Author Archives: Claire

Benefice Newsletter 2nd August/Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday 2nd August

Eighth Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Thorpeness Service 1

The Meare, Thorpeness

9.45am

Morning Praise

Friston Church

10.30am

Morning Praise

Aldeburgh Church

11.00am

Informal Service

Aldringham Churchyard

3.00pm

Online Service available

 

Message from the Rector

I am writing this on Friday evening, still full of the joy of having taken a wedding in church for the first time since before lockdown. The weather was, of course, glorious, the necessarily small congregation was happy and the bride and groom happier still. It really did feel good. But today we also learned of the halting of some restrictions being lifted and that we will soon have to wear face coverings in church by law (that begins on Saturday August 8th). The church’s current guidance on face coverings is:

… we continue to strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.

It’s tough – there’s no doubt. Personally, I find wearing a face mask awkward because when I speak my spectacles steam up! But, as the guidance points out, it’s not about us, it’s about protecting others. Which, I have to say, sounds like a Christian virtue if ever there was one. We will, I’m afraid, have to get used to it.

To those who have been worshipping online at 10.30 each Sunday morning a reminder that from this week onwards the online service will be available from 3pm, giving us the chance to record a service in church in the morning. This week Aldeburgh’s Family Service will be the chosen one and, as ever, reactions and thoughts would be most welcome.

Finally, I am afraid that some people may have received spam email purporting to come from me. If you receive an email with my name but not my usual email address (mark@thelowthers.com) please just delete it. And certainly anything from the email address onlinechurch202@gmail.com is very fishy indeed. Have nothing to do with it!

With love, as ever

Mark

 

First Reading
Isaiah 55.1-5
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have
no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves
in rich food.  Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.  See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. 

 

Second Reading
Matthew 14.13-21
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

Sermon from our Rector, Revd Mark Lowther

Matthew 14: 13-21

The very opening of today’s New Testament reading begs an immediate question, doesn’t it? ‘When Jesus heard this ..’ What? What has Jesus just heard? Well the first part of the chapter tells the story of the beheading of John the Baptist. How Herodias’s daughter (who we later came to call Salome) danced for Herod at his birthday banquet, gave him so much pleasure that he said to her ‘you can have anything you like’ and, egged on by her mother, she demanded and was eventually given John’s head on a platter. It’s a shocking tale, dripping with a lurid combination of sex and violence, as anyone who has either seen Oscar Wilde’s play Salome or Richard Strauss’s opera based on it will confirm. Dance of the Seven Veils and all that. A truly decadent scene. And when Jesus heard this he withdrew to a deserted place, was followed by the crowds and fed them with a miraculous meal. The contrast with what had gone before couldn’t really be more vivid. Herod’s no doubt hugely extravagant birthday bash contrasted with this simple supper of bread and fish that had looked so meagre but yet managed to satisfy thousands. By the way, we conventionally talk of ‘the feeding of the five thousand’ but it was a lot more than that. ‘5000 men, besides women and children’ as Matthew puts it in his rather male-dominated way.

So, who gives the more satisfying meal – Herod, whose way leads to corruption and death, or Jesus who, from those unpromising ingredients, manages to satisfy the multitudes and still have so much left over. Enough to fill twelve baskets which, as many a bible-commentator has pointed out is significant because there were 12 Jewish tribes – so Jesus’s meal was enough for them, and for them all – not just a select few.

And how did he do it? How did Jesus feed thousands with five loaves and two fish? Well, he prayed. He looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves. And his father in heaven answered his prayer, the miracle happened. God fed his people, just as he had fed them with manna when they were in the wilderness all those years ago. And he fed them with bread – the bread of life – one of the very metaphors that Jesus used to describe himself in John’s gospel – ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry …’

So, what is the take-home message for today – this very day – from all of this? All of the obvious things of course – God’s generosity, Jesus’s message being for all, Jesus showing that God’s way isn’t the way of the world – all good messages and important to hear. But I think today, with the church still not being able to do what it would ideally like to do, with all sorts of plans having to be changed because of the danger of the virus spreading, I’d like to go back to that moment when the miracle occurred – when the meagre offering became food for thousands. No magic spells, no shouting and screaming, no huge fuss and bother, just prayer. Just ‘looking up to heaven’, as the story has it. This is what Jesus does. He offers what he has to his Father and extraordinary things occur as a result. What we are able to offer in prayer may look pretty meagre. We may think ourselves lacking in eloquence, in beautifully constructed sentences, we may think that we can’t pray in an adequate way. But if we offer to God what we have with sincerity, God will transform it and use it in ways that can amaze us. The theologian Tom Wright says ‘It is part of genuine Christian service, as whatever level, that we look on in amazement to see what God has done with the bits and pieces we dug out of our meagre resources to offer to him’. And the place to start that offer is in prayer – simple but heartfelt prayer. And what might happen? I love the remark of former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple who replied to his critics who regarded answered prayer as no more than coincidence, “When I pray, coincidences happen; when I don’t, they don’t.”

Amen

 

Collect
Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct,
sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of
your laws and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

The Week Ahead –
Next Sunday
9th August – Ninth Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Thorpeness Service 2

The Meare, Thorpeness

9.30am

Patronal Service

Knodishall Church

9.45am

Morning Praise

Friston Church

11.00am

Informal Service

Aldringham Churchyard

3.00pm

Online Service available

6.00pm

Celtic Evening Service                                                    Aldeburgh Church

NOTICES

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.

The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. Please do keep a look out at their notices as they will be putting a list of the items most needed.
They both have large donation baskets that you can add your items to.

 

Songs of Praise on The Green 
A Benefice Service at Friston – 30th August 2020 3.00pm
The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to hopefully sing to the Praise of God (restrictions permitting) and have a picnic afterwards.
Do you have a favourite hymn?
Please let Carole Edwards know by email, phone or letter, your choice of hymn (see below)

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

Reply to Carole Edwards, caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.

The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. Please do keep a look out at their notices as they will be putting a list of the items most needed.
They both have large donation baskets that you can add your items to.

 
 
 

Pilgrims Together
(part of The Alde Sandlings Benefice)

invite you to

Thorpeness Summer Services 2020

Celtic Style Worship
9.30am at The Meare, Thorpeness

Sunday 2nd August
Sunday 9th August
Sunday16th August
Sunday 23rd August

ALL ARE WELCOME
Please bring your own chair!

 

Benefice Newsletter 26th July-Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Message from the Rector

My clergy colleagues and I had an excellent meeting this week and we have made plans for services in our churches during the next few weeks. This Sunday we have a service of Holy Communion in Knodishall church at 9.30am, an online service of Holy Communion at 10.30am, an informal outdoor service in Aldringham churchyard at 11.00am and a service of Evening Prayer in Aldeburgh church at 6.00pm. Then, all being well, August looks like this:

Aldeburgh will alternate morning (10.30am) and evening (6.00pm) services

2nd Morning Praise

9th Celtic Evening Service

16th Morning Holy Communion

23rd Evening Prayer

30th Morning Holy Communion

Aldringham will continue with informal outdoor services at 11.00am (if wet, indoors).

Friston will have a weekly service at 9.45am with Holy Communion once a month

Knodishall will have fortnightly services (beginning this week) at 9.30am, celebrating their Patronal Festival on August 9th.

We will continue with online services every week but from the beginning of August they will become available at 3.00pm rather than 10.30am. This frees me up to lead services in the churches in the mornings and also allows us the possibility of recording a church service and making that a weekly online offering. Wednesday morning online services of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer at 10.00am will continue as normal.

The beginning of September will be very exciting. On Sunday 6th James will be ordained Priest in our cathedral at 3.30pm. As the numbers able to attend will be very restricted, the service will also be streamed online. We will probably have a restricted number of services in the benefice that day so that people are able to join James, albeit virtually. Then on Sunday 13th James will celebrate Holy Communion for the first time, and we will have a benefice service at which he will preside in Aldeburgh church at 10.30am.

There are details elsewhere in this information sheet about the summer Thorpeness services which will happen each August morning at 9.30am and end with a service of Holy Communion in the garden of The Dolphin pub on August 30th. Also, on that day we hope to hold a Songs of Praise service in the afternoon on Friston green. We are hoping that we will be able to sing our heads off by then, but the service will happen, even if all we can do is to hum our favourite hymns!

