Benefice Newsletter 30th August/Twelfth Sunday after Trinity


Thorpeness Service 5

The Dolphin, Thorpeness


Reflective Service

Friston Church


Holy Communion

Aldeburgh Parish Church


Online Service available


Message from the Rector

This Sunday’s recorded service (available online hopefully, as ever, at 3pm) will be a rather unusual one – our outdoor service in the garden of The Dolphin in Thorpeness. As in recent years we gather there to mark the end of the Thorpeness Summer Services with a service of Holy Communion at 9.30am. If you are planning on being with us, please could you bring a chair! You will also find an Order of Service attached to this email and if you would like to print it off and bring it you would be very welcome, though the usual service-books will be available too. As I type (Friday morning) the weather-forecast doesn’t look too bad, though it may be a bit breezy. Whatever happens it promises to be an excellent gathering and our thanks go to David James for his hospitality and his co-operation.

A reminder that the next couple of weeks are very special ones for our curate James. On the evening of Sunday September 6th, he will be ordained priest in our cathedral at 5.30pm. The service will be streamed online on the cathedral’s Facebook page (details later on in this pew sheet) and we are all encouraged to ‘tune in’. Then on Sunday September 13th there will be a single service in our benefice. We celebrate Holy Communion at 10.30am in Aldeburgh church and James will preside for the first time. In just over a year James had become a hugely valued friend and colleague to many of us and will, I know, be a wonderful priest. Please do hold him in your prayers in the days to come.

With love, as ever



Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear
than we to pray and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Jeremiah 15.15-21
O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and bring down
retribution for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance do
not take me away; know that on your account I suffer insult. 
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became
to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your
name, O Lord, God of hosts.  I did not sit in the company of
merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; under the weight of your hand I sat 
alone, for you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.  Therefore, thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall
serve as my mouth. It is they who will turn to you, not you who
will turn to them.  And I will make you to this people a fortified
wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord. 
I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from
the grasp of the ruthless.

Second Reading
Romans 12.9-end
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.
Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 16.21-end
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? ‘For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’

30TH AUGUST 2020 – By Our Rector, Revd Mark Lowther

So here we are – at the end of August and the end of this year’s Thorpeness Summer Services. They’ve been a great success and I’d like to thank everyone who has been responsible for their organization – our Pilgrim’s Together group, our guest speakers, James, Bruce Gillingham and John Tipping – our host at The Meare, Glen Ogilvie and our host today, David James. The weather has been, for the most part, kind and, together with the services that David Gordon and Sheila Brechin have led so well up in Aldringham Churchyard it’s been a wonderful summer all round.

For those who haven’t been here in Thorpeness over the last few weeks the theme of the services has been ‘yes’ – God’s ‘yes’ to us and our ‘yes’ to God. We’ve taken bible readings that have told the story of individuals who have said ‘yes’ to God – Noah, Samuel, and Mary – and St Paul’s reminder to the young church in Corinth that in Jesus every one of God’s promises is a ‘yes’. And today we heard those beautiful words from the prophet Isaiah and his special ‘yes’ to God – ‘here I am, send me.’ I’ve no doubt that James will hear that reading at his ordination to the Priesthood next week – he certainly did at his Diaconal ordination last year. For obvious reasons it’s an ordination classic and if James is anything like me, he may need a Kleenex handy. It’s big stuff.

And so I turn to what may seem to be a very unlikely place – Douglas Adams’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. At one point in the story an enormous super-computer, called Deep Thought, is asked to come up with the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. Seven-and-a-half million years of super-computing follow, at the end of which the moment arrives. The super-computer confirms that, yes, there is an answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything ‘but’, it warns, ‘you’re not going to like it’. ‘Tell us!’ goes up the cry. And, ‘with infinite majesty and calm’, Deep Thought announces … 42. That is the answer. So then, of course, another even greater experiment has to be undertaken to find out what the question is. And, according to Douglas Adams, that’s what we’re doing now. The reason the world exists is to find out the ultimate question to which the ultimate answer is 42. Like the finest comedy there is profundity behind the fun. Douglas Adams certainly wasn’t a Christian but that doesn’t invalidate his insights.

Try this for size.

Christians know what the answer is – the answer is ‘Yes!’ The Christian story tells us that we have nothing to fear, all will be well, the love of God is at the heart of everything – God’s love is everything – is all in all. So we must have faith in that – in the ultimate ‘Yes’ – and if we do, then we have to begin to explore what the questions are. And the church is a group of explorers, trying their best to work out how to live the message of Christ here and now – how to be Christ’s body on earth in 2020.

