Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 25th April – The Fourth Sunday after Easter

Message from The Rector

It’s always a bit difficult to talk about money but there are times when it becomes necessary – and this is one of them. Some good news to begin with. At the recent Diocesan Synod we were told that, by dint of a lot of hard work at both local and diocesan levels, the diocese recorded a ‘break even’ budget at the end of last year. Given the dreadful state of the finances only a year or two ago this is quite an achievement and Bishop Martin was fulsome in his praise for the hard work of parish treasurers and those in the finance department of the diocesan office. But, as Bishop Martin also said (in a note we received on Thursday), ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’. For obvious reasons income has taken a knock recently and we need to think of any imaginative way we can to begin to turn that particular corner. Aldeburgh’s Adrian Brown has put his thinking cap on and writes (obviously from an Aldeburgh perspective) as follows:

Firstly, a thank you to everyone who is donating via our contactless terminals before the start of services.  The terminals are set to £5 and £10 as these are the most popular amounts for donations but they can each accept donations of between £1 and £45 by using the arrow keys on the screen.  You can use both terminals so if you wanted to donate £15 you could donate £5 via one and £10 through the other.  If you require help setting the terminal to a different amount, please ask a member of the Welcome Team who will always be standing by the terminals to assist.

Using these terminals saves a tremendous amount of work as there is no need to pay the money in to a bank so we do encourage you to do what most people are now doing and use these terminals instead of donating in cash.  And we are able to claim Gift Aid on many of the donations.

If you donate regularly to the church and have not done so already, please consider setting up a monthly donation via the ‘Parish Giving Scheme.’  This is really helpful as the church receives Gift Aid on donations automatically, if a donor is subject to tax, and within a few days of the donation appearing in the church’s bank account. You can join online by going to  (you can click on this link).  Once the screen has loaded click ‘Give now’ towards the bottom of the screen and complete the requested information. Or you can join the scheme by phoning 0333 002 1271 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).  You will just need your bank details and the Aldeburgh parish code which is: 330  633 461

I would endorse all that Adrian says (thanks for expressing it so clearly Adrian) and add that Friston is also registered with the Parish Giving Scheme and Simon will, I’m sure, be happy to pass on the relevant details. Friston also now has a contactless terminal to use before services. Though Knodishall and Aldringham have chosen not to use that particular route the general call very much applies there too. Many thanks to those in both of those parishes who already donate by Direct Debit and if you don’t yet, now would be a good time to consider it. And as the rules about gathering together continue to relax we will, I’m sure, be coming up with fundraising ideas for all of our parishes.

And if you think we have problems …. I met up this week with The Revd Dr William Campbell-Taylor. William and his family have a little cottage on Aldeburgh High Street which, a year or two ago now, he was kind enough to ask me to bless. William is the vicar of St Thomas’s church on Clapton Common, north-east London.

The world there looks very different to the Suffolk coast and there are all sorts of problems associated with a relatively poor part of the inner city. The church is trying to do its bit and these videos will tell you more – the second one including an opportunity for you to help with a specific project, should you wish.

Talking to William made me wonder if it might be an idea to have some kind of ‘twinning’ with his parish. It could be a two-way street with the opportunity for some mutual sharing and learning. I would appreciate any thoughts that anyone might have and if you’d like to be put in touch with William, I’d be happy to do that too.

Finally – Annual Meeting time approaches. The dates and times for our Annual Parochial Church Meeting are:

Friston: Sunday May 9th at 10.45am

Aldeburgh: Sunday May 16th at 11.45am

Aldringham: Sunday May 23rd at 12 noon

Knodishall: Sunday May 30th at 10.30am

Each follows immediately after the morning’s service.

With love – and, yet again, renewed Easter Greetings (it’s very much still Easter!)


Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Acts 4.5-12
The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.”  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

Second Reading
1 John 3.16-end
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Gospel Reading
John 10.11-18
‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

Post Communion
Merciful Father, you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:
keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sermon for 25th April – Fourth Sunday of Easter,
by, The Revd Sheila Hart

May I speak to you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In our Gospel reading from John, we have heard Jesus telling the disciples that He is the GOOD shepherd and contrasting the behaviour of the Good shepherd with that of false shepherds and hirelings. We must remember that this account takes place before Jesus death and resurrection so, in the minds of the disciples, there will be little connection or, indeed, understanding of His references to the good shepherd laying down his life for the sheep, being of any greater significance than what would have been part of a routine day’s work in the life of a shepherd at that time.

We, however, have the benefit of hindsight and know that, in addition to a true account of the fact that any good shepherd in those days would have been willing to protect the flock from wild animals – even to the point of death, it is a prophetic account of what was going to happen to Jesus Himself, not too many weeks from then.