All of these things are, of course, subject to any government restrictions that may be in force at the time. As anyone involved with Aldeburgh Primary School knows only too well, the virus is still with us. Hopefully, however, we will gradually be able to increase the number and variety of services that we hold in church as time goes by.

With love, as ever

Mark

 

Collect
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in
the same; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive
and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever.

 

First Reading
1 Kings 3.5-12
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ And Solomon said, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart towards you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.


Second Reading
Romans 8.26-end
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52
Jesus put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

 

Reflection, from Revd Sheila Hart

As I pondered on what I was to say this Sunday, I began to feel that there was one idea that continuously came to me from all three readings and that was the word ‘wisdom’ or ‘discernment’.

Certainly in the Old Testament reading this idea is very much to the fore as Solomon wonders what gift he would like God to bless him with as he becomes King of Israel in succession to his father David. Solomon, after much thought and prayer, asks God to give him the gift of wisdom or a discerning heart rather than wealth, a long life or the death of his enemies – all of which could have been justified in the light of the history of Israel up to this point. Solomon is obviously aware of the task that lies before him and is conscious of his own youthfulness and inexperience as he begins his reign.

In the reading from Romans we learn how when we are not able to decide what we need to pray or to discern the words we should use; the Holy Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans.

And in our Gospel reading from Matthew we have the group of parables or sayings of Jesus known as the parables of the Kingdom, purely because they all begin with the words ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is like….’ And, as with all Jesus’ parables, their true meaning can only be discerned through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I have to admit that I am amazed that ‘wisdom’ or ‘discernment’ is not one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is, however listed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, but only as ‘a word of wisdom’ and in the letter of James we read ‘If anyone lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all liberally, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith with no doubting.’

Wisdom is a gift which all leaders should ask God for whether they be leaders in the Church or the world, as there will always be decisions and meetings which they have to make and attend in which wisdom and discernment are vital gifts to enable them to make the most appropriate choices. Indeed one of the exercises which all potential ordinands had to do on their selection conference when I was candidating was what they called an inventory. 40 questions to be answered in 30 minutes, each requiring a one or two word answer, one of which was which is the most important gift or quality that you would like to have in your ministry? The answer I gave was actually wisdom or discernment.

In these present times, though, the gift of wisdom or discernment is one which I believe we should all be asking God to give us as we move from lockdown to more freedom of choice and movement.

We need to discern when our reticence to do things is through fear or through care and concern for ourselves or others.

We need wisdom to discern whether our desire to return to life as it was before lockdown is nostalgia and a craving for what was our norm or because we really believe that the life we were living before lockdown, with all its activities, hustle and bustle was better than the slower, more measured way of life we have been forced to live for the past 4 months.

This has been something which has come up in many Deanery and Diocesan Zoom meetings I have attended and the big question that has been asked is: What in the life of the Church do you feel should be kept and continued after lockdown ends and what should go back to what was the norm before lockdown? Many surprising answers have been given to that question but watch this space, as they say, for there will be changes in the way in which we do Church in the future but our leaders and congregations, national and local will need a great deal of wisdom and discernment over the coming months to work out where God is leading His Church and where our focus should be in the future for its mission and ministry.

Please pray for our leaders, both national and local as we discern together what God’s purpose for our Church is for the future and the wisdom to accept that discernment whether we like it or not, to enable our mission and ministry in our local communities to flourish through joining in and working with God where He is working and with what He is doing.

 

Post Communion
Lord God, whose Son is the true vine and the source of life,
ever giving himself that the world may live: may we so receive within ourselves the power of his death and passion that, in his saving cup,
we may share his glory and be made perfect in his love;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday

2nd August – Eighth Sunday after Trinity

9.30am      Thorpeness Service 1  The Meare, Thorpeness

9.45am      Morning Praise             Friston Church

10.30am      Morning Praise             Aldeburgh Church

11.00am      Informal service           Aldringham Churchyard

3.00pm      Online service available

NOTICES

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞

Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

 

✟ Songs of Praise on The Green 🎶
A Benefice Service at Friston – 30th August 2020 3.00pm
The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise’ on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to hopefully sing to the Praise of God (restrictions permitting) and have a picnic afterwards.

Do you have a favourite hymn?

Please let Carole Edwards know by email, phone or letter, your choice of hymn (see below)

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

Reply to Carole Edwards, caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

 
 
 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 
Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities and have an even more vital role to play as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.
The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. Please do keep a look out at their notices as they will be putting a list of the items most needed.
They both have large donation baskets that you can add your items to.

 

Pilgrims Together
(part of The Alde Sandlings Benefice)

invite you to

Thorpeness Summer Services 2020

Celtic Style Worship
9.30am at The Meare, Thorpeness

Sunday 2nd August
Sunday 9th August
Sunday16th August
Sunday 23rd August

ALL ARE WELCOME
Please bring your own chair!

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Benefice News Sheet 19th July-Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Message from the Rector

Our gentle process of opening our churches for worship continues and this week sees our first service of Holy Communion in a church building since March. The national church has issued some guidelines about the consecration and distribution of Holy Communion and they are worth mentioning now. The recommendation is that communion is distributed ‘in one kind only’ – in other words only the bread will be administered to the congregation. During the service the presiding priest will be at the altar alone and will consecrate bread and also a small quantity of wine which he or she will receive on behalf of the congregation. The bread to be distributed will be kept covered throughout the prayer of consecration. Then, to quote the guidelines ‘At the giving of Communion, the president receives Communion in both kinds. The words of distribution (‘The body and blood of Christ’) are spoken to the congregation, and all who intend to receive say, ‘Amen’. At the distribution, Holy Communion is administered in silence. The consecrated bread or wafer will need to be dropped into the hands of communicants.’ Members of the congregation receive the consecrated bread standing and having kept suitable social distancing as they wait. I can’t speak for my colleagues, but I intend to wear a face-covering as I distribute the bread – not for my sake but for the sake of those receiving communion. And hands will be cleaned both before and after distribution.

This all sounds rather daunting but in practice it should not be too difficult – we will all have to become used to some differences from our normal way of doing things, but I think we will soon become used to them. Obviously if rules change, we will adapt (for better or worse!) but at least we are now able to hold communion services in our churches once again.

We are moving towards a time when we should be able to establish a regular pattern of services in all of our churches. We are not quite there yet, and the pattern may mean that there isn’t a service in every church every week, but for this week and next this is what we intend to do.

Sunday 19th July

9.45am Service of Holy Communion in Friston church

10.30am Online service of Morning Prayer (Mattins)

11.00am Service in Aldringham churchyard

Sunday 26th July

9.30am Service of Holy Communion in Knodishall church

10.30am Online service of Holy Communion

11.00am Service in Aldringham churchyard

6.00pm Service of Evening Prayer in Aldeburgh church

The readings that follow cover the fact that we will be having both an online Mattins service and the service of Holy Communion in Friston – so for the Mattins ignore the second reading (Romans) and make the Gospel reading the New Testament lesson. The post-communion prayer is obviously surplus to requirements too – as is the psalm for the Holy Communion service! And if those attending Holy Communion would like to print off a copy of the readings for their own use in church then, of course, they are most welcome to do so.

With love, as ever

Mark

 

PSALM 139 Verses 1-11, 23-24

O LORD, thou hast searched me out and known me : thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts long before.

Thou art about my path, and about my bed : and spiest out all my ways.

For lo, there is not a word in my tongue : but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether.

Thou hast fashioned me behind and before : and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me : I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit : or whither shall I go then from thy presence?

If I climb up into heaven, thou art there : if I go down to hell, thou art there also.

If I take the wings of the morning : and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there also shall thy hand lead me : and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me : then shall my night be turned to day.

Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day: the darkness and light to thee are both alike.

Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart : prove me, and examine my thoughts.

Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : and lead me in the way everlasting.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

First Reading
Isaiah 44.6-8
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.  Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them declare and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be.  Do not fear, or be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one. 

Second Reading
Romans 8.12-25
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh for if you live according to the flesh, you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43

Jesus put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Collect
Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our
hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things
and above all things, may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ
your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Sermon by our Rector, Revd Mark Lowther

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

I like to think that I’m something of an expert on weeds – well one particular aspect of weeds anyway – growing them. Anyone who has seen the vicarage garden lately, front or back, will know that it sports a rather spectacular collection of weeds of all sorts and one day we really will get stuck in and clear them. At the moment, though, there always seems to be something else that needs to be done first – like writing a sermon …. And I console myself with the thought that a weed is really only a plant in the wrong place. Maybe if I could convince myself that those yellow jobs whose name I don’t know were intended to be there, rather than just having sprouted up of their own accord, then it would be OK. Maybe weeds are really only in the mind.

