A Thought for February 2014
By the Bishop of Ramsbury, Dr Ed Condry
Here it comes. Lent will soon be with us.
What will it be this year? Cake? Chocolate? I’m too easily tempted.
So, this year I’m giving up my car for Lent. I drive about 1500 miles a month, therefore it’s a bit of a challenge.
Cycling to Trowbridge on a cold wet day may not be quite like Jesus in the Judean desert, but it will make me think hard about our responsibility for creation.
It will tie in with the dioceses’s campaign to find forty parishes which will reduce their carbon footprint by 40% during the 40 days of Lent: the 40-40-40 Fast. The Church of England General Synod has just committed us to taking climate change more seriously. We must think about how we turn good intentions into real action.
It will remind me how dependent we have become on the motor vehicle for everything from holidays and shopping, to work, friends and the school run. And that’s before you remember the 2000 people who are killed every year on the roads.
Trains and buses will take me for many of the miles, for scheduled trips to Manchester and London.
Otherwise, I shall be cycling. I’ve had to borrow a specially small episcopal staff from Bishop Nicholas to strap to my bike.
Above all, taking a little longer will give me time to pray. There’s nothing like a good cycle ride for sorting your thoughts out.
Sunday mornings will be the biggest test, as then public transport is virtually non-existent. There are some evenings when I shall have to pedal back 20 miles over the downs in the dark.
I’ll keep a blog on the diocesan website.
Are you allowed to enjoy Lent? I shall. If you see me on the road, give me a toot and a wave!