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Bengeo Parish online: Lent Appeal 2021
Prison Fellowship UK is a national charity supporting those who know what lockdown life is all about. Listen to our Lent Appeal launch from Holy Trinity church, where Jennie Bowell talks about the charity’s work in HMP Bedford, bringing hope to prisoners and their families. Click the blue Donate button to give to the Appeal.
What is love? Sunday 14th February
It is one of humanity’s enduring questions. Playwrights and poets, prophets and philosophers have all been nudging us closer to an answer – together with Valentine, a Roman priest of the third century, giving his witness along the way.
O perfect love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou for evermore dost join in one.
O perfect life, be thou their full assurance
of tender charity and steadfast faith,
of patient hope, and quiet brave endurance,
with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow,
grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife;
and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
that dawns upon eternal life and love
Wise guide Sunday 7th February
Sometimes we’re wise – sometimes otherwise. How discerning are we about the company we keep on our journey through this world? Whether or not we know where we’re at in life, we need wisdom with us.
The Archdeacon of Hertford, the Venerable Janet Mackenzie, reflects.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desires
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm.
Light for tomorrow, today Sunday 31st January
The Feast of Candlemas is a celebration of Jesus’ dedication in the Temple at Jerusalem, a story of thanksgiving for the wonder of new life, and relief that life has prevailed through past trauma. No one knows yet what the future will bring, but the life of this child kindles fresh hope. God will light tomorrow with today.
Christ whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light,
sun of righteousness arise,
triumph o’er the shades of night;
dayspring from on high, be near,
daystar, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by thee;
joyless is the day’s return,
till thy mercy’s beams I see,
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes, and warm my heart.
Visit then this soul of mine,
pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
fill me, radiancy divine,
scatter all my unbelief;
more and more thyself display,
shining to the perfect day.
Everyday miracles Sunday 24th January 2021
When Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana he makes a blessing over something ordinary but essential. How best might we honour everyday essentials – water, breath, hope, time, each other – as precious gifts? What place do we give to the commonplace?
Fr. David Pepper reflects.
Teach me, my God and King
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.
A man that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heav’n espy.
All may of Thee partake;
Nothing can be so mean,
Which with this tincture—“for Thy sake”—
Will not grow bright and clean.
A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th’ action fine.
This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.
Sensible bodies Sunday 17th January 2021
St. Paul calls the Church ‘the Body of Christ’ – an injunction against reckless negligence and a call to move wisely and graciously through this world. But where can we go for guidance on this?
The Vicar, Robert Thompson reflects.
O thou who camest from above
the pure celestial fire to impart,
kindle a flame of sacred love
on the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return
in humble prayer, and fervent praise.
Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up thy gift in me.
Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make my sacrifice complete.
Darkness into light Sunday 10th January 2021
At his baptism enters the dark waters of the River Jordan, fathoming the depths of our human condition. He is the light that keeps on shining. Our darkness gives the light a home. Fr. David Pepper reflects.
Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose, and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.
At Christmas God wills that you know his peace, ever close to us in the life of his Son. Enjoy the hope and comfort of the Christmas season with our online audio podcast.
Christmas connection Advent Sunday 2020
On Advent Sunday we prepare to receive God’s message to humanity, reaching out to us undaunted in his Son’s saving birth. God is determined to spend Christmas with his Loved Ones this year, as ever.