The weeds that Jesus talks about in our NT reading are a way of illustrating a profound truth about human nature and about God’s call on us all. And those weeds are, as Jesus describes them, sown by the devil. And Jesus seems to be very clear as he explains his parable to the disciples – we are all either children of the kingdom or children of the evil one. The first will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father, the second will be thrown into the fire. It’s a binary situation – one thing or the other. But the God who knows us better than we know ourselves knows that it usually isn’t like that. All of us, at different times and in different situations, find ourselves pulled in different directions and have the potential to allow weeds to grow where God is trying to sow fine wheat. The difficulty comes when we try to name the bad stuff – because words like ‘sin’ and ‘guilt’ are so heavily loaded. They’ve come to take on associations that aren’t helpful.

When I go and see grieving relatives to plan a funeral, I need to ask them if they’d like to include one of the optional parts of the service – the Prayers of Penitence. I read that part of the service to them – it’s a confession and absolution in which the priest says all the words and it begins ‘God of mercy, we acknowledge that we are all sinners.’ And I wonder how those who aren’t regular churchgoers hear those words. We all do get things wrong, we do all fall short of what God is calling us to be – but it can all too easily sound miserable when it is, in fact, the prelude to something very hopeful. That as long as we are prepared to face up to what we get wrong and admit it to God (who knows it already, of course) then we are on the right road, we are forgiven by God, can forgive ourselves (often the most difficult bit) and move on. Let the light in. Cut the weeds down. Use whatever metaphor you find helpful.

The other important thing that Jesus’s parable teaches us is that God is patient. When the slaves ask the master if he’d like them to get rid of the weeds straight away he says ‘no – for in gathering up the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest’. Wait. See what happens. And we live in that waiting time and can uproot some of our own weeds if we really want to. We’ll never be rid of them all – we’re only human after all – but we are offered opportunities on a daily basis to do some gardening of our own.

As any gardener will tell you, some weeds are very pervasive, invasive even, and aren’t (sadly for my theory of gardening) just plants in the wrong place – they’re plants that will eventually harm the plants that we really want to see grow if we don’t do something about them. Pull them up, chuck them on the bonfire. Prepare for those angels who will do it for us if we haven’t already done it ourselves. And, yes, let anyone with ears listen!

Amen

Post Communion

God of our pilgrimage, you have led us to the living water:
refresh and sustain us as we go forward on our journey,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead –
Next Sunday
26th July – Seventh Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞

Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

 

✟ Songs of Praise on The Green 🎶
A Benefice Service at Friston – 30th August 2020 3.00pm

The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to hopefully sing to the Praise of God (restrictions permitting) and have a picnic afterwards.

Do you have a favourite hymn?

Please let Carole Edwards know by email, phone or letter, your choice of hymn (see below)

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

Reply to Carole Edwards, caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

 

Benefice News Sheet for 12th July/Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

There is a great deal of talk these days about ‘the new normal’. What, in all walks of life, might ‘going back to normal’ mean post Covid-19? There is, of course, no straightforward answer. We already know that we cannot just pick up where we left off back in the early spring. The Covid-19 Alert Level is still set at 3, meaning that (to quote official guidance) ‘the virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur. You must continue to wash your hands and keep 2m distance.’ We still need to be very careful and take particular regard for the elderly and those who have what we have come to generalise as ‘underlying conditions’ – a catch-all that includes those with a heart condition, those being treated for cancer, those on high doses of steroids and a good deal else besides. We should also be acutely aware of the possibility of carrying Covid-19 without being aware of it – being asymptomatic. There is still a good deal that we don’t understand about this disease, but we do know that just because people are not aware of the fact that they have it does not prevent them from transmitting it to others.

All of this is a prelude to saying a little about my (and the clergy team’s) thinking about opening up our churches. We still need to be very careful – of ourselves and of others. We need to move steadily and not feel that we have to do as much as possible as soon as possible. And (I hope it goes without saying) no-one should feel under any pressure to attend one of our church buildings if they would feel more comfortable remaining at home. We will try our best to cater for all. The current plans for the next couple of Sundays are as follows:

Sunday 12th July

10.30am Online service of Holy Communion

11.00am Service in Aldringham Churchyard

6.00pm ‘A Reflective Act of Worship for Uncertain Times’ in Aldeburgh church

 

Sunday 19th July

9.45am Service of Holy Communion in Friston Church

10.30am Online service of Morning Prayer (Mattins)

11.00am Service in Aldringham churchyard

As we learn by experience and are guided by government and church we hope, gently, to expand what we offer, and I will issue weekly updates.

 

With love, as ever

Mark

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the
whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in
holiness and truth to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Isaiah 55.10-13
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Second Reading
Romans 8.1-11
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set
you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what
the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned
sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according
to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their
minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to
the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the
mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is
life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh
is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it
cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the
Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the
Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you,
though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because
of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to
your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Gospel
Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’

‘Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

 

Reflection for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity
by The Revd James Marston

Parable of the sower

One of the most interesting theories about the early church is that the oft-quoted St Paul’s letter to the Romans was written to a church that was already well established. Indeed, his other letters are largely letters of encouragement to other churches that he had helped get going. But not so with Rome.

In fact when Paul wrote the letter to the Romans he sets out his theology, his plans, and highlights his credentials as an apostle because although, he was hoping to visit Rome, they probably knew little about him. He was, it seems to me, hoping for a decent welcome, the Roman equivalent of a bring and share lunch, and a place to stay when he got there.

This begs the question of how the church in Rome was founded. If it wasn’t Paul, how did it emerge? It seems it was up and running by AD50, less than twenty years after the resurrection. The Acts of the Apostles holds the clue and it is the sermon by St Peter to the crowd at Pentecost that might hold the answer. For in that crowd, of which thought the disciples were drunk, there was a contingent of visitors from Rome, and it may well have been them that took back the emerging faith to the empire’s capital city.

Today’s bible story, the parable of the sower, is a well-known one. Over the years it has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Usually the differing soils were interpreted as an allegory for the disciples themselves that Jesus, the sower, was talking to. Not so long ago it was, perhaps more fancifully, suggested that the different kinds of soils were relevant to different vocations in the church – laity, clergy, virgins, martyrs and monks.

And while there may be laity and clergy in the Alde Sandlings I suspect martyrs and monks are rather thinner on the ground.

More recently the parable has been a stock in trade of Sunday school and Sunday morning Christian teaching – often interpreted as a challenge to the churchgoer: What type of soil are you? Is it you “Who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields?”.

But I think we should be careful in equating ourselves or our community with the good soil. I think we can probably find evidence of several kinds of soil in our lives and in our church communities on any given day. Added which in this parable Jesus does not exhort us to be the good soil – though I suppose we could work towards that – instead he takes the disciples aside and gives his own interpretation of the parable, the different reasons why the word of the Kingdom is rejected. These include the power of the evil one, the lure of wealth, and trouble and persecution. And, I suspect, all of us, at varying times in our lives, are subject to temptation, materialism, and know what it is to have our faith tested.

Nonetheless, it seems to me that this parable has yet another meaning to think about and it is this; that despite the hurdles of rejection God, always wins through in the end. For when the word, the Gospel of hope and love is heard and understood then the crop is abundant. And Jesus is not so much the sower as the reaper of the harvest.

Today, we are those entrusted with Jesus’ mission, and we might consider the implications of this parable for how we engage in mission. Often we play it safe, sowing the word only where we are confident it will be well received, and only where those who receive it are likely to become contributing members of our congregations.

Often, in the name of good governance, we hold on tight to our resources, wanting to make sure that nothing is wasted. Indeed we can even resist new ideas for fear they might not work – as though mistakes or failure were to be avoided at all costs.

This parable, I suggest, is a call to confidence, a call to trust in the Holy Spirit of Pentecost, a call to scatter the word in places we might not have thought of before.

Today, as we gradually come back to reform the body of Christ in this benefice, we have an opportunity to reconsider our Christian mission to the wider communities in which we live.

