Author Archives: Claire

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 16th January – Second Sunday of Epiphany

 

Collect
Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
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
Isaiah 62.1-5
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch. 
The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give. 
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married. 
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your builder marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 12.1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 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; and 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.


Gospel Reading
John 2.1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’  Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Post Communion
God of glory, you nourish us with your Word
who is the bread of life:
fill us with your Holy Spirit
that through us the light of your glory
may shine in all the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu by Canon John Tipping

R.I.P

7th October 1931

26th December 2021

It has been a great privilege to know Archbishop Tutu. It was in the autumn of 1962 that we both became students at King’s College London, Desmond, as a mature student doing a post-ordination degree, and me as an undergraduate, and ten years younger!

For three years I saw him each day in term-time. He was a delightful person, with a great sense of humour. He and his family came to live in London, helping in local parishes, where his ministry was much appreciated until he returned to his native South Africa.

Desmond came from a family which knew much poverty in one of the townships of Johannesburg. His education was interrupted for two years by tuberculosis, and during his time in a sanatorium, he was regularly visited by Father Trevor Huddleston, ministering in nearby Sophiatown. It made a great impression on the young Desmond that Trevor should

raise his hat to Desmond’s mother as a greeting, unheard of in those days of apartheid, and vocation to priesthood developed from the influence of that faithful priest.

Desmond was ordained in Johannesburg in 1960 and served two curacies before his time in London, after which he was involved in theological education, including projects to train others for ministry. In 1975 he became Dean of Johannesburg, followed by election as Bishop of Lesotho, Johannesburg, and eventually Archbishop of Cape Town, where he was affectionally known as the ‘Arch’!

In all of this time Desmond maintained his opposition to prejudice and injustice, fearlessly challenging the authorities over its policy of apartheid. Cape Town had never before known a black Archbishop, and there was much opposition to his moving into a ‘white’ area. He became Director of the influential Truth and Justice Commission. Other honours followed, as he was awarded a Companion of Honour and in 2017 one of ten Nobel Peace laureates. He continued to travel, and to receive honours and humanitarian awards.  Desmond became known as “always the voice of the voiceless”, especially the black people of South Africa.

I treasure the memory of this man of God, small in stature but a spiritual giant. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

Next Week
Sunday 23rd January
Third Sunday of Epiphany

 

NOTICES

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org
/prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com
/channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/stedscathedral

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

We have several dates for the diary as we start 2022:

Saturday 15th January from 7pm online Zoom Pilgrim Local Community Storytelling Ceilidh.

Our Zoom local story telling Ceilidhs are opportunities for people to share stories about the local area both historical and contemporary.  We have very much enjoyed listening to, asking questions, and learning about local events, people, and buildings past and present from our previous 2021 Zoom Storytelling Ceilidhs.  If you have a story/information to share, please email: Sue: pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com  who will organise the running order for the evening.

 

Children’s Society

2021 marked the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Children’s Society by Sunday school teacher Edward Rudolf, and still the devoted work continues today of the relief of need among families and children. We are most grateful for the money raised over the Christmas period,

including over £300 from the well-attended Christingle in Aldeburgh Church, £171 from Pilgrims Carol Singing at Thorpeness Meare,
£110 from Pilgrims Carol Singing in Aldringham,
and £200 from Pilgrims Zoom Christingle.
Thank you very much for a wonderful total in difficult times.. Canon John Tipping

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 9th January – First Sunday of Epiphany/Baptism of Christ

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

10.30am

Holy Communion

Aldringham

11.00am

Service of the Word

Friston

9.00am

Holy Communion

Knodishall

9.00am

Morning Praise

Collect
Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus
revealed him to be your Son,
anointing him with the Holy Spirit:
grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,
that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;
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
Isaiah 43.1-7
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.  Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. 
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you;  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’, and to the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.’ 

Second Reading
Acts 8.14-17
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Reading
Luke 3.15-17, 21-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ 

Sermon by The Revd James Marston,
preached 2nd January 2022

Epiphany Matthew 2 1-12

The story of the wise men is one of the most popular and well known bits of Christmas narrative.

Except of course it isn’t.

The wise men are not really part of the birth story at all. As we hear in Matthew’s gospel, they turned up after Jesus was born – weeks, months, maybe up to 18 months later according to some biblical historians, to pay homage and deliver the three deeply symbolic gifts.

The visit of these men, about which much myth and legend has developed, is known in the church year as the epiphany – the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. The visit by the wise men recognises Jesus’ as a king beyond the confines of Judaism, a king for the non-Jews as well.

Indeed, the liturgical season is deeply imbued with the theme of recognition – the recognition of Jesus by God at his baptism “this is my son with whom I am well pleased”, the recognition of the messiahship of Jesus by Simeon and Anna of Jesus when he is presented at the temple.

By extension epiphany is also associated with themes of church mission and the wider concept of unity.

But today, as we mark a new year, I thought it would be a good idea to think about where we recognise God in our lives and rededicate our lives to his service.

With that in mind this week I have brought along for us to pray together a powerful public prayer, known as the renewal of the covenant, which not only points us away from self and towards the living God but reminds us the place of Jesus in our lives, and something of the adoration those wise men continue to inspire in us today.

Beloved in Christ,
let us again claim for ourselves
this covenant which God has made with his people,
and take upon us the yoke of Christ.
This means that we are content
that he appoint us our place and work,
and that he himself be our reward.

Christ has many services to be done:
some are easy, others are difficult;
some bring honour, others bring reproach;
some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests,
others are contrary to both;
in some we may please Christ and please ourselves;
in others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.
Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ,
who strengthens us.
Therefore let us make this covenant of God our own.
Let us give ourselves to him,
trusting in his promises and relying on his grace.

Lord God, holy Father,
since you have called us through Christ
to share in this gracious covenant,
we take upon ourselves with joy the yoke of obedience
and, for love of you,
engage ourselves to seek and do your perfect will.
We are no longer our own but yours.

