr Simon

Dear Friends,

I have been mulling over Sir Anthony Seldon’s Conversational Evensong with us and how deeply he views the importance of silence and stillness and space. Of creating a space in which we are able to meet with God. Of trying consciously to escape the hubbub and busyness of our daily lives and find a little piece of serentity in an ever crowded and noisy world. Alice and I were away this past weekend skiing in France and I found myself alone on a chair-lift for fifteen minutes or so travelling up the mountain. I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of the mountains and the God of creation was very apparent. This Lent I am reading two books: Tim Radcliffe’s Seven Last Words in which he takes a profound look at Jesus’s last hours on the cross and also, along with our Lent Group, I am reading John Pritchard’s Beginning Again on the Christian Journey. Pritchard writes about the joys of silence and meditation; quietly looking towards God, a gentle longing, a reaching out in the darkness. There are, he argues, no success criteria with this type of prayer, nothing to “achieve”; being there and looking towards God is enough. He writes about the famous encounter between a French priest and a simple parishioner he saw day after day sitting in church looking at the crucifix. “What are you doing?” the priest eventually asked him. “Well” said the man, nodding to the figure of Christ on the cross, “I look at him and he looks at me, and we are happy together”

With every blessing,

Fr Andrew


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