Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 29th May – Seventh Sunday of Easter


O God the King of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:
we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,
but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us
and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Acts 16.16-34
One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place before the authorities. When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, ‘These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.’ The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’ The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Second Reading
Revelation 22.12-14,16, 17, 20-end
‘See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’ Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. ‘It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’  The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

Gospel Reading
John 17.20-end
‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’ 

Dates for your Diaries

Jubilee/Pentecost Services 5th June

Aldeburgh 8am and 10.30am Holy Communion Services

Aldringham 11am Holy Communion Service

Friston 9.45am Morning Prayer

Knodishall 9am Holy Communion Service

Festival Service at Aldeburgh June 12th
10.30am Holy Communion Service

Our New Priest in Charge Revd Sarah Du Boulay
Licensing Service
Thursday 30th June at 7.30pm at Aldeburgh. You are all invited to welcome Sarah. More information to follow.



Sermon preached by The Revd Sheila Murray at
Aldeburgh 22nd May 2022

John 14:23-29

The Continuing presence of God as Holy Spirit

In our Gospel readings during this time between the Resurrection and Ascension (which we celebrate on Thursday this week) Jesus continues to prepare his friends for something which is completely beyond their experience. In today’s Gospel, we hear how he introduces them to the idea of God’s personal involvement through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The prospect of having to carry on without Jesus in person among them must have been bleak and very daunting to the disciples. Here Jesus speaks into those fears and assures them of this faithful presence once he has gone from their physical sight.

There is a section of the Bayeux tapestry which is called “William encourages his soldiers”. This strikes me as a somewhat wry comment because the picture shows William encouraging them by jabbing at their backsides with a sharp weapon! Forceful encouragement, indeed. But there is in this image an acknowledgement that fear can prevent us from doing what we know is right and at such times a prod or two sharpens our determination to get the better of our fear.

When Jesus has given us full assurance of God’s presence, we are told not to let our hearts be troubled. I suspect this has a sharper edge which is often missed, and we are actually being told not to allow ourselves to be perturbed or shaken by circumstances. Satan can so easily sidle in through our fears, self-doubt and trepidation, and start whispering the lie that whatever we are facing is far too difficult and we are bound to fail. We can prevent that, in God’s strength, by refusing to allow such undermining fears access.

In our reading from Acts we heard about the promised guiding power of the Holy Spirit in action. God’s close involvement with his people means that, whenever Christians are attuned to him and make themselves available, they will be led at the right time into the right circumstances where they can be best used for the work of God.

I can testify to this. Seven years ago, Andy and I felt it was right for us to move from Taunton in Somerset up to Suffolk or possibly even just into Norfolk. We put our house on the market, having been told it would sell very easily due to its proximity to an Independent School, we also had an

excellent village primary school within half a mile, and we were within two miles of the hospital, and to top that in a few hundred yards up the road you were in the Somerset countryside. Taunton has excellent rail links, the M5, good shops and the county cricket ground! What more could you want? So with the house on the market, we came across to the East coast house hunting and found a lovely house in a small market town, which had an active church which was part of a benefice, and we found out only a few weeks earlier their Self Supporting part time priest who worked alongside the Vicar had died and they were desperate for help. We thought this was where God was wanting us to be. It all seemed so right. But, for reasons no one could fathom, our house did not sell. The Agent didn’t understand it. After a year, we decided God was not wanting us to move at that point in time. We had made ourselves available, but it was not the right time or the right place. Move forward 7 years, and here we are. In Suffolk, in a much nicer part of the county than we were first looking at, near the sea, in a place where both of us are needed! God moves in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? But it is often a case of just being willing to move out of our comfort zone.