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Post Communion
Lord of all time and eternity, 
you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father
in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:
by the power of your Spirit
complete the heavenly work of our rebirth
through the waters of the new creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next Week

Sunday 16th January

Second Sunday of Epiphany

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DAY

ALDERTON

ORFORD

ALDEBURGH

 

Monday

8.00 to 14.30

8.00 to 18.30

8.00 to 18.30

 

Tuesday

8.00 to 18.30

CLOSED

8.00 to 18.30

 

Wednesday

8.00 to 18.30

8.00 to 13.00

8.00 to 18.30

 

Thursday

8.00 to 18.30

8.00 to 13.00

8.00 to 18.30

 

Friday

8.00 to 18.30

8.00 to 13.00

8.00 to 18.30

 

BANK HOLIDAY & STAFF TRAINING CLOSURE DATES

The surgery will be closed for staff training on Thursday 10.02.22 from 13.00.

When the surgery is closed please call NHS 111

Our Primary Care Network (PCN)

The PCN is network of surgeries in the area that work together to give patients the best care.

Pharmacist Team – The Pharmacists can call you to fulfill outstanding medication reviews or help with medication queries.

Physio Team – We have physios who can offer appointments to our patients. It includes direct and quick access to them for pain or injuries.

Patient Coordinators – they may call you to organize appointments/group consultations or collate referral information.

Mental Health Team – they ensure that all mental health needs are met in a timely manner, offering advice, support, follow-up and access to other agencies and services as required.

www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk

NOTICES

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter
If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.
All requests by 4pm on Thursday please


St Andrew’s Church, Aldringham,
2022 calendars now available!

See David Gordon to get your copy.

£10 Each

A group of people standing outside a building

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Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

We have several dates for the diary as we start 2022:

Saturday 15th January from 7pm online Zoom Pilgrim Local Community Storytelling Ceilidh.  

Our Zoom local story telling Ceilidhs are opportunities for people to share stories about the local area both historical and contemporary.  We have very much enjoyed listening to, asking questions, and learning about local events, people, and buildings past and present from our previous 2021 Zoom Storytelling Ceilidhs.  If you have a story/information to share, please email: Sue: pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com who will organise the running order for the evening.
Saturday 5th February Pilgrim Community Breakfast and Ramble starting at the Parrot Pub at 9.30am for Breakfast.

As before, a delicious breakfast bap and coffee / tea combo for £5 is on offer at the Parrot…definitely not to be missed, before we head out to explore local paths.

Come just for breakfast and a catch-up with folk, come for just the ramble or come and enjoy both. (You don’t need to book in advance, you can decide on the morning.) To help with timing, if coming only to ramble then we generally head from The Parrot around 10.30am.

Saturday 12th February online Zoom Pilgrim Fun Quiz from 7pm

Just for fun from the comfort of your own armchair…Please email Sue and Richard if you can provide a round: 
pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 

Crib Services – CANCELLED

It’s with heavy hearts and huge sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our Crib Services at 2pm and 3.30pm on Christmas Eve.  

THE MIDNIGHT SERVICE AND CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE WILL STILL GO AHEAD

Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas

from the Clergy Team and Church Warden

at St.Peter & St.Paul’s Parish Church, Aldeburgh.

Readings for Sunday 26th December – First Sunday of Christmas and Sunday 2nd January – Epiphany

Readings for the First Sunday of
Christmas and the Epiphany

Collect
Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


First Reading
1 Samuel 2.18-20, 26
Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, ‘May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord’; and then they would return to their home. Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people.

Second Reading
Colossians 3.12-17
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Gospel Reading
Luke 2.41-end
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour. 

Post Communion
Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home:
help your Church to live as one family,
united in love and obedience,
and bring us all at last to our home in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

Sunday 2nd January

The Epiphany

 

Collect
O God, who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
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.

Isaiah 60.1-6
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord 
has risen upon you.  For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick
darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his
glory will appear over you.  Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Lift up your eyes and
look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall
come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’
arms.  Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Ephesians 3.1-12
This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Matthew 2.1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:  “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’ Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’  When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Post Communion
Lord God, the bright splendour whom the nations seek:
may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light
discern the glory of your presence in your Son,
the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 19th December – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

At one of the carol services I have been attending across the benefice – I heard the famous poem by Sir John Betjeman – Christmas (see below).

Betjeman always strikes a resonance with me, and I especially enjoy his poems about the Church of England – for which he held a great passion.

Last Sunday we celebrated Canon John Giles’ remarkable 60 years in ministry – and we include his fascinating sermon in this week’s newsletter. I am at the other end of that journey, a mere whippersnapper in terms of length service. I hope that in time I too will be able to look back not only on change and innovation but also on constancy and consistency of faith, worship and devotion.

However much The Church of England evolves and changes, it seems to me it still remains the same – its foundation based on a faith and belief in the divine and human Jesus Christ, the son of God.

It is the arrival of Jesus Christ in the world, and the promise He brings of eternal life that we celebrate this week at Christmas.

Indeed, at is root Christmas is a reminder of simple yet profound fact which has transformed the lives of Canon John, me, you, and countless others over the arc of 2000 years.

As we continue to keep and share the faith, through whatever our lives and times throw at us, let us celebrate the promise of eternal life this Christmas with joy in hearts all for that God has done for us and all that he will do for us in the years to come.

Christmas by Sir John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true?  And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ?  For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Holy Communion

In the light of current concerns and following discussions with clergy colleagues and other, we have decided we won’t be offering the consecrated communion wine chalice to the congregations for the foreseeable future. 

The priest presiding will continue to consecrate a small amount and consume it on behalf of the congregation.  

I would remind you that receiving just one form of the sacrament remains a valid communion. I will consult again on this with the PCCs in January but until then we won’t be offering the chalice at services in the benefice. 

I wish you all a very merry and peaceful Christmas and happy and safe 2022

James

Funeral arrangements for Anne Surfling RIP
Following the sad news of Anne’s death on the 4th of December, I can confirm that Anne’s funeral service will take place at St.Peter & St.Paul’s on Monday 20th December at 12.30pm.   This will be followed by the committal and burial at the Greenwood Burial Ground at Farnham.  
Pam has indicated all are welcome to attend both.
Anne was a great supporter and servant of St.Peter and St.Paul’s church. 

