Those who know me can tell you that I'm partial to a good meal. Indeed food is one of the great pleasures that the Lord has given to us.
But He gives it to us to use wisely, and at this contemplative period of Lent, when we remember the time that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, it's valuable for us to think of those for whom their next meal is not a matter of pleasurable anticipation, but a source of great concern.
We tend to associate hunger with less developed countries. But there are many in Britain who can find themselves unable to put food on the table through no fault of their own. When someone is put out of work, there can often be a period before the benefits system kicks in. A mother and children may find themselves penniless, having fled domestic violence. Or for someone on a low income, a large bill - say for heating - may clean out their limited funds and leave nothing for groceries.
This is where charities like Felpersham Foodbank step in. Working with professionals like doctors and social workers, they will provide a package of nutricious, non-perishable food to people in need.
This year, Felpersham Foodbank will be the main beneficiary of our Lenten Appeal. Through the coming Sundays of Lent, I'd like you to join me in subsitiuting your usual Sunday roast (or indeed pizza or curry or whatever is your particular choice) with a more frugal meal - perhaps some bread and cheese, or a bowl of rice - and contributing what you would have spent to the Appeal.
Of course, you are welcome to donate without giving up your Sunday dinner. But I hope you will take this opportunity to use these frugal meals as an chance to think about the wealth we have, and consider those who have less - maybe even discuss it with your family.
If you want to find out more about the work of foodbanks around the country, there is plenty of information on the internet. And when the Appeal is over, do remember that Felpersham Foodbank is always happy to receive donations of appropriate food at any time.
God Bless You.
Rev Alan Franks, Vicar of Darrington, Ambridge, Penny Hassett and Edgeley