Lent, Holy Week and Easter

Lent, Holy Week and Easter

There's a lot happening this Lent and Holy Week at Holy Trinity. Find out about our activities and events.

 Lent 2024 Facebook Cover2

If we as Christians claim to follow Jesus yet fail to hear the cries of the oppressed and refuse to act, we’re not being Christ-like at all.
Jesus boldly spoke out against inequality, helped the oppressed, condemned the oppressor, and embraced the alienated. Social Justice wasn’t a side-project for Jesus. It wasn’t a moral hobby, a ministry strategy, or a means of gaining populist support. Instead, it was a central part of his message. It isn’t a minor add-on to the gospel; it is a central part of the gospel!
From our privileged positions many of us are protected from the worst effects of poverty. But there is significant need at a local, national, and international level. Need is everywhere, but we can make a difference. We can respond.

This Lent we aim to raise awareness and support three focussed, achievable targets at a local, national and international level.

  • Local Inspire Bucks, providing birthday and Christmas presents, mentoring, education grants and support for local children in crisis.
  • National St Matthew’s, Burnley, providing disadvantaged families with the opportunity for a summer day out.
  • International Christian Aid, addressing poverty and enabling people of all faiths and none to stand up for dignity, equality and justice.

Inspire Bucks

InspireBucks.jpegInspire Bucks is a Buckinghamshire based charity formed in 2021 after several years of running a successful county-wide Christmas Gift campaign for disadvantaged children.

Now they provide mentoring for children, help for care leavers, a helping hand with educational needs that is additional to their mainstream learning experiences, and support where it’s needed for families in crisis whom the council are supporting.

Can we help Bucks care leavers? Care Leavers are young adults aged 18-25 years old who spent their 16th Birthday in the care system. For them, turning 18 isn't just a significant birthday, it is the official end of legal care. One third of Care Leavers call it the 'Care Cliff' where the relationship to everything that has supported them changes.

Inspire Bucks help these young adults to fund anything which will improve the quality of their life. £1000 would support four Care Leavers with grants to help them in their new home with anything they need such as fridge/freezer, driving lessons or therapy sessions.

St Matthew’s Church, Burnley

SMB.jpegWe know there is deprivation in our own parish, which we seek to address. But it is not on the same scale as the deprivation that families face in places like Burnley, in Lancashire. The area around St Matthew’s Burnley is in the top 1% of the most deprived neighbourhoods in England (61 out of 32,844). Holy Trinity, Prestwood sits in the top 5% of the least deprived neighbourhoods in England (31,424 out of 32,844).

Can we really make a difference for the community of St Matthew’s Burnley? Since we started to support them the St Matthew's Church Day Out summer trip has become over-subscribed, and this year they hope to have over 100 people.

We can support their community life by providing the PCC of St Matthew’s with the means to meet the increased need for the Church Day Out. This will help strengthen friendships, build up community and create opportunities for faith development (and also be fun!).

Christian Aid—Act on Poverty

ChristianAid.jpegEveryone is equal in the sight of God. Yet we live in a world where poverty still persists. Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of their dignity and lets injustice thrive.

For over 70 years, Christian Aid has been standing with the poorest of our neighbours. They work in 37 countries, with people of all faiths and none, to stand up for dignity, equality and justice. They strive to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.

Join in our Christian Aid Lent Course Act on Poverty. It enables us to gain a deeper understanding of poverty, local and global and offer inspiration for actions we can take to tackle poverty together.

Christian Aid works for the long term. For instance, they are still active in the aftermath of the Turkey-Syria earthquake. They have reached more than 105,500 people badly impacted by the earthquake, including many who saw their homes destroyed or badly damaged. They aim to reach almost 289,500 more people by the time their projects in the area are complete.

How to be involved

Pray—Please hold the appeal and the three strands in your own prayers. Here are some prayer resources.
Write—You can send a express thanks, solidarity and support to the trustees and staff at Inspire Bucks, Fr Alex Frost and the people of St Matthews Burnley, or Christian Aid through their online presence or you can pass it to us.
Share—Ask your friends if they would like to support this appeal and share our posts on Social Media.
Discuss—Let’s think about how we might make connections with all these different peoples with equal needs that we want to support. What lasting connections could we make? How can we celebrate our common share in the Body of Christ? What are your ideas?

