The vicar of St Mary’s Church, Fratton is inviting the community to celebrate ways to care for the city.
Over the past few days I’ve heard a number of people comparing what they have given up for Lent.
It would appear that the most popular items to give up are chocolates, alcohol, cakes and biscuits.
As I listen, I’m realising that the focus is often on the item we are giving up – almost as if we need to talk about it to compensate, so it is still part of our life.
Last weekend some young people from our church looked at Lent from a different perspective.
They considered what we really needed – what we could not give up.
This began with eating some freshly-baked bread and talking about our prayer for ‘our daily bread’.
We decided that daily bread meant the things you need each day to live.
The list was varied – from water and food, to life and our planet.
They also thought we needed other people for companionship and care, and to be able to provide our food, energy and so on.
We recognised the things we need, rather than the things we can give up.
This led us to talk about Jesus, who described himself as the Bread of Life, and how he feeds and nourishes us with life and love.
Next weekend, March 10 to 11, we will have another opportunity to look at what we need, and often take for granted, as we celebrate Mothering Sunday.
On the Saturday, St Mary’s will host a morning from 10am to midday, which will encourage us to love Portsmouth as part of our call to respect for and care for creation.
There will be a chance to climb the tower and look at the city – and then consider in various ways how we can care for the city of which we are a part.
We will be joined by Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid and other groups.
Then on the Sunday morning at 10am, we’ll continue to think about caring for the environment and others, as we give thanks for those who care for us, and in doing so how we and they reflect God’s love and care for us.
If you have not yet had the chance to give up something this Lent, why not come and look at life from a different perspective and consider how you can reflect God’s care and life?
St Mary’s Church is in Fratton Road, Fratton. Sunday services are 8am and 10am. Visit portseaparish.co.uk.