Lent and Easter 2021

This year our Lenten journey is not about penitence or abstinence but about finding sustenance. Our theme is ‘Beauty for Ashes’. The ashes of this year we know about, but we have found beauty too along the way. We have come so far this year, but there is further yet to go. We hope that the following resources will help you to dig deeper and connect more as you journey through this period.

We have already supported each other in many ways and we will support each other this Lent in the sharing of the things that have helped us so far in our online Lent Calendar. If something has helped you, perhaps it will help someone else too. We have gathered our pictures, words, poems, thoughts, music and we share them each day with you as an encouragement on your journey; each day a simple offering from one of our number. It is another way of traveling together when we cannot physically be together. Our thoughts may not be wildly theological, but they will be our thoughts, and the journey will be our shared journey. Feel free to send us your offerings too of anything that has sustained you – from jokes to iambic pentameter!

This year, the Lent Making Group will be meeting on Zoom starting on Monday 22nd February for 5 weeks at 7.30pm. The sessions will last no longer than one hour. Please contact us for the log-in details if you would like to join.

If you are unable to make the live sessions or would like to complete the reflections and creative activities in your own time, you will find the material you need posted here after each session.

All our Holy Week and Easter in-person services are now listed in the Calendar and places can be booked by going to the Booking page. These services are

  • Monday 29th March, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Kidlington, BCP Evening Prayer
  • Tuesday 30th March, 7.30pm, St John’s, Iona Holy Communion
  • Wednesday 31st March, 11am, St Mary’s Kidlington, Holy Communion
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Kidlington, Garden of Gethsemane Service. This is a reflective service inside St Mary’s which will focus on Jesus’s time in the garden of Gethsemane. We will listen to Scripture, reflect and pray, and listen to some music/singing. A chance to be with Jesus in his suffering, and to pray for all those who suffer in different ways. The service will last no more than an hour and those who wish are welcome to stay for as little or as much as the Vigil as they would like to.
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 8pm until midnight, St Mary’s Kidlington, Vigil (bookings split into 30-minute slots)
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 9pm until midnight, St John’s Kidlington, Vigil, which will also be live-streamed (bookings split into 30-minute slots)
  • Good Friday 2nd April, 10am to 3pm, St Mary’s Kidlington, Good Friday at the Cross (bookings split into 30-minute slots) – probably in churchyard
  • Easter Sunday 4th April, 5.45am, St Mary’s Kidlington, Dawn Mass and Holy Fire
  • Easter Sunday 4th April, 3pm, St John’s, Easter Eucharist with Fire
  • Easter Sunday 4th April, 3pm, St Mary’s Hampton Poyle, Easter Eucharist
  • Tuesday 6th April, 11am, St John’s, Easter Eucharist
  • Wednesday 7th April, 11am, St Mary’s Kidlington, Easter Eucharist

Lent Address and Compline

During Lent we will be having a service of Compline using Zoom on Sundays and on Monday to Wednesday in Holy Week. This will start with an address by John Morris at 8.45pm, followed by Compline at 9pm. Contact us for Zoom login details. You can download the text of each talk after the service here.

Holy Week and Easter

There will be the following online services as well as our usual weekday Pause for Prayer and Sunday Eucharist:

  • Wednesday 31st March, 7.30pm, Stations of the Cross on Facebook
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 6pm, Agape meal on Zoom using the usual “coffee and chat” login details (just ask if you don’t know those). Please bring your own bread and wine/drink so that we can eat/drink together. A service sheet can be downloaded here.
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 9pm, Stripping of the Altar and Vigil on Facebook
  • Maundy Thursday 1st April, 9pm, the in-person Vigil in St John’s Lady Chapel will also be live-streamed on Facebook
  • Good Friday, 2nd April, 2pm, An Hour at the Cross on Facebook

On Tuesday 30th March, there will be NO online Iona Communion as there will be an in-person service at this time.

As usual our Facebook services can be viewed by using our Facebook Live link.

Ash Wednesday, 17th February

Pause for Prayer at 10am was a Service of the Word with readings and liturgy, including ashing. You can find it on Facebook or our Worship Online page. A service sheet can be downloaded here.

The Eucharist at 8pm was live on Zoom – a new way of doing liturgy for us. We were able to see each other so we were more aware of worshipping together. But we did not make a recording of it so you can’t join this service afterwards. The order of service is available here. We would be pleased to hear your reaction to this service – if you watched on Zoom or if you felt that it wasn’t for you. This will help us decide whether to use Zoom on other occasions, rather than Facebook.

Many people are asking deep questions of faith. “Come and See” is an invitation from our Bishops to local communities to take the first steps in exploring faith. So why not walk with us, as we walk with Jesus… and come and see.

Who is it for?

Come and See is an invitation to everyone, for everyone. It’s for anyone who feels adrift in this pandemic, whether or not they know anything about the Christian faith.

Lenten materials include daily reflections, weekly films and five chapters forming a “Contemplative Toolkit”. To find out more and to register just visit the diocesan website

Lent is a time when we, as individuals and as a community of disciples, remember who we are; creatures with a mortal body, who are living in a world which is also limited by time and mortality, but called to a pilgrimage, following Jesus who was crucified but raised beyond this earth to eternal life.

The words used when we are marked with ashes (often from the Palm crosses of the previous year) remind us of this calling and our Lenten pilgrimage. This year we cannot join together physically on Ash Wednesday to be marked as a community seeking to follow Christ, but we are still that community and can still reflect on the pilgrimage we are called to.

You can download a copy of the booklet for this pilgrimage here or collect one from any of our church porches. 

Download a book of fun recipes for kids to make during Lent here. There’s loads to choose from: gingerbread men, chocolate truffles, shortbread rounds, pretzels, apple blondies, pancakes, rocky road, peanut butter cheerio clusters, hot cross cookies, easy souffle cheesecake, resurrection rolls and chocolate Easter nests.

Why not take Lent outdoors this year with 40 super simple activities for all ages to explore. All the activities are nature-based with most of them needing no preparation or extra resources. You’ll find things to do in all weathers, activities to enjoy during different times of the day, & you can pick & choose which activities you wish to explore, when & where. Simply print out and cut up these cards. You could use the cards to create a game by hiding them every day for children to find, or keep the cards in a jar for them to pick one out, the choice is yours.