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17 March

Dristy says of her garden: “It is very green, quiet and lots of things grow.”

I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Hosea 14:8

Hosea’s beautiful image of a well-tended garden would certainly resonate with those who live in Bangladesh’s eco-villages. The villages set up by community groups, with the help of local experts from our church network, produce plentiful food, in harmony with the environment. Mother and daughter Rupali and Dristy, who live in one such village in southern Bangladesh, have worked hard, caring for and nurturing the environment. They have created a very special garden, where, as Dristy says proudly, “It is very green, quiet and lots of things grow.”

At the heart of Hosea’s call today is God’s desire for us to leave those paths that can lead only to death and desolation, and instead reorient ourselves towards life and restoration. Hosea invites us to the blooming and vibrant garden of God’s love, encouraging us to seek that flourishing peace which is God’s gift.

St Patrick, whose feast we celebrate today, shows us what it looks like to live the kind of generous, fruitful life God created us to live. Torn away from his family and sold into slavery in Ireland, he sought intimacy with God to find solace. After six years he escaped his captors – only to return to Ireland years later to share the good news.

May we be inspired by Rupali and Dristy’s care for the earth. May we be inspired by Patrick’s courage and closeness to God. May we too seek to bring new life and hope through the love and care we show the world and our global family. For, as the Lord says, “all your fruitfulness comes from me”.

Lent prayer

May Christ be with us,
may Christ be before us,
may Christ be in us,
Christ be over all.
May your Salvation,
Lord, always be ours,
this day, O Lord, and evermore.

(From St Patrick’s prayer for the faithful)


Don't forget that tomorrow is our Big Lent Walk at 2pm, when hundreds of people across England and Wales are walking to help beat poverty. Good luck if you are part of the Walk!

Big Lent Walk

Wednesday 22 February - Saturday 8 April 2023

Sign up for the Big Lent Walk and you'll help communities thrive in even the most difficult environments.