The Lambfold Benefice

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Welcome to the website of The Lambfold Benefice -
a group of five Anglican rural parishes
in the geographical centre of England
Our Rector, Revd Sue Stanley, can be contacted by email by clicking on the link below, or call her on 01327 341307 or 07983 043284

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May 2021

As I write this it's hard to believe that two weeks have already passed since Easter Sunday and we will soon be at Ascension Day which is when the church celebrates Christ's ascension into heaven, forty days after Easter. This year it falls on Thursday 13th May.

Historically Ascension Day was marked in many and various ways, especially in rural areas. It falls at the end of the three-day period the Church calls ‘Rogationtide' which is a time set aside to pray for God's blessing on the land, livestock and crops in hope of a good harvest. On Ascension Day villagers would ‘Beat the Bounds' of their parish, marking the boundaries by beating particular trees and landmarks with sticks and praying as they went. Ascension Day is also associated with the tradition of ‘well dressing', popular across Derbyshire. There are also superstitions around Ascension Day; in Devon it was said that any clouds on this day will form into the Christian image of a lamb, and weather lore says that if Ascension Day is sunny the summer will be long and hot but if it rains the crops and livestock will suffer.

The Ascension happened as Jesus made his final resurrection appearance to his disciples; ‘When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight' (Acts 1:9). This can make heaven seem like a distant place, separate from earth, but I believe it to be another dimension, somewhere very close, like behind the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis' ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe', if you like. The Ascension is part of the sequence of events - Christ's participation in creation, his birth at Bethlehem, his life, death and resurrection, his ascension, then the outpouring of his Spirit at Pentecost - and we await the culmination of God's promise that Jesus will one day return to rule and God's plan to unite heaven and earth in a new creation will be fulfilled.

God bless

Revd Sue

Tel: 01327 341307

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