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inspire March 2012

What does Jesus have against chocolate? The days are getting longer, and the sun has some real warmth to it. Buds and shoots are appearing everywhere and trees have blossomed. It can mean only one thing: spring is in the air. Winter is gone, summer is on the way, and life is good. So how do many Christians celebrate this feel-good time of year? By talking about self-denial and sacrifice. Lent (literally the “lengthening of days”) is the six weeks that leads up to Easter. It’s the period of the year when Christians are encouraged practically to put God first by giving something up, which for many people means... going without chocolate. Radical, I’m sure you’ll agree (apparently, it really is for some people!). It rather raises the question, what does Jesus have against chocolate? Nothing at all! Had it been available in first-century Israel no doubt Jesus would have liked it as much as the rest of us. So what’s this all about then? Well, while Jesus may not have been against naughty sugary delights, the origins of giving something up for Lent do have to do with him. For many Christians, Lent is a time to think about the events that lead up to Easter – Jesus choosing a path of suffering and sacrifice, one that eventually led to his death on a Roman cross. But why did he do it? Well that’s something we’ll be thinking about here at St. Richard’s in the run up to Easter. Over three evenings we’ll be watching ‘The Passion’, the BBC’s ambitious dramatisation of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem. On each evening we'll watch an episode and then have time together to discuss the meaning of the events we've seen. Want a taster? For a video trailer and more information go to: www.strichardshanworth.org/thepassion One of the things we’ll discover is that, just as in spring when nature overcomes the death of a harsh winter once again to burst into life, out of Jesus’ death and resurrection comes an offer of spiritual life for all – wrongs washed away, hurts healed, a broken relationship restored. Why did Jesus choose a path of suffering and sacrifice? For life in all its fullness, and that’s got to be something worth thinking about.

Thursdays 22nd, 29th March and 5th April, 7:30 pm in St. Richard’s Church


If you’re looking for a high quality pre-school playgroup, where every child matters, then look no further than St. Richard’s Playgroup. We offer a safe, caring and stimulating environment. Through creative play children are encouraged to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes which will help them to learn and to succeed throughout their lives. As a Church of England pre-school the Playgroup is rooted in Christian principles which provide an excellent foundation for learning. But the Playgroup also values diversity and equality, has an open admissions policy and is committed to families of all faiths and none. In 2011 Ofsted rated the Playgroup “Good” overall and “Outstanding” in five categories. For more information call 07986 784836 or go to: www.strichardshanworth.org/playgroup

On Your Marks... What’s the best way of starting your school summer holiday? It has to be St. Richard’s children’s Holiday Club. This year’s club will take place from Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th July. As a way of joining in with the spirit of the London Olympics it will have a sporting theme (though you don’t need to be sporty to come!).

Dates For Your Diary Some of the key social events for 2012 are listed below:

Although the details are still being worked out, we are able to cater for children of all ages, offering a fun-packed week and can guarantee a time they’ll never forget.

Quiz Night Saturday March 24th, 7:30 pm

Application forms will be available in June, and when ready details of this year’s event will be posted at:

Garden Party Saturday June 23rd, 2 pm

www.strichardshanworth.org/holidayclub

Christmas Bazaar Saturday November 24th, 2 pm Do get in touch by phone or email if you’d like any more information.

tel 020 8898 0241

Fun Music Crafts Games Outings Doughnuts Olympic Nick “A fantas tic week for child ren to have fun !” A Mu m

For any more information about St. Richard’s Church (including baptisms and weddings), or anything in this issue of inspire, please contact our vicar, Craig Holmes, who will be happy to help.

St. Richard’s Church, Forge Lane, Hanworth, TW13 6UN email office@strichardshanworth.org web www.strichardshanworth.org


Inspire - Mar 2012