During the Season of Lay Ministries, we are sharing a series of blogs from Christians called to serve in affirmed, commissioned and licensed lay ministries across the Diocese.

Wendy is a Prison Chaplain and a Southwark Pastoral Auxiliary, based in Streatham. In this blog, Wendy reflects on the season of Lay Ministries and the gifts we can offer as we approach Lent.


In the dark winter months of January and February, Epiphany – with its familiar pattern of readings, beginning with the arrival of the Magi and ending with the brilliance of Candlemas – offers not only hope but comfort in what is a bleak world.

This year we move swiftly into Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday on 14 February, and during which will be a time to give generously to the Bishop’s Lent Call, supporting projects in the Jerusalem and the Middle East and Zimbabwe.

I enjoyed following the 12 days of reflections for Christmas and the New Year as part of the national church’s campaign ‘Follow the Star, Join the Song’. At a time when we have been marking the Season of Lay Ministry, I was particularly drawn to Day 10, the arrival of the Magi and the ‘I wonder’ question: “What gifts do you have to offer?”

The Magi brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, symbols that point to Jesus, who he is and what he came to do. But, more importantly, the gift they brought to Jesus that day was themselves. Like many others in ministry whether lay or ordained, I would like to feel I have many gifts to offer, not only in my role as a prison chaplain but as diocesan Southwark Pastoral Auxiliary.

Our churches, chaplaincies and workplaces would not function without the many gifted lay people who give their time willingly to help others.

These words from Christina Rosetti’s poem ‘In the bleak mid-winter’ are for me what my ministry to others and to God is all about, even when it means drawing upon that last drop of energy to respond to someone in need: “Yet what I can I give him, give my heart”.

As we approach Lent, you might explore where your gifts could take you and rather than give something up, you might think of something you can offer?


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