Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 1st November/All Saints’ Day



Morning Prayer

Knodishall Church


Holy Communion

Friston Church


Service for
All Saints’ Day

Aldeburgh Parish Church


Morning Praise

Aldringham Church


Online service available


Message from The Rector

Back in August I wrote about the beginnings of the Aldeburgh Churchyard Project and promised to update you – so here goes. Walking through Aldeburgh churchyard you will notice (as promised back in August) a great deal of progress and activity. Scrub and weeds have been cleared, as well as self-seeded saplings that are small enough not to need extra permissions. That work alone has transformed the space. If you walk from Victoria Road towards the footpath that heads for Northfield Court, you can now see the sea! Without disturbing the resident badgers (which would be illegal) the large spoil heaps caused by their activities have been removed – and the next phase of the project has begun. We have employed an excellent firm of tree experts to examine and tag every tree in the churchyard – and there are over 150. Each now has a recommendation for its future and a timescale for the work. Some need a small amount of reshaping, some need serious coppicing, some need felling. The maintenance of the churchyard is the responsibility of East Suffolk Council, so the next stage is to engage with its tree officer to receive approval for our proposals. The diocese is involved too (I’m going to walk round with Archdeacon Jeanette next week) but we see no reason why we will not be able to start the next phase of work very soon.

This is all very exciting and thanks are due to the energetic and dedicated team who have been overseeing (and in some cases actually doing) the work. Nigel Howcutt is the mastermind, Mike Shepherd the resident historian (who has found all sorts of interesting things as gravestones have been revealed) and Ken Smith, Derek Cook, Adrian Brown and Karen Thackeray have all played important parts. Onward!!

Next week we mark Remembrance Sunday. The big difference this year (because of the Covid restrictions) is that in Aldeburgh there will be no morning service in church – everything will be done at the War Memorial by the Moot Hall. We simply couldn’t manage the usual large congregation in the church building so, if you wish to be with us, please assemble by the War Memorial by 10.45am. There will be a quiet service of Evening Prayer in church at 6pm. In Aldringham, Friston and Knodishall there will be Acts of Remembrance in the churchyards around the 2’ silence at 11.00am. Even in these difficult circumstances ‘we will remember them.’

With love, as ever


Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion
and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and
godly living that we may come to those inexpressible joys that you
have prepared for those who truly love you; 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
Revelation 7.9-end
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,  ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’  And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

Second Reading
1 John 3.1-3
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 5.1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Deciphering words in the New Testament –
(It’s all Greek to me)

HUPOMONEE – Greek Words cont. . . .

It wasn’t easy to be a Christian in the early years of the Church. Nero came on the scene in 54AD. His savage persecution of the church is the key to that strange Book of Revelation.

Christians in those early years (as today) had to have “patience” – not just waiting for the bus to come along, but “patient or steadfast endurance”, enduring suffering, sharing the suffering of Christ Himself. The word for this in Greek was Hupomonee. It comes again and again in the Epistles.

Christ had already said “Bring forth fruit with patience” in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8.15). In the last days, he said, “stand firm and you will get through, you will hang on to your own souls” (Luke 21.19).  Think Dr. Zhivago while the Russian Revolution raged around him. The letter to the Hebrews (ch. 12.1) urges us: “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. We need that hupomonee, that patient endurance, today, and not just because of the pandemic.

PS Can anyone help me find Greek lettering on my computer?
John Giles


Sermon for All Saints’ Day by The Revd James Marston

Today’s service isn’t Book of Common Prayer matins or Holy Communion order it is instead something called Informal Worship – I don’t fully understand what it means.

I’m sure some of you might agree that when one is asked to a social event with the dress code “smart casual your heart sinks” – what does this actually mean – something between white tie and ripped jeans, neither one thing nor another.

Indeed, part of me fears that by the same token the concept of “informal worship” is something of a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron rather like, dare I say it, Sporting Personality or Police Intelligence. But if you look at it another way, with perhaps slightly less flippancy, neither one thing nor the other is also two things rolled into one.

Today we are doing that. Alongside remembering, honouring and praying for the souls of the departed of this parish and those we have known in our lives, we are here also to remember, celebrate, honour and be inspired by the saints – the great cloud of witnesses of the Christian faith.

Often those saints are men, indeed most of the saints we remember in the church are men, and many of those male saints are priests, or Italian or French. I’m not here today to point out the inequalities of the patriarchy or make some point on behalf of Germaine Greer – but in an age increasingly recognising the power and inequality of unconscious bias the saints and, the church, I’m afraid to say, have a part to play.

