Wednesday, May 15, 2013


 Sunday is the feast of Pentecost , the birthday of the church  and an excuse for a party.

Here are a few menu suggestions:

Nine fruits Salad - I did not think anyone needed a recipe to make a fruit salad just include 9 different types to represent the fruits of the spirit.

Seven Layer Dip - to represent the gifts of the spirit.

The colour for Pentecost is red so any Red food is suitable. I have served Duck which is the traditional food for Whitsun and served it with a red sauce. I have also done Chicken Cacciatore.

Other seasonal foods at this time  are gooseberries, elderflower , new potatoes, peas and asparagus.

For dessert how about Flame cupcakes or have a look at Catholic cuisine for lots of ideas for cupcakes.

I usually make a large sponge cake and fill it with cream and red fruits. The top is decorated with 12 candles to represent the disciples and the tongues of fire, 9 strawberries to represent the fruits of the spirit, 7 sugar roses or flowers to represent the gifts of the spirit.

Belated post for Ascension Day.

Last Thursday was Ascension Day and I did not get around to writing the intended post.

 We usually go for a walk up a hill and spend some time considering the story of Jesus' ascension into heaven and what this means for us now. Picnic food is the order for the day and in recent years I have made a chocolate cloud cake by Nigella Lawson.

This year I  find that we are needing to review our traditions , the children are getting older and have schedules and commitments of their own and we have found that, living in the UK, life has a different rhythm. There  just does not always seem to be space in the diary for activities that we once did year to year.

So , that has been and continues to be our challenge - how do we celebrate the seasons of the church year with our pre teen and teenage children in a way that is meaningful and relevant to our current lifestyle? I have always maintained that the liturgical lifestyle has to be flexible and adapt to current family situation and I am now being challenged to let go of some cherished traditions and look for new ways to celebrate. It makes me sad as well as excited as this represents a different season of family life.

Last Thursday I did manage to remind the family of the significance of the day and we ate Cloud Pudding for dessert. Being around the table together is an important part of our family life and provides us with opportunity to talk and discuss important matters of life and faith, as well as to laugh and discuss the frivolous.  Food I believe is an essential element in worship - Jesus is often revealed to us in the breaking of bread.

As long as we continue to eat together we will continue to worship together.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Day of Joy in the Middle of Lent

We are half way through Lent and Sunday is Refreshment Sunday - otherwise known as Mothering Sunday. In the true tradition of grace we are given a day of relaxation from stringent Lenten fasts and discipline for refreshment. In the past folk were given time off from work to go to their 'mother church' which also usually meant the opportunity to go home and visit family.

It is a shame that this has become the only aspect that is now celebrated - important though our mothers are. Like so many of our celebrations Mothering Sunday has become over commercialised and it's roots forgotten.

Sunday is also called Rose Sunday because rose pink is the colour of joy - a day to be joyful and anticipate that we are drawing closer to the season of unbridled joy; Easter.

Ideas for celebrating Refreshment Sunday ( other than taking your Mum out for lunch!):

  • Relax your fasts and reflect on your what you have learnt so far this Lent. How will you continue to observe the rest of Lent ?
  • Decorate your home with signs of spring - flowers, colours and budding twigs.
  • Make rose decorated cup cakes.
  • Honour all the motherly women who have blessed and influenced you in your faith.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Celebrating Lent - Resources for children.

Lent is the most difficult season to mark in a way that is full of meaning for children. Certainly it is the time that my family struggles with the most. Shrove Tuesday is this Tuesday (12th) which means Lent begins on Wednesday 13th. It is not far away and there is not much time left to plan!

These are some resources and ideas that have worked for our family:

Love Life Live Lent is excellent material produced by Church Publishing House.

Christian Aid produces material called Count your Blessings - also very good.

The Jelly Bean prayer - my kids loved this.

And this is my favourite - planting wheat grass.

There are lots of versions of the Stations of the Cross for children on the internet, this is the one that I have used. And here is a lovely idea for using the meditations.

I would be interested to hear which of these ideas you like and use - and what other suggestions you have. How does your family observe Lent?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Candlemas craft

The feast of Candlemas is this Saturday ( February 2nd).

 I found this lovely craft idea in Landscape magazine for making snowdrops from crepe paper.

Snowdrops are associated with Candlemas because they flower at this time of year and are a simple and beautiful symbol of hope - a precursor of spring and all that spring pledges of light, warmth and expectation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home." 
-  Edith Sitwell

Winter definately has it's pleasures! For example:

  • Making home made Seville orange marmalade
  • Watching the kids snowboarding down a local hill
  • Homemade soup
  • Rich, thick gravy casseroles
  • Walking on a silent , frost veiled common
  • Watching the birds in naked trees
  • Feeding them in the garden
  • Stunning red orange sunsets
  • Open fires
  • Toasting muffins
  • Watching snowflakes
  • Mulled wine
  • Evenings in
  • Rugs on the sofa
  • Winter root vegetables


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A Prayer for the New year

We were not up in time to see the dawn this New Year  ( too late to bed last night!).  But it is a glorious sunny morning  and after all the rain of previous days  this clear morning gives me hope.

 This beautiful prayer comes from Christine Sine's blog - .Godspace.

 God as this new year dawns,
May we take time to see the newness you are giving birth to.
May we not be blinded by the darkness that consumes our world.
Or consumed by the fear that paralyzes our actions.
May we remember,
That out of winter’s darkness you bring forth light,
That out of winter’s death you give birth to new life.
May we remember,
That which has been dormant will spring to life,
That which has been pruned will sprout new strength.
May we remember,
You are the light by which we see,
You are the fountain that gives us life.
God as this new year emerges,
May we give birth to that which honours you,
May we bring to life that which allows your goodness to shine,
May we give fresh expression to your eternal world,
And in the depths of our hearts may we cry,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.