Dear Cranmer Group Friends,
I hope you’re all doing as well as we can in these continuing difficult times. I’m sorry that there’s been a gap in me posting our online service transcripts – it seems to have been a really busy couple of weeks, and I never managed to get round to completing them, so here you have “three for the price of one”:
Our Archbishops, Justin and Stephen, have written in an open letter, “As we reach the terrible milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, we invite everyone in our nation to pause as we reflect on the enormity of this pandemic. 100,000 isn’t just an abstract figure. Each number is a person: someone we loved and someone who loved us. We also believe that each of these people was known to God and cherished by God. We write to you then in consolation, but also in encouragement, and ultimately in the hope of Jesus Christ. The God who comes to us in Jesus knew grief and suffering himself. On the cross, Jesus shares the weight of our sadness. We therefore encourage everyone who is feeling scared, or lost or isolated to cast their fears on God.”
They have therefore called upon all Christians to join together in prayer, at 6pm each evening during this month of February. I very much encourage you to join with us all in this time of prayer, whether every day, or on whichever days you are able to do so.
It’s also less than a fortnight until the start of Lent, on Ash Wednesday. We will have an online service that morning at 10AM – details are in the February Newsletter (see the blog post relating to that). We’ll also be distributing devotional prayers, and small quantities of ash (made from the burning of palm crosses, as is traditional), with which you can mark the sign of the cross on your forehead, as a sign of penance, and in recognition of our mortality. Please do contact Jade Blaylock, our Administrator, on 07526 603766 and at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to receive these, and also a copy of the Church of England’s excellent daily devotional for Lent, “God’s Story, Our Story”. And if you also wish to receive a small olive wood devotional cross to hold in your hands as you pray, please also let Jade know.
Finally, I also strongly recommend the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Lent Book, “Living His Story” by Hannah Steele, which costs £7.99. There will be an online group reading this together over Lent. Again, details are in the February Newsletter, so do see that blog post.
May you continue to know God’s peace and comfort at this time.
Do keep safe – Clare’s and my very best wishes and prayers are with you all,
Rev. Tim Chambers
The Cranmer Group
Tel: 01949 850523
Mobile: 07946 526569