Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 20th March – Third Sunday of Lent

A Prayer for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
We pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment, and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal – World Vision UK

A message from Bishop Martin
“The crisis in Ukraine is creating a humanitarian catastrophe, as all of us can see from the daily news reports.  Bishop Mike and I are calling on all the parishes and congregations of the Diocese this Lent to raise funds through collections, individual gifts, events, and activities, to respond to the terrible situation the people of Ukraine are facing – both in the country and as refugees.

We are very grateful to be in partnership with World Vision who will receive our donations and handle the gift aid.

Be assured that every pound goes directly to those in need. World Vision is also part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose appeal is supported by the UK Government.

We ask you to be as generous as possible, and to continue to pray fervently for the end of the military operation and for peace.

With prayers for you, and for the children and families affected by the conflict in Ukraine.”

Bishop Martin

How your donation helps

The funds you donate to this emergency appeal will support emergency response for displaced children and families in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We will use donations in Ukraine through partners when it is possible. If this is not possible or in the unlikely event we receive more donations than we need for this emergency, the donations will be used to help displaced and refugee populations elsewhere around the world.

You can donate by visiting the World Vision UK website here:

Aldeburgh Parish Church has pre-labelled
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal gift envelopes into which you can put your donation, and then place into one of the donation boxes, or hand to the churchwarden,
or the treasurer


David Jenkins of Thorpeness has been volunteering his time at
Anchor Freights warehouse in Ipswich, where they are sorting and distributing supplies to Ukraine.

At this time due to Customs restrictions food cannot be accepted but items that would be welcomed are: –



Woman’s sanitary items

Warm clothing

Power Banks


Sleeping bags

First Aid items



David has very kindly said that he is more than happy for donations to be delivered to his home address for onward transmission. 
Please contact if you would like to donate any items.


Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice




Holy Communion

Morning Prayer



Holy Communion



Holy Communion

Next Week 
Sunday 27th March
Fourth Sunday of Lent/Mothering Sunday


Almighty God,
whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
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 55.1-9
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves
in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you
may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.  See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.  Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 10.1-13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.’ We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Gospel Reading
Luke 13.1-9
At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’ Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” He replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig round it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” ’

Post Communion
Merciful Lord, grant your people grace to withstand
the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil,
and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Sermon preached by The Very Revd Christopher Lewis at
Aldeburgh 13th March 2022

Luke 13: 31-end

These are hard times, made more challenging, in a way, by the many types of media. We rightly feel strongly for the Ukrainians in their plight. And we are critical of the Russians, although one cannot help noticing that many Russians are being arrested every day for demonstrating against the attacks and some are leaving their country.

It was in Peterborough cathedral many years ago that an arsonist stacked plastic chairs and set light to them, leading to a toxic fire, the smoke from which did vast damage to the contents of that beautiful building. Next day, there was a deputation with a cheque towards the restoration. It was from the local mosque which had taken up a large collection.

My text is just a few words from the second reading today: ‘Some Pharisees came and said to Jesus…’ In spite of everything said about Pharisees, these were friendly ones, and they gave a warning about Herod’s intention to kill Jesus. Today’s Gospel from St Luke continues with Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem, the city which kills its prophets and stones those sent to it. It is the city which Jesus loves… poetically: ‘How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings’. Jesus knows that he will set his face to Jerusalem and die there.

What were the Pharisees up to? Predictably, commentators (you know what experts are like) vary in their interpretation. Some reckon that the Pharisees were indeed plain friendly and giving a warning. After all, when Jesus was young, his teachers would have been Pharisees. Then different experts say that the Pharisees were not what they seemed to be; maybe they were in league with Herod, bent on the sinister purpose of diverting Jesus from his course.

Back to the Peterborough Muslims. Were they giving a donation because they felt affection for the cathedral and the people who worshipped there – showing sorrow for the sacrilege which had happened to a holy place? Or did they have some devious purpose, deceiving the enemy into thinking they were on his side, in order to subvert the Christian faith?

Back to the Pharisees. It appears that they were a mixed bunch. They certainly tended to be legalistic, hence the use of the term ‘pharisee’ today to describe people who are self-righteous and over-formal. They had their traditions, but were much more flexible than some of the other groups at the time, Sadducees to name but one. Pharisees were more popular, more democratic, in a sense more liberal. Jesus at times pointed to their hypocrisy and legalism (along with the scribes) but then on the other hand, the Pharisees in a sense produced St Paul and Paul used his Pharisee origins to strengthen his credentials with the Jews. Paul does not seem to have thought that at all odd when he was preaching a Gospel of resurrection. After all, Pharisees believed in resurrection from the dead.

The social psychologists have a word for how we choose and treat particular groups of people; they call it reification. We generalise and reify, especially with collections of people we don’t like. Newspapers do it every day, in fact you could almost say that reification is their stock- in-trade. A more serious example is the crazy conspiracy theorists which have particular enemies. I don’t seem able to avoid a fascination for the American conspiracy movement QAnon, for they find original ways to believe the unbelievable. They reckon that their government, their media, and their financial world are all controlled by Satan-worshipping paedophiles. QAnon is an anti-semitic internet-supported phenomenon and, what is more, apparently it is growing. I find it hard to believe that 17% of Americans are QAnon believers, some of them right-wing Christians and Trump supporters.

