Category Archives: News

Benefice News Sheet for 5th July/Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

This last week the announcement came that we are, once again, allowed to worship in our churches. It is excellent news though, of course, it comes with restrictions. We need to work out how many we can comfortably accommodate in each of our churches, given the need to maintain social distancing (which remains at 2 metres unless we take other precautions). There is also still some working-out to be done around Holy Communion which, inevitably, poses more difficulties. And we need to bear in mind that, for some people, being in an enclosed building with other people remains difficult at present because of their age or their health. So we plan to move gently and keep an online worshipping presence.

For the next couple of weeks, we plan to continue online services at 10.30am but we will add something else to the Sunday mix. At 6pm there will be a service in the largest of our churches, Aldeburgh. This week it will be a service of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, next week (July 12th) it will be a special service – ‘A reflective act of worship for uncertain times’. We will also continue the outdoor services in Aldringham at 11.00am and as restrictions have been relaxed (churchyards now obey the same rules as church buildings and as long as social distancing is still possible there is no restriction on numbers) there only needs to be one service. We will review the situation as we monitor the popularity of these services and will make any changes accordingly. In the very near future the PCCs of Friston and Knodishall will be making decisions about how and when to open their buildings. Friston’s Wednesday 6pm Compline will remain online for the time being and Pilgrims Together will maintain their weekly online presence too. (See further down this document for details of how to join with both of these acts of worship.)

Some of the material for this week’s online service comes from the Iona Abbey Worship Book. If you enjoy it (if it ‘speaks to your condition’ as our Quaker friends would say) then you may well find that Pilgrims Together does too – they derive much of their material from Iona. You would be very welcome to give it a try.

The other day we received news of the diocesan plans for Ordinations and James’s Ordination to the Priesthood is now planned for Sunday 6th September. Numbers at the cathedral will be restricted but the service will be streamed online. We are not sure of the time of the service yet but will adjust the timing of our benefice services if necessary – more news when we have it.

Finally – on Tuesday I received a letter from Bishop Martin which included this:

‘ …. allow me to ask one more thing of those of you who are clergy: which is that in July and August when you are not on holiday you take two days off a week. A number of diocesan bishops are asking their clergy to do this, to help restore energy after the heavy demands most clergy have been under these past months, and to prepare for the continuing challenges in the Autumn. So – two days off please every week in July and August when you are not on holiday!’

Never one to disobey my Reverend Father in God (!) I intend to do just that and add Tuesday to my normal Monday. I will, of course, always be available in an emergency and my answerphone message will reflect that.

With love, as ever

Mark

 

Hymn

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy days be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;

and in that light of life I’ll walk,

’til trav’ling days are done.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

First Reading
Romans 7.15-25a
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Second Reading
Matthew 11.16-19, 25-end
Jesus said ‘To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.”  For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’

At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity
by The Revd Nichola Winter

One of the unexpected benefits of the recent lockdown has been the opportunity for more reading – both serious and light. I have always been fascinated by the Arthurian legend, so it has been a joy reading about his encounters with Merlin the enchanter, or wise man. As Merlin approaches old age, he fears that his power is leaving him and he is no longer able to guide Arthur as well as he feels he should. A crisis comes and Merlin thinks he has failed – but it is Arthur who points out that ‘god’ has not failed him – he has brought him through. Maybe not in the way that Merlin had anticipated – but he has brought him through the crisis nonetheless.

Now, you might wonder why I am referring to a mythical tale that deals with paganism and the early days of Christianity during an act of worship. But that is partly the point. Those doughty folk who brought Christianity to these shores – and to many other countries – had to deal with cultures that worshipped gods who constantly needed to be placated with offerings and sacrifice – sacrifice that might well involve human life. Bring in the Christian story and here we have a different sacrifice – Jesus, who makes that final human sacrifice after which no more human blood need be spilled. Humans no longer need believe they must sacrifice human life – he (Jesus) has done all that is needful. What is required now of his followers is sacrifice of love, joy and service. In our darkest moments (fast forward to today and the uncertain times we find ourselves in) God is still very much with us. When we feel, like Merlin, that our powers fail, when we feel at our weakest, that is when we need to take on the light yoke of Jesus and let his power enable us.

