Thoughts & Prayers

Archbishop Justin Welby's Prayer for Lent


Loving God,

We commit this coming season of Lent to you

and ask you to show us what we need to turn away from

and what we need to turn towards.

Shine your loving light in those dark parts of our hearts,

and bring new life, new hope and new possibilities;

Help us to walk more closely with Jesus.

To know that we are deeply loved and to share his love with others.


Refection for Second Sunday of Lent


There is music … and then there is music. 

There are paintings … and then there are paintings. 

Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ from the ‘Four Seasons’ is beautiful, full of melody and intricate harmonies; it is aesthetically pleasing. 

But Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ from the ‘Enigma Variations’ stirs my soul. I can see rolling, English hills covered in hues of green and brown; a lazy sun rising in a blue sky with wisps of high, cirrus clouds; larks singing as they rise; a traditional village nestled in the valley. 

Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, with her enigmatic smile, the mystery of who she is, is a great painting. 

Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’, like an Orthodox icon, draws me into the suffering of Christ on the cross, the mystery of God’s love … I could spend hours simply gazing at this picture, meditating on it, communing with God. 

The Psalmist wrote: 

‘One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.’ 

‘… to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord …’ This is more than just looking, more than just aesthetic appreciation. It involves meditation, communion, standing in awe; as Wesley put it, to be ‘Lost in wonder, love and praise’ 

Open our eyes, Lord, 

We want to see Jesus, 

To reach out and touch Him 

And say that we love Him. 

Open our ears, Lord, 

And help us to listen. 

Open our eyes, Lord, 

We want to see Jesus. 

Rev Phil