This is also the first time that Jesus makes any reference to the fact that there may be others whom He has come to serve in addition to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’. Up until now Jesus has been, for those who have chosen to believe it, the Promised Messiah which the Israelites have been looking for throughout their recent history. At this time, He indicates that there will be others for whom He will lay down His life – ‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.’ This, of course alludes to the bringing of the Good News to the Gentiles.

In our reading from Acts we move forward not only to after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also to after Pentecost and the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. It was at His Ascension that Jesus had promised the Apostles that they ‘would receive power after the Holy Spirit had come upon them and that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth’ and in the account of Pentecost and the days following, we see Peter and John exhibiting some of that promised power.

Here, in the courtroom in front of the Jewish hierarchy, we see Peter, ‘filled with the Holy Spirit,’ testifying to the fact that the man who was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, was healed through the power of the Name of Jesus – the one whom they had crucified and whom God had raised from the dead. He then goes on to say that ‘there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’ In saying this, Peter could have been recalling that other famous ‘I am’ saying of Jesus before His death – ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Me.’

We are the result of the spread of the Good News to the ends of the earth and we are now witnesses to others of the power of that good news and the name of Jesus for there is still ‘no other name under heaven by which people can be saved.’

Jesus is still the Good Shepherd and we are still His sheep so we need to continue to follow Him and hear His voice as He leads and guides us into all truth, but above all we need to continue to share the Good news in word and deed with those in our communities who do not yet know His voice.

Next Week
Sunday 2nd May
The Fifth Sunday of Easter

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The Patient Participation group of The Peninsula Practice carried out a survey to discover the experiences of those who had been vaccinated in the early phase. The survey sought the views on the booking system, the venue service, the effectiveness of communication and asked for recommendations for delivery improvement Over 35% (1,300) responded.

The key findings:

Generally, people were happy with the service and over 90% were very satisfied about the quality of care received by staff and volunteers.

Booking: Of the GP Federation and NHS booking services, the NHS service seemed to be the most effective with less concerns. Over 20% experienced difficulties including crashing websites and lengthy telephone queues, difficulty in securing a second appointment or hearing nothing when an appointment had been cancelled.

Venue: 30% thought the choice of venue was fair to poor and this was due predominately to the distance from homes.

Communication: Several commented on a lack of information as to how people were selected by the GP Federation. The input by Dr Lindsey Crocket in providing weekly updates and appearing on the TV was welcomed.

Recommendations: 94% of participants made comments as to what improvements could be made. The main priorities for improvement were the introduction of localised delivery (over 90% of comments received), more effective use of databases to enable double appointments for partners and carers, an awareness of those who are deemed vulnerable who may require additional needs and weekly updates on all media outlets to ensure that people are aware of what progress e.g. what group is currently receiving their vaccination.

If you would like a copy of the survey report (a four page document), please email

For regular updates from the Peninsula Practice, please do check their website


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.

Deadline – Thursday 4pm Please

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. 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 few months 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 – By clicking on the food bank’s name, you can also find out where to drop off your donations.

You should also check the food banks website or social media pages for any changes to opening hours or operations as a result of the Coronavirus before dropping off donations –

If you would prefer to make a financial donation, then please visit the food bank’s website (under ‘Give help’) or you can donate to the Trussell Trust centrally by contacting our Supporter Care team on 01722 580 178 or emailing

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends
Our regular Zoom coffee morning will be from 10.30am – 11.30am every Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat – just like we used to.

Please contact for the links and info.

✞ Friston Sunday Services on Zoom ✞

Friston will be holding a live Zoom service for all those who
wish to join on Sunday starting at 9.45am.
It will be a Common Worship Morning Prayer.  All are welcome!
The meetings start from 9.40am every Sunday morning

Please contact for the links and info.

✞ 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.

Please contact for the links and info

Pilgrim Zoom Quiz Saturday 24th April at 7pm
A message from Sue and Richard who have kindly organised
the quiz night:

The Quiz Night is very much a fun, puzzler evening. We’ll all mark our own answers and 8 different rounds have been created by and will be presented by different people. The emphasis is on FUN, FELLOWSHIP and enjoying each other’s company – not to be taken TOO seriously!

We will break half way through the evening to have a time to share a drink / food together too – “whatever takes your fancy!”

Please contact for the links and info

Next Zoom Pilgrim Ceilidh:
Saturday 8th May from 7pm

The first half will focus on sharing stories, memories and experiences since March 2020: What has given us hope?  What have we been released from / let go of?  What are we looking forward to experiencing again?   What new experiences have we had that we shall carry forward?

The second half will continue our sharing of local stories.

Please contact for the links and info

Thorpeness and Aldringham Community Chat FB Page

The Pilgrims would like to share a link to the new Thorpeness & Aldringham Facebook Community Chat page which Chris from the Parrot has very kindly set up.  Many thanks Chris!

It is a public site so you shouldn’t need to be on Facebook to see what is going on.  If you would like to add something you will need a Facebook account to be able to share information on the site.