St John the evangelist
in the heart
of the surrey hills
Holmbury St Mary and Wotton Parish News
Current Covid restrictions prevent the hand delivery of the parish magazine.
Hard copies can be obtained from the porches of both churches.
A digital copy can be obtained by emailing
Revd. Grundy and the Churchwardens have decided, reluctantly, to suspend services for a further period.
Services will recommence on March 21st
when we will be joined by
the Bishop of Dorking
Dr. Jo Wells.
In the meanwhile, online services can be found each week on the Services page.
for week beginning 22nd February
“Man shall not live by bread alone” Matthew 4 verse 4''
It’s fashionable these days to say that Lent isn’t about giving something up, it’s about taking something up. After all, what’s the point (the argument goes) in giving up sugar in coffee for a month ? Who gains by it ?
Whilst I understand exactly where this comes from, we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact is, when he was in the wilderness and used these words, Jesus was fasting. He was depriving himself of food. More than that, he was depriving himself of human companionship, and of shelter.
So what on earth is the point of all that ?
A chaplain at university that I knew, who was rarely seen without a pipe, always gave it up for Lent. When I asked him why, he simply explained ‘because I don’t want my bodily hungers to control me’. This seemed to make sense to me. If our bodies rule us, and reduce us to the level of helpless victims of our appetites, then this can lead to all sorts of problems. An appetite can unwittingly start to look more like an addiction.
Personally, I am making an effort to do something ‘positive’ and which I don’t find easy during this Lenten period. But if you are depriving yourself of something, even if it’s biscuits, for example, then this is far from meaningless. Keep at it ! It will make you stronger. After all, one of the fruit of the Spirit is ‘self-control’.
Teach us, Lord Jesus, to use this season of Lent that we may be drawn closer to you: that by your grace, we may turn from whatever in our lives is at variance with your will, and thereby strengthened to serve you more fully, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.