People like Joseph McCarthy used to think that there were Communists out there somewhere, a great block of people who were the enemy. They went away or somehow disintegrated, but we quickly replaced them with terrorists and Islamists. Of course, people who bomb and destroy do exist; there are people out there who are bent on harm, and we must oppose them, much as we do Putin. But the reification happens when they are treated as a great block of people, part perhaps of an axis of evil, and the reification continues with the belief that once they are somehow eliminated, all will be well. Actually they are probably human beings who have got themselves into (or found themselves in) a particular context and then do evil things, like the gangs in West Side Story. Maybe we are creating them by the policies we pursue…and then fighting them by means of more of the same policies.

The Christian asks the question: How did Jesus behave? How, for example, did he behave towards the Pharisees? He certainly called them some rude things: whitewashed tombs and broods of vipers; blind guides. But in the Gospels the things he said were hardly the main part, for the thrust of the Gospel was action, opposing suffering and preaching love for all. Jesus turned his face to Jerusalem and faced the consequences of doing that, rather than having a quiet life in Galilee railing at his enemies.

So Jesus’ method, if one may call it that, was an active kind of love: one which stayed with the enemy, rather than distancing itself from the opposition or going separate ways. Indeed, Jesus’ way meant entering enemy-occupied territory and drawing the sting of aggression by loving behaviour. His life is not only a matter of argument and counter argument, but more a matter of being alongside friend and foe, knowing that such a move will lead to suffering……. and thereby providing a wholly new context in which life can take place: ‘Love your enemies’ (Luke 6;27). For Jesus, it led to suffering and death…..and the victory which followed was not at all of the expected kind.

Significantly, the victory did not exactly lead to the defeat of the enemy, at least in the obvious sense. Pharisees and many others no doubt went on in their normal way, until they were killed by the occupying power or died in their beds. The resurrection was theologically a defeat for the devil and all his works, but in the more humdrum world of everyday life in Jerusalem, life

went on. What changed was that Jesus had provided a whole new world, a new kind of life which was of a different order to the old life. So the boring old battle lines of reification, drawn up over this issue or that – Pharisees or Sadducees – did not really lead to victory or to defeat. They were largely irrelevant. New ground was found. The action moved elsewhere and the issues, or whatever you wish to call them, were to be seen in the light of the teaching and practice of the crucified and risen Lord. Love was to be active in a new way. The kingdom had come and was also yet to come.

The reifications which we latch onto are often deeply misleading. Of course, that does not mean that we do not work against suffering and evil, as Jesus did throughout his time on earth. There is a justification for supporting the use of force in ‘just policies’ to protect people or nations, or in a ‘just war’ like one which had to be fought against Hitler. Yet ‘love your enemies’ is an overriding principle which in part means: only do hard things to a minimum and never bear grudges. It did no good to hate Germans in the 1950’s. The world is full of human beings and their activities – to be understood and loved. Even the Pharisees were not all that they seemed to be.


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Church of England Lent Reflections and
Diocese Weekly Newsletters

You might be interested to receive the daily Lent reflections from the Church of England. Here is the link to sign up to their email reflections

To keep up with weekly news from our Diocese you can sign up to receive the weekly newsletters here:

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


Lent Sessions
Will take place in the vestry of Aldeburgh church and in the home of Jill Brown, who has kindly offered to host an evening session through the Lenten period.
The dates and times are as follows:
Wednesday’s 11am, Aldeburgh church Vestry –
hosted by Rev’d James – beginning on March 2
Thursdays 7pm, Onemana, Alde House Drive, Aldeburgh, IP15 5EE hosted by Jill Brown – beginning on March 3

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 –


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 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list, and for Zoom links.

Saturday 2nd April 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. Please do invite friends along.

A message from Adrian Brown –
Aldeburgh Church Treasurer

Would you like to donate to our Church?

We hugely rely on regular donations to enable us to open our doors daily for people to visit and worship in our beautiful church.  Can you help, but haven’t got the cash on you?  We now have a contactless

terminal next to the sidespeople handing out service booklets so donations may be made before or after a service, or why not sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme and donate as often as you want.  

Ask a Church warden or sidesperson for more information.  
We cannot thank you enough for your donations.



We will be making posies on the 26th March from 10am in the vestry, for our Mothering Sunday Service at Aldeburgh. Do come along and help if you can spare the time.

If you can spare any greenery, please do leave it in the west porch before the 26th. Thank you

Lunchtime Concert at Aldeburgh Parish Church

Monday 4th April at 12 noon

Following the huge success of Nadia’s concert with us in October, we welcome Nadia’s and friends, to raise more money for Save the Children.




Trios by Bach, Beethoven & Donizetti

Admission free- a retiring collection for Save the Children

Save the Children - Community Information Centre

All welcome