Letter from our Vicar

Letter from our Team of Clergy and Readers - March 2019 (Continued from Home Page)

....I’ve never quite got what is so appealing about American or Canadian pancakes. Whilst they may be served at any time of the day with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, peanut butter, or bacon, or ham, for many North Americans they represent the perfect breakfast. It would seem that pancakes are enjoyed world-wide, with each country having its own recipe both for making them, and what goes with them.

Historically, the Ancient Greeks made pancakes called “tagÄ“nias”, meaning “frying pan”, and they can be traced back to some poetical writings in the 5th century BC. In Britain pancakes are associated with Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday heralds the coming of Lent, which begins on the following day, Ash Wednesday. Cooking pancakes became a convenient means of using up all the perishable ingredients before the fasting period of Lent began.

Lent, of course, is an important season in the Church’s calendar, and is a time of reflection that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. During Lent, many Christians fast or give up certain things - such as smoking, watching TV, swearing, or food and drink, such as sweets, chocolate, or coffee -  in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days. Some Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional, or praying through a Lenten calendar, to draw themselves nearer to God. The season of Lent culminates with Palm Sunday and Holy Week, marking the death, burial, and ultimately the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus (but probably more of that next month!).

As well as pancakes and Lent, March also brings with it the promise of Spring. Clocks will go forward giving us lighter and longer evenings, there will be, hopefully, spells of sunshine giving us hope that better weather is on its way, and the trees and shrubs will begin to show signs of bursting into life once again. All of which should make us feel good as we turn our backs on the Winter and welcome in the Spring.

So, enjoy your pancakes (or, if you have already had them, I hope you enjoyed your pancakes!), and whatever you choose to do during Lent, may you be richly blessed during this time of reflection and preparation as Spring, and more importantly Easter, beckon.

-Mike Campbell.