 

How to donate

Donate securely now:

Write a cheque payable to Holy Trinity, Prestwood but clearly marked “Lent Appeal 2024” on the back and give to:

One of the clergy
The Church Treasurer
The Church Office at 134, Wycombe Road, Prestwood, HP16 0HJ

 

Allocation of funds

  1. The first £3,000 raised will be distributed in equal shares to the three charitable organisations.
  2. If we surpass our initial £3,000 target, funds will be distributed in equal shares to the three charitable organisations for these purposes or to further their charitable aims at their discretion.

Lent Appeal Prayer Resources

For our Lent Course this year, we will be following Christian Aid's Act on Poverty course. The course explores six themes: Prophetic, Broken, Generous, Located, Hopeful, and Together, and uses videos and interviews, alongside bible study and discussion. 

We will be hosting two sessons, both on a Wednesday:

Sessions start on Wednesday 21st February, ending with a joint session on Wednesday 27th March - details to follow.

If you would be interested in taking part, or want some more information, please speak to Deiniol, Nigel or Kayleigh. 

Starting on Sunday 19 February, we shall be having a short service of Compline (Night Prayer) online at 6pm each Sunday throughout Lent. It’s a lovely opportunity to be still and reflect on the day, and to look forward and prepare for Holy Week. Do join us - the link to the livestream is either https://www.htprestwood.org.uk/online or our usual Facebook channel https://www.facebook.com/htprestwood/live.

Ash Wednesday is on February 14th. There will be two services, both at Holy Trinity, Prestwood.

  • 10.30am—Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes. 
  • 6.00pm—Reflective Contemplative Service of Words and Music with Imposition of Ashes.

We encourage everyone to mark this important day in the church's calendar, the start of Lent, by coming to one of these services where our foreheads will be marked by the sign of the cross in ash. This reminds us of our mortality, our dependence on God for forgiveness and reconciliation and prepares us for a good Lent.

We can easily feel overwhelmed by all the turmoil, unrest and suffering in the world. When Jesus' followers felt similarly overwhelmed, many turned away. But some, like Peter, had eyes to see who and what Jesus really was: they remained, saying "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). Peter was echoing the sentiment of the Psalmist 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear' (Psalm 46:1-2). 

Our Lent appeal is about doing what we can to help others: locally, nationally and internationally. Like anything we do in faith it needs to be grounded in prayer, otherwise fear or other worldly concerns might take us off-course. Bishop Paul Bayes put it well: 

"The Church is not just a social work agency; it is not just a bunch of people who do good. It is a bunch of people who should be dependent on God and therefore, more than anything else, what the Church should do is pray ... We have to be in line with God's heart and the only way we are going to learn that is if we pray, if we listen to God and if, when we have heard Him, we do what He said."

Getting in line with the heart of God

Prayer calls upon God's Holy Spirit to act in the world. Prayer also draws us closer to the will of God: as we pray ever more deeply, we cannot help but be infused with God's goodness, God's openness of heart and God's love for all people. 

This Lent: please pray; please give; and then also consider in what ways God is your 'refuge and strength' - because out of that place of safety and strength will come your call to 'do what He said'. The following prayers and web links may help you in that journey. 

For the homeless

God of compassion,
your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus,
whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable
and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:
we hold before you those who are homeless and cold,
without shelter from wind or rain.
Draw near and comfort them in spirit
and bless those who work to provide them
with shelter, food and friendship.
We ask this in Jesus' name.
Amen.

[Church of England]

For those living in poverty in our land

Loving God,
Thank you for your love and kindness.
You are a God of mercy, justice, and compassion,
and yet we acknowledge that these qualities are not
always reflected in our lives, in our community, and in our society.
Help us to respond to suffering, poverty, and hunger
in ways that usher in your Kingdom:
to see people as you see them,
to share your loving-kindness in the darkest situations,
to challenge injustices that trap people in poverty,
to build a future that sets people free,
so that everyone can share in the fullness of life
that Christ offers to us all.
Amen.

[The Trussell Trust]

For ourselves

Loving God, you make us in your image.
Forgive us when we fail to see your image in each other,
when we give in to greed and indifference
when we do not question the systems that are life-denying.
As we are made in your image, let us live in your image
and be Christ-like in service, endurance and love.
Amen.

[Christian Aid]

You may also find the following helpful:

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

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