Thoughts and prayers are with Pam at this time.

May Anne rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.Revd.Jo Mabey

Collect
God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Micah 5.2-5a
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.  Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. 
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.  If the Assyrians come into our land and tread upon our soil,
we will raise against them seven shepherds and eight installed as rulers.

Second Reading
Hebrews 10.5-10
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; 
in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure.  Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’  When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Reading
Luke 1.39-55
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’ And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

 

Canon John Giles 60th Ordination Anniversary

On the 12th December we celebrated with John to mark this great milestone in his ministry. John would like to thank you all that attended this service, and for your kind words, and all the arrangements made
(inc THE CAKE!). It meant a great deal to John.

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Sermon by Canon John Giles
Preached on Sunday 12th December 2021

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is a celebration sermon, to give thanks to Almighty God for sixty years of service in the ordained ministry in the Church of England.  I have been pressed to say a word about why I ever set out on the road to ordination. There were several things that happened when I was still at school. 

I had always felt that there was a reality behind God language. Prayer and worship were never a problem for me. Even Brian Cox talking about black holes doesn’t stop me feeling that behind the mystery of the universe there is value and meaning, and that the job of religious faith is to relate to this in word and action. The discovery of Jesus was a major breakthrough. Confirmation at nearly 16 was deeply meaningful.

At school I saw two enemies become friends through Christian forgiveness. And I realised that Christianity worked.

Then I went on visits to a working-class parish in downtown Portsmouth and discovered two things 1. The happiness and joy of High Church worship in the life of an Anglo-Catholic parish, and 2. what an incredibly restricted social world I had been brought up in.  When later a school chaplain made the case for the church ministering in large urban areas, housing estates etc, I felt quite simply “Why shouldn’t I do that?”. All this was confirmed in the first few months of National Service. And that’s about it.

In my end is my beginning. I’m back to the subject of our gospel today John Baptist whom I encountered long before I knew anything about Jesus. I was nine. My father was striding down Beaulieu Abbey Church as JB, declaiming “Repent ye, repent ye – the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. “You brood of vipers” he had said. “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

In Godspell we heard the same message: THEME ON TRUMPET STOP    Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

The Baptist’s teaching wasn’t revolutionary. It was good Ten Commandments stuff:  Feed the hungry; share with the poor; don’t defraud others; don’t profiteer.  We could do with that today. Fraud is everywhere.

At the same time John said: Look into your own hearts. Change your own ways. Make a fresh start. Repent and be baptised.

John was a man of principle. He would die in prison for protesting against Herod Antipas’ immorality. Yet he was no prig, standing on his own dignity. When his cousin Jesus came to the Jordan he saw that Jesus would be taking his own work and ministry far beyond where he was at that moment. John was the forerunner. He would prepare the way. There is a great humility here.

Jesus’s new understanding of God’s message has to start from a moral base. The Ten Commandments still stand.  They used to be written up in many churches. Is the time right for a reaffirmation of the Ten Commandments?

Jesus is baptised, and takes Baptism into his own ministry, and so, down to us.

What was different about Jesus’ ministry, because this is what we have to take out to people today? You find it in the Sermon on the Mount, in St. Matthews Gospel, chapters 5,6, and 7. The bedrock of the SM is the message of God’s love for every person, good or bad.          

Basically, he was teaching and healing:  In the light of divine love, people saw he could untangle their knotted souls. He knew the destructive force of GUILT. He gave people a way to find forgiveness.Many of Jesus healings end with a promise of forgiveness. He was still forgiving on the cross. We have been thinking of the words “Father Forgive” in the bombed out ruins of Coventry Cathedral, and the ministry of international reconciliation that flowed out from there. AB Desmond Tutu put it: “Forgiveness is the way we heal the world. The process is simple, but it isn’t easy”.  Christian worship recalls us to penitence and the promise of forgiveness. “Why do you talk about the speck of dust in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the log in your own”. If the church doesn’t say this, where else will you find it, not in Prime Minister’s Question Time, excepting the creepy apologies. 

Back to Baptism, and what the church is here to do in its ministry.  Exactly sixty years ago today I started as a deacon in North Lowestoft. We had a huge housing estate from which eighty or so children came to Junior Church every Sunday – and there were lots of baptisms & weddings. The church had a ministry of blessing.  How things have changed. William Temple said “The church is the only society that exists for those who are not its members”.

As a Curate I was put i/c of a rundown daughter church. We had a Fair for Oxfam. One of the boys in the Sunday School had won a new leather football at his school. It was very precious to him. He gave it as a prize for the Raffle. I still admire his generosity. The money raised by the Fair astonished everyone. St. Andrew’s Church was alive again. (Perhaps the reason for the energising effect the Fair had on the church was that the money was being raised by a basically poor, run down church, for others. For once the church wasn’t raising money for itself.)

We invented a new Nativity Play with a part for Roman soldiers to harry the peasants on their way to Bethlehem. It gave the difficult boys a chance to make swords which they enjoyed.

What were we trying to do?  Trying to build up a bit of community, in church terms Kingdom-building, built into the worship and life of a living family, in the church.

In the summer of 1965, the Bishop of Norwich wrote, asking me to go to the new University of East Anglia as their first full time Chaplain.  I would remain a diocesan clergyman, representing the C of E, but be recognised within the University

As far as religion in the university was concerned the only official marker laid down was that if any students (or staff for that matter) wished to worship, they should do so in the churches of the town. This was also the view of the Archdeacon of Norwich who had a number of redundant churches in the city centre to worry about. He wanted the chaplain to be also in charge of a suitable redundant church which could be redecorated and maintained by willing student volunteers from the University. Just imagine the photo-opportunities and happy coverage such activity would get from the local press and even more the church press. Awkwardly however, I saw straight away that in spite of the obvious attractions of having such a base, given that nothing of the sort was available on university premises, if the life of any future church community in the university were to be authentic, it had to find its own expression in the university itself. The possibility of taking over a redundant church in the town therefore had to be firmly rejected. Fortunately, Bishop Fleming immediately accepted this.

