Tag Archives: Lent

Easter in Lichfield: a message from the Dean

Easter in Lichfield will be a time of celebration in more ways than one this year, because after two years of uncertainty Lichfield Cathedral can now open back up and mark the occasion with a blend of ceremony that will involve, not only the cathedral, but everyone in the city.

This is the introduction to Dean Adrian’s Holy Week Message from Lichfield Cathedral. See the whole message here. It is a very clear account of the events and ceremonies of the Triduum.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to send you greetings and blessings at this the most important, solemn and (yet ultimately) joyful time of the Christian year.  We’re about to enter the holy three days (Triduum) of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Eve and Day. You will be welcome at any or all of the special services we hold on each of these days.  Every occasion comes with its special ceremonies and distinct focus.  Let me say a few words about each but first explain the context.

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Meat free Lent XXXII: Nut Roast

Nicky – All Saints’ Church

Very simple recipe that can be adjusted as required.

8oz/225g chopped nuts 
8oz/225g sliced mushrooms 
1 large onion 
1 large carrot 
3 skinned/chopped tomatoes (or tinned) 
1 free range egg 
2 tsp mixed herbs 
2 tsp yeast extract or Marmite 
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1.       Cook chopped onion and grated carrot in oil for a few minutes until soft. 

2.       Add mushrooms and cook for further 2-3 mins.

3.       Stir in yeast extract.  Mix together all ingredients and place in greased loaf tin.

4.       Press down firmly.

5.       Bake in medium oven for 45 mins.

 You can freeze what you don’t use and either use it later hot or mixed with tahini, tomato puree, chives etc.

Mash it up and call it pâté!

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Meat free Lent, XXXI: Chickpea Moussaka

Nicky – All Saints’ Church: An old, well-used recipe.

 4oz/110 g chickpeas 
12 oz/340g aubergines 
12oz/340g potatoes scrubbed 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 onion peeled & chopped 
2 garlic cloves 
14oz/400g can tomatoes pureed 
2 tsp oregano dried 
1 tsp fresh mint 
1-2 tbsp tomato puree 
          Topping: 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
natural yoghurt 
1 small egg beaten

1.       Drain chickpeas and bring to the boil in fresh water.   Boil fast for 10 mins, simmer 35-45 mins.

2.       Prick and trim aubergines and bake at 180 C for 20 mins, then slice.

3.       Boil potatoes until tender, slice thickly.

4.       Gently fry onion for 5-7 mins.  Add garlic and cook for 1 min.

5.       Add tomatoes, oregano, mint, tomato puree and chickpeas. Cook gently for 10 mins then season.

6.       Grease deep dish and fill in layers of aubergine, potato and chickpeas sauce.

7.       For the topping:

Roast cumin seeds, mix into yoghurt and add egg.  Spoon over moussaka.

Bake in preheated oven, Gas Mark 4 for 25-30 mins.

35

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9 April: The Tree of Life.

Tree of Life window by Dom Charles Norris at the former Franciscan Study Centre, Canterbury.

Saint Thomas’ Parish, Canterbury invites readers to ‘please share’ items from their website. As we approach Holy Week, here are reflections by Canon Anthony Charlton on the Tree of Life as found in Psalm 1 and the events we remember on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day.

There is a small stained glass window within the Church of the Good Shepherd, New Addington, created by a Buckfast Abbey monk, Dom Charles Norris. It depicts the image that is presented to us in Psalm 1. “Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord. He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade; and all that he does shall prosper.”

Dom Charles employed a technique known as dalles-de-verre in which ‘tiles’ of coloured glass are chipped into shape and laid, mosaic-fashion, in a matrix of resin. As I sat in the presidential chair during Mass I was able to gaze on it while listening to the readings at Mass. The tree planted near running water reminded me of the only way to live my life fruitfully is to have deep roots that receive nourishment from the living water which is the Holy Spirit given to all of us.

In our life we can either trust in our own position, what others think of us, our status, our wealth, what we own or acquire in order to experience happiness or we listen to the way of Jesus. He shows us an alternative way of happiness. Yet this way will lead to a clash of values that will lead us to suffer for our commitment of bringing about God’s kingdom.

What Jesus is presenting to us is a radical choice that will put us at odds with the society in which we live. The extraordinary thing about the way of Christ is that is will lead to happiness but it will be by means of the Cross. We choose this way every time we come together to celebrate Mass and unite ourselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus. As the poor, the hungry, the sorrowing, the despised and the excluded, we embrace this way of happiness. We do this because we trust in the Lord. We are like a tree that is planted beside flowing water.

O God, 
who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers,  
protect us from the lure of wealth and power; 
move our hearts to seek first your kingdom,  
that ours may be the security and joy of those  
who place their trust in you. AMEN.

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Meat free Lent XXX: Super Raw Brownies

Judith T – All Saints’ Church

Makes approximately 20 mini brownies.

