Vicar's Blog ~ March 2018
This year we began Lent on St Valentine’s Day, and will end it on April Fools’ Day, and we have not had a year like this since 1945! It means we began the season with a secular focus on love and will end it on foolishness. Both of these lie at the heart of our faith and mission in Jesus Christ. We do not need a Patron Saint of love, because we have a God of love, and as we reach Easter, the festival which epitomises the chocolatisation of Christianity nowadays, we remember the words of St Paul: “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Ash Wednesday next falls on St Valentine’s Day in 2024, and again in 2029. What will our church and parish look and feel like then? Some people talk of a ‘2020 vision’, when looking to the future, whereas we might think of a Love and Foolishness vision beyond that! We don’t so much have specific targets (organ restoration notwithstanding), but a vision to ensure that that love we share and witness to in Christ is not seen as foolishness, but as a strong, real, liberating force in our community. And we do that from our hilltop location, illuminating the night sky with the rays of faith, hope and love that have been ours since Georgiana Twells gave us our building in 1883. So our vision for 2024 and 2029 is to remain at the heart of our community, serving especially those in need, with pastoral care, charity, companionship, understanding and welcome.
In a society where folk are increasingly less committed to organisations and clubs, it is still worth remembering that 50% more people attend church regularly than hold season tickets to Premier League football clubs, and after shopping and watching TV, churchgoing is Britain’s most prevalent activity. Do not be swayed by what you read in the biased and misinformed press. Nevertheless, one of the ways you can help and support your local parish church, is simply by turning up on Sunday mornings (or evenings!). There are not so much fewer folk going to church these days, but folk are coming less frequently. So, we would love to see more of you more often! The Church family in our corner of Enfield continues to gather around the communion table, hears scripture read and taught, and shares fellowship with others, and lest you might think it the case, we are not dwindling in numbers.
So, whatever you have given up for Lent, take up coming to Church a bit more often!