Pancakes & Ashes- Essex Lent Blogs

Pancakes & Ashes

Everyone thought we were mad to issue an open invite to our annual pancake party. We have a good sized living area in our house but had our whole church family turned up it would have been quite a squeeze. But we issued the invite anyway knowing, as ever happens, not everyone would be able to make it. We ended up with about thirty guests joining us. Together we consumed over seventy pancakes.

What do you put on your pancakes? I think that you can tell a lot about a person by what they put on their pancakes.

In total we used:

Seven bananas

Two punnets of strawberries

Six lemons with the suitable accompaniment of sugar.

And a bottle of maple syrup

Make of that what you will!

It was a good night. How could you ever have a bad pancake party? It’s the ultimate comfort food! I’m always left wondering why we don’t eat pancakes more often.

Anway, as is ever the way with parties, some of the best conversations of the night took place as the last remaining visitors helped us tidy up. Those, ‘how long have your lived in the area?’ or ‘how did you two meet?’ type conversations that so often lead to laughter, honesty and a deeper friendship at the end of the night than the one you started with.

All of this took place despite my previous reservations of our house being too small, our children being too young, and it being a work night! There are always reasons to not host that party.

If we’d listened to those reservations we would never had experienced those encounters or, indeed, eaten so many yummy pancakes!

The day after Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, is Ash Wednesday. For many Christians it’s a funny sort of day. We go to Church and the minister marks our heads with a cross using ash. They say something like:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

All right, it all sounds quite morbid but that’s okay because 40 days later it’s followed by the great celebration of Easter day- life springing forth!

This year, I didn’t manage to get to an Ash Wednesday service as I had my two little girls at home with me. So, when my curate husband came home for lunch he ashed me as I stood doing the washing up. The surreal life of a clergy house!  As I considered the words he had said I was reminded of why, despite my reservations we decided to host a pancake party.

Life is short. Some of us know that more keenly than others but it’s a reality that we can all agree on. There are always reasons to not host that pancake party, to not get down on floor to play with our children, to not ring that old friend. Whether it’s the size of our house or the piles of washing up and laundry, the long to-do list we create for ourselves will always be there. But, whether we want to believe it or not Ash Wednesday reminds us, life is short.

As the minister says over us:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

This Lent, I’m considering what is preventing me from being faithful to Christ. Am I worried that my house is too small or that perhaps no one will come? Probably like most of us I have so many worries! But my being faithful to Jesus this week has led to a pancake party and that’s never a bad thing!

I want to hear from you!

What is your prayer this Lent? How do you want to be challenged? Comment below sharing your Lenten stories.


  1. angalmond says:

    Lovely post. We too had a pancake party – and invited anybody from church, and put invites through the neighbours doors too [we have lived here just a year] My husband made over 100 pancakes – I think we used abut 10 pints of milk, and loads of eggs. We had syrup and Nutella Choc spread and lemons, sugar and blueberries for toppings. There were people all over the house – even sitting on the stairs. I loved the act that the teenagers played with the little children, and carried cups of tea to older folk – not one of them was huddled in a corner texting on their mobile phone. Yes, I suppose it was a ‘success’ – but the important thing is that Jesus does not call us to be successful, he calls us to be faithful. Lenten blessings to you and yours x

    1. theologybee says:

      That sounds like Church at its best!
      What is your prayer this Lent? More of the same?

      1. angalmond says:

        My prayer is that our church family will continue to engage with the community around us!

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