Learning Lent

I have decided this year to get involved in Ang’s A Pause in Lent. So I will hopefully be writing about Lent for the next few Sundays. For those that don’t know me this is about the same as Judi Dench deciding to share her wisdom on heavyweight boxing. In fact – having seen her meet Anthony Joshua on Graham Norton – I am thinking that her knowledge of boxing has more depth to it than anything I will be bringing to Lent.

We didn’t do Lent – or any other “Christian” traditions when I was little. (Well we did Christmas because no-one wants to see an eight year old pack her bags and sit in a bus shelter in protest which is what would have happened if the presents and air of forced jollity had not been forthcoming). But we didn’t really do the Anglican/Catholic stuff because – well I’m not sure why really – I think it was to do with “religion” and simplicity and “idol worship”. I was never sure.

I have thought about Lent a couple of times. A couple of years ago I read The Wilderness Within You” by Pen Wilcock which is a fictional Lenten journey with Jesus sort of coming back and being with someone physically. It was about their relationship and I read it in a couple of sittings so I don’t think it counted as a daily Lent journey.

So, leaving no stone unturned for you dear reader, I have looked up things for you. This coming week there will be Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday (It’s on a Tuesday) when people make pancakes to use up the last of their perishable foods before fasting begins. I’m not sure why pancakes – with eggs, butter and flour, I would be looking more in the Victoria Sandwich department I’ll be honest. Then, on Wednesday, there is Ash Wednesday. This is the first day of repentance and fasting and some people wear ashes on their forehead. (I am sorry if I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs by the way). I will not be doing this as I have suffered a lifetime of older relatives spitting on the corner of hankies and rubbing my face really hard when I had dirty marks on it.

There is something very beautiful about all this but I am not sure it is for me. However, I am thinking that I am going to spend the run in to Easter doing a couple of things. Firstly, I bought a book. “Saying Yes to Life” by Ruth Valerio. This is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book. (If you are going to aim – aim high) Ruth Valerio is a seasoned environmental campaigner and it looks like the book is taking a good look at Christianity and climate change which I could probably do with a good kick up the backside about so that should be good.

Also, the church we attend is doing a text reply thing (as you know, I am a top notch tech person) where they will send you a scripture every day saying something positive and life affirming. The idea is that we spend Lent fasting from negativity about ourselves which is a very good idea I think.

Anyway, that is what I am thinking of doing this Lent. Of course, it’s all happening around life and all that but we shall do our best and soldier on. Are you doing anything for Lent?



  1. February 24, 2020 / 7:37 am

    I’m following 40 acts again…it’s something I have done for the last four years and I find it good discipline. I may try and think harder about it this year too, and be a bit more “spiritual” about it. We will see…

    • lesleyps91
      February 24, 2020 / 8:01 pm

      Yes! 40 acts! – had forgotten about that one.I have done it (although I’d be a big liar if I said I managed every challenge because I absolutely didn’t) But it is really good – very proACTtive!! Ha ha ha. Thank you very much – I’m here all week. *Wipes tears of joy from face from laughing at own joke 🙂

  2. February 24, 2020 / 9:54 am

    Memories of those ‘giving up something for Lent…’ years. It was never very successful and we werent quite sure why…….

    • lesleyps91
      February 24, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      I have given up the Giving Up thing. I remember a very earnest lady in church when I was a teenager who took a few of us to one side and said we might consider giving up joy/flippancy/laughing for Lent. Straight faced. We didn’t even do Lent! After that, have always wanted to do stuff and be more thinky before Easter rather than give things up.

  3. February 24, 2020 / 5:46 pm

    I’m attempting to give up playing freecell for Lent, and also following en email course by Rev Andrew Dotchin, from an Anglican Chruch in Sufflolk somewhere (let me know if you want the link, or you can track him down on twitter. I’ve followed his courses for a number of years now – he picks a theme – musicals, the Velveteen Rabbit, Narnia Books, ‘Call the Midwife’ – and this year it is a Quaker Book , possibly Quaker Faith and Practice’, I can’t quite remember (age. Creeping Up.)

    More than that I cannot say – I suspect giving up Freecell might be the hardest, but I’ve wasted so many hours I need to find another mindless replacement for Suduko and zoning out. I’m hoping that knitting a mitred square blanket with all the oddments of wool lying around the place (much more simplistic than it sounds) might prove a more useful way of occupying time when I am in zombie mode.

    I’m giving thought to Ang A’s ‘Pause for Lent’. I’ve got to survive organising the (Women’s0 World Day of Prayer at our church yet…

    • lesleyps91
      February 24, 2020 / 8:11 pm

      I recently removed a mindless game from my computer because I was literally spending an hour at a time on it. Although I do maintain that they are very relaxing after a hard day and I love Freecell. I would win about ten times in a row and think I was invincible on it and then the game would kick my backside really hard. Wouldn’t mind a link to Rev Dotchin if you get a minute. Anyone who runs a course on musicals is obviously a spiritual giant and a man to be followed. Will certainly have a root around Twitter.
      Will the WWDP not be one of those things that you are glad you did it after the event? Possibly. Praying.

  4. Kirsten
    February 25, 2020 / 7:37 am

    Here’s the lonk – the first reflection is out today (Day 0!) https://suffolkvicar.wordpress.com/
    you can get the reflections as emails if you contact him – revdotchin@gmail.com
    ‘Many waters cannot quench love’ is his scripture for today – I’ve had a quick look, and am saving it for a proper scrutiny and reflection later.

    Control Z is a great life saver in Freecell…

    WWDP is one of those things that you eel better for having done, both for having done it, and also when it is over, if your church is hosting it, and you’re the one organising it… I’m not panicking – yet. If you are down our way on Friday 6th March would you like to be a reader? Or operate the sound system?

    • lesleyps91
      February 25, 2020 / 8:31 pm

      Thank you for that – will look up. I thought sound systems were only for men to operate so they can stand around stroking their chins and looking important.

  5. February 29, 2020 / 1:08 pm

    Ruth Valerio is a good egg — we have this book too.
    In our Methodist Circuit we have a Lent study series running that the Circuit Superintendent asked me to write. Its themes over 5 weeks are, “Our Story”, “Our Calling”, “Thinking About Mission, “The Household of Faith” and “The Way of the Cross”. She asked us to look at aspects of Methodist connectional (national) emphasis and tie it in with the Holy Habits course we recently followed, as well as focusing on Holy Week. So that’s us sorted!
    About Shrove Tuesday — it’s yet another instance of the old Celtic agricultural year being drawn into faith practice by the first Christian missionaries here, the Iona monks. At that time of year the meat remaining from the Martinmas slaughter would all have gone, the cows would be going dry in readiness for calving, but the hens would be starting to lay more coming into the spring, and there’s be some grain saved through from harvest. So a last hurrah based on those ingredients before going into a one-meal-a-day vegan Lent.
    On The Wilderness Within You — I have a similar format book coming out as an Advent book later this year with SPCK.

    • lesleyps91
      March 1, 2020 / 7:27 pm

      This is an interesting reply. Thank you, However,it is overshadowed by the top news in the last line of your reply. This is very excellent news.

  6. March 9, 2020 / 12:45 am

    Thanks for this post. For reasons I do not understand, your blog has not appeared for a week and now I have 3 posts all at once.

    • lesleyps91
      March 9, 2020 / 8:09 pm

      I hate technology. Am just looking into taking my blog off Bloglovin because all these horrible Russian sex bots are following me now and I can’t block them. Wish I knew what I was doing

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