This recipe is from a very trendy imaginative vegetarian book that my younger son and his wife gave me a few years ago.  Actually the name of the recipe rather put me off to start with: I adore brownies, but ‘raw’ ones?!  Not to say that I don’t indulge in a little spoon-licking of raw mixture whilst cooking, but consuming an entire ‘raw’ brownie?!  Anyway two years ago, my desire to reverse my pre-diabetic status by seriously reducing my carbs meant that I looked beyond the name and decided to try this recipe for myself.  The result is delicious!  However, I’m still not sure that I’d want to advertise these nutty, chocolaty, date squares as ‘brownies’ – that builds a very different set of expectations.  Also, they aren’t cheap due to all those nuts – although if you’re looking for a less extravagant version, I’m sure you could substitute rolled oats for the pecans and some of the almonds.  However, they are very tasty, completely gluten-free, and very low on carbs – and can be cut into small squares.

100g almonds, skin on 
250g Medjool dates, pitted (about 12) 
2 tbsp set honey (raw honey if possible) 
75g cocoa powder (Fairtrade if possible) 
½ tsp salt 
50g pecan nuts, chopped

1.       Put the almonds into a food processor and whizz until you have a coarse powder. 

2.       Add the dates, honey, cocoa and salt and whizz again for about a minute, until the lot comes together into a dough-like ball.

3.       Turn the brownie mixture into a bowl, add the chopped pecans and knead to bring them into the dough. 

4.       Line a 20 cm square baking tin with baking paper and turn the mixture into it, pressing it down with your fingers until you have an even layer.

5.       Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before cutting up. Top with a dusting of cocoa.

They will keep for up to a week – if it’s hot, keep them in the fridge.

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Meat free Lent XXIX: Vegetarian Chilli

Lucy – All Saints’ : Vegetarian Chilli

Delicious either served in a wrap with yoghurt or spooned over corn tortilla chips, topped with grated cheese and melted in the oven and served with guacamole and salsa.

Olive or rapeseed oil, for frying 
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 
A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or 1 teaspn ground ginger) 
1 tbsp chilli powder 1 
tsp cumin (ground or bashed seeds) 
1 tbsp smoked paprika 
3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 
300g green lentils, soaked 
200g bulgur wheat, pearl barley or brown rice 
1 tbsp cocoa powder 
400g tin small beans (haricot, black or black eyed) or 300g home-cooked 
1-2 litres veg stock 
Salt and pepper

1.       Put your biggest pot on a medium heat. 

2.       Add a splash of oil and cook onion, garlic and ginger for 10 mins or until soft and sweet.

3.       Add the chilli powder, cumin and smoked paprika.  Stir for 1-2 mins. 

4.       Add all the other ingredients, stirring as you go – but start with 1 litre of the stock and keep the rest to add if the chilli starts to look a bit dry. 

5.       Bring down to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30-35 mins until the lentils and grains are cooked and the chilli is deep and flavoursome.

6.       Season to taste, then serve.

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6 April: Little things make a big difference.

We were thinking on exiles yesterday, and again so today. Thanks to the London Irish Chaplaincy for the following reflection. Note that the team do not take it for granted that a cup of tea is all that’s needed. They do their research and act on it, including tried and tested activities alongside innovations. See, Judge, Act, as my father used to say from his YCW days. Consciousness again!

Let us, in other words, be there for our neighbours, and let them be there for us. A widowed lady that I know, another exile, always likes to make a cup of tea when I do a few little jobs for her. She is then able to do a sharing, Christian deed, more important than having her roses pruned.

Although the term ‘innovation’ seems to be the buzzword, we’ve found that most of the time it’s the little things that make a big difference. For example, simply talking to someone, holding a Travellers’ forum in a prison to offer someone a voice, or writing a letter to a prisoner are the most effective ways to lift their spirit. We know people’s needs change over time and we’ve carried out plenty of research to be sure we’re offering the most helpful services. But the message is clear, that in most cases simply being a kind friend is powerful enough to change someone’s life. For us, these simple actions have stood the test of time.

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5 April: Strange refuge

The symbolic Gateway to Britain at Dover, where Channel swimmers’ crossings to France may begin and crossings in the opposite direction may end
So I have a new name, refugee.
Strange that a name should take away from me
My past, personality and hope.
Strange refuge then.
So many seem to share this name, refugee,
Yet we share so many differences.
I find no comfort in my new name.
I long to share my past, restore my pride,
To show I too in time will offer
More than I have borrowed.
For now the comfort that I seek
Resides in the old yet new name 
I would choose, friend.

Written by a twelve year old Afghan Refugee.

Mrs Turnstone spotted this poem in an exhibition at Canterbury Baptist Church.

During my lifetime our country has made room for different groups of refugees: to name a few, exiles from Eastern European Communism, Ugandan Asians, Vietnamese boat people, people oppressed for their sexuality or because of their opposition to dictatorships. They and their descendants are part of our society, offering more than they have borrowed.

So why are our shores so unwelcoming today? And why do people not only flee their homes but also seek to come here to Britain? Welcoming or rejecting the stranger, which is our true self?

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Meat free Lent, XXV, XXVI

Meat free Recipes for Friday & Saturday

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Stew with Coconut

Margaret Shaw – St Dunstan’s Church

Somewhere between a soup and a stew.  Serve with basmati or jasmine rice.  If you like spicy, add two chillies and all of their seeds; if not, add one chilli / keep the seeds out etc.  It will be mild.

