Vicar's Blog 3rd March 2011

The Anglo-Saxons called March the stormy month or rugged month. It certainly feels like that! The signs of spring are there but winter still has its grip. Like most people I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive. ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils (Wordsworth)’.
This year Lent starts on the 9th March (Ash Wednesday). It is an opportunity to do a bit of spiritual gardening. I always find it ironic that most people are focused on their gardens at this time. The material is more obvious than the spiritual. And yet the soul is a garden which needs equal care and attention. If it seems too cold to go outside then it is a good opportunity to read and reflect on the Christian faith. I have quite a pile of new books to read and will take some of them away with me on my retreat later this month.
Four of our congregation have been in New Zealand during the recent terrible earthquake. I am pleased to know that they are all safe (two have now returned). The pictures of the damage and loss of life caused by the earthquake are shocking. Christchurch is known as the ‘garden city’. We are reminded that life can be very harsh. It is at these moments that we find our common humanity in responding to such disasters.
Mark Binney