I didn’t want to form a little club of Anglicans. We settled for a very loose framework: “The Church of England in the University”. An ever-lengthening mailing list of students and staff emerged who I felt were either already on side, or who might be, or who were openly opposed to the idea of any religious presence at all in the University, but who, in that case, ought at least to know what was going on.

No one knew what the place of religion in a brand new university would or should feel like. To use a sailing metaphor, I was sailing by the seat of my pants, reacting instinctively to the challenges, encouragements and setbacks as they arose day by day.  If there was a word to sum up what I was trying to do it would have been AFFIRMATION – affirmation of the best in every member of the university community, affirmation of academic work, research, and study. Affirmation became “OFFERING UP” as we learned to worship in the university: offering up to God the work, study, and life we all had in common. The background therefore to our worship was the shared experience of those who already had a loyalty to the church, or who were beginning to discover that loyalty for themselves (and there were some) in the uncharted, largely but not entirely, secular waters of UEA.

I’m talking about the ministry of the Church – the church’s job in other words.  I must pay tribute to the TEAMWORK of the Church of God. The wonderful Junior Church in Lowestoft was run by lay people, with youngsters as junior wardens. Incidentally this anniversary is one for Jill as well. Her loyal support and fiery critical faculties have been part and parcel of what I’ve been trying to do in the last 60 years. Today is also a 60th Anniversary for Jill of being a Vicar’s wife, though you must talk to her if you want to know about that.In UEA, those who spoke with the loudest voices didn’t speak for everybody by a long shot. Anti-religious feeling was vocal, very like the woke views being put around today. I won’t tell you of the time the Dean of Students kicked me out of the University canteen, or about the son of the Cambridge philosophy don, drinking the coffee I had bought for him, who told me brutally I was wasting my time.

I hadn’t been in the job for a week before the first issue of the student magazine came out with a full-page, brilliantly drawn cartoon of chaplains twirling up Gullible Students from a dish of student spaghetti. 

The pro and anti religious views crystalised round the question of whether or not there should be some sort of chapel. It was a hard fought battle, which in the end, in a decisive vote in the University Senate, came down on the side of a non-specific Meeting Room for Worship in a building at the heart of the Campus, which contained also three offices for chaplains and a Common Room, where I once treated Ian McEwan to a cup of coffee. The building is now called a Multi-Faith Centre and the Meeting Room for Worship has become simply the Meeting Room. Nevertheless, it is there.

There came a time of protest and revolution in UEA 1971 – 1972. My job had been to love the students. By then the new Chaplaincy building had been opened. I lost quite a bit of love for the student body when I saw how they disrupted some exams and attacked the new Dean of Students. They destroyed both his job and his marriage. If anyone is interested in a much longer version of setting up the Chaplaincy in UEA, I can send them an account on email.

We moved to Kidbrooke, a large parish in SE London. It had three quite separate districts, one, on Blackheath, very posh. Glenda Jackson was our most famous resident. There was another large development, mainly semi-detached, part private, part council; and the huge concrete Ferrier Estate, newly built by the GLC, now pulled down.

20,000 people kept one busy. We had three members of staff and it was all hands to the pump. Apart from the usual demands: baptisms, weddings, funerals, there was a social apartheid dividing the three areas. The challenge was to build one church family from three such diverse backgrounds. Music helped. We had terrific musical support. Which ended in a production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with a hundred animals from local schools and the church choir which left a little girl crying at the end saying she wished it could have gone on for ever. The tea party that followed saw civil war breaking out between the children from the local schools and the few from private schools who had led the music. The ammunition was provided by the apple tree in the Vicarage garden. The net result however was a sense of achievement and indeed glory. The rainbow covered all.

We invented a new Community Knockout Competition for teams from all over the parish to compete on the playing fields of Thomas Tallis Comprehensive School. The Ferrier Estate for once was really included in the wider community. And it was their team that won the main prize. Happiness all round as stronger links between all groups in the parish were forged.

After seven years I was asked to apply for a job in Sheffield. With Engineering in my blood and a chance to get into industry, I applied and went to be Vicar of St. Mark’s Broomhill, with strong connections with the Hallamshire Hospital and the University. We had half a dozen Professors in the congregation and goodness knows how many PhDs. Everything was debated! It wasn’t easy. At Remembrance time, we had of course those who wore red poppies. Together with them were a number of white poppies to say they honoured the dead but disapproved of violence. Then there were those who courageously wore no poppies at all because they didn’t want to offend either the reds or the whites. 

I did one afternoon a week with the Industrial Mission visiting Harris Miller, a down market cutlery firm, and later, Forge masters. The work force were welcoming to such a strange sight as a dog-collar in their factory. I enjoyed the day when some Somalians left behind in Sheffield at the end of World War II had a grievance and asked for my help. I said I wasn’t of their religious persuasion.  “Yes” they said, “But you are our Imam after all”.

After some years, I was asked to join the Cathedral staff as a Residentiary Canon. Here was yet another ministry – City-Centre – where unknown people would come in to   visit or join in a service, and never be seen again. There had to be a message for them in word or music. That was our ministry.

Cathedrals are privileged places. The Church Commissioners give hidden subsidies, and money does help. In return you get Cathedral music and well maintained, and often historic church buildings.  But ministry is so much more than that if you’re in the right relationship to a city and in the right place. Sheffield Cathedral was the old parish church of the city, only recently upgraded to a Cathedral.  My time coincided with two huge events – the Falklands War and the Hillsborough Disaster. In trouble people were drawn to what they knew as the Old Church for comfort, prayer and reflection.

Daily lunchtime prayers were held for those engaged in the Falklands conflict. Parents, friends, and relatives would be present, worried for the safety of their loved ones.  HMS Sheffield, a large cruiser adopted by the City, was sunk on 2 April 1982. It brought it all very close to home. 

