Dear Friend of St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate,
I pray that you are keeping well and safe. We once again find ourselves standing at the threshold of Lent, a time of reflection associated with Christ’s forty days in the wilderness.
For many, the last 12 months will have felt like a wilderness. It has been a time of uncertainty, fear and anxiety. For many it has been a time of loss and bereavement. For many, it has been a time to ask, ‘where is God in all of this suffering?’. The more valid question, I would argue, is ‘how do I continue to find God in all of this suffering?’ Our theme for Lent at St Botolph’s this year is Searching for Certainty. In our services and sermons, we will explore the certainty of God and our relationship with Him, particularly in times of suffering and uncertainty.
The church will, of course, continue to be open from Monday to Thursday each week for private prayer. We will hold a Said Mass each Tuesday and Thursday at 1.10pm, and our Choral Mass each Wednesday at 1.10pm. All our services will be livestreamed via our website, and will also be available to watch afterwards. If you are unable to attend church I would encourage you to tune in, particularly during Lent.
The season of Lent begins with the liturgy of Ash Wednesday. At each of our Masses at 8.10am, 1.10pm and 5.10pm this Wednesday there will be Imposition of Ashes. If you are unable to make any of the service times, and would like ashing, please ask at the back of church anytime on Wednesday and I will perform the ritual for you.
Lent collections and alms in Lent will once again go towards the support of our Priest Missioner, Fr Andrew Williams, at our partner church in Tottenham Hale. St Francis at the Engine Room, the first purpose-built church in the Diocese of London for 40 years, serves a community development of 16,000 people in Hale Village. St Botolph’s has been in partnership with this new church for the past eight years.
With God’s love for a blessed and spiritually fulfilling Lent,
Fr David Armstrong