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Benefice Lent groups – now in full swing!

‘Making connections’ – Benefice Lent groups

Our lent groups are now in full swing! The list of lent group hosts, venues and times is printed and available in our churches, there is still the opportunity to sign up and join a lent group. Or for more on where\when the groups are running contact Sue Pearson or phone 01823 400093.

Here is the information about what we are studying in our groups this year, written by lent course author – Lucy Vyvyan-Jones.

We are running a home-grown Lent course this year across the benefice, based on the dedications of all our churches. ‘Put in the picture’ is an apposite phrase: I think the theme must have come to me as I had spent some hours painting the ‘panels’ surrounding the map of the benefice which Marc drew for David and Becky’s leaving present.

On those panels were pictures relating to all the dedications of the parishes within the benefice: Peter feeding sheep, Mary reading to children, Mary Magdalene with a tray of tea and cake, Luke writing, Andrew fishing, John baptising, Archangel Michael with his bright sword, and All Saints looking a cheery, varied bunch.

They are fascinating as individuals, and added to that, as I have done the background reading, I have found the connections between them really revealing. It has been satisfying and engaging preparing the papers for the course. I hope other people will find following the course as interesting as I have found doing the research.

There are five papers in all:

  • St Mary, mother of Jesus, & St John the Baptist (Brompton Ralph & Tolland)
  • St Andrew and St Luke (Wiveliscombe & Langley)
  • St Mary Magdalene (Clatworthy)
  • All Saints and Archangel Michael (Chipstable & Raddington)
  • St Peter (Huish Champflower)

The papers themselves will look at what we learn about each of these people (in papers 1-3 & 5) in the bible, noting the different things we learn about them from the different writers of the New Testament. As the course develops, the network of connections between them all becomes clearer and richer. The All Saints’ part of that session will major on how Christianity reached and took root in our part of the world (centuries before St Augustine brought the Good News to Anglo-Saxon Kent).

The papers will lead the group through some bible readings, with points to discuss, some as a whole group, and some in pairs/threes. There will be a list of readings which participants could choose to read before each session, but the papers are structured so that you could participate without prior reading. The aim is to provide potential enrichment rather than homework! Groups may well approach their meetings in different ways – at some, there is a cup of tea /coffee, while others like to share a meal and talk.

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