Those ‘comfortable words’ have brought strength, hope and faith itself to so many; they are worth learning and repeating in our times of quiet prayer as often as possible:

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

In an agricultural society the idea of a yoke – a device that enables a beast to haul a heavy load, would have been a familiar image. The rabbis in the synagogue would speak about the yoke of Torah, the Jewish scripture, and the yoke of the kingdom. Heavy responsibilities; strict laws; a burden indeed. But Jesus invites us to ‘learn from him’ – a lifelong lesson of learning as his disciple. He says, ‘my yoke is easy’ – and indeed, compared with the lengthy law of the Pharisees it is shorter and centred on the bare essentials – love God and love your neighbour. But those demands are inexhaustible – can we ever really say that we love God and we love our neighbour enough?

The current times have shown how neighbours can love and act for each other; how communities have been pulling together; how strangers have become friends through simple acts of help and kindness. There is a real joy in that loving; joy in service, and joy in receiving. Of course, it changes as we continue through life. Before lockdown I visited people who were saddened because they no longer felt able to do as much as they used to. ‘Well, I can’t do much these days for the church, you know…’ they’d say. But after a little discussion they discover quite a few things they could do – invite a neighbour round for a cuppa (easier now as some restrictions ease), pick up the phone to someone who’s lonely and have a chat. And one of the greatest acts of love is to pray – you don’t need to be healthy, fit or energetic to do that.

Jesus doesn’t invite us to take on some impossible task. He does invite us to hand over all those problems, dilemmas and crises to God in prayer and let him take it from there. The situation may not go away immediately but God will give the strength to deal with it.
He knows our weakness; think back to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal. As he prays, asking his disciples to accompany him, they can only sleep, worn out with fear and exhaustion. Jesus says, ‘Pray that you do not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ We all know that feeling; Paul in his rather longwinded way says the same thing in his letter to the Romans and he finally concludes:

‘Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!’

And that can be a prayer of thankfulness from each one of us.

 

Collect
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Hymn

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bid me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings within and fears without,

O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
has broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
the breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)

 

NOTICES

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞
Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

✟ Songs of Praise on The Green 
A Benefice Service at Friston – 
30th August 2020 3.00pm
The Parish of St Mary the Virgin would like to invite you to a Benefice ‘Songs of Praise on the green at Friston! This would be a socially distanced opportunity to come together to sing to the Praise of God and have a picnic afterwards. Do you have a favourite hymn?
If you would like to attend please contact Carole Edwards – caroleedwards123369@btinernet.com or
8 Mill Road, Friston, Suffolk, IP17 1NW or call 01728 687743.

Also please let Carole know your suggestion of a hymn to be
included in this service.

Please bring your own chairs and tables for your picnic.

Benefice News Sheet for 28th June-Third Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

I am hesitating as I type this because by the time you read it there may be some more news. But as I’m sure you will have heard we are, once again, allowed to hold services in church from next weekend onwards – which is great news. The problem at the moment is that, yet again, we await government guidelines as to any restrictions that we may have to work within. (It would have helped us a great deal if these things had been worked out before the announcement had been made!) Various things have been hinted at but there is, as yet, nothing concrete. I have been in touch with the wardens of all of our churches asking them for their opinions on how we might best move forward and the clergy team will be meeting on Tuesday to make some decisions, in the hope that guidelines will be available by then. I very much hope that we will be able to hold a service in at least one of our churches next Sunday but I’m afraid that I can’t tell you more at the moment.

This weekend would, in normal circumstances, have seen James’s ordination to the priesthood and also Aldeburgh’s Patronal Festival. Both of those will be reflected in some way in this week’s service. James, and all of those whose ordinations have been postponed, are very much in our prayers.