Nonetheless, that is not to say there aren’t women too have who played their part and are remembered for their holiness and dedication to Christ. Indeed, here in Aldeburgh I think there is a celebration of female sainthood and holiness that we can be proud of.

Donated by a school teacher, and one whom I suspect was probably somewhat ahead of her time. The chapel window has piqued my interest in recent weeks.

A group of people in front of a window

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You might be able to pick out on the front of the order of service the figure on the left – the angel Gabriel – instructing Mary – the studious young girl with the slightly more spectacular halo and the lily on her desk – that she is to bear a son and call him Emmanuel. At least it could be that, but I wonder if it might be St Anne, the mother of the virgin, teaching her daughter scripture.

Whether Gabriel or Anne the image is supported and surrounded by four saints. In the top left we have St Katherine of Alexandria, complete with Katherine wheel on which she was unsuccessfully tortured and the sword – a symbol of the beheading that killed her. Her hair, which is unbounded and thereby depicting an unmarried woman, and the crown reminds us she was a princess by birth.

Among her extensive list of patronages are students, unmarried women, as well as teachers and, perhaps more unexpectedly hat makers. St Katherine is also interesting as her story suggests she stood up to men by defying the emperor and refusing marriage.

On the top right is St Cecilia. Another who consecrated her virginity to Christ and refused to bow, in this case, to roman authority and jilted her pagan fiancé on the day of her wedding. Again, she was subjected to an unsuccessful and bizarre attempt to kill her – they tried to stifle her to death with steam and heat in her bathroom.

In the end Cecilia was killed by soldier who was sent to behead her. Here in Aldeburgh she is depicted holding a palm – a symbol of martyrdom – in her right hand and a little cherub type figure playing a lute in her left. She is famously the patron saint of musicians because, it was said, she sang of Jesus’s passion in her heart and because music would have been playing to celebrate her wedding.

Just below Cecilia we have St Margaret of Scotland, known for being a good influence on her husband – King Malcolm III – and for bringing up her children well and taking care of orphans. She is depicted here wearing a crown and holding the sceptre of royalty as well as a bible to remind us of her piety and practice of devotional reading. Margaret, a queen, exercised her power by reforming and influencing the church in Scotland. She was, by all accounts, a force to be reckoned with.

And finally St Ursula, in the bottom left. A legendary figure who was shot by an arrow along with 11,000 other virgins at Cologne in Germany. There is also a story about her too avoiding an unwanted marriage. Ursula is depicted here with an arrow and what appears to be a little girl. Ursula is the patron saint of female students.

Martyrs, virgins, queens and princesses, these four women have been carefully chosen as sources of inspiration as they overcame adversity, stood up for, suffered and even died for their faith and battled against injustice and oppression. They are saints because not only are they Holy but because they also made a difference – two characteristics rolled into one person.

They are a reminder that we too are called by God to be saints. Indeed, St Paul, one of the patron saints of this church, describes the Christian community as set apart, as God’s holy ones, with a sacred calling.

As we look at the window of our chapel and as we celebrate All Souls Day and All Saint’s Day we remember those who have played their part in the life of our community and we remember those who have lived out lives of holiness. And we are invited to consider our response to that calling to be counted amongst the saints in our own lives.

I suggest to you today that our faith means we must be seeking to be ordinary every day saints. We are, as Christians, public in our faith and therefore we are to be busy in our community making Christ known.
We are to exercise forgiveness, live out the hope and joy of the Gospel, and demonstrate Christ’s radical message of love.

We are called to be the saints in Aldeburgh, making a difference through faith in Jesus Christ and we do this with the support of one another, the inspiration and prayers of the saints who have gone before, and with the grace of God.


Post Communion
God, the source of all holiness and giver of all good things: may we
who have shared at this table as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints to the heavenly feast on the day of
your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
8th November – Remembrance Sunday


RD Service

Knodishall at The War Memorial


RD Service

Friston at The War Memorial


RD Service

Aldeburgh at The War Memorial


RD Service

Aldringham at The War Memorial




Aldringham – 11.00am Service

This Sunday (1st) being All Saints day, we have a special morning praise at Aldringham Church ‘Remembering Saints (hallows), martyrs and the faithful departed’. All welcome.


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.


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. Whether it be a story to tell, or tips or recipes or a notice to be added to spread the word.


Choral Evensong at Aldeburgh Church

We will be joined by Martyn Bagnall and the Jubilate Choir for an Evensong on Sunday 15th November at 6pm
(current restrictions allowing). All welcome.