Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 17th October – Twentieth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

After a relax with some blue vinney cheese and a glass of port after a long day exploring the delights of Dorset, I remembered I’d better write the weekly newsletter.  

Not much news this week except to remind you we will be celebrating All Saints as a benefice at 10.30am at Aldeburgh church on October 31st. I’ve begun my research for the sermon, and the benefice choir will be forming under the direction of Mish Kelly who is already working hard on the music. I hope to see you all there on the day. 


God, the giver of life,
whose Holy Spirit wells up within your Church:
by the Spirit’s gifts equip us to live the gospel of Christ 
and make us eager to do your will,
that we may share with the whole creation
the joys of eternal life;
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 53.4-end
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 
But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.  By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.  Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 
Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 


Second Reading
Hebrews 5.1-10
Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honour, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest for ever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.’ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Reading
Mark 10.35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’ When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ 

Sermon by The Revd James Marston

Preached at Aldeburgh 10th October 2021

Mark 10.17-31

“He was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions”

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

We all like our own way, don’t we? I know I do. I like to be agreed with, I like to be proved right, I like my ego massaged and, dare I say it, I even like a little bit of attention. My little blue car – although I don’t like to admit it –draws admiring glances and comments that I rather enjoy. No wonder I like to keep it clean.

My sister tells me that if I get any more attention my head won’t fit through the west door –so enlarged is my ego that I barely meet the requirement of humility necessary in a priest.

I’m afraid we all like it when people agree with us, indeed we often chose to have people around us who are of a like mind. And we call people awkward or difficult if they propose a different stand point.

Most of us don’t like to be challenged at all and we often take the view that those who aren’t one of us must be ignored and avoided. It is a terrible trait and yet often part and parcel of our nature.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the self and forget the bigger picture. Indeed, it’s often easy to exclude God entirely. In our secular and individualistic age, we often define our success in life by the paradigm of wealth and material gain – often leaving us, as the year’s progress, confused and lacking in understanding of others and lacking in spiritual health.

And in that sense today’s reading is also a challenge to us all.

We hear Jesus telling a wealthy man to give up his possessions, his material gain and wealth, in order to follow him. And, as is often the case, in Mark’s gospel, we hear of the consequences – the man was shocked and went away grieving, unable to exchange his comforts for the promise of eternal life.

Unable to trust in God.

We all fail to trust in God. We all think we are in control of our lives. We all assume we know best. We all have pride and ego that can often overwhelm us. And today’s reading highlights a difficult truth we may not want to hear – we are made weak by our human nature, our selfishness, and our focus on that which isn’t God.

And our New Testament reading from Hebrews reminds us that our weakness is seen and known by God and that one day, somehow, we will have to render account of ourselves to Him.

This might all sound a little bit depressing, a little too difficult for our Sunday morning ears, maybe even a little too much from the curate whose only been here five minutes. But let me assure you we have hope.

Jesus loved the wealthy man, he sympathises with our limitations, and with God all things are possible.

Our salvation, our journey to eternal life, isn’t easy and no Christian finds this an easy process – because as we get closer to God the worst excesses of ourselves are burnt away in the fire of faith.

Following Jesus, putting ourselves and our desires, low on the list of priorities forces us to wrestle with ourselves and our pride and ego, and forces us to realign our focus away from the self and towards God.

This is what trusting God is all about. And I think this is what Jesus is getting at, that faith is life changing and transforming as well as difficult and challenging.

I’m not going to give up my little blue car, or deceive myself that I am somehow without the sin of pride because I wear robes on a Sunday and people stand up when I enter a room, but that doesn’t mean challenging oneself in one’s faith isn’t necessary once in a while.

Allowing oneself to be burnt by faith, to accept following Jesus puts everything we measure ourselves by on its head, is how we get closer to God and therefore closer to our own salvation.

So, my challenge to myself and to you this week is twofold. To look at ourselves closely, to recognise we get it wrong and put things in the way and to do something about it – to admit our failings and to turn to God in our weakness.

How we all do that is up to us; prayer, worship, study, turning the other cheek a little bit more, may well be part of it but remember this deepening our faith is not always an easy or comfortable process.

If it is, we aren’t doing it right.


Post Communion
God our Father, whose Son, the light unfailing,
has come from heaven to deliver the world from the darkness of ignorance: let these holy mysteries open the eyes of our understanding
that we may know the way of life, and walk in it without stumbling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Will include works by Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Rossini & Schuman

Wednesday 27th October 2021 at 4pm

at Aldeburgh Parish Church


Admission Free – A retiring collection for Save the Children

Social distancing will be administered in the church for everyone’s safety

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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.

✟ 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

Church of England Facebook page

Church of England YouTube channel

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page


✞ 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.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list which includes links.

Pilgrims Quiz on Zoom – Saturday 27th October (not 20th)

Please email Sue and Richard if you can provide a round:


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 – 


Rainbow Tots has Moved!

We are delighted to inform you that the popular Rainbow Tots group have changed their venue to The Church Hall (Aldeburgh). This takes place every Tuesday morning (during term time) at 10am. All Mums and toddlers are welcome. Find them on their Facebook page


Next week –
Sunday 24th October
Last Sunday of Trinity/Bible Sunday