After Hillsborough a Liverpool shrine of scarves, flowers and bobble-hats quickly appeared in the Cathedral. For at least a month there was a constant stream of mourners and two very large commemorative services. The Cathedral’s ministry was one of healing and reconciliation. As well as the broken-hearted, there were a lot of very angry people around.

The Cathedral was only a 5 year appointment and we moved finally back again to SE London, more Lewisham than Blackheath, to a parish that might at first seem unremarkable. Far from it. It had a wonderful spirit and great music. One of our choirs was a finalist in the Choirgirl of the Year Competition. One of our Youth Fellowship was on the Today programme just recently talking about pigs as a spokesman for vets in the North of England. 

We were a mixed congregation racially. A West Indian Mum was worried sick about her son driving a new electricity van. She wanted the van blessed. So, after the service that day I took out a fire bucket full of water, blessed it, and flung it over the van with appropriate prayers. As far as I know it did the trick.

The Vicarage and the Vicarage garden were used constantly for play-readings, informal concerts, bonfire parties etc that brought in all sorts of people who were outside the church circle as such. But they all served to keep open the William Temple ideal that the church exists for those who are not its members.

And then there was retirement which was forced through sheer overwork. My last parish had included a small Church of England Comprehensive School, where I became Chair of Governors. This made heavy demands. For one reason and another time ran out and we decided to retire to Aldeburgh.

There has been plenty to keep us busy, especially after the departure of Tony Moore.  Of that you must judge. It’s been more than 20 years, though the last 2 ½ years have been clouded by cancer and leukaemia., not to mention Covid which has put a damper on everything for us all.

Incidentally a big thank you here for those who have kept everything going. Typically, last night, going out at 6pm for a walk, I saw the lights on in the church and called in to find Church Warden Ken still getting things ready for today.

In those years England has moved slowly but steadily away from formal Christianity. But things come and go. The C of E is at a low point just at this moment. But there have been plenty of low points in Christian history in the past, and we do have two great forces on our side:

The first is the power of Love, the love of God which we shall see in action in a fortnight’s time at Christmas, – and the power of Christ’s love.

The second great force is that of the Holy Spirit – what happens when the church comes together in faith, prayer, and action.

And that is a burning FIRE, of which Charles Wesley wrote in his hymn “O thou who camest from above”. I told Nicky Winter I was having difficulty with this sermon, and she said, “Tell them what you’ve done, and give them encouragement.”

Well, this is the encouragement: to build up love in the life of the church, and to go forth with new ideas and fresh energy to fulfil new ministries in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

May God be with us all now and in the days to come. Amen.

Post Communion
Heavenly Father, who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next Week

Sunday 26th December
First Sunday of Christmas

PLEASE NOTE, THERE WILL BE NO SERVICES ON THE 26TH, THROUGHOUT THE BENEFICE

 

Christmas Messy Church

Huge thanks to everyone who helped at our Christmas Messy Church last Saturday morning.

32 children and 39 adults attended – a truly fantastic turnout considering the difficult and uncertain times.  

Thank you to those who worked so hard to prepare crafts, the registration lists, and those who helped to set up and tidy up afterwards.  It was a great team effort.  Special thanks to Fran Smith for all her support.

Thank you to Revd Ian, Julie and team, from St. Augustine’s Church in Ipswich for the fabulous puppet show – it was such a joy to watch the childrens’ faces as they performed – we hope they come back again for our Messy Church dates next year.

Thank you, Jules and Andy, for the amazing non-stop refreshments.

None of this extremely valuable and vital ministry in the midst of our community would be possible without you, so heartfelt thanks all round.

Onwards and upwards… please put the following dates in your diary for 2022:

EASTER MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 9th April 2022

HARVEST MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 17th September 2022

CHRISTMAS MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 10th December 2022

Wishing you a joyful Christmas and good health and happiness in 2022,

Every blessing,

Revd. Jo

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NOTICES

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship 

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/

thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/stedscathedral

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

 

Pilgrims Together

Carols around the Christmas Tree at Thorpeness

Saturday 18th December from 4pm.

All welcome to come and join us

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Zoom Bible study meets on Thursdays. Please email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com for the links. You don’t need to have attended previous sessions. 

Sunday 19th December 3pm – 5pm, a group of us will be singing carols at the Parrot.

We are also considering dates for Zoom quizzes and Zoom Storytelling Ceilidhs for January/ February/March so watch this space!

A New Year walk is also planned for Saturday 1st January 2022…more information to follow …

Christmas Service Dates at Aldeburgh Parish Church

To make sure everyone feels safe in church this Christmas, we are offering you the chance to reserve your seats for selected services.  Due to the popularity of the Crib Service (Christmas Eve) we have decided the safest option is to have two services, one at 2pm and one at 3.30pm.  You can reserve seats for the following services:

  • Crib Service 24th December – 2.00pm
  • Crib Service 24th December – 3.30pm 
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Socially Distanced
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Non Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Non Socially Distanced

Please do let Ken Smith, or Claire at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk know of your wishes.  These dates will be published in the local papers and available to book online from the 1st December.
You can reserve your seat online here


https://www.aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk/christmas-services-booking-links-eventbrite/

 


St Andrew’s Church, Aldringham,
2022 calendars now available!

See David Gordon to get your copy.

£10 Each

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A Christmas Message from Mark, Ro and Coco

We arrived in Bize Minervois on a Friday and celebrated with a bottle of the local sparkling wine – Blanquette de Limoux. (Limoux is just over an hour away in the car and the wine is splendid.) We’ve taken to reliving the experience each Friday evening and by the time you read this we will just have consumed our 11th bottle – we’ve been here for nearly three months! We have adapted to the rhythm of life pretty well. We take it in turns to visit the local baker for fresh bread and croissants each morning. We manage a good walk with Coco every day, sometimes from the front door, sometimes bundling her into the car and heading further afield – the Canal du Midi towpath is a firm favourite.

