St Stephen's Garden - Lent 

The display in front of our church is decorated to reflect the season of Lent.

The season known as Lent starts on Ash Wednesday – 17th February this year. The word Lent comes from and Old English word for spring.

It is a 40 day period of preparations for the great Christian festival of Easter.  Forty days mirrors the time Christ spent in the wilderness preparing for his earthly ministry.

It is traditionally a time for repentance, penance, fasting and reflection. The display in the garden reflects the mood of the season.  Sackcloth and ashes are symbols of repentance and penance.   The black grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrascens) and the bush with bare twigs reflect the solemnity of the time.  The bush will gradually develop leaves indicating the new life to which Lent leads – Christ’s resurrection at Easter.Some snowdrops from the Candlemas display will still be visible for at least part of the season.   Their tiny white flowers peeping out of the earth between the stones suggest hope even in the midst of darkness.

There are some Lenten roses.   These are a type of hellebore like the more familiar Christmas rose but are pink and mauve rather than white.