Why Lent?

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Lent is a season of preparation for the celebration of Easter. It probably began as a season of preparation for those to be baptised on Easter Sunday or those to be re-admitted to the church after serious sin. It then became a season in which all Christians were encouraged to prepare for our celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The 40 days reflect the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry. The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (but not Sundays), so beginning Lent on the 6th Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday. Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross.

This history explains the characteristics of Lent – study, self-examination, penitence, self-denial,  and generous giving. Christians still find considerable value in exercising these spiritual disciplines in the hope of change. So giving things up or fasting may reflect our desire to rely on God, humble ourselves and get rid of sinful elements of our life, while choosing to do something extra for Lent may reflect our desire to grow in Christ-like character, virtue and love for others.

For many, Lent is also a special time to meet with others; to study scripture; to pray with and for each other; to learn, support and encourage each other as collectively we seek to prune away the bad and grow the good. That is why we are inviting everyone from St. Matthew’s and St. Stephen’s to join our different Lent Groups as a means of making this a significant season for us all.

Please see the diary for details of the Lent Groups.

How we spend 40 days has the potential to change the rest of our life.

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Brunel Tutors Thriving

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Brunel Tutors – a project initiated and run by St. Stephen’s – is continuing to thrive and grow.

Good news includes improvements to the venue, new grant funding, healthy numbers attending and an additional new group aimed more at teenagers.

Led by Mike Moritz, our Community Mission Co-ordinator, and a growing team of volunteers, Brunel Tutors is a free after-school tutoring service aimed at families living on or near the Brunel Estate.

Brunel Tutors meets each Wednesday and Thursday during school term dates from 3.45-5.15pm for any children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Each week, exciting and lively sessions are planned to help young people develop their understanding and skills in either English, Maths or Science. The children learn as a group by having fun, through games, play and competition.

Now, in addition, an extra session has been organised on Wednesdays between 5.15-6.30pm for those studying in Key Stage 3 to offer more one-to-one support with learning, homework and exam revision.

If you would like your child to attend, offer to volunteer or just learn more please make contact through the Brunel Tutors dedicated website.

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Meeting together through Lent

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There are many fruitful ways to make the most of the season of Lent but one popular tradition is to commit to joining a Lent group. The group meet together weekly throughout Lent in order to meet with other Christians to pray, to study and to grow. If you would like to join us there are two groups meeting this year:

The Magnificence of Prayer

– an exploration of some of the great prayers of the Christian faith

Wednesday evenings from 21st February – meeting at St. Matthew’s Church, St. Petersburgh Place, London, W2 4LA

Food will be served from 7.30pm.
Lent discussions will start shortly after 8pm.
A time of prayer will start shortly after 9pm.

Praying is like breathing; it gives life to our Souls, connecting us to our creator.  

The Joy of the Gospel

– a prayerful study of ‘Evangelii Gaudium – the Joy of the Gospel’ written by Pope Francis

Pope Francis writes: ‘The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.’ 

Thursday evenings from 22nd February – 7.30-9.30pm – meeting at St. Stephen’s Vicarage, 25 Talbot Road, London, W2 5JF

Copies of the book are available from St. Stephen’s church.Lent Group 2018