We are also beginning to think about the things that we can’t wait to restart, and wondering about things that we might perhaps like to be a bit different once we are able to be properly up and running again. I would very much appreciate your thoughts too.

 

Collect
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate
our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may
be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
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
Jeremiah 28.5-9
Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.’

Second Reading
Romans 6.12-end
Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 10.40-end
‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’ 

 

Reflection for the Third Sunday after Trinity
by The Revd Johanna Mabey

Matthew 10: 40-42

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

On this day two years ago, you, the wonderful people of Alde Sandlings Benefice, welcomed me home as a newly minted priest and we celebrated together at my maiden Eucharist. Happy and special times!

Today we should have been celebrating an equally happy and special time with our lovely curate James. I’m certain you join with me in thinking of James and his fellow deacons as their preparations and expectations for priesthood have been temporarily scuppered by current restrictions.

Ironically, today’s Gospel lesson couldn’t be more appropriate for the welcoming of a new priest. This is the conclusion of Matthew’s chapter ten and Jesus is preparing the twelve to be itinerant missionaries. He sends them out as his messengers to represent him, and his Father, the one who sent him.

In antiquity, sending messengers was a standard way of communication in business and religious life. Certain rules of etiquette built up around it, and that is the principle we hear behind the words “whoever receives you, receives me, and the one who sent me.” For the ancient Mediterranean world – whether Jew, Christian, Greek, Roman or other, there were divine implications in hospitality. A stranger might be the God of Israel, or the Messiah, or one of many gods and goddesses of those times. Answering a knock at the door was a dangerous and potentially wonderful moment.

In this context, Jesus sends his disciples, as his messengers, to do exactly what he does. He gives them authority to heal, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. If people don’t welcome them, they are to shake the dust off and move on. They will face hostility, persecution, and betrayal – just as he does, but they have a security that protects them against a need to be secure.

Jesus and God stand in solidarity with them and in the reception they receive. “Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Since these strange Covid times began we’ve seen and heard many examples of people putting their own security aside to help and heal others. Just think of all the “cups of cold water” that have been given to those in need. Just think of all the “cups of cold water” you may have given or received recently. We are a missional people. I know many of you are caring for others in all sorts of ways.

The theologian Frederick Buechner writes: “we have it in us to be Christs to each other to work miracles of love and healing as well as to have them worked on us.” Jesus sends us, the church, into the world to meet real needs, work miracles of love and healing through acts of kindness… cups of cold water, and to go as a people willing to have those same miracles worked on us.

We represent Christ to the stranger, and we encounter Christ in the stranger. It’s part of the mystery of abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us. It’s part of life as a believing community that joyfully we share with one another. For me it’s part of the mystery of Holy Communion – which makes our current situation of not being able to gather at the table together even more painful.

Two years ago, as I lifted the chalice for the first time, I was momentarily struck as I saw my own reflection in the smooth silver. I marvelled at the mystery of being there, of being together with you on the outside of the chalice and on the inside with the wine.

At that service we sang the hymn “Brother, Sister, let me serve you”. It’s words brought a tear to my eye then, as they still do now…

Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

Let’s look forward to a time soon, when James can lift that same chalice and patten, and marvel at that same joy and mystery…and to a time when we can serve and be served, together once more.

 

Hymn

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace
to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow,
till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we’ve known together
of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that l may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

Richard Gillard (b 1953)

 

Post Communion
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
5th July – Fourth Sunday after Trinity

 

NOTICES

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

✞ Meet up with Revd James ✞

Our curate Rev James has been meeting some of you outside in your gardens and in his rectory garden. If you would like a trip out to Friston, or would like James to visit you do let him know on 01728 688451 or email him on marstonjames@hotmail.com

 
 

🧺Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

Benefice News Sheet 21st June – Second Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

