People across South Wales are invited to focus on evangelism in a series of talks throughout Lent.
The Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne, will be giving 15 talks over five weeks during services in three different churches looking at how Christians can share their faith.
The season of Lent begins tomorrow – Ash Wednesday – and continues to Easter Day.
Each service will also include time for questions and discussion with Bishop David and others who specialise in evangelism.
This is the eighth year Bishop David has toured Llandaff Diocese to give talks during Lent. The services will take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night for five weeks from March 7.
Bishop David says, “Following an excellent symposium on evangelism last May we explored five distinct themes which would help us build up Christ’s body, the Church and serve the community.
“Lent presents us with a chance to take stock and deepen our faith and ministry, so for each week in Lent I will tour the diocese speaking on and discussing these themes.”
The services will be held at St Margaret, Aberaman (Tuesdays), St Isan, Llanishen, Cardiff (Wednesdays) and St Mary, Nolton, Bridgend (Thursdays). They all begin at 7.30pm and include refreshments.
Lent – your starter for 10
1. Lent lasts 40 days, counting from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day (not including Sundays) calling to mind the 40 days Jesus withdrew to the Judean Wilderness to prepare himself for his ministry and reflect on his priorities.
2. Christians similarly use Lent to home in on the things that really matter in their faith and lives, freeing themselves from clutter and distractions.
3. Modelling themselves on Jesus who fasted for forty days in the wilderness, Christians aim to make Lent a time of abstinence, trimming their diet or giving up other luxuries or even essentials. Money saved is often donated to good causes.
4. In medieval times, Lent coincided with the final days of the Winter when food stocks were low, so eating less for spiritual reasons had the added benefit of rationing food, eking it out until the spring.
5. The tradition of having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday , the day before Lent, arose out of using up stocks of eggs and milk and honey prior to the period of abstinence.
6. The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the tradition of making your confession (shrive means to confess) before the start of Lent, so you would begin the period with a clean slate.
7.The name Ash Wednesday comes from that day’s special service, when those attending church receive the mark of the cross in ash on their foreheads, with the minister saying the words ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.’ Traditionally the ash is made from burning palm crosses from the previous year, as a sort of continuity, one Lent ends, another begins.
8. In the Early Church the season of Lent, with its penitence and fasting, was primarily kept by those preparing for baptism on Easter Eve, when symbolically by baptism they were buried with Christ to be raised to new life on Easter Day.
9. During Lent Christians also reflect on the journey Christ made through his ministry, starting in sunny Galilee and culminating in an angst-ridden Jerusalem.
10. The fourth Sunday in Lent (mid Lent) was nicknamed Refreshment Sunday, when those fasting took some sustenance. The Epistle for that day alluded to the Church being like a mother, probably giving rise to the practice of folk giving thanks for their own mothers on that day, and taking a rare holiday to visit them on what became popularly known as Mothering Sunday.