As I pen these words in late January it is a time of great uncertainty in our personal lives and in the life of our country and I cannot predict what we shall face in March. But amidst the anxieties and the problems I hold on to the Christian hope that is ours in Christ Jesus if we look to him as our Saviour and our Lord.

Wednesday 6th March is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the forty days of Lent, a traditional time for self examination and renewed commitment to Jesus Christ. Some express this through abstinence from certain things, while others read a book they believe will spiritually challenge them and yet others join with fellow Christians in a Lent Study Group. At Stowmarket United Reformed Church we plan to run both a morning and evening five session Lent Group, using the ecumenical Lent Course "Daring to see God now" written by Bishop Nick Baines. Members of village churches are welcome to join us, but you may know of other Lent courses being run in your locality. What is important is that we each have a grasp of our Christian beliefs and can share our hope with others. By March I hope gardens and the countryside will be springing to life with flowers and birdsong, so we remember Jesus' journey to the cross of Calvary was followed by his glorious resurrection from the dead. Lent can be an opportunity to meet with Jesus in a new way and experience his resurrection power at a deeper level.

If you are not a regular churchgoer but wish to find out more, all of our churches offer a welcome both at Sunday services and gatherings during the week.

Revd. Richard Edwards (Retired U.R.C. minister)

March 2019