Some good news. We have made some significant moves to open our churches for private prayer. St Andrew’s Aldringham is open every day, though access is restricted to a small part of the church in order to allow us to keep it clean. St Peter & St Paul’s Aldeburgh will be open every Sunday from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Again, access will only be to part of the building but as we are only open for one day a week the cleaning is less onerous and we feel that we can allow access to a small number of chairs (suitably distanced) in the Trinity Chapel. St Mary’s Friston will be open by appointment and details of how to access the church will be posted in the porch. We are lucky to have members of the congregation living very close to the church building and they have kindly agreed to unlock the church should there be a need. St Lawrence’s Knodishall is still deep in thought about the best way to handle things and there will be news very soon. It’s not an easy decision for any of our churches because opening the building means extra work for volunteers. The more of the building we open, and the more often we open it, the more work there is. We all pray for a time when restrictions are relaxed further but for the time being these are the restrictions under which we work. In the meantime, the online services continue and it’s good to be together at the same time, albeit in different places. The Holy Spirit draws us together and, as it were, ‘joins the dots.’ All shall be well.

PSALM 86 Verses 1-11

BOW down thine ear, O Lord, and hear me : for I am poor, and in misery

2 Preserve thou my soul, for I am holy : my God, save thy servant that putteth his trust in thee.

3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord : for I will call daily upon thee.

4 Comfort the soul of thy servant : for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For thou, Lord, art good and gracious : and of great mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

6 Give ear, Lord, unto my prayer : and ponder the voice of my humble desires.

7 In the time of my trouble I will call upon thee : for thou hearest me.

8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord : there is not one that can do as thou doest.

9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship thee, O Lord : and shall glorify thy Name.

10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things : thou art God alone.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in thy truth : O knit my heart unto thee, that I may fear thy Name.

 

First Reading
Romans 6.1b-11
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

Second Reading
Matthew 10.24-39
‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

 

Collect
Lord, you have taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Reflection for the Second Sunday after Trinity
The Revd Sheila Hart

For nearly 3 months now we have been living under lockdown because of Covid 19. And now, over the past week or so, suddenly this place of safety is beginning to be opened up, so that life can begin to slowly return to normal – whatever that means now.

We have been in lockdown for fear of becoming infected by the virus – to keep us safe – for protection of ourselves and others – and now some of the strict rules are beginning to be lifted and there is a different norm. And, as a result, a different fear or apprehension.

Being in lockdown has been experienced in different ways by different people.

Initially many were disorientated – not quite knowing which way to turn or how to react.

For many it was seen as an opportunity to do all those things on their ‘to do’ list and so they entered upon a period of frantic activity – tidying, cleaning, clearing out unwanted junk that had been lying around for ages in piles which needed sorting.

As time went on an element of resignation took over – this was how life was going to be for some time and so we’d better get used to it.

And finally, for many a sense of pent up anger and frustration which could have sparked the reaction to George Floyd’s death in America and subsequently the ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations in this country and around the world in the past couple of weeks. The sense of ‘I have to blame somebody or something for my fate.’

In a different context and at a different time, this is exactly what Jeremiah was experiencing in our Old Testament lesson. He had reluctantly responded to God’s call to be a prophet in his youth. He had faithfully spoken God’s message to the people of his time, and he had received opposition and criticism from his hearers. He had tried to contain his resulting frustration and anger and live with it and eventually, he had had to let it out and he had a good rant at God, after all it was God who had got him into this mess and it was God’s responsibility to get him out of it!

Having had a go at God, Jeremiah has a moment of revelation in verse 11 of our reading: ‘But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore, my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail…. O Lord of Hosts, You test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind;’

So let’s be honest – how many of us are blaming God for our current situation and what we have been through in the past weeks?

Just because we are Christians – people who have committed our lives to serve God – it does not absolve us from our humanity.

Jesus is very clear in our Gospel reading from Matthew as to what following Him is all about.

‘Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it and those who lose their life will find it.’

Being a Christian is not an escape route from the realities of life. Rather it is nailing our colours to the cross of Christ and sharing not only in the ‘power of His resurrection’ but also in ‘the fellowship of His sufferings’ that we might gain the crown of life – eternal life.

