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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


 APRIL 2018
‘Blow, blow thou winter wind thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.’-So writes the Bard in ‘As you like it’, and having suffered two bites from the recent ‘Beast from the East’- and a third forecast by some- we could be forgiven for asking ‘When will spring finally arrive?’
Depending on whether you go for the Metrological first day of Spring (1st March) or the Astronomical first day of Spring (March 21st), by the time you read this we would hope that Spring would have finally sprung in all its glory! After all the days are getting longer, the clocks have gone over to BST, and yet the temperatures in recent weeks seem to defy the arrival of Spring in all its glory. Spring, the season of new life, and yes there are signs of ‘new life’ as I drive around the Benefice, farmers are busy lambing and young lambs are beginning to appear out in the fields, the hedgerows and fields are showing the first signs of green and new growth, and spring bulbs are attempting to flower in our gardens. Yes spring appears to be on its way, even if its arrival has been somewhat delayed- so we do have something to look forward to with hope and joy.
Spring of course coincides with that great festival of the Christian Church, Easter, the Paschal mystery when we celebrate the Resurrection, and a rising to new life. In the Christian Church after the 40 days of whole of Lent, and particularly the final week of Holy week when Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, followed by his arrest trial and crucifixion are remembered, the joy of Easter gives us hope and much to be thankful for knowing that in and through Christ’s death and Resurrection there is hope of a new life in both a spiritual and physical sense, the Life Everlasting. That hope, that joy should evoke from us all some kind of positive response for there is much to be thankful for.
The C16th Poet Edmund Spenser wrote the following in praise of Easter
‘Most glorious Lord of life that on this day, didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrowed hell, didst bring away captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin, and grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin, may live forever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily, may likewise love thee for the same again:
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy, with love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought, Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.’
It’s a marvellous poem, but it is the last three lines that I particularly enjoy. It’s all very well to celebrate Easter with our customs and traditions, but that celebration demands a response from us all in our lives, a response that continues from one Easter to the next and beyond. It is the last three lines but the last line in particular which, I think, point us in the right direction to such a response. ‘So let us love, dear love, like as we ought, Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.’ To bring joy and selfless love to others in our homes, our communities, in the whole of our lives; that is the challenge the celebration of Easter gives to us all- so let us get out there and live it.
Happy Easter.
Fr. Tim




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