Welcome to the Alde Sandlings Benefice

Thank you for visiting the Alde Sandlings Benefice website – you are most welcome.

You will find pages on all of our churches which includes useful information about each one.

Aldeburgh Parish Church – St Peter & St Paul’s

Aldringham Parish Church – St Andrew’s

Friston – St Mary’s

Knodishall – St Lawrence’s

Our priest in Charge is The Rev’d Sarah du Boulay

Please visit our news page for our weekly benefice newsletter (or you can have your copy sent direct to you each Saturday by emailing admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk)

Aldeburgh Parish Church – St Peter and St Paul’s

Aldeburgh Parish Church

Aldeburgh Parish Church looks out to sea. It is home to a magnificent window in memory of Benjamin Britten and is the home church of the famous Aldeburgh Festival. Here too Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman doctor and first female mayor in Britain, worshipped. Aldeburgh is a lively community and our parish church reflects that. Please check regularly as our services reflect not only the church’s year but events special to Aldeburgh. In February, for instance, we have our Seafarer’s service, in June the opening service of the Aldeburgh Festival, and in August the open air Carnival Service. At Easter, Pentecost, Harvest and Christmas our worship is especially rich in meaning. 

Here you will find space and beauty, a lively faith, and a deep sense of the presence of God. 

Aldringham Parish Church – St Andrew’s

A beautiful 11th Century rural church set on a gentle slope in peaceful surroundings close the Suffolk Heritage Coastline.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we are delighted that the the church building is still open for private prayer and now once again for communal worship.   Church services have resumed and we recommend observance of social distancing rules and advise that: In consideration of others, the wearing of facemasks whilst in church is preferred.

The church will be open daily from 9am to Dusk and hand sanitisers for your use are available in the church porch.  It is important to respect other people’s space by maintaining social distancing and please note that not all areas of the church may be accessible. 

You are also most welcome to spend some quiet time in our beautiful and tranquil churchyard and offer a prayer to God.

Prayers are said for the world and for our local communities daily.

The Mission of our friendly rural Church….

is to reach out with the love of Christ to all. We seek to serve the communities of Aldringham and Thorpeness, striving to provide worship and fellowship which will bring people into a deeper relationship with God and experience the impact of His transforming love in their lives. All are welcome.

REGULAR UPDATES CAN BE FOUND ON OUR CHURCH NEAR YOU PAGE https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/1886/

Friston Parish Church – St Mary’s

Information about the building

The original tower of the Church was built in the early 14th century, it has been altered several times and around 1900 the tower was taken down and completely rebuilt. The old materials were used and the new tower is a careful copy of the original. The form of the buttresses indicate that it was once a stage higher and it was probably altered when bells were installed in the 15th century. there are deep niches in all four buttresses at belfry level and the trio of broad niches grouped around the west bell opening provide its most striking and unusual feature. They contain pedestals for statues and may have contained a ROOD group like the one on the tower at Parham.

The nave and chancel have plastered walls below a single tile and slate roof. There is a blocked Norman door on the north side. The chancel dates from the 13th century but has been shortened and given a new east wall and brick buttresses.

The south frontage has a variety of window forms: a 13th century Lancet “Y” tracery , one with a decorated tracery and a square headed perpendicular type.

The 18th century brick porch has a grave slab in the floor that once carried a brass and a 13th century coffin cover hides under the doormat.

The inner doorway is a handsome small scale example of the Transitional style with single shafts and a chamfered pointed arch. There are two crosses just below the left hand Capital with another further down, their quality suggests that they are Consecration crosses which date from the doorway’s completion in the late 12th century.

The church has a homely interior; at the west end there is a deep early 19th century Gallery which houses the organ and masks all but the top of the tower arch.

The font underneath is 19th century but it stands on what is probably the Church’s old font bowl, inverted to serve as a base. The attractive modern cover is like a miniature medieval market cross, with a figure of Christ for a finial, and charming roundels of young children within the upper frieze.