This has been a hard and difficult time for many of us and it is not going to get any easier very quickly, but we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus and many of His followers have travelled a similar road before and what they have lost in this life they have gained in eternity. So let us not give up now. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Amen.

 

Hymn

Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
if thou wouldst my disciple be;
deny thyself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up thy cross, let not its weight
fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear thy spirit up,
and brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
to save thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross then in his strength,
and calmly every danger brave;
’twill guide thee to a better home,
and lead to victory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down;
for only he who bears the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

To thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
all praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
the heavenly life that knows no end.

C W Everest (1814-77)

 

Some useful information on the current situation from our Doctors Surgeries in Aldeburgh and Leiston

Latest update from Aldeburgh Doctor Surgery

A close up of a logo

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Please be aware that from 15 June 2020 our services will change as follows however WE MAY AT SHORT NOTICE HAVE TO REVERT TO OUR FALLBACK POSITION, OF ORFORD BEING THE DESIGNATED SITE TO SEE ALL PATIENTS FACE-TO-FACE.

  • DISPENSARY

Orford and Alderton will both be open as per pre Covid opening hours. Patients will be able to collect their prescriptions through exterior dispensary windows. We ask that patients queue honouring social distancing advice of two metres.

Please do not call dispensary – prescriptions are still taking 5 working days.

  • OPENING HOURS

Pre Covid opening hours, but the doors will remain locked at all sites so please telephone the surgery for appointments, results or queries.

Alderton Surgery Monday 08.00 – 14.30

Tuesday-Friday 08.00 – 18.30

Orford Surgery Monday 08.00 – 18.30

Tuesday Closed

Wed-Friday 08.00 – 13.00

Aldeburgh Monday-Friday 08.00 – 18.30

Hollesley Temporarily closed until further notice. – Repeat prescriptions requests will continue to be collected from the site.

  • APPOINTMENTS

All appointments will be by telephone unless a patient is asked to attend the surgery for a face-to-face appointment.

One clinical team will manage telephone, video and online consultations. A small group of clinical staff will see patients face-to-face where there is a clinical need, thus reducing the risk of infecting patients and staff.

We are only able to accommodate essential blood appointments, because these appointments, which normally take 5 minutes, but now due to infection control, take 20 minutes.

Patients who have transport will be asked to support our service by attending Landseer Road for bloods. To pre-book appointments at Landseer Road online:

www.esneft.nhs.uk/service/bloodtests or tel 03331 032220.

When attending a face-to-face appointment at the surgery please remain in your car or the car park until a member of staff comes to collect you. And if you have a facemask please wear it.

We encourage all patients, if possible, to use our e-consult service; which offers online consultations with our clinicians. The link to our e-consult service can be found on our website:

www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/econsult

  • RECEPTION

Our team are here to help you. For infection control purposes we are making internal structure changes and we request that patients honour social distancing at all times.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE MAY AT SHORT NOTICE HAVE TO REVERT TO OUR FALLBACK POSITION, OF ORFORD BEING THE DESIGNATED SITE TO SEE ALL PATIENTS FACE-TO-FACE.

For all practice updates please see our website http://www.thepeninsulapractice.co.uk/homepage or The Peninsula Practice Facebook page.

 

Latest update from Leiston Doctor Surgery

‘Due to infection control measures in regards to the Coronavirus, we now have a reception desk in the upstairs lobby where you will be asked some questions in regards to your symptoms and exposure history.

The doors that can be accessed from the main street are NOT to be used, this is for the safety of our patients and staff to prevent spread of infection.

The downstairs entrance accessed via the car park must only be used by patients that require to access the lift or pick up medications.

Please do not come to the surgery without a booked appointment.

All patients with pre-booked appointments for the nurses/HCA’s will be asked to contact the surgery prior to their appointment if they have any cold/flu like symptoms.

All GP/allied health professional appointments are telephone triaged initially.

Do not come early to appointments if possible and do not bring other people to accompany where possible.

