Tendring is situated in North East Essex and is made up of villages, small rural towns and seaside towns.
There are eighteen churches in the Tendring Circuit of the Methodist Church of which three are in a Local Ecumenical Partnership with the URC and one church is in covenant with the local Anglican Church.
The Tendring Circuit is part of the Beds, Essex and Herts Methodist District.
February 14th, as we know, is St. Valentine’s Day and this year, it is on the same day is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This may not seem the likeliest of combinations at a first glance. St. Valentine has become associated with the finding of love and the shops are full of hearts and chocolates as this is celebrated in the wider world.
Lent is the season in church of 40 week days immediately before Easter Sunday and is a time of preparation, penitence and fasting. We often associate Lent with giving something up. Ironically, given the link with Valentine’s Day this, for some people, often involves chocolate! However, I’d like to suggest that Lent is really about thinking differently and seeing things in new ways. This may come through fasting from things like chocolate or sweets or in taking on another spiritual discipline such as new approaches to prayer or silence. We are all different.
In thinking about this ‘clash’ of days I’ve tried to see the link rather than the dissimilarities. As we look ahead to Easter we celebrate the transforming love for each and every person at the Resurrection as we remember Christ’s love for us expressed through the pain and anguish of the cross.
In Matthew’s gospel Jesus, in the Great Commandment, asks his followers to ‘love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’ and ‘to love your neighbour as yourself.’ In other words, put very simply, love God and love others. In this time of Lent why don’t we aim to find ways that show our love for God and our love for others in new ways that reflect God’s love for us?
If you are looking for a Lent Course please look at Circuit News.