Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 9th January – First Sunday of Epiphany/Baptism of Christ

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice



Holy Communion



Service of the Word



Holy Communion



Morning Praise

Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus
revealed him to be your Son,
anointing him with the Holy Spirit:
grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,
that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;
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 43.1-7
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.  Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. 
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you;  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’, and to the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.’ 

Second Reading
Acts 8.14-17
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Reading
Luke 3.15-17, 21-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ 

Sermon by The Revd James Marston,
preached 2nd January 2022

Epiphany Matthew 2 1-12

The story of the wise men is one of the most popular and well known bits of Christmas narrative.

Except of course it isn’t.

The wise men are not really part of the birth story at all. As we hear in Matthew’s gospel, they turned up after Jesus was born – weeks, months, maybe up to 18 months later according to some biblical historians, to pay homage and deliver the three deeply symbolic gifts.

The visit of these men, about which much myth and legend has developed, is known in the church year as the epiphany – the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. The visit by the wise men recognises Jesus’ as a king beyond the confines of Judaism, a king for the non-Jews as well.

Indeed, the liturgical season is deeply imbued with the theme of recognition – the recognition of Jesus by God at his baptism “this is my son with whom I am well pleased”, the recognition of the messiahship of Jesus by Simeon and Anna of Jesus when he is presented at the temple.

By extension epiphany is also associated with themes of church mission and the wider concept of unity.

But today, as we mark a new year, I thought it would be a good idea to think about where we recognise God in our lives and rededicate our lives to his service.

With that in mind this week I have brought along for us to pray together a powerful public prayer, known as the renewal of the covenant, which not only points us away from self and towards the living God but reminds us the place of Jesus in our lives, and something of the adoration those wise men continue to inspire in us today.

Beloved in Christ,
let us again claim for ourselves
this covenant which God has made with his people,
and take upon us the yoke of Christ.
This means that we are content
that he appoint us our place and work,
and that he himself be our reward.

Christ has many services to be done:
some are easy, others are difficult;
some bring honour, others bring reproach;
some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests,
others are contrary to both;
in some we may please Christ and please ourselves;
in others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.
Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ,
who strengthens us.
Therefore let us make this covenant of God our own.
Let us give ourselves to him,
trusting in his promises and relying on his grace.

Lord God, holy Father,
since you have called us through Christ
to share in this gracious covenant,
we take upon ourselves with joy the yoke of obedience
and, for love of you,
engage ourselves to seek and do your perfect will.
We are no longer our own but yours.

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Post Communion
Lord of all time and eternity, 
you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father
in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:
by the power of your Spirit
complete the heavenly work of our rebirth
through the waters of the new creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Next Week

Sunday 16th January

Second Sunday of Epiphany


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The surgery will be closed for staff training on Thursday 10.02.22 from 13.00.

When the surgery is closed please call NHS 111

Our Primary Care Network (PCN)

The PCN is network of surgeries in the area that work together to give patients the best care.

Pharmacist Team – The Pharmacists can call you to fulfill outstanding medication reviews or help with medication queries.

Physio Team – We have physios who can offer appointments to our patients. It includes direct and quick access to them for pain or injuries.

Patient Coordinators – they may call you to organize appointments/group consultations or collate referral information.

Mental Health Team – they ensure that all mental health needs are met in a timely manner, offering advice, support, follow-up and access to other agencies and services as required.


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

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

St Andrew’s Church, Aldringham,
2022 calendars now available!

See David Gordon to get your copy.

£10 Each

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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.

We have several dates for the diary as we start 2022:

Saturday 15th January from 7pm online Zoom Pilgrim Local Community Storytelling Ceilidh.  

Our Zoom local story telling Ceilidhs are opportunities for people to share stories about the local area both historical and contemporary.  We have very much enjoyed listening to, asking questions, and learning about local events, people, and buildings past and present from our previous 2021 Zoom Storytelling Ceilidhs.  If you have a story/information to share, please email: Sue: who will organise the running order for the evening.
Saturday 5th February 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.

Saturday 12th February online Zoom Pilgrim Fun Quiz from 7pm

Just for fun from the comfort of your own armchair…Please email Sue and Richard if you can provide a round: