Hello Spring – Greetings from our DP!
Spring Letter 2023
Dear Fellow Members
I am writing this on the first day of meteorological spring. We have been enjoying some beautiful spring-like weather and it’s lovely to see the gardens beginning to come to life again.
We are also at the beginning of Lent. The name ‘Lent’ comes from the Old English ‘lencten’ for spring when days are becoming longer. Since the exact beginning of Lent fits in with the lunar calendar dating of Easter, it can fall as early as 7 February or as late as 10 March. In the first case Easter would fall on 25 March, in the second 25 April. That fluctuation of about a month in dates makes a big difference to our sense of when spring has actually started. All these dates can leave us feeling a little confused, especially when we factor in that the Spring Equinox will be on 20 March this year, but British Summer Time doesn’t begin until 26 March. Lent can feel quite a wintry period in some years and quite springlike in others.
Lent is an opportunity to contemplate what our Lord really did for us on the Cross. It is a time of reflection, self-sacrifice, self-denial, and repentance. It is an opportunity to grow closer to God, to remember Jesus’ life and death, and to focus more on him and less on ourselves, and our busy lives.
Some of us consider undertaking something difficult, such as giving to charity, serving the poor, abstaining from certain foods, staying away from social media, or memorising Scripture. Ideally this should feel like a sacrifice and not merely a religious duty. It is a time to help us to get to know our Lord better. Also, in the middle of this time we celebrate Mothering Sunday. A time to give thanks not only for our own mothers but for mother church.
We also celebrate Lady Day, or the Feast of the Annunciation in March, and our Festival Service on 12 March is always arranged with Lady Day in mind. We are delighted that our Connor Diocesan Chaplain, Ven. Dr Stephen McBride has been appointed as All-Ireland MU Chaplain, and he has kindly agreed to be our preacher this year. We also will be having the commissioning of our new Trustee Board and Executive Committee at that service. I do hope you will be able to join us in St Anne’s Cathedral for this special occasion.
With my love,