It is clear to me, as we have supported and upheld one another in recent weeks that the church community has much to offer and that the energising Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that founded the church in Rome, is among us and working in our lives. We are keen to get back to church, to reignite our faith, and to worship together once again.

We also have time to think about and discuss the things we have learnt and discovered over recent weeks. My challenge to you this week is to pray about and come up with just one idea of how our benefice, herein the Alde Sandling’s, might reach out to those we don’t know and to those we don’t usually encounter in our churches.

It is time to scatter the seed and to trust once more that God always wins through in the end. Amen.

 

Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O Saviour, whose almighty word
the winds and waves submissive heard,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amid its rage didst sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O sacred Spirit, who didst brood
upon the chaos dark and rude,
who bad’st its angry tumult cease,
and gavest light and life and peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O trinity of love and power!
Our brethren’s shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
protect them wheresoe’er they go;
and ever let there rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

William Whiting (1825-1878)

 

Post Communion
Grant, O Lord, we beseech you,
that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by your governance, that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly
quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Week Ahead –
Next Sunday
19th July – Sixth Sunday after Trinity

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

NOTICES

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞

Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

✟ Songs of Praise on The Green 🎶
A Benefice Service at Friston – 30th August 2020 3.00pm

The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to sing to the Praise of God

and have a picnic afterwards. Do you have a favourite hymn?
If you would like to attend please contact Carole Edwards – caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

Also please let Carole know your suggestion of a hymn to be
included in this service.

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

 

The Peninsula Practice Notice

As newsletters cannot be distributed currently, please do check the Peninsula Practice website for regular updates as they develop.

www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/coronaviruscovid-19

Benefice News Sheet for 5th July/Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

This last week the announcement came that we are, once again, allowed to worship in our churches. It is excellent news though, of course, it comes with restrictions. We need to work out how many we can comfortably accommodate in each of our churches, given the need to maintain social distancing (which remains at 2 metres unless we take other precautions). There is also still some working-out to be done around Holy Communion which, inevitably, poses more difficulties. And we need to bear in mind that, for some people, being in an enclosed building with other people remains difficult at present because of their age or their health. So we plan to move gently and keep an online worshipping presence.

For the next couple of weeks, we plan to continue online services at 10.30am but we will add something else to the Sunday mix. At 6pm there will be a service in the largest of our churches, Aldeburgh. This week it will be a service of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, next week (July 12th) it will be a special service – ‘A reflective act of worship for uncertain times’. We will also continue the outdoor services in Aldringham at 11.00am and as restrictions have been relaxed (churchyards now obey the same rules as church buildings and as long as social distancing is still possible there is no restriction on numbers) there only needs to be one service. We will review the situation as we monitor the popularity of these services and will make any changes accordingly. In the very near future the PCCs of Friston and Knodishall will be making decisions about how and when to open their buildings. Friston’s Wednesday 6pm Compline will remain online for the time being and Pilgrims Together will maintain their weekly online presence too. (See further down this document for details of how to join with both of these acts of worship.)

Some of the material for this week’s online service comes from the Iona Abbey Worship Book. If you enjoy it (if it ‘speaks to your condition’ as our Quaker friends would say) then you may well find that Pilgrims Together does too – they derive much of their material from Iona. You would be very welcome to give it a try.

The other day we received news of the diocesan plans for Ordinations and James’s Ordination to the Priesthood is now planned for Sunday 6th September. Numbers at the cathedral will be restricted but the service will be streamed online. We are not sure of the time of the service yet but will adjust the timing of our benefice services if necessary – more news when we have it.

Finally – on Tuesday I received a letter from Bishop Martin which included this:

‘ …. allow me to ask one more thing of those of you who are clergy: which is that in July and August when you are not on holiday you take two days off a week. A number of diocesan bishops are asking their clergy to do this, to help restore energy after the heavy demands most clergy have been under these past months, and to prepare for the continuing challenges in the Autumn. So – two days off please every week in July and August when you are not on holiday!’

Never one to disobey my Reverend Father in God (!) I intend to do just that and add Tuesday to my normal Monday. I will, of course, always be available in an emergency and my answerphone message will reflect that.

With love, as ever

Mark

 

Hymn

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy days be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;

and in that light of life I’ll walk,

’til trav’ling days are done.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

First Reading
Romans 7.15-25a
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Second Reading
Matthew 11.16-19, 25-end
Jesus said ‘To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.”  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity
by The Revd Nichola Winter

One of the unexpected benefits of the recent lockdown has been the opportunity for more reading – both serious and light. I have always been fascinated by the Arthurian legend, so it has been a joy reading about his encounters with Merlin the enchanter, or wise man. As Merlin approaches old age, he fears that his power is leaving him and he is no longer able to guide Arthur as well as he feels he should. A crisis comes and Merlin thinks he has failed – but it is Arthur who points out that ‘god’ has not failed him – he has brought him through. Maybe not in the way that Merlin had anticipated – but he has brought him through the crisis nonetheless.

Now, you might wonder why I am referring to a mythical tale that deals with paganism and the early days of Christianity during an act of worship. But that is partly the point. Those doughty folk who brought Christianity to these shores – and to many other countries – had to deal with cultures that worshipped gods who constantly needed to be placated with offerings and sacrifice – sacrifice that might well involve human life. Bring in the Christian story and here we have a different sacrifice – Jesus, who makes that final human sacrifice after which no more human blood need be spilled. Humans no longer need believe they must sacrifice human life – he (Jesus) has done all that is needful. What is required now of his followers is sacrifice of love, joy and service. In our darkest moments (fast forward to today and the uncertain times we find ourselves in) God is still very much with us. When we feel, like Merlin, that our powers fail, when we feel at our weakest, that is when we need to take on the light yoke of Jesus and let his power enable us.

Those ‘comfortable words’ have brought strength, hope and faith itself to so many; they are worth learning and repeating in our times of quiet prayer as often as possible:

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

In an agricultural society the idea of a yoke – a device that enables a beast to haul a heavy load, would have been a familiar image. The rabbis in the synagogue would speak about the yoke of Torah, the Jewish scripture, and the yoke of the kingdom. Heavy responsibilities; strict laws; a burden indeed. But Jesus invites us to ‘learn from him’ – a lifelong lesson of learning as his disciple. He says, ‘my yoke is easy’ – and indeed, compared with the lengthy law of the Pharisees it is shorter and centred on the bare essentials – love God and love your neighbour. But those demands are inexhaustible – can we ever really say that we love God and we love our neighbour enough?

The current times have shown how neighbours can love and act for each other; how communities have been pulling together; how strangers have become friends through simple acts of help and kindness. There is a real joy in that loving; joy in service, and joy in receiving. Of course, it changes as we continue through life. Before lockdown I visited people who were saddened because they no longer felt able to do as much as they used to. ‘Well, I can’t do much these days for the church, you know…’ they’d say. But after a little discussion they discover quite a few things they could do – invite a neighbour round for a cuppa (easier now as some restrictions ease), pick up the phone to someone who’s lonely and have a chat. And one of the greatest acts of love is to pray – you don’t need to be healthy, fit or energetic to do that.

Jesus doesn’t invite us to take on some impossible task. He does invite us to hand over all those problems, dilemmas and crises to God in prayer and let him take it from there. The situation may not go away immediately but God will give the strength to deal with it.
He knows our weakness; think back to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal. As he prays, asking his disciples to accompany him, they can only sleep, worn out with fear and exhaustion. Jesus says, ‘Pray that you do not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ We all know that feeling; Paul in his rather longwinded way says the same thing in his letter to the Romans and he finally concludes:

‘Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!’

And that can be a prayer of thankfulness from each one of us.

 

Collect
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Hymn

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bid me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings within and fears without,

O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
has broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
the breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)

 

NOTICES

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞
Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

✟ Songs of Praise on The Green 
A Benefice Service at Friston – 
30th August 2020 3.00pm
The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to sing to the Praise of God and have a picnic afterwards. Do you have a favourite hymn?
If you would like to attend please contact Carole Edwards – caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

Also please let Carole know your suggestion of a hymn to be
included in this service.