We appreciate your support and cooperation at this time and want to ensure you that we are taking every possible measure to minimise risk for our patients and staff.’

For more information, please visit the Leiston Doctor surgery website:

https://www.leistonsurgery.com/page1.aspx?p=1&t=1

https://www.leistonsurgery.com/page1.aspx?p=3&t=1

 

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
28th June – Third Sunday after Trinity

 

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 
 

Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

 
 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

Benefice News Sheet 14th June – First Sunday after Trinity

Message from The Rector

Well! Rather to everyone’s surprise (including Bishop Martin, who’d had no notice of it) late last Saturday the government announced that churches would be able to open for private prayer from Monday June 15th. Then (again with no notice) the date was brought forward to Saturday 13th and the guidelines promised for Tuesday 9th about how this might happen appeared at lunchtime on Friday 12th. This isn’t a time for grumbling, it’s a time for celebration but we must be careful too. Churches are not opening for services (although we are now allowed to have funerals in church as long as we stick strictly to guidelines about ‘social distancing’ and cleaning), churches are not opening for visiting, they are opening for individuals in order that they might spend a little quiet time with God and to pray.

Given the very short notice of the announcement this is still very much ‘work in progress’ in our four parishes but, as I write (on Friday) the following decisions have been made.

Aldringham church – will be open from Monday, strictly following the guidelines for safety and hygiene.
Friston church – will not be open, though if people wish to visit the church it will be opened for them.
Knodishall church – would like to open but is still working on the details.
Aldeburgh church – has yet to make a final decision.

It should be stressed that just because a church can open it doesn’t have to and the reasons for which it might open are very limited.

It must also be stressed that Covid-19 has not gone away. The worst of the pandemic might be over in the UK but we still need to be very vigilant. In our deanery we are lucky that one of the clergy, The Revd Brian Jolley, is a pharmacist and in a clergy chapter meeting earlier this week he told us about how the current situation is regarded by medical professionals. They are still taking a huge amount of care, fearing the possibility of a second wave of the virus. We need to make sure that, in the end, we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Finally, a message on behalf of our PCC treasurers. Thank-you to all who give to the church by standing order, direct debit or thorough the Parish Giving Scheme. The fact that you do has been a huge help in recent weeks. If, however, you normally give by putting your offering in the collection-plate then it would be wonderful to know that you might have carried on putting money aside even though you haven’t been able to visit the church building. We very much look forward to our first opportunity to worship together again – and to the sound of piggy-banks being emptied!

Our curate James was due to be ordained priest at the end of June – but then the lockdown happened.
Today, he discusses the next step.

It’s been a strange few years. It has been a time of changes, of house moves, of challenge and of following a new path. I’ve moved to theological college in Cambridge, studied for the first time in twenty years, gathered experience at various churches, even took a study trip to Africa and this time last year was made a deacon and moved to east Suffolk. Ever since I have been getting used to being called Reverend, learning new skills, finding my place in a new community and experiencing a world in which people see me through a new lens – that of a clergyman.

It has been, overall, the time of my life. One of those periods of which I shall look back with deep affection largely because I feel I am doing what I am meant to be doing – following my vocation to the priesthood.

I was due to be ordained priest at the end of June by the Bishop in the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, but recent events have affected each and every one of us and what was planned has had to be delayed – hopefully not for too long.

But what is a priest? What does it include and what does it mean?

Apart from the obvious – leading Sunday services, taking funerals, marrying people in church, baptising babies – the concept of priesthood is one that isn’t always easy to define.

In the service of ordination, the Bishop addresses the congregation and sums up the role of priest: “Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God’s new creation.

They are to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord; they are to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for his family, to search for his children in the wilderness of this world’s temptations, and to guide them through its confusions, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ’s name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.”

“With all God’s people, they are to tell the story of God’s love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to walk with them in the way of Christ, nurturing them in the faith. They are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, and to declare the mighty acts of God.

“They are to preside at the Lord’s table and lead his people in worship, offering with them a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. They are to bless the people in God’s name. They are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, and intercede for all in need.

