Lent, Holy Week and Easter


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways!

After a few short weeks of Ordinary time, we are about to enter another key season in the life of the Church:  the 40 Days of Lent.  Lent is a journey of self-reflection and spiritual growth that begins on Ash Wednesday and comes to a dramatic conclusion with the life-changing events of Holy Week.  Often thought of as a grim season, Lent - like - Spring has a positive aspect.  It can be a season of new life and fresh growth.

Ash Wednesday

Like any journey, it is good to prepare well before setting out on an open-eyed and open-hearted spiritual trek.  Our service for Ash Wednesday can help you do this.

Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes
Ash Wednesday - 26 February 2020
7.30pm at All Saints Church, Mears Ashby
The 4 Villages Community Choir

The service includes the opportunity - if you wish - to receive the mark of the cross on the forehead in ashes, as a sign of our penitence for the times when we have strayed from God's love and as a sign of our personal commitment to walk closely with Jesus each day of Lent.  It's a solemn and deeply moving moment that opens up the way to new life and fresh growth.  Do join us if you can.

Details of our Sunday Services through Lent can be found in our Benefice Calendar.  Do look out for our special service on Mothering Sunday - 10am on Sunday 22 March 2020 at All Saints Church, Mears Ashby.

Watch out for details of our Lent Conversations.

Holy Week and Easter

Our 40 Day journey through Lent comes to an exciting conclusion when we recall Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his daily visits to the temple, his Last Supper with his closest friends, his time of agonising prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane followed by his betrayal - trial - death on the Cross for us.  And then, our spirits lift as we celebrate with joy his bursting from the tomb - the gift of new life - on Easter Day.  Do come and join us at one or more of these services.  For those of you with young children, look out for our donkey on Palm Sunday and Messy Easter on Good Friday at Overstone Church.

Palm Sunday - Sunday 5 April 2020

9am Holy Communion
St. Leonard's Hardwick

Our Holy Communion for Palm Sunday will include Bible readings, hymns, prayers, a short reflection and the distribution of palm crosses.  All are welcome.

11am Family Communion with Palm Sunday Procession
St. Nicholas, Overstone

Our Palm Sunday service begins outside (weather permitting) with a procession down the lane into church.  Our donkey will lead us all the way to the front door of the church, as we celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey with the crowds shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David!" and strewing palm branches onto the ground at his feet.  Our celebrations in church conclude with us sharing in the meal that Jesus gave us.

Do come and join us if you can.

6pm Olivet to Calvary
All Saints Church, Mears Ashby

On the evening of Palm Sunday, members of our 4 Villages Community Choir and those from choirs across Wellingborough Deanery will come together in All Saints Church in Mears Ashby to sing Olivet to Calvary by John Henry Maunder.

Do come and listen to this moving account of Christ's journey to the Cross.

For more details, contact Tony Edwards on 01933 276433.

Evening Prayer in Holy Week

As we recall Jesus' daily visits to the temple to listen, teach and pray, so we gather in prayer each evening at 7.30pm.  On Monday and Tuesday evening, this is in the form a short service of Night Prayer (Compline); it's a beautiful and reflective way to draw the day to a close.  On Wednesday evening, we follow Jesus on the way of the cross with the help of music, readings and reflections.  Do come and join us when you can.

Monday 6 April 2020
7.30pm Compline at
St. Leonard's, Hardwick 

Tuesday 7 April 2020
7.30pm Compline at 
All Saints, Mears Ashby

Wednesday 8 April 2020
7.30pm Following the Way of the Cross

Maundy Thursday - Thursday 9 April 2020

7.30pm Agape Meal with Holy Communion
St. Nicholas, Overstone

As we think about Jesus and his disciples sharing in a last supper together in the upper room, we share in a simple meal of bread and cheese, and grapes.  As the meal draws to a close we remember what Jesus did in its closing stages - he gave us the bread and the wine as his body and blood.  Having shared in communion, we move on to a time of prayer and reflection in a garden space.  Waiting with Jesus in the garden, we light candles and place them on a large wooden cross.

It will be a highly moving occasion.  If you can, do come and join us.

Good Friday - Friday 10 April 2020

Messy Easter
10am St. Nicholas, Overstone

Come as a family and explore the Holy Week adventures of Jesus and his Friends with its exciting conclusion on Easter morning - Surprise!  Jesus is risen!  Have fun joining in our creative craft and thoughtful prayer activities, and listen again to the Easter Story as it is told through a series of objects.  I wonder if you can guess what's inside the eggs? 

Sample our hot cross buns.  And, take away a chocolate egg.

Do come and join in the celebrations!

Soup Lunch
12.30pm Hardwick Village Hall

Come and join us for a simple yet very tasty lunch of homemade soup and bread rolls on Good Friday.  It is a lovely way to come together as a church family before spending an hour before the Cross.

An Hour before the Cross
2pm St. Leonard's, Hardwick

It does what is says. It's an hour long service when we listen to the events of Good Friday and reflect on how Jesus' death touches our lives and shapes who we are.  It includes well-known and loved Good Friday hymns.

It is a moving and memorable experience.

Easter Day - Sunday 12 April 2020

On Easter Morning, across the benefice we will celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen!  Alleluia!  At Sywell, this includes an Easter egg hunt for the children after the service.  All are welcome at our services.  Do come and celebrate the greatest gift of all - Jesus' invitation of life in all its fullness for everyone (John 10:10).

Easter Communions:

8am - St. Leonard's, Hardwick
9.30am - All Saints, Mears Ashby
11am - St. Peter & St. Paul, Sywell
followed by Easter Egg Hunt

If you have any questions on our Lent, Holy Week and Easter services, please contact our Vicar - Revd Katrina.

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