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Rev. Peter H Smith B.A.                        Our new Mission Statement:
“At St Peter’s we aim to be a place where God’s love works for all"

From the Vicar,
It always feel strange when writing this article for the February magazine. Why? Well, the last one was a double issue magazine (Dec / Jan) and all about Christmas etc; and all of a sudden I’m writing about upcoming Lent! It’s a fact of life that as one gets older, time seems to move faster (too fast!).

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 14th February, as Easter is early this year (the 1st April) and as you are aware, is a period of six weeks in which we are to reflect and consider how we can change our sinful ways in light of what Jesus did for us; that is, die on the cross for our transgressions. So I would urge you now to start thinking about what things you might change or give up (and I don’t mean chocolate or cakes!).

Before all that of course we have our Pilgrim course coming up on Tuesday 13th February at 7:30pm. This is an excellent course, easy to engage with and requires no expert knowledge, just a willingness to listen and maybe ask questions or offer opinions of your own. I can thoroughly recommend this course and this year we move into the vicarage for a more comfortable and convenient arrangement.

Ash Wednesday this year also coincides with St Valentine’s Day and I thought it would be timely to remind ourselves of the tradition behind the date. As sentimental as the thought of sending or receiving a Valentine card or flowers may be; I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news - the Saint we commemorate on 14th February has nothing to do with lovers!

Valentine of Terni was a 3rd century Bishop who was taken to Rome and martyred in 273AD. Valentine of Rome was a priest who was also martyred around the same time and the stories of the two Valentines became entangled. However, the truth is that both stories present us with the knowledge that living as a Christian in that era was very dangerous due to persecution and even death.

So why then, do we remember the date and custom with cards, flowers and words of love? Well, John Donne, a priest and poet wrote a love song for one Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James 1st for her marriage to Frederick ; which took place on…yes, you’ve guessed it…St Valentine’s Day (1632).

Yours in Christ,