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

Benefice News Sheet for 28th June-Third Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

I am hesitating as I type this because by the time you read it there may be some more news. But as I’m sure you will have heard we are, once again, allowed to hold services in church from next weekend onwards – which is great news. The problem at the moment is that, yet again, we await government guidelines as to any restrictions that we may have to work within. (It would have helped us a great deal if these things had been worked out before the announcement had been made!) Various things have been hinted at but there is, as yet, nothing concrete. I have been in touch with the wardens of all of our churches asking them for their opinions on how we might best move forward and the clergy team will be meeting on Tuesday to make some decisions, in the hope that guidelines will be available by then. I very much hope that we will be able to hold a service in at least one of our churches next Sunday but I’m afraid that I can’t tell you more at the moment.

This weekend would, in normal circumstances, have seen James’s ordination to the priesthood and also Aldeburgh’s Patronal Festival. Both of those will be reflected in some way in this week’s service. James, and all of those whose ordinations have been postponed, are very much in our prayers.

We are also beginning to think about the things that we can’t wait to restart, and wondering about things that we might perhaps like to be a bit different once we are able to be properly up and running again. I would very much appreciate your thoughts too.

 

Collect
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate
our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may
be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

 

First Reading
Jeremiah 28.5-9
Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.’

Second Reading
Romans 6.12-end
Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 10.40-end
‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’ 

 

Reflection for the Third Sunday after Trinity
by The Revd Johanna Mabey

Matthew 10: 40-42

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

On this day two years ago, you, the wonderful people of Alde Sandlings Benefice, welcomed me home as a newly minted priest and we celebrated together at my maiden Eucharist. Happy and special times!

Today we should have been celebrating an equally happy and special time with our lovely curate James. I’m certain you join with me in thinking of James and his fellow deacons as their preparations and expectations for priesthood have been temporarily scuppered by current restrictions.

Ironically, today’s Gospel lesson couldn’t be more appropriate for the welcoming of a new priest. This is the conclusion of Matthew’s chapter ten and Jesus is preparing the twelve to be itinerant missionaries. He sends them out as his messengers to represent him, and his Father, the one who sent him.

In antiquity, sending messengers was a standard way of communication in business and religious life. Certain rules of etiquette built up around it, and that is the principle we hear behind the words “whoever receives you, receives me, and the one who sent me.” For the ancient Mediterranean world – whether Jew, Christian, Greek, Roman or other, there were divine implications in hospitality. A stranger might be the God of Israel, or the Messiah, or one of many gods and goddesses of those times. Answering a knock at the door was a dangerous and potentially wonderful moment.

In this context, Jesus sends his disciples, as his messengers, to do exactly what he does. He gives them authority to heal, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. If people don’t welcome them, they are to shake the dust off and move on. They will face hostility, persecution, and betrayal – just as he does, but they have a security that protects them against a need to be secure.

Jesus and God stand in solidarity with them and in the reception they receive. “Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Since these strange Covid times began we’ve seen and heard many examples of people putting their own security aside to help and heal others. Just think of all the “cups of cold water” that have been given to those in need. Just think of all the “cups of cold water” you may have given or received recently. We are a missional people. I know many of you are caring for others in all sorts of ways.

The theologian Frederick Buechner writes: “we have it in us to be Christs to each other to work miracles of love and healing as well as to have them worked on us.” Jesus sends us, the church, into the world to meet real needs, work miracles of love and healing through acts of kindness… cups of cold water, and to go as a people willing to have those same miracles worked on us.

We represent Christ to the stranger, and we encounter Christ in the stranger. It’s part of the mystery of abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us. It’s part of life as a believing community that joyfully we share with one another. For me it’s part of the mystery of Holy Communion – which makes our current situation of not being able to gather at the table together even more painful.

Two years ago, as I lifted the chalice for the first time, I was momentarily struck as I saw my own reflection in the smooth silver. I marvelled at the mystery of being there, of being together with you on the outside of the chalice and on the inside with the wine.

At that service we sang the hymn “Brother, Sister, let me serve you”. It’s words brought a tear to my eye then, as they still do now…

Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

Let’s look forward to a time soon, when James can lift that same chalice and patten, and marvel at that same joy and mystery…and to a time when we can serve and be served, together once more.

 

Hymn

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace
to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow,
till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we’ve known together
of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that l may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

Richard Gillard (b 1953)

 

Post Communion
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
5th July – Fourth Sunday after Trinity

 

NOTICES

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞

Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

 
 

🧺Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

Benefice News Sheet 21st June – Second Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

Some good news. We have made some significant moves to open our churches for private prayer. St Andrew’s Aldringham is open every day, though access is restricted to a small part of the church in order to allow us to keep it clean. St Peter & St Paul’s Aldeburgh will be open every Sunday from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Again, access will only be to part of the building but as we are only open for one day a week the cleaning is less onerous and we feel that we can allow access to a small number of chairs (suitably distanced) in the Trinity Chapel. St Mary’s Friston will be open by appointment and details of how to access the church will be posted in the porch. We are lucky to have members of the congregation living very close to the church building and they have kindly agreed to unlock the church should there be a need. St Lawrence’s Knodishall is still deep in thought about the best way to handle things and there will be news very soon. It’s not an easy decision for any of our churches because opening the building means extra work for volunteers. The more of the building we open, and the more often we open it, the more work there is. We all pray for a time when restrictions are relaxed further but for the time being these are the restrictions under which we work. In the meantime, the online services continue and it’s good to be together at the same time, albeit in different places. The Holy Spirit draws us together and, as it were, ‘joins the dots.’ All shall be well.

PSALM 86 Verses 1-11

BOW down thine ear, O Lord, and hear me : for I am poor, and in misery

2 Preserve thou my soul, for I am holy : my God, save thy servant that putteth his trust in thee.

3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord : for I will call daily upon thee.

4 Comfort the soul of thy servant : for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For thou, Lord, art good and gracious : and of great mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

6 Give ear, Lord, unto my prayer : and ponder the voice of my humble desires.

7 In the time of my trouble I will call upon thee : for thou hearest me.

8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord : there is not one that can do as thou doest.

9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship thee, O Lord : and shall glorify thy Name.

10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things : thou art God alone.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in thy truth : O knit my heart unto thee, that I may fear thy Name.

 

First Reading
Romans 6.1b-11
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

Second Reading
Matthew 10.24-39
‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

 

Collect
Lord, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Reflection for the Second Sunday after Trinity
The Revd Sheila Hart

For nearly 3 months now we have been living under lockdown because of Covid 19. And now, over the past week or so, suddenly this place of safety is beginning to be opened up, so that life can begin to slowly return to normal – whatever that means now.

We have been in lockdown for fear of becoming infected by the virus – to keep us safe – for protection of ourselves and others – and now some of the strict rules are beginning to be lifted and there is a different norm. And, as a result, a different fear or apprehension.

Being in lockdown has been experienced in different ways by different people.

Initially many were disorientated – not quite knowing which way to turn or how to react.

For many it was seen as an opportunity to do all those things on their ‘to do’ list and so they entered upon a period of frantic activity – tidying, cleaning, clearing out unwanted junk that had been lying around for ages in piles which needed sorting.

As time went on an element of resignation took over – this was how life was going to be for some time and so we’d better get used to it.

And finally, for many a sense of pent up anger and frustration which could have sparked the reaction to George Floyd’s death in America and subsequently the ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations in this country and around the world in the past couple of weeks. The sense of ‘I have to blame somebody or something for my fate.’

In a different context and at a different time, this is exactly what Jeremiah was experiencing in our Old Testament lesson. He had reluctantly responded to God’s call to be a prophet in his youth. He had faithfully spoken God’s message to the people of his time, and he had received opposition and criticism from his hearers. He had tried to contain his resulting frustration and anger and live with it and eventually, he had had to let it out and he had a good rant at God, after all it was God who had got him into this mess and it was God’s responsibility to get him out of it!

Having had a go at God, Jeremiah has a moment of revelation in verse 11 of our reading: ‘But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore, my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail…. O Lord of Hosts, You test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind;’

So let’s be honest – how many of us are blaming God for our current situation and what we have been through in the past weeks?

Just because we are Christians – people who have committed our lives to serve God – it does not absolve us from our humanity.

Jesus is very clear in our Gospel reading from Matthew as to what following Him is all about.

‘Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it and those who lose their life will find it.’

Being a Christian is not an escape route from the realities of life. Rather it is nailing our colours to the cross of Christ and sharing not only in the ‘power of His resurrection’ but also in ‘the fellowship of His sufferings’ that we might gain the crown of life – eternal life.

