From The Rector - March 2020

Dear Friends,

During Lent, churches will journey through 'the stations of the Cross'. The fourteen stations, fifteen if you include the resurrection, help us each year to reflect upon Jesus' betrayal, his suffering, death and eventual rising. Across these stations we encounter Jesus in different ways and I'd like to focus on one in particular; 'Veronica wipes the face of Jesus'.

Who is Veronica? What purpose does the encounter serve?

In Latin, Veronica means: 'true image or honest image', which is a good starting point when we consider that Veronica, out of compassion for Him, wipes the face of Jesus with her veil and subsequently the image of Jesus' blood and sweat stained face was imprinted upon it; creating what could be seen as a 'true' or 'honest image' both of herself and Jesus as well. The meanings behind the story are far reaching and there exists a strong Lenten lesson in this single station.

Veronica symbolises for us the true reaction. She ignored all the nastiness, the back-chat and just got on with the job....her business was simply to demonstrate love and compassion.

As we try to follow the way of the Cross this Lent, let us try to apply the story of Veronica's encounter with Jesus to our everyday lives. It is we who are expected by Jesus to be the 'Veronicas', the true, honest and lasting images of what it is to be human and to be driven by the love of God that Jesus expresses on his way to the Cross.

To close, I'm sure you're aware that my family and I will be leaving the Benefice, with my final service on Easter Sunday after presenting a candidate for Baptism and Confirmation in the Cathedral at the dawn service.

We pray that you will support us with your love and prayer during this time.

Yours in Christ, Richard