Tuesdays bring a visit to the wonderful market in a nearby village in the morning and then in the evening Ro heads off to ‘village choir practice’. A small but very enthusiastic bunch of locals gathers for 90 minutes or so and Ro loves it. Most of the choir members are French, as is the conductor, so it’s good for language skills too! The choir was hoping to perform at the village Christmas Fair on December 18th but, sadly, for obvious reasons, it has had to be cancelled.

Yes – Christmas Fair on the 18th – Christmas is quite different here. The festive fayre only appeared in the local supermarket at the end of November and the Christmas Markets in the nearby big towns of Béziers and Narbonne didn’t open until the beginning of December. For most people the big meal happens on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day (St Stephen’s Day) is only a public holiday in Alsace-Lorraine (in eastern France) and everything is pretty well back to normal on the 27th. The local bakers will have made ‘Bûche de Noӫl’ (a chocolate log a bit like a swiss roll) and then, for Epiphany, on January 6th, there’ll be ‘Galette des Rois’ – usually a puff pastry tart filled with almond frangipane. The galette may well also have a ‘fève’ (a bean, or sometimes a little figure or trinket) inside, representing the Christ child. The lucky person who discovers the fève in their portion receives an extra present or some other privilege. We will be investigating what the local baker has to offer!

But now the sun is shining, and Coco is looking at us as if to say ‘but I haven’t had my walk yet’. Duty calls!

With our love and best wishes for Christmas and for 2022

Mark, Ro and Coco

WE WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS

 

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May God bless you richly throughout this holiday season. May God fill your life with love, joy and peace this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year. God bless you at Christmas and always. May His love surround you at Christmas time and always.

The newsletter will return early January.

 

 

Messy Church 2021

Huge thanks to everyone who helped at our Christmas Messy Church last
Saturday morning.

 

32 children and 39 adults attended –  a truly fantastic turnout considering the difficult and uncertain times.

Thank you to those who worked so hard to prepare crafts, the registration lists, and those who helped to set up and tidy up afterwards.  It was a great team effort.  Special thanks to Fran Smith for all her support.

Thank you to Revd Ian, Julie and team, from St.Augustine’s Church in Ipswich for the fabulous puppet show – it was such a joy to watch the childrens’ faces as they performed – we hope they come back again for our Messy Church dates next year.

Thank you Jules and Andy for the amazing non-stop refreshments.
None of this extremely valuable and vital ministry in the midst of our community would be possible without you, so heartfelt thanks all round.
 
Onwards and upwards… please put the following dates in your diary for 2022:

EASTER MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 9th April 2022
 
HARVEST MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 17th September 2022
 
CHRISTMAS MESSY CHURCH: Saturday 10th December 2022
 
Wishing you a joyful Christmas and good health and happiness in 2022.

 

Every blessing,

Revd. Jo
 
 

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 12th December – Third Sunday of Advent

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

At this time of year, we remember the coming of Christ among us, the revelation of the incarnate God. And this year, perhaps with a little extra enthusiasm following forced separation and restrictions to our lives, we give thanks. 

Thanks to our loved ones and our families, thanks to our communities for seeing us through, and thanks to God for being with us in our lives in good times and in bad. 

Alongside the watching and waiting of advent, we begin our community celebrations with Carol services – there’s plenty to choose from – with the added bonus of the benefice choir enhancing our worship.

Though we return to mandatory mask wearing in our churches I, and all the clergy of the benefice, are especially looking forward to being among you on as we celebrate God’s presence among us in the bread and wine of communion. 

And one more thing, after Christmas it’s usually a quieter time of year. With this in mind, I will be taking some time off, or at least trying to, and our administrator Claire will be moving house – as a result we’ll take a short break from the newsletter resuming once again in early 2022. 

God be with you this Christmas and always.  

James

Funeral arrangements for Anne Surfling RIP
Following the sad news of Anne’s death on the 4th of December, I can confirm that Anne’s funeral service will take place at St.Peter & St.Paul’s on Monday 20th December at 12.30pm.   This will be followed by the committal and burial at the Greenwood Burial Ground at Farnham.  

Pam has indicated all are welcome to attend both.
Anne was a great supporter and servant of St.Peter and St.Paul’s church. 

Thoughts and prayers are with Pam at this time.

May Anne rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

Revd.Jo Mabey

Collect
O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


First Reading
Zephaniah 3.14-end
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more. 
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. 
I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.
And I will save the lame and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.  At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.


Second Reading
Philippians 4.4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 


Gospel Reading
Luke 3.7-18
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’ As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

Sermon by The Reverend Mark Booth
Preached on Sunday 5th December 2021

During this season of Advent, the church recalls key witnesses to God’s preparation for the incarnation – His divine entrance into our human condition.

On each of these 4 Sundays, we focus (more or less) on one of 4 themes from the Bible which gradually unfold overlapping aspects of the story of our creation, our fall from grace, our wandering in the wilderness and God’s loving, saving response to our human predicament.

In the movements and struggles of Patriarchs and Matriarchs like Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph and his brothers and eventually Moses, together with their rather dysfunctional family lives; through the problems and plagues they brought upon themselves, and the promises which God nevertheless bestowed upon them, we can see the birth and growth of longing and hope which pushed and pulled God’s people through their history of trouble and torment.

In the words and actions of so many Prophets recorded and treasured in Old Testament Scriptures, we can hear and see God shaping and forming that hope into the expectation of a coming King who would deliver and lead his people into a better life.

In the ministry of John the Baptist, we meet the messenger, the proclaimer, the announcer, the forerunner, the herald of the far greater one than he who was making his way into the lives of the people: a way prepared for him by John, not only through the people’s physical and moral landscape, but also through their hearts and minds to the very centre of their beings.

In blessed Mother Mary we find the one in whom God’s plan is brought to fruition, the young woman through whose initial trouble and fear God’s word brought forth that willing acceptance which helped realise hope for all people, light in our darkness, justice, joy, and peace for all the world, all from a borrowed womb.