This has been a hard and difficult time for many of us and it is not going to get any easier very quickly, but we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus and many of His followers have travelled a similar road before and what they have lost in this life they have gained in eternity. So let us not give up now. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Amen.

 

Hymn

Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up thy cross, let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross then in his strength,
and calmly every danger brave;
’twill guide thee to a better home,
and lead to victory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down;
for only he who bears the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
all praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
the heavenly life that knows no end.

C W Everest (1814-77)

 

Some useful information on the current situation from our Doctors Surgeries in Aldeburgh and Leiston

Latest update from Aldeburgh Doctor Surgery

A close up of a logo

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Please be aware that from 15 June 2020 our services will change as follows however WE MAY AT SHORT NOTICE HAVE TO REVERT TO OUR FALLBACK POSITION, OF ORFORD BEING THE DESIGNATED SITE TO SEE ALL PATIENTS FACE-TO-FACE.

  • DISPENSARY

Orford and Alderton will both be open as per pre Covid opening hours. Patients will be able to collect their prescriptions through exterior dispensary windows. We ask that patients queue honouring social distancing advice of two metres.

Please do not call dispensary – prescriptions are still taking 5 working days.

  • OPENING HOURS

Pre Covid opening hours, but the doors will remain locked at all sites so please telephone the surgery for appointments, results or queries.

Alderton Surgery Monday 08.00 – 14.30

Tuesday-Friday 08.00 – 18.30

Orford Surgery Monday 08.00 – 18.30

Tuesday Closed

Wed-Friday 08.00 – 13.00

Aldeburgh Monday-Friday 08.00 – 18.30

Hollesley Temporarily closed until further notice. – Repeat prescriptions requests will continue to be collected from the site.

  • APPOINTMENTS

All appointments will be by telephone unless a patient is asked to attend the surgery for a face-to-face appointment.

One clinical team will manage telephone, video and online consultations. A small group of clinical staff will see patients face-to-face where there is a clinical need, thus reducing the risk of infecting patients and staff.

We are only able to accommodate essential blood appointments, because these appointments, which normally take 5 minutes, but now due to infection control, take 20 minutes.

Patients who have transport will be asked to support our service by attending Landseer Road for bloods. To pre-book appointments at Landseer Road online:

www.esneft.nhs.uk/service/bloodtests or tel 03331 032220.

When attending a face-to-face appointment at the surgery please remain in your car or the car park until a member of staff comes to collect you. And if you have a facemask please wear it.

We encourage all patients, if possible, to use our e-consult service; which offers online consultations with our clinicians. The link to our e-consult service can be found on our website:

www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/econsult

  • RECEPTION

Our team are here to help you. For infection control purposes we are making internal structure changes and we request that patients honour social distancing at all times.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE MAY AT SHORT NOTICE HAVE TO REVERT TO OUR FALLBACK POSITION, OF ORFORD BEING THE DESIGNATED SITE TO SEE ALL PATIENTS FACE-TO-FACE.

For all practice updates please see our website http://www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/homepage or The Peninsula Practice Facebook page.

 

Latest update from Leiston Doctor Surgery

‘Due to infection control measures in regards to the Coronavirus, we now have a reception desk in the upstairs lobby where you will be asked some questions in regards to your symptoms and exposure history.

The doors that can be accessed from the main street are NOT to be used, this is for the safety of our patients and staff to prevent spread of infection.

The downstairs entrance accessed via the car park must only be used by patients that require to access the lift or pick up medications.

Please do not come to the surgery without a booked appointment.

All patients with pre-booked appointments for the nurses/HCA’s will be asked to contact the surgery prior to their appointment if they have any cold/flu like symptoms.

All GP/allied health professional appointments are telephone triaged initially.

Do not come early to appointments if possible and do not bring other people to accompany where possible.

We appreciate your support and cooperation at this time and want to ensure you that we are taking every possible measure to minimise risk for our patients and staff.’

For more information, please visit the Leiston Doctor surgery website:

https://www.leistonsurgery.com/page1.aspx?p=1&t=1

https://www.leistonsurgery.com/page1.aspx?p=3&t=1

 

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
28th June – Third Sunday after Trinity

 

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

 
 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

Benefice News Sheet 14th June – First Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

Well! Rather to everyone’s surprise (including Bishop Martin, who’d had no notice of it) late last Saturday the government announced that churches would be able to open for private prayer from Monday June 15th. Then (again with no notice) the date was brought forward to Saturday 13th and the guidelines promised for Tuesday 9th about how this might happen appeared at lunchtime on Friday 12th. This isn’t a time for grumbling, it’s a time for celebration but we must be careful too. Churches are not opening for services (although we are now allowed to have funerals in church as long as we stick strictly to guidelines about ‘social distancing’ and cleaning), churches are not opening for visiting, they are opening for individuals in order that they might spend a little quiet time with God and to pray.

Given the very short notice of the announcement this is still very much ‘work in progress’ in our four parishes but, as I write (on Friday) the following decisions have been made.

Aldringham church – will be open from Monday, strictly following the guidelines for safety and hygiene.
Friston church – will not be open, though if people wish to visit the church it will be opened for them.
Knodishall church – would like to open but is still working on the details.
Aldeburgh church – has yet to make a final decision.

It should be stressed that just because a church can open it doesn’t have to and the reasons for which it might open are very limited.

It must also be stressed that Covid-19 has not gone away. The worst of the pandemic might be over in the UK but we still need to be very vigilant. In our deanery we are lucky that one of the clergy, The Revd Brian Jolley, is a pharmacist and in a clergy chapter meeting earlier this week he told us about how the current situation is regarded by medical professionals. They are still taking a huge amount of care, fearing the possibility of a second wave of the virus. We need to make sure that, in the end, we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Finally, a message on behalf of our PCC treasurers. Thank-you to all who give to the church by standing order, direct debit or thorough the Parish Giving Scheme. The fact that you do has been a huge help in recent weeks. If, however, you normally give by putting your offering in the collection-plate then it would be wonderful to know that you might have carried on putting money aside even though you haven’t been able to visit the church building. We very much look forward to our first opportunity to worship together again – and to the sound of piggy-banks being emptied!

Our curate James was due to be ordained priest at the end of June – but then the lockdown happened.
Today, he discusses the next step.

It’s been a strange few years. It has been a time of changes, of house moves, of challenge and of following a new path. I’ve moved to theological college in Cambridge, studied for the first time in twenty years, gathered experience at various churches, even took a study trip to Africa and this time last year was made a deacon and moved to east Suffolk. Ever since I have been getting used to being called Reverend, learning new skills, finding my place in a new community and experiencing a world in which people see me through a new lens – that of a clergyman.

It has been, overall, the time of my life. One of those periods of which I shall look back with deep affection largely because I feel I am doing what I am meant to be doing – following my vocation to the priesthood.

I was due to be ordained priest at the end of June by the Bishop in the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, but recent events have affected each and every one of us and what was planned has had to be delayed – hopefully not for too long.

But what is a priest? What does it include and what does it mean?

Apart from the obvious – leading Sunday services, taking funerals, marrying people in church, baptising babies – the concept of priesthood is one that isn’t always easy to define.

In the service of ordination, the Bishop addresses the congregation and sums up the role of priest: “Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God’s new creation.

They are to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord; they are to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for his family, to search for his children in the wilderness of this world’s temptations, and to guide them through its confusions, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ’s name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.”

“With all God’s people, they are to tell the story of God’s love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to walk with them in the way of Christ, nurturing them in the faith. They are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, and to declare the mighty acts of God.

“They are to preside at the Lord’s table and lead his people in worship, offering with them a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. They are to bless the people in God’s name. They are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, and intercede for all in need.

“They are to minister to the sick and prepare the dying for their death. Guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all God’s people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith.”

It is quite a tall order. But in the vows we take it is further distilled.

We are called first and foremost to be people of prayer, to maintain our own relationship with God and to pray often for those in our communities – everyone regardless of whether they come to church or not.

We are also called to proclaim the Gospel – not just in sermons or newspaper articles but in the way we live and behave – as my mother says to me, no more swearing, be kind and remember people expect certain standards – quite right.

Also, in the vows is a charge to teach the beliefs of the faith and to administer the sacraments – the Holy things of the church such as the communion bread and wine – a priest presides at the church’s most Holy of services.

