'A Long Lent'


A message from Dean Stephen, January 2021

So, here we go again. It is fair to say that the cathedral team were expecting a further lockdown although we are all very aware of the challenges this places on movement, home life, those on furlough and those still working. I have described this period perhaps as a ‘long Lent’, as we approach the Spring and the hope of vaccination. The purpose of Lent is a time of refreshment, investment and reflection, and although it can feel as if we’ve had too much of that of late, there is an obvious link with the 40 days Jesus spent preparing himself for his public ministry. We too need to prepare ourselves for better days when our restrictions can be lifted and when people cease falling ill.

Of course at the end of Lent, we celebrate the resurrection. Out of death comes life for us all. My focus now is on that confident hope. You will have noticed that I have found great comfort in the words of the hymns we are unable to sing together. Here is another to guide us on our way again.

1 There's a wideness in God's mercy,
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in his justice
which is more than liberty.

2 There is no place where earth's sorrows
are more keenly felt than heaven:
there is no place where earth's failings
have such gracious judgement given.

3 There is plentiful redemption
through the blood that Christ has shed;
there is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the head.

4 For the love of God is broader
than the measure of our mind;
and the heart of the eternal
is most wonderfully kind.

5 If our love were but more simple,
we should take him at his word;
and our lives would be illumined,
by the glory of the Lord.

Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)

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