Now, going back to those figures from the bible who said ‘yes’ – Noah, Samuel and Mary, when you think about it, what they have in common is not just their positive reply but the surprising questions that they were asked by God in the first place. Noah, a ‘righteous man, blameless in his generation’ was suddenly told by God ‘I want you to make yourself an ark of cypress wood’ – and told him its precise dimensions and what he was to do with it. Just like that. Out of the blue. And he said ‘yes’. When young Samuel heard God call him and replied ‘Here I am’ at first he thought it was old Eli who was calling. But when Eli told him that it must be the Lord and he replied ‘speak Lord, for your servant is listening’ a relationship with God began that was to last the rest of Samuel’s life and he became the kingmaker of both Saul and David. He said ‘yes’ too. And Mary – well, when that angel turned up, greeted her and told her she was favoured by God she was, quite understandably, perplexed by his words and ‘wondered what sort of greeting this might be’. But her task, to be nothing less than the Christ-bearer, elicited a great ‘yes’ and nothing was ever the same again.

So, when we, here and now, are searching for the question to which the answer is ‘yes’ for us, what these stories teach us is that the question that we are asked is probably not going to be an obvious one – not question we might expect to be asked. We, individually and collectively as the church, may well have to grapple with questions that we didn’t ever see coming. But we can’t say that we haven’t been warned. What did Jesus say to Peter and the rest of the disciples? ‘If any want to become my followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ ‘What?!’, you can imagine the disciples saying. ‘Deny who we are, take up a cross – that’s not what we thought we’d signed up for.’ But that’s what, in so many different and extraordinary ways, we are asked to do. That cross will be different for each of us – it will challenge us in different ways and it challenges the church too. And denial of self isn’t something we’re easily prepared for either. We live in a very self-centred world with so many calls for self-promotion. But, in the end, our egos aren’t what it’s about, we’re called to subordinate ourselves to something greater and more powerful than we can ever truly understand – the love of God. The God who asks much of us, but gives so much more in return. The God who says ‘yes’ to us if only we say ‘yes’ to God. ‘Here I am, Lord, send me.’ Yes.



Post Communion
God of all mercy, in this eucharist you have set aside our sins
and given us your healing: grant that we who are made whole
in Christ may bring that healing to this broken world,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
6th September – Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity


Holy Communion

Knodishall Church


Morning Praise

Friston Church


Family Service

Aldeburgh Parish Church


Informal Service

Aldringham Churchyard


Online Service available


James’s Ordination Streamed Live


Suffolk Historic Churches Ride and Stride

Saturday 12th September 9am-4pm

The 2020 Ride and Stride is going ahead but will be adapted to the current Covid 19 guidelines. The Annual Sponsored Ride and Stride is a national event, and every second Saturday in September cyclists and walkers all round the country are out making money for their local county Churches Trust.
The churches have never needed our help more than this year, so please support this free annual event.  Half your sponsor money will go to the Trust to be given in grants for church repairs, and half will go to the church of your choosing.

Our usual wonderful volunteers at Aldeburgh Parish Church will be taking part and a new addition too in the form of a certain member of the clergy.
If you would like to take part or indeed sponsor one of our team,
please either:

  1. Contact us using the Aldeburgh Parish Church contact form

  1. Or email and Claire will pass on your details to Fran Smith, who is leading this event.
  2. Or see Fran after the services at Aldeburgh where she will be pleased to take your details (socially distanced).
  3. Or fill in the attached donation form and hand into Fran Smith at the services or post to –
    The Vicarage, 1 Church Walk, Aldeburgh, IP15 5DU.

Cheque donations be made payable to SHCT please.

Our participants currently are Revd James Marston, Adrian and Jill Brown, Richard & Emily Rapior, Mary Sidwell, Ed Wilhelm, and Fran Smith (who will be sponsored for the registering of participants).


Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

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

The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed.

🎵 Are you missing live music? 🎶

Don’t forget that local soprano Christina Johnston, friend of Aldeburgh Parish Church is performing live streamed concerts every Friday night
at 7pm. Next week (4th) the theme will be Evita, followed by
The Phantom of the Opera on the 11th.
You can also find previous concerts on the links below.
Grab a drink and sit back and enjoy.


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Pilgrims Together
(part of The Alde Sandlings Benefice)
invite you to
Thorpeness Summer Services 2020
Celtic Style Worship
Sunday 30th August – Dolphin, Thorpeness


Please bring your own chair!