“They are to minister to the sick and prepare the dying for their death. Guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all God’s people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith.”

It is quite a tall order. But in the vows we take it is further distilled.

We are called first and foremost to be people of prayer, to maintain our own relationship with God and to pray often for those in our communities – everyone regardless of whether they come to church or not.

We are also called to proclaim the Gospel – not just in sermons or newspaper articles but in the way we live and behave – as my mother says to me, no more swearing, be kind and remember people expect certain standards – quite right.

Also, in the vows is a charge to teach the beliefs of the faith and to administer the sacraments – the Holy things of the church such as the communion bread and wine – a priest presides at the church’s most Holy of services.

It is quite a daunting prospect and one which I feel alternatively terrified and excited – terrified because of the responsibility, excited because I cannot wait to part of the ancient lineage of people that have served their communities in this way. It is both, it seems to me, a privilege and a burden.

The theology of it all aside, I have divided in my mind the role into two parts- doing and being. By doing I mean taking part in the community, communicating and teaching the faith, and offering myself in service to others. By being I mean simply living in the community, being part of the world but slightly separate from it, being that person of prayer who lives in the rectory and goes to church.

I don’t know when I will be priested – the timings are unclear – when the time comes I will do my best – I think that’s all God expects of all of us.

Glossary of terms
Ordination – church service at which the bishop presides, and deacons and priests are formally conferred with Holy Orders, priests are ordained to lead God’s people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Sacrament – a ritual or ceremony in which Christians believe divine grace is conferred.
The Eucharist – (Holy Communion, the Mass, or the Lord’s Supper), can take different forms across the Church of England, and it may be understood by Christians in different ways, but at the heart of the celebration there is always a special prayer of thanksgiving. This prayer is offered by the priest who presides at the service.

Collect
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of
our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the
help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed; 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
Exodus 19.2-8a
They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.’
So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: ‘Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

Second Reading
Romans 5.1-8
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Hymn

He who would valiant be
‘gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy
follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round
with dismal stories,
do but themselves confound–
his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might,
though he with giants fight:
he will make good his right
to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend
us with thy Spirit,
we know we at the end
shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away!
I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day
to be a pilgrim.

Words: Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) after John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Gospel Reading
Matthew 9.35-10.8
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Sermon for Trinity Sunday by our Rector,
The Revd Mark Lowther

Matthew 9: 35 – 10: 8

I wonder what went through your head when you heard those words in the Gospel reading about Jesus having compassion on the crowds ‘because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’. There have certainly been times in recent weeks when I’ve felt like that, not helped by knowing that our very own shepherds, our Bishops Martin and Mike, have been feeling very much the same. It has not been an easy time to be a leader – and that applies to our politicians as well as our church leaders. However much I might criticise the way decisions have or have not been taken I wouldn’t be in their shoes for anything. The responsibilities of leadership have been hugely burdensome, that’s for sure.

Now I don’t know if you’ve read the piece that our curate, James, has written in this week’s pew-sheet. If not, may I commend it to you? He ponders how he is feeling at the time when he should have been being ordained to the priesthood and reminds himself, and us, of what it is that priests are for. It’s a hugely varied range of tasks and listed as the Bishop would read out at the ordination service, pretty awesome. Fortunately, a few moments later in the service, the Bishop, addressing those about to be priested, says:

‘You cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength, but only by the grace and power of God. Pray therefore that your heart may daily be enlarged, and your understanding of the Scriptures enlightened.’ And I’m sure I speak for all of my fellow priests when I say that we do – daily. We’d collapse otherwise.

Now, bearing all of that in mind and turning back to today’s gospel reading, do you notice something interesting? Jesus summoned his twelve and sent them out to – well actually to do some of those things that have found their way into the ordination service. But he didn’t ordain them. He didn’t give them a special blessing. He gave them some pretty stiff instructions – and told them not to expect any reward. Later in the 10th chapter of Matthew’s gospel he tells them that they are to be like sheep in the