A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson – Priest-in-Charge at St John the Baptist Church, Northwood

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 23rd February 2013, 21:21

It’s official – winter is over and spring is here: the Vernal Equinox, which marks the official beginning of spring, will occur on March 20 this year so it must be true! Hmmm, am I that confident and sure? With us moving in the snow only a few weeks ago I am definitely not putting my winter clothes and boots away just yet, especially after the crazy weather we have had so far this year!!! However what I can confidently say is that this season is always linked with new life and new beginnings – new lambs in the fields and colour starts returning to our gardens as flowers begin to appear. And most importantly for me, I start my first full month as the Priest-in-Charge of Northwood, Gurnard and Cowes St Faith! With the new job has been a move from the mainland and with that comes many new things – new people to meet, a new place to live and places to learn how to get to (will we ever understand the Newport one way system!?!), new nurseries for the children, new friends to make….the list is endless! This month also sees the continuation of Lent until right at the end when we celebrate the joyous season of Easter – another time for a new beginning……of life with the risen Christ!!!

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We have been running around rather frantically with our move, but since the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday I have been trying to stop and give myself some time and space to get off the crazy ride of normal life and spend more time just being with God and I will be continuing this all this month. In a world of immediacy – when we get frustrated within minutes if you cannot find the answer on the computer, get through to the right person on the telephone line, or know what is going on in a sports game or news bulletin at any time of the day or night, sitting, waiting and reflecting for 40 DAYS seems like an impossible task to do – we are too busy, we need to finish our list of things to do, we cannot sit and relax……But whether we like it or not, that is what Christians are encouraged to do during Lent – to pause and look, to stop making excuses, start looking at our own lives and see where we can improve them and most importantly spend some quality time with God, so that when Easter arrives we can start afresh.
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I am not someone who ‘gives up’ during Lent; I am in the ‘taking up’ camp. And if you find giving up your precious chocolate or biscuits too much, don’t feel bad – join my band of taking up something instead: take up painting, start reading more or even do something more community-based like helping with a local charity or volunteering with a local organisation. Whatever you do this Lent, do it with Jesus in mind. Do as he would do, help others less off than you, enjoy creation, spend time with family and friends or just be more neighbourly. Jesus said ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ – just imagine how much we all could achieve if we all followed that and helped someone for an hour each week….

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So this Lent get and do those things you never get round to doing. God asks us to stop and reflect: look at our lives as well as making extra time for Him. Remember He always has time for us and believes in us – whether or not we believe in Him! Have a productive Lent and I look forward to seeing you all refreshed and ready for the great season that is spring.
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Wishing you all a healthy, happy and successful month!
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Rev’d Amanda Collinson

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