In my last two parishes in N Yorks we had a monthly All Age service in each church. One of the villages had various special weekends over the year, including their Feast weekend, which for decades had a fair set up on the Green. On the Saturday they had a big fancy dress parade down through the village with a brass band and banner leading the way, and Andy and I had judged all the different classes in our first year there. On the Sunday afternoon, tradition had it that the church held an outdoor service on the Dodgems! I envisaged it being a communion, and I thought Andy could drive me round in a dodgem while I served out the bread and the wine! But that was a bit too wacky. It was just an open air service, with adults on chairs on the dodgem floor, and the youngsters sat in the dodgems lined up behind them. I decided to have the theme of how the Holy Spirit can help guide us through our lives, and I demonstrated this by setting up an obstacle course, using various parking cones and a toddler’s tunnel. We got one of the children to put on a blindfold and set her off after slowly turning her round and round – well, she didn’t get very far before she knocked into things. Before it got too dangerous, I stopped her and asked for a volunteer to help steer her round it. Not just taking her hand, but talking to her, about what was coming up next, which direction she had to go and so on. Off they went. And it worked, she was able to get round without any problems. The Holy Spirit can help us, like the guide helped the young girl. The Holy Spirit can teach and explain

things to us, guide us, help us through dangers part of life, so that we are not left alone, but working in partnership with our loving God. Just as Christ tells us in our Gospel reading – when I am gone, Jesus says, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have said to you.

I am going to read a meditation written by Nick Fawcett, which are thoughts that might have gone through the disciple John’s mind having heard Jesus talking to them all.

We felt abandoned, bereft – like orphans in a hostile and dangerous world. To see Jesus arrested like that, flogged, crucified and laid in a tomb – it was like losing a parent, partner and friend all in one, for we’d loved him beyond all others, his presence giving meaning to life, light to our path.

But then he returned, just as he’d promised – risen, victorious, yet the same old Jesus we had known before.

He walked with us, talked with us, and for a moment it was as if nothing had happened. But, of course, it had, for he’d defeated death, vanquished evil, his place no longer with us but with the Father, enthroned on high.

He knew it, we knew it, and so it proved, our Lord taken from us again….

But we are not abandoned, not alone, for once more, just as he promised, he’s present among us, his Spirit within, to the end of time.

Let’s pray:

Saviour Christ thank you not just for the miracle of your resurrection but in the equally miraculous gift of your Holy Spirit, dwelling within, making you known. Thank you for, through that Spirit, touching my heart and transforming my life – enabling, inspiring, teaching, guiding, bringing faith to birth and sustaining it across the years. Help me to discern the way forward and when I find life difficult, help me to stay strong in my faith through your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Post Communion
Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Youth Club has Returned

The Youth Club is back! 7pm to 9pm on Monday evenings during term time for 10–14-year-olds. We really need some more volunteers to help on these evenings. There is a rota in the west porch that you can add your name to, if you can help, or you can contact Fran Smith at

A message from Jenny Digby – Aldeburgh

My darling son Lee Spencer Jones died from bowel cancer in January this year aged only 47 years.   He is loved and missed so much.

I’m ‘Walking Together’ for Bowel Cancer UK, with my lovely daughter in law Michelle on 11th June from Holkham Hall, on the north Norfolk coast as Lee & Michelle lived in Norfolk.

I would welcome any donation, no matter how small, it all adds up.
If you would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page by clicking here:

Thank you to everyone who supports this worthy cause, it is much appreciated. Jenny Digby


✟ 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

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


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.


Friston Open Gardens

Sunday 19th June 11.30am to 5.30pm
Enjoy a walk around the village exploring a rich diversity of residents’ gardens, many hidden from view from roads and footpaths; visit our medieval church and take time out to relax with light refreshments in the Village Hall. Find the cottage which offers a glass of fizz!
Tickets £5pp from the Village Green or Village Hall admits to all gardens.

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 to be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

Friday 3rd June Outdoor Worship Gathering 5.30pm @ Aldringham Court, to round off their Jubilee Fun Day which is open to the local community

Next Week
Sunday 5th June – Pentecost/Jubilee