It is quite a daunting prospect and one which I feel alternatively terrified and excited – terrified because of the responsibility, excited because I cannot wait to part of the ancient lineage of people that have served their communities in this way. It is both, it seems to me, a privilege and a burden.

The theology of it all aside, I have divided in my mind the role into two parts- doing and being. By doing I mean taking part in the community, communicating and teaching the faith, and offering myself in service to others. By being I mean simply living in the community, being part of the world but slightly separate from it, being that person of prayer who lives in the rectory and goes to church.

I don’t know when I will be priested – the timings are unclear – when the time comes I will do my best – I think that’s all God expects of all of us.

Glossary of terms
Ordination – church service at which the bishop presides, and deacons and priests are formally conferred with Holy Orders, priests are ordained to lead God’s people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Sacrament – a ritual or ceremony in which Christians believe divine grace is conferred.
The Eucharist – (Holy Communion, the Mass, or the Lord’s Supper), can take different forms across the Church of England, and it may be understood by Christians in different ways, but at the heart of the celebration there is always a special prayer of thanksgiving. This prayer is offered by the priest who presides at the service.

Collect
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of
our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the
help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Exodus 19.2-8a
They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.’
So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: ‘Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

Second Reading
Romans 5.1-8
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Hymn

He who would valiant be
‘gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy
follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round
with dismal stories,
do but themselves confound–
his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
though he with giants fight:
he will make good his right
to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend
us with thy Spirit,
we know we at the end
shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away!
I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

Words: Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) after John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Gospel Reading
Matthew 9.35-10.8
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Sermon for Trinity Sunday by our Rector,
The Revd Mark Lowther

Matthew 9: 35 – 10: 8

I wonder what went through your head when you heard those words in the Gospel reading about Jesus having compassion on the crowds ‘because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’. There have certainly been times in recent weeks when I’ve felt like that, not helped by knowing that our very own shepherds, our Bishops Martin and Mike, have been feeling very much the same. It has not been an easy time to be a leader – and that applies to our politicians as well as our church leaders. However much I might criticise the way decisions have or have not been taken I wouldn’t be in their shoes for anything. The responsibilities of leadership have been hugely burdensome, that’s for sure.

Now I don’t know if you’ve read the piece that our curate, James, has written in this week’s pew-sheet. If not, may I commend it to you? He ponders how he is feeling at the time when he should have been being ordained to the priesthood and reminds himself, and us, of what it is that priests are for. It’s a hugely varied range of tasks and listed as the Bishop would read out at the ordination service, pretty awesome. Fortunately, a few moments later in the service, the Bishop, addressing those about to be priested, says:

‘You cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength, but only by the grace and power of God. Pray therefore that your heart may daily be enlarged, and your understanding of the Scriptures enlightened.’ And I’m sure I speak for all of my fellow priests when I say that we do – daily. We’d collapse otherwise.

Now, bearing all of that in mind and turning back to today’s gospel reading, do you notice something interesting? Jesus summoned his twelve and sent them out to – well actually to do some of those things that have found their way into the ordination service. But he didn’t ordain them. He didn’t give them a special blessing. He gave them some pretty stiff instructions – and told them not to expect any reward. Later in the 10th chapter of Matthew’s gospel he tells them that they are to be like sheep in the midst of wolves, that they are likely to be persecuted. But he hadn’t ever set them apart in any other way. They were a collection of very ordinary people to who he gave very extraordinary tasks. And they did them – well, eleven of them did, the twelfth did something rather different.

And you know what’s coming, don’t you? It’s a task for all of us, here and now. In last week’s service we heard the very final words of Matthew’s gospel, the so-called ‘great commission’. Jesus was, again, speaking just to his, by then, post resurrection, 11 disciples. ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’. They still weren’t ordained, they were set apart only because of their closeness to the person of Jesus. The task – the task of building up the people of God – is one for us all. We who wear our unusual collars have a special part to play in the proceedings, but we cannot do it alone – we need the power of the Holy Spirit and, just as Jesus did, the help of some special but ordinary people.

To end with, some wonderful words which I may have quoted before and which come from the Methodist church in Singapore as a reminder of what ordination is, and isn’t.

‘We are not ordaining you to be a caring person; you are already called to that. We are not ordaining you to serve the Church in committees, activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership. We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues, ecology, race, politics, revolution, for that is laid upon every Christian. We are ordaining you to something smaller and less spectacular: to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community, so that they speak a word to people today; to remember and practice those rituals and rites of meaning that in their poetry address human beings at the level where change operates; to foster in community through word and sacrament that encounter with truth which will set men and women free to minister as the body of Christ.’

I reckon that’s as good a definition of what priests are called to do and to be – and what you’re called to do and to be as well.

Amen

Post Communion
Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts:
may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope,
and make us grow in love; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
21st June – Second Sunday after Trinity

How about some baking?

At Aldeburgh Parish Church we are incredibly lucky to have such talented bakers amongst our congregation. We can always rely on delicious cakes for our Friday Markets, Summer Fetes, and Coffee Mornings.
Something that we are all missing dearly at the moment.

This week we are in for a real treat with a recipe from Valerie Wallace. Thank you so much Valerie for sharing this with us. Ready, steady BAKE!!!

SOMERSET CIDER FRUIT CAKE – as sold at August Friday Markets

Oven 180C/350F/GAS MARK 4

Baking time between 60-70 minutes for lined 20cm tin

OR 2 lined 1lb tins around 35/40 minutes

Ingredients:

265g Mixed dried fruit –
100 g each of sultanas & raisins
and 65g of currants

4 tbsp of Thatcher’s vintage dry cider (other ciders available)!

175g Unsalted butter

175g Light Muscovado Sugar

3 Large Eggs

265g Self-raising flour

1 tsp Mixed Spice

*Soak mixed fruit in cider overnight unless taken from freezer – see Tip.

Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour. Sift in the rest of the flour with the mixed spice and fold in mixed fruit with juice.

Bake in preheated oven until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the tin. Freezes well.

Tip: If you are going to make more cakes over the weeks buy a 500ml bottle of cider; measure 265g of mixed fruit – 100g each of sultana/raisins and 65g of currants into 8/9 self seal reusable bags. Add 4 tbsp of cider into each bag, seal and put in freezer. They come out plump and juicy as the alcohol does not freeze.

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

🎶 Christina Johnston 🎶

Many of you know soprano Christina Johnston who has performed at Aldeburgh Parish Church many times. Christina is holding Friday night concerts at 7pm, from her studio at home.
So grab a drink a settle in for a night of wonderful music. You can find her on The Christina Johnston YouTube Channel for past and present concerts.

 

🧺Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

 
 

Benefice News Sheet for Trinity Sunday 7th June

Message from the Rector

Welcome to the last of our festive Sundays for quite a while. Since we have been unable to gather in our church buildings, we have marked Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day and Pentecost. On this Trinity Sunday we try our best to understand what it means to worship ‘one God in three persons’ and, traditionally, incumbents leave that task, at least in part, to the Curate. I am very pleased that James has accepted the challenge and risen to it!

I am afraid that there is still no news of when we might meet again in our church buildings. I am, however, very grateful to David Gordon from the congregation in Aldringham, for coming up with what seems to me like a very good idea indeed. He says:

‘From (last) Monday, 6 people can do various things in the churchyard. What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine. The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’

David speaks of Aldringham but I see no reason why we shouldn’t try something like this in all four of our churchyards, should there be a sufficient number of people interested. Please would you let Claire or me know if you would be interested in taking part in an informal outdoor service along these lines? We will then do some number-crunching and work out how, and how often, we might meet and worship together. And a huge thank-you to David for the idea. Over to you.

First Reading
Isaiah 40.12-17, 27-end
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust
of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
or as his counsellor has instructed him? Whom did he consult for his
enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice?

Who taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 
Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as dust on the scales; see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. Lebanon would not provide fuel enough, nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.  All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’?  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 28.16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Sermon for Trinity Sunday by The Revd James Marston

May I speak in the name of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In today’s gospel reading we hear of Jesus’ last great exhortation to his followers – amongst whom, as Christians, we count ourselves – to make disciples and baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

But what do we mean by Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

This Sunday we celebrate not an event, not a moment in history that gives us insight or helps explain our faith such as Pentecost or Christmas or even Easter, but instead we celebrate a doctrine, a teaching of the church that has come down to us through the last sixteen or seventeen centuries.

