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Eternal spring

February is usually the coldest month of the year. Yet, already gorse, snowdrops and coltsfoot, willow and hazel catkins, and the songs of thrush and blackbird, show that the earth is waking up and spring is coming soon. And, as the 19 C poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) wrote, “nothing

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Seeds of Prayer – January 2021

Hope for the Countryside’s ‘Seeds of Prayer’ for January 2021 is available to read, download and print here.  This is a new location for the monthly prayer guide. Future issues will appear here, where issues from November 2020 can also be viewed. The next Hope for the Countryside online prayer

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Hope, expectation, preparation

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Advent is a season of hope, expectation and preparation, for both the celebration of Jesus’ first coming in humility and His second coming in glory. The Latin adventus translates the Greek parousia, which has the sense of ‘arriving to be present’. Of the

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hanukkah, judaism, candlestick

Light, liberation, dedication

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, or the ‘Feast of Dedication’, started at sunset yesterday and continues for eight days, until 18 December. Christmas  traditionally runs for twelve days concluding with the feast of Epiphany on 6 January. Both festivals take place close to each other in the middle of winter

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The eleventh hour

Just over six years ago, I was praying in a garden in Italy one morning and the phrase, ‘it’s the eleventh hour’, came quite suddenly to me. It is not often that I get a strong impression that the Lord is saying something, but this was one of them. My

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Little Gidding Church

Little Gidding (2)

In my post earlier today, I described how Little Gidding, the home of the Ferrar family in the 17C, remains a powerful symbol and inspiration to those of us seeking to live a life of prayer, community and service in our own time. However, although scholars of English church history

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