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21st March 2020

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 18 March 2020

This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday in Lent, better known as Mothering Sunday. I don’t like it being shortened to Mother’s Day, which is an entirely different thing, coming later in the year in America

The day reminds us of our relationships: all of us come from some sort of family or another, and it is our relationships with others that make us who we are. One of the most significant questions in the modern Marriage service is:

Will you, the families and friends of N and N, support and uphold them in their marriage, now and in the years to come? The answer is, of course – WE WILL!

The irony is that this Mothering Sunday is like no other in my lifetime. People are isolating themselves (unless they are out buying toilet rolls!) in their homes, especially if they are vulnerable. Instead of being able to rejoice in our relationships, we have to try and keep away from each other, with the wretched virus in the ascendant.

So let’s have a think about which relationships give us most joy, which relationships are wholesome and life giving and the like. And then let us rejoice in a modern world that allows us text messages, emails, WhatsApp and even telephone calls. We may not be able to touch each other, but we can still reach out, albeit in different ways

As you will know, Public worship in our churches has been halted, for the time being. But that does not make them permanently closed. Indeed, we are encouraging you to pop in:  at St Michael’s on Thursdays for an hour at 10.30am, on Sundays at 9.15 am at Aston and 10.45am at St Michael’s. In each case a member of the Ministry Team will be there if you want to talk (social distancing allowing) and there will be the chance for you to place a prayer request on our noticeboard

And of course, all of this reminds us of our fundamental and life-giving relationship with our Father God. Maybe you aren’t a member of our regular congregations. That doesn’t matter: you’re always welcome – and maybe this really is a time for Britain to re-learn how to pray!

Ian Cardinal

Rector of Stone with Aston

Rural Dean of Stone

Prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral

Chair of Governors, St Michael’s School