The nave roof is arch braced, the white plaster panels stark against the inky black of the main timbers and moulded wall plate.

The sturdy 17th century table buy the entrance served as the Church’s altar for many years. On the north wall there is a framed charity board of 1811. Below it, the cover of what was probably the Church’s first Bible is displayed in a frame; it dates from about 1550 and still has its engraved brass mounts.

Alongside is the Church’s showpiece – the enormous Royal Arms of James 1st which Munro Cautley rescued in pieces from the tower in 1935 and reassembled. Carved from five inch thick planks and over six foot square, they are virtually complete, although little of the colour survives.

There are pamment floors and Elizabeth Bacon’s ledger-stone of 1647 lies at the east end of the nave. It has three engraved shields and half of the stone was left blank for her husband Sir Thomas, but he, presumably, was buried elsewhere.

Like the Royal Arms the pulpit had been consigned to oblivion but, has been rescued and furnished with a new base and steps with typical blind arches in the panels.

There is no chancel arch or screen and the chancel  retains its 19th century colour scheme untouched. The panelled ceiling has attractive leaf sprays and sacred monograms within roundels and stencilled patterns cover the pale blue walls.

A low painted and gilt reredos of 1913 backs the altar, while above it in the 1890 stained glass, the Blessed Virgin and St John flank Christ the King – attractive figures against a dense screen green vine pattern, with cherub heads in the tracery; the maker is unknown.

(Information taken from ‘Guide to Suffolk Churches’ by D.P. Mortlock.)

REGULAR UPDATES CAN BE FOUND ON OUR CHURCH NEAR YOU PAGE https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/2318/

 

Knodishall Parish Church – St Lawrence’s

The Parish of Knodishall-cum-Buxlow is situated in East Suffolk adjacent to the Heritage Coast.   It is a rural parish of approximately 880 people, 1½ miles south of the small town of Leiston (population 5500) and 3 miles east of Saxmundham (population 5000).  

Knodishall is a very vibrant village and has a busy Playgroup, a successful Primary School, a Village Hall (very well used for various clubs, sports, education and leisure classes, private and public functions, fund-raising events, fetes, etc), a busy fruit and vegetable Nursery, active Village Pub, popular Village Shop, a garage (showroom), and a residential Care Home.

The church can hold a maximum of approx. 90 people and is used for one service each Sunday, and for baptisms, weddings and funerals.   It has also hosted art exhibitions, sales, and on occasion concerts (the latter being challenging since there is very limited space in the chancel.   Our church lacks toilet facilities (but as at October 2021 plans for facilities have been submitted, we are hopeful that this may change very soon) …. 

At present we have one Church Warden and two Elders, and an active PCC which meet on a regular basis.  

Due to age and the residential profile only a small number of people are actively involved in the running of the church.  However, these people willingly clean, arrange flowers, prepare the altar and church for services, read lessons, lead intercessions, act as sidespersons, and manage our finances and Gift Aid arrangements.

Our aim continues to provide services which inspire, encourage, and meet the needs and wishes of our parishioners, which we feel is somewhat achieved by the variety of services each month.

Congregations are enhanced when we have special services which include  :     

Remembrance Sunday – the War Memorial stands in the churchyard and this service is attended by veterans, several non-regular church attenders, and the Knodishall Brownies, who actively participate in the presenting of flags and placing poppy crosses around the Memorial as names of those from the village who gave their lives are read out.   A very poignant part of this service is the playing of the Last Post as recorded by the Leiston British Legion Band.

Mothering Sunday – when everyone present at the service has the opportunity to light a candle in memory of their mothers, and the candles are placed on the altar.

Carol Service – a favourite time for readings and carols in our candlelit church, and after the service an opportunity to stay and chat, whilst mulled wine and refreshments are served!   

REGULAR UPDATES AND MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON OUR CHURCH NEAR YOU PAGE https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/2317/