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March 2014

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When I first moved to Ickenham, I was delighted to receive ICN through my letter box, giving details about village events and, importantly for me, what was happening in Ickenham’s churches.  As an RAF wife, frequently moving house, my local church has always been the best place to find new friends and come to know the presence of God in my life.  As I was missing old friends, I joined a Bible study group and soon made a lot of new ones.  St Giles’ has been like a second family to me ever since.   

This month we enter the period of Lent - meaning spring; literally the lengthening of the days, a time for new life and new beginnings, but also a time for reflection.  My Grandmother used to have a massive ‘spring clean’, beating carpets, replacing winter curtains with summer ones etc.  Modern appliances mean we don’t need to do all that now, but Lent is a good time to reflect on how we can get rid of bad habits and take up new or better ones, like joining a Bible study group - a kind of spiritual ‘spring clean’.  Whatever you choose, make Lent a little different in preparation for the joy of Easter. 
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and finishes the day before Easter.  It marks the time when Jesus fasted in the desert, preparing himself for his Ministry.  On Ash Wednesday, March 5th this year, the church holds services to renew baptismal vows and, maybe, to receive the mark of a cross in ash on one's forehead, symbolically enabling us to reflect on our mortality and renew the promises made at our baptism.  There will be one very special day of celebration during Lent on March 30th, when St. Giles’ will have a combined Confirmation Service and Mothering Sunday celebration.  Come along; meet Bishop Peter and share with the candidates their special day, as they confirm the promises made at their baptisms.  Children will receive flowers to give to all the ladies in church, to say thank you to them for their nurturing roles as mothers, grandmothers, aunts.  May God bless you and be with you all.
Ann Ralph



With Christmas and the New Year now distant memories, what is the next notable period we should be thinking about?  LENT.  Starting on Ash Wednesday, 5th March this year, it doesn’t get the same build-up as Christmas in today’s commercial age, even though it leads up to Easter.  The modern approach to ‘giving up’ sweets, chocolate, wine or whatever, is a far cry from the original forty days of fasting, which commemorated the forty days Jesus spent without food in the wilderness under the Devil’s temptations (Luke 4).

However, if giving up something is the way Lent is usually observed now; why not give up something very valuable to most of us?  Namely TIME.  None of us seems to have much time to spare these days, but how about giving up a bit, expensive though it is?  Talk to a neighbour, help someone, anyone; the possibilities are endless.  You may not have to give up very much to make someone else’s Lent very much better.

We only have to look at the awful flooding throughout the country to see people with huge difficulties themselves, helping others in so many different ways, even if it is just commiseration that they too are in the same boat (maybe literally!)  Giving up our time will mean we can quietly go through Lent with a clear conscience.  To all those who ask, “What are YOU giving up for Lent?” simply say “Something very valuable to me.”
Roddy Munro



Baptisms at St Giles’
Feb        2nd    Otto Jeremy John Keyte;
                         Luca Florian Thomas Keyte

Cremations at Breakspear Crematorium
Jan       15th     Sylvia Howes, aged 75
Jan       15th     Margaret Chowne, aged 92 (followed by a service at St Giles')
Jan       17th     Margaret Rayner, aged 81
Jan       27th     Tom Morgan, aged 93 (following a service in St Giles')
Jan       29th     Lilian Burgess, aged 99
Feb      14th     Leonard Priest, aged 94 (followed by a service in St Giles')
Feb      14th     Jack West, aged 92 



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