Friday 12th September an encouraging number of Stow Longa residents and friends gathered at the church of St Botolph for a splendid paella and wine evening to elect the first ever committee for the “Friends of St Botolph’s”. The new committee includes long-standing residents and a widespread age range who are keen to explore the possible future uses of the building and fundraising activities to support the church. Watch this space, as they say!
What an absolutely marvellous concert for a Spring afternoon.
Both Kate & Stephen were on excellent form.
Well done to you both, bring on the next one!!
Journeying with Jesus in Holy Week
The week leading up to Easter is unique and very special in the Christian calendar. It starts with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and culminates with what became known as the ‘Sacred Triduum’ of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday that lead into Easter Day, the great feast of the Resurrection and most important event of the Christian year. In addition to other services and events we offer a journey with Jesus through four successive evening services. Each service stands alone but the series marks the connected narrative.
There are Palm Sunday early services at 9.30 am at both Spaldwick and Tilbrook, and then at 10.45 at Kimbolton the service begins on Castle Green with a reading of the gospel account before we process along the High Street to church for the rest of the service.
The sequence of evening services begins on Wednesday evening at Tilbrook (7.30 pm) where we join Jesus in his final steps on earth as we observe the traditional Stations of the Cross, moving around the church to the fourteen representations of events on the journey, and pausing for prayer at each station.
Thursday evening (7.30) we move to Kimbolton for the Maundy Eucharist celebrating that momentous act of sacrifice in the institution of the Lords Supper, the Eucharist, the Mass, the Communion—whatever we choose to call it—and his demonstration of humility as Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. The mood changes as we recall the arrest of Jesus, and the altar is stripped of decoration and ornament. “Could you not watch with me one brief hour?” Jesus asks his disciples as he prays passionately on the mountain; and we are invited to stay for as long as we wish in the garden with Jesus in the North Chapel.
Good Friday evening (7.30) we continue the journey with the Procalamation of the Cross which will this year be at Easton Church. This is a moving occasion to reflect on the power of the cross and its meaning for us all. The service includes the opportunity for individuals to come forward and touch, kiss, or simply reverence the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice.
The Easter Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter at Stow Longa on Holy Saturday marks the turning point as we pass through the darkness of the death of Jesus to the glorious light of his resurrection. With much more to it than the Midnight Mass of Christmas we meet for the vigil at 11.30 pm and wait on the Lord until the lighting of the new fire, the blessing of the Paschal Candle and the launch of Easter jubilation!
As part of his visit to our deanery, we were privileged to have Stephen, Bishop of Ely with us for two parts of the day on Wednesday 5th March 2014.
In the morning he dropped in on the “9.37” toddler group who had agreed to meet later in the morning than usual to meet the Bishop. Despite the changed time we had a bumper attendance, including three children who had been baptised at the weekend – two at Kimbolton and one at Covington.
After a short visit to the Kimbolton Primary Academy the afternoon was spent in the Catworth Group. Bishop Stephen was back with us for an evening service of Eucharist with Ashing on this Ash Wednesday. Over 60 people attended, with most of our group of seven churches represented as well as visitors from elsewhere in the deanery. It was a very musical and moving occasion, supported by the Benefice Choir.
As from today, Kimbolton, Tilbrook, Covington and Stow Longa welcome Spaldwick, Easton and Barham and Woolley into the new united benefice that will probably take the title of “South Leightonstone.”
The official licensing of Revd Stephen Bowring as Priest-in-charge of the new arrangement will take place in Spaldwick Church at 4.00 pm on Sunday 16th Feb 2014. All welcome!