 Serves: 4 – 6

1tbs vegetable oil

1 onion, halved and sliced

30 g pie of fresh ginger peeled and grated

1 – 2 fresh red chillies, halved and sliced

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1.3kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

400 ml tin coconut milk

450 ml vegetable stock

1 tbs Thai fish sauce (optional but good)

410g tin chickpeas, drained

225 fresh baby spinach leaves, washed

Sea salt

Basmati/jasmine rice, to serve

1.       Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook over low heat for 3 – 5 minutes, until just soft. 

2.       Add the ginger, chillies, curry power, cumin and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring until aromatic.

3.       Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat in the spices. 

4.       Add the coconut milk and stock and a little water, if necessary, just to cover the sweet potatoes; the mixture should be soupy as it will cook down.

5.       Add the fish sauce (if using) or some salt, if preferred.  Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes.

6.       Add the chickpeas and continue to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

7.       Add the spinach in batches, stirring to blend and waiting for each batch to wilt before adding the next.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve immediately with the rice. 

Nut Roast

Caroline Blamey – St Dunstan’s Church

I am indebted to my colleague for telling me about this recipe.  This nut roast recipe is a winner; all my other ones had been a disaster!  This one’s a firm family favourite (and a massive relief) for Christmas and any get-together.  Everyone seems to love it and it’s so rich and nutritious.  Serve hot with the usual variety of Christmas vegetables, roast potatoes and lashings of gravy.  Alternatively, have it crumbled cold over salad with a little pickle/chutney.  (Obviously not a recipe for those with a nut sensitivity/allergy.)

Nut roasts are high in protein.  Protein is the building block of life: it helps to repair and renew cells, makes hormones and enzymes, maintains muscle mass and is important for body growth and development.  Recommended dietary allowance for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 g per kg of body weight i.e., a 75 kg person should have about 60 g of protein a day.

Serves 4-6

1 2/3 cups (400 ml) mixed nuts (any from your cupboard – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, walnuts)

butter for greasing

3½ oz (100 g) shallots (about 4 small), finely chopped

14 oz (435 g) can drained chopped tomatoes (I prefer a drier version of skinning and chopping fresh tomatoes to the same weight)

3 eggs, beaten

5 oz (150 g) Gruyère or sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) dried thyme

2 tsp (10 ml) fresh sage, chopped or ½ tsp (2.5 ml) dried sage

½ tsp (2.5 ml) dried mint (I don’t add this usually)

1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) Marmite blended with 1 tsp (5 ml) boiling water or use 2 tsp/10 ml soy sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

freshly ground black pepper

herb sprigs, to garnish (optional)

gravy or rich tomato sauce, to serve

1.       Place the nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat.  Toast, stirring gently, until golden and fragrant, taking care not to burn. Remove to a bowl and leave to cool.  Whizz in a food processor until very finely chopped; the mixture should still be loose, not a purée.

2.       Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease a 1-pound (500-g) loaf pan (about 8 in / 20 cm in diameter) with butter.  Line with parchment paper then grease the paper.

3.       In a large bowl, combine the ground nuts with the shallots, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, herbs, yeast extract mixture, lemon juice and seasoning.  Mix thoroughly.

4.       Scoop the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm and golden. Cool slightly, then turn out on to a serving plate and peel off the parchment paper ready to slice carefully with a sharp knife.  Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with gravy or a rich tomato sauce.

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Meat free Lent XXIV: Potatoes and Beans and Sardines

Helen Rose and Gerardo Calia – St Dunstan’s Church

Here is a meat-free recipe which you might like to consider for the 40 days of Lent.  We like this one because it is full of flavour and cheap. 

Serves 4

500g small new or salad potatoes

200g French beans, trimmed

120g tin sardine fillets (or pilchard fillets) in olive oil

A good squeeze of lemon juice

A little extra virgin olive oil (if needed)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.       Cut the potatoes into 2 or 3 pieces each.  Put them into a saucepan, cover with water and add salt.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 6-10 mins until tender. 

2.       Meanwhile, cut the French beans into 3-4 cm lengths and add to the pan for the last 3-5 mins – they should still have a bit of crunch when cooked.

3.       Drain the potatoes and beans well and leave to cool until warm, or at room temperature.  Tip the sardines (or pilchards) with their oil, into a large bowl.  Add some salt and pepper and the lemon juice, then use a fork to mash the sardines to a rough puree.

4.       Tip the cooled potatoes and beans into the bowl with the sardines and toss thoroughly so that the vegetables are well coated in the fishy dressing.  Taste and add more salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or a little extra virgin olive oil as needed, then serve.

Plus one: Try stirring a handful of roughly chopped stoned black olives into the mix.

Plus two: A hard-boiled egg or two will add further to the salade niçoise effect.

Swap: If you can’t get French beans, this salad is also lovely with Little Gem lettuce hearts.  You could shred the lettuce or just halve or quarter the hearts.

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