In the ecclesiastical year we are now into Lent, for Christians a time of abstinence and contemplation. We remember Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, His death on the Cross and then His glorious resurrection on Easter Day.
Fittingly for this sombre period there are no flowers on display inside the church during Lent, but outside spring has arrived in St Mark’s churchyard with a wonderful burst of colour. Lenten lilies (daffodils) are popping up everywhere with primroses and numerous patches of purple and white crocuses peeping out from their winter resting places among the graves. I love the spring there’s always so much hope in the air after the dark days of winter.
We, deputy churchwardens, are being hopeful about the church in Hadlow Down again too and are looking to the future. In response to our concerns about the fabric of the building we have had a visit from the church architect recently and have now planned a way forward, albeit I suspect quite an expensive one. A regular programme of maintenance will be put in place – please note that volunteers would be handy – but immediately our main priority will be to stop bits of stonework breaking off the outside of the building and endangering our many dog-walkers!
In addition, our aim is to try to use the church for the benefit of the whole community so we are looking for different ways that we can do this. We already have an industrious craft group on Friday mornings after the school assembly, and we would like to see more of this sort of thing. The nave is a wonderful open space ideal for talks, exhibitions, and other functions; we are hoping to start a small community hub in the future. If you would like to use St Mark’s for something, please contact me or one of the other DCWs.
Someone once said to me that a village church should be the centre of its community and years ago it was. However, regardless of whether you are ‘religious’ or not you are always welcome inside our building. St Mark’s is a lovely place to just sit quietly. In this increasingly disturbing world this is a beautiful facility to have in the middle of our village, so please use it.
Janet Tourell
Deputy Churchwarden