The Trinity – that one God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a theological minefield of potential heresy and misunderstanding. I shan’t go into those now, suffice to say that any ideas of shamrocks or three leaf clovers don’t get it quite right.

But, at the back of the Book of Common Prayer – the great cradle of Church of England doctrine – there are 39 articles, 39 statements of our church’s beliefs. And Number one, right at the beginning, is concerned with the Trinity, the doctrine on which our faith understands God.

This is what it says:

“There is but one living and true God, ever-lasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

And in the words of the Athanasian Creed, found again in the Book of Common Prayer gives us another insight: “we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence.”

The Athanasian Creed also reminds us that God, in essence is mystery we cannot comprehend.

“The Father is incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible; and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. And yet there are not three incomprehensibles, but one incomprehensible…”

I can live with a mystery, but God also gave us minds to understand and the doctrine of the Trinity, it seems to me, is our way of trying to explain at least something of the unknowable.

It might seem odd for the church, in today’s world of uncertainty and fear, to focus on theological nuance but the doctrine of the Trinity is important, not least because it is how God has revealed himself to us through scripture and the long history of Christian experience. But also because, today, as people seek the divine in their lives, perhaps more than ever, now is the time to understand something of the mysterious nature of God.

So how do we live out a Trinitarian faith? I think, in many ways, we do it without thinking.

When we pray, we do so naturally and often without the conscious effort that we are actually praying to God through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And The Grace, which we often extol at the end of church meetings or bible study also gives us a clue and insight into our Trinitarian faith.

“The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore, Amen.”

It isn’t an outright expression of Trinitarian doctrine, but The Grace has been used since the earliest days of the church – maybe as early as just 15 years after the resurrection – and tells us something of how the Trinity is inseparable from our faith and part and parcel of our relationship with God and with each other. Our calling as Christians is simply to share that relationship, that love, that grace and fellowship, with others.

Of course, the Trinity is also a relationship within itself – an eternal dance between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, held together by the glue of love.

Faith too is all about relationship and I think it is these relationships of love with God and with each other that we honour and celebrate today.

We have learnt, in recent weeks, our church family, has much to offer one another and the wider community in terms of support and friendship, love and compassion. And in these difficult days, it is heartening to observe as we reach out to one another and express our faith beyond the church walls.

We might have to stretch our minds to fully comprehend the mysterious doctrine of the trinity, but we have Jesus to emulate and the Holy Spirit within us to live out our faith. Let’s today not only celebrate who we are and what we believe but pray together to renew our faith and re-pledge ourselves and our lives to God, father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in this faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Hymn

We sing ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’

Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O Saviour, whose almighty word
the winds and waves submissive heard,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amid its rage didst sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O sacred Spirit, who didst brood
upon the chaos dark and rude,
who bad’st its angry tumult cease,
and gavest light and life and peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O trinity of love and power!
Our brethren’s shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
protect them wheresoe’er they go;
and ever let there rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

William Whiting (1825-1878)

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
14th June – First Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

🎶 Christina Johnston 🎶
Many of you know soprano Christina Johnston who has performed at Aldeburgh Parish Church many times. Christina (who has kindly sung and recorded the Lord’s Prayer for our Trinity Sunday service) is holding Friday night concerts from her studio at home. Next Friday (12th) at 7pm will be themed “BOND NIGHT 007”. So grab a drink a settle in for a night of wonderful music. You can find her on The Christina Johnston YouTube Channel for past and present concerts.

 
 

Benefice News Sheet for 31st May – Pentecost

Message from the Rector

Happy Birthday everyone! Pentecost is widely regarded as the church’s birthday – the day that God’s Holy Spirit arrived on earth with its energy and its inspiration. Our worship is, for the most part, a conventional Holy Communion service but with some extra words and actions that call to mind the true meaning of Pentecost and its ongoing significance. At the end of the service, were we to be in church, each member of the congregation would light a candle from the Paschal Candle that has burned at all of our services since Easter morning. We would then take those candles out with us, carrying the light of Christ out into the world. I will do what I can in the service, but you might like to have a candle handy too. Don’t light it until instructed!

You might also like to know that there will be a special Pentecost service co-ordinated by our cathedral at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. It’s called ‘Catching the Fire’ and will be led by Bishops Martin and Mike. More information, including how to access the service, is here:

https://stedscathedral.org/events/catching-the-fire/

First Reading
Acts 2.1-21 
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:  “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Collect
God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Hymn

Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing.
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round,
the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings’ weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far out pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace,
till he become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena (d 1434) tr. R F Littledale (1833-90)

 

Gospel Reading
John 20.19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

 

 

Reflection for Pentecost Sunday by
The Revd Johanna Mabey

Acts 2:1-21

May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

Happy Birthday everyone!

I hope you have balloons, cake and candles at the ready…

because today we celebrate the birthday of the Church which began with the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem over 3,000 miles away and 2,000 years ago.

Pentecost celebrates the power of the Spirit, the power of prayer and the power of the Gospel to change lives. I realise the national mood is far from celebratory at present, as fear and distress continue, but our Pentecost joy is a hope…one we need, now more than ever.

It might be helpful to remember that before the day of Pentecost the disciples were afraid too. Even though they had come to believe that Jesus was alive, that he had been raised from the dead, they still feared for their own lives. They were marked men and women. What had happened to Jesus could happen to them if the authorities found them. So, they stayed hidden, as far away from view as possible, locked in the Upper Room where they could feel safe. What would become of them? They could not stay there for ever.

It sounds strangely relevant for our times now, doesn’t it?

Of course, they had their memories: Jesus washing their feet, blessing, breaking and sharing the bread and passing round the cup of wine as he said, ‘This is my Body’ and ‘This is my Blood’; Jesus giving them a new commandment to love one another; promising them the gift of the Holy Spirit. But how could they know what that meant?

Then later, after they had run away and abandoned him, after they had heard of his agonising death, as they lost all hope and thought of running away again, suddenly there He was, certainly the Jesus they had loved and betrayed, but somehow different. And then the last appearance – His ascension into heaven.

Now what? Stay where they were? Better safe than sorry.

But it was all to change. On the Day of Pentecost: the rushing mighty wind blowing through the whole house and the Upper Room; the tongues of flame divided and dancing on the heads of the apostles. The transformation is extraordinary.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, they no longer fear for their lives, but go out to speak to as many people as they can, to tell them that Jesus is alive.

Of course, they didn’t have to worry about social distancing!

In 2016 Archbishop Justin launched the “Thy Kingdom Come” prayer movement and since then, in the ten days between Ascension Day and Pentecost, hundreds of thousands of Christians have united in a global wave of prayer. The aim is simple, to pray that though the work of the spirit more people would come to know Jesus Christ.

It’s heartening to discover that according to a recent poll, more people are turning to prayer during the coronavirus pandemic, and nearly a quarter of Brits have watched or listened to a religious service since the lockdown began. That’s around 17 million people, and five percent of them have never gone to church before.

As Christians we are called to pray, and that can feel difficult, especially when so many aspects of our troubled world seem to be intractable and hope feels in short supply.

There’s a quote that’s given me hope and comfort recently. It’s from the Dutch Christian, Corrie Ten Boom. She and her family helped to save many Jews from the holocaust, but they were caught and Corrie and was sent to Ravensbűrck concentration camp. She wrote:

“I have a glove here in my hand. The glove cannot do anything by itself, but when my hand is in it, it can do many things. True, it is not the glove, but my hand in the glove that acts. We are gloves. It is the Holy Spirit in us which is the hand, who does the job. We have to make room for the hand so that every finger is filled. The question on Pentecost is not whether God is blessing our own plans and programs, but whether we are open to the great opportunities to which his Spirit calls us.”

We do know that there can be transformations for good. And it is no great leap to see the Holy Spirit of God at work in God’s world right now, transforming, renewing, healing, and uniting. We only have to think of our medics, care-workers, keyworkers and other inspirational efforts like that of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

We are taught by our Lord that we can ourselves make a difference, though we may never see it, through earnest, faithful, determined, regular, committed prayer that God’s will may be done, and God’s kingdom come.

Amen.

Now where is that birthday cake?!

 

Post Communion
Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter
by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation
the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
7th June – Trinity Sunday

 

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op
We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.