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From the Vicarage - March

March is when the clock Springs forward one hour. It happens during the

night hours, between the Saturday and Sunday of the final weekend of the

month. This year, that means that we will awake on the very last day of the

month – Sunday 31st March - to ‘a new time’!

We may also awake a little blurry eyed, having in effect lost an hour of

beauty sleep, unless we were really super sensible and managed to retire to

bed and get to sleep an hour earlier in preparation. For some that may be easier than

others, depending upon our own body clocks of wakefulness and sleepiness. Are you a

night owl, or a morning lark?

In preparation for what will, for some of us, be the other key feature of this March – Lent,

Holy Week and Easter - I have begun to read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s chosen Lent

book for 2024. It is in fact written by Selina Stone, who describes herself as an African

Caribbean woman raised in Birmingham with Jamaican ancestry. She also describes herself

as a black Christian whose faith and spirituality have been coloured and shaped by her

family heritage, her personal experience, and the particular contexts through which she has

moved. Her book is called “Tarry Awhile” drawing upon the words of Jesus in the Gospel

when he asked his sleepy friends in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before he died, to

“Watch and Pray” with him, or as some of the older texts say, to “Tarry Here...”

As the season of Lent reaches its climax that is very much what Holy Week is for. We enter

and ‘tarry awhile’ not just in the Garden of Gethsemane, but along the city streets of

Jerusalem (waving palm branches as Jesus enters the city), around a table in an upper room

(as Jesus breaks and offers us bread), in the courts of Pilate (as Jesus is accused, condemned

and handed over to be crucified) on the hillside of Calvary (as Jesus is nailed to a cross and

breathes his last) and at the garden tomb (where women bring their ointment and their

tears) …

At St Oswald’s, we are offering a range of opportunities for reflecting, praying and tarrying

awhile as we journey through this season - some of which this year will draw upon the

wisdom shared by Selina Stone. Each is an invitation and an encouragement to see

‘tarrying’ as something more powerfully entered into together.

Our moments of tarrying, of watching and waiting, of prayer and reflection

also carry the promise that as a community of faith, bleary eyed or not, we

shall this year greet 31st March with all the joy and celebration we can muster.

31st March is Easter Sunday - when together we enter ‘a new time’, and

Spring Forward into Resurrection Life!

With Love & Prayers for Lent, Holy Week & Easter.

Carolyn (Vicar)

Our full seasonal programme can be found elsewhere in the magazine or on weekly pew sheets @


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