So, in our advent candles we can see flickers of hope for all humanity, the word of God speaking through every darkness, prophets contemplating mystery, waiting done with, making-ready underway, favour found in rejoicing.

And in the central, white candle burning bright on Christmas day we will see souls magnifying the Lord, and spirits rejoicing in God our Saviour . . . but that is another sermon, for another day . . . . . .

. . . In my retirement, I preach less often, which can lead to problems for me, if not for you: lack of momentum, trying to cram too much in, and hankering after that other, easier sermon, rather than the one I struggle with.

~ Today, for instance, I was tempted to do a John the Baptist on Waitrose and their Christmas t.v. advert proclaiming, “THE BEST BIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE FOOD” and, wait for it, “YOU CAN TASTE WHEN IT’S A WAITROSE CHRISTMAS” . . . (Not if you can’t afford it!)

~ Then there was the one about Covid precautions and the doors left open for ventilation purposes, the paradox of freezing to death or falling victim to infection, but also the prospect of God’s Holy Spirit blowing in the wind, opening our eyes to see and ears to hear, hearts to feel and brains to think . . .

~ Then again, I was quite seduced by the fact that there are, of course, several different and sometimes conflicting traditions about colours and meanings of the Advent candles; the orders in which we deal with their themes and the practices surrounding them.

In Methodism, for instance, it is common to sing songs and hymns whose different verses speak to the different candles and their themes, and our reflections on them . . .

~ More important than all those, I suppose, is that tense relationship between the promise of salvation and the warning of judgement . . .

Rest assured, I shall spare you such manifestations of my righteous indignation, liturgical uncertainty, theological confusion and general clever-Dickery . . .

However, I cannot hide my bewilderment at what some of you may have already noticed from our readings, which is that John the Baptist, for whom the Church of England traditionally lights it’s third Advent Candle, nevertheless also gets a look in today, when the second candle is usually lit for the Prophets.

It is as if the Baptist has a dual role to play in the Advent drama:

On the one hand, he is Civil Engineer, road-maker, road-mender, even road-sweeper; creating and keeping a highway or pathway through our wasteland.

He finds the right direction; levels-out the peaks and troughs which make journeys so hard; straightens-out those long and winding roads which sometimes lead us back on ourselves. He deals with all the wearisome changes and chances met on our travels. He opens up new viewpoints and vistas on our Damascus Road experiences. He calms the traffic so that we can hear ourselves think, notice the kindness of strangers and make new friends on our Roads to Emmaus.

On the other hand, he is Broadcaster.

He announces what’s happening; gives details; compares conflicting reports. He warns of spoil, waste and void. He brings good news for many, and bad news for some.

At the same time, he remains Prophet, by whose words and sacramental actions he both challenges and invites people to get themselves ready for God who is coming in Christ.

John as Prophet and Preacher deals in expectation and apprehension.

As Baptiser he deals in preparation and reception, initiation and welcome.

In his various roles, John the Baptist presents challenge to the people of his day, our day, and every day:

? Will we listen and hear ?

? Will we watch and wait ?

? What and whom will we choose ?

? Which voice will we listen to: those loud, hectoring voices peddling fake news and false truth; publishing irrationality, agitation, and futility? Or those still small voices of calm, offering reason, respect, and hope?

? Which way will we follow: the path of peace in Christ? – Or the highway and handcart to hell without him? God’s way of truth and life leading to healing and peace? – Or that desolation row leading to sickness, chaos and disaster?

? Who will we want for our companion, our friend; our guide, our teacher; our comfort, our consolation; our courage and our hope?

? Will we ask about ourselves: ‘what’s occurring’? What’s going to happen? What will become of us? Or will we ask about God: what is God doing? What is God’s word for us? What does God want for us?

May God open our eyes to see and ears to hear.

May God’s Spirit blow open our hearts and minds to feel and think.

May God be a guide to our feet and a lamp to our path.

May God keep us loved and saved on the way of truth and life,

through Jesus Christ our Saviour and our Lord. Amen.

MRB 4 12 2, edited 7 12 21 c. 1160 words

 

Post Communion
We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Next Week
Sunday 19th December
Fourth Sunday of Advent

NOTICES

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship
There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

Christingle 2021

On a very blustery evening on Tuesday the 7th December, we held our Benefice Christingle service, in aid of the Children’s Society. We would like to thank all our team, who created a Christingle workshop of making the Christingles ready for the service. We are blessed to have such dedicated helpers in our Benefice. Thank you to all that came to join us for this service and donated. We raised in total £324.95 for the Children’s Society.  Please see our website to view the photos.

https://www.aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk/christingle-2021/

 

Christmas Service Dates at Aldeburgh Parish Church

To make sure everyone feels safe in church this Christmas, we are offering you the chance to reserve your seats for selected services.  Due to the popularity of the Crib Service (Christmas Eve) we have decided the safest option is to have two services, one at 2pm and one at 3.30pm.  You can reserve seats for the following services:

  • Crib Service 24th December – 2.00pm
  • Crib Service 24th December – 3.30pm 
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Socially Distanced
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Non Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Non Socially Distanced

Please do let Ken Smith, or Claire at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk know of your wishes.  These dates will be published in the local papers and available to book online from the 1st December.
You can reserve your seat online here


https://www.aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk/christmas-services-booking-links-eventbrite/

 

Pilgrims Together
Carols around the Christmas Tree at Thorpeness
Saturday 18th December from 4pm.
All welcome to come and join us

 

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Zoom Bible study meets on Thursdays. Please email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com for the links. You don’t need to have attended previous sessions.

Dates for your diary

Next Wednesday (15th) will be our online Christingle service.  

Sunday 19th December 3pm – 5pm, a group of us will be singing carols at the Parrot.

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Christingle 2021

On a very blustery evening on Tuesday the 8th December, we held our Benefice Christingle service, in aid of the Children’s Society.

We would like to thank all of our team, who created a Christingle workshop of making the Christingles ready for the service. We are blessed to have such dedicated helpers in our Benefice.

Here are the photos of the making of the Christingles, and from the service.

Thank you to all that came to join us for this service, and made a donation. We raised in total £324.95 for the Children’s Society.

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 5th December – Second Sunday of Advent

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

With Christmas fast approaching there is much happening in our benefice. Many services and events involve our lively and buoyant children’s ministry under the talented direction of Rev’d Jo. Even I am indulging in craft at the Christmas Messy Church.  

At Aldeburgh the Christingle and Crib services and the traditional services of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are coming up we are carefully managing these events in the light of the pandemic. You’ll need to book in advance if you wish to attend certain services. You will have received attached Christmas dates, and information with today’s email.  

Meanwhile Christmas Carol services are keeping our singers busy under the direction of Mish Kelly who is hoping to enhance worship with a group of voices drawn from across the benefice. 

Let’s enjoy our worship, let’s be as safe as we can be. 

James


Collect
O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us,
and with great might succour us; that whereas,
through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.


First Reading
Malachi 3.1-4
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Second Reading
Philippians 1.3-11
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel Reading
Luke 3.1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 

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Sermon by The Revd James Marston preached on
Sunday 28th November 2021

Sermon Luke 21: 25-36

When I first came here, now over two years ago, I was given some advice I’ve never wavered from. Whatever you do don’t upset the flower ladies, or at least try not to.

Yesterday afternoon, by the Moot Hall in Aldeburgh, our community gathered to turn on the Christmas lights in our local town.

The weather wasn’t exactly perfect, but we gathered nonetheless, sang a couple of carols, a very jolly Father Christmas did a countdown, the tree lit up, families cheered, and the bells pealed.

And, despite the weather, there were smiling faces all round, a great and long-established tradition had been upheld.

But of course, it’s all totally wrong. The most inappropriate time of year to be lighting lights and singing carols. Christmas, the moment we celebrate light of Christ coming into the world, is weeks away. I’m not sure when this great and long-established tradition of the great light switch on started- almost certainly within living memory and probably no earlier than the 1980s or 1990s.

Until comparatively recently there were not four weeks, or even longer, of partying and merry making and shopping – instead not so long ago there were 12 days of Christmas following Christmas day. Christmas was the start of celebrations, not the culmination of what is now called the run up.

And I’m afraid to tell you that in the church it still is the other way around. We are seemingly, on this festival, out of kilter with the rest of the world.

Advent is how we, as Anglicans, build up to Christmas;

Advent is a period of watchful, and prayerful anticipation as we wait for anniversary of that day when the light came into the world and the saviour was born among us. So far so good.

But.

The season of advent also looks ahead to Christ’s final advent as judge at the end of time.

Indeed, the Four Last Things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell – have been traditional themes for Advent meditation.

The characteristic note of Advent is therefore expectation, rather than penitence. Indeed, the anticipation of Christmas under commercial pressure has also made it harder to sustain the appropriate sense of alert watchfulness, but the fundamental Advent prayer remains ‘Maranatha’ – ‘Our Lord, come’ (1 Corinthians 16.22).

So despite this tension from the outside world, church decorations remain simple and spare. It is because of this we dress the church in purple and I find myself gently negotiating with the flower ladies to quietly stop them glorifying God in the usual way. It’s is not because I personally, or anyone else, doesn’t like the church being decorated in advent, it is because advent demands no other distractions from the contemplation and prayer the season demands.

Advent is not only the beginning of the church year and a season of expectation and preparation, but also a time which looks ahead to Christ’s final advent as judge at the end of time.

The readings and liturgies not only direct us towards Christ’s birth, they also challenge the modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement.

But confront it we must.

Indeed, our gospel reading today forces us to respond with a process of self-examination. A moment of self-refection we might not want to engage in.

“People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.”

So I ask you today how ready is your conscience? How prepared is your soul? How keen are you to be judged? How alert are you to the coming of the Lord?

Indeed, if we have got Christmas the wrong way round, where in your life are things out of kilter? What other things have we got the wrong way round?

And what are you hiding from the all-seeing God? When have you stood on your pride or selfish desires? When have you failed to turn the other cheek and love your neighbour?

The challenge to all of us this advent is to look within. To assess and analyse our faith, our behaviours, our attitudes, our prejudices – and I’m afraid there’s no hiding the fact we’ve all got them.

So, think about how, why, and when you get it wrong. Think about how let yourself and God down. And ask yourself is your faith genuine or is church just a Sunday morning club?

Prepare your souls for judgement. Pray for your salvation.

Think about how you need the light of Christ in your lives and in your hearts.

God be with you this advent, it is in fact, the most uncomfortable time of year.

Amen.


Post Communion
Father in heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Next week
Sunday 12th December
Third Sunday of Advent

Canon John Giles 60th Ordination Anniversary
John will be marking this great milestone in his ministry journey on December 12th, by preaching in the 10.30am service. Do come along and join us at Aldeburgh Parish Church on the 12th December. 
We also invite you to raise a glass to John after the service.

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NOTICES

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship
There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org
/prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Christmas Service Dates at Aldeburgh Parish Church

To make sure everyone feels safe in church this Christmas, we are offering you the chance to reserve your seats for selected services.  Due to the popularity of the Crib Service (Christmas Eve) we have decided the safest option is to have two services, one at 2pm and one at 3.30pm.  You can reserve seats for the following services:

  • Crib Service 24th December – 2.00pm
  • Crib Service 24th December – 3.30pm 
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Socially Distanced
  • First Communion of Christmas 24th 11.15pm – Non Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Socially Distanced
  • Christmas Day 10.30am Service – Non Socially Distanced

Please do let Ken Smith, or Claire at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk know of your wishes.  These dates will be published in the local papers and available to book online from the 1st December.
You can reserve your seat online here
https://www.aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk/christmas-services-booking-links-eventbrite/

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Zoom Bible study meets on Thursdays. Please email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com for all the links. You don’t need to have attended previous sessions.