Ash Wednesday

From the Archbishop

From Feast to Fast

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The Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy AO, Archbishop

On Friday 2 February 2024, the Diocese of Perth celebrated the consecration of two new assistant bishops – The Right Reverend David Bassett and The Right Reverend Hans Christiansen. It is not often that we consecrate or appoint new bishops, so this was a most significant and special occasion in the life and history of our Diocese.

The consecration was attended by archbishops and bishops from across the Anglican Church of Australia, as well as ecumenical guests from other churches, in recognition that the office and ministry to which Bishop David and Bishop Hans have been called is one that ultimately serves the universal Church in response to the great commission which Christ gave his apostles.

In the midst of our joyous celebration, the liturgical calendar of the Church begins to turn our gaze to the penitential solemnity of Ash Wednesday and Lent. Far from an anti-climax or unfortunate timing, this sudden movement from ‘feast to fast’ is a fitting reminder that responding to Christ’s call must always involve walking on the way of the cross. ‘If any wish to come after me’ says Jesus, ‘let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’ (Matthew 16:24).

The life of a disciple is cruciform, since living for God sometimes requires a dying to self – a dying to our ego and selfishness, a dying to our plans and preferences, a dying to our vices and addictions, a dying to our hostility and resentment. In the season of Lent, the Church calls us to take up with special intention and fervour the three self-denying disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer, raises our minds and hearts above ourselves. Fasting, feeds the soul and masters the body. Almsgiving, opens to others the hands which have received much from God.

If you haven’t yet decided on your Lent reading, or are looking for a study, the new Diocesan App (details here) has a Lent Study which could be used individually or in a group. Why not invite some others to join you in this weekly study, or use these resources as you walk though the weeks of Lent?

As you make your Lenten journey - following Christ from desert to cross - may you discover and experience a deeper sense of his love and calling, and may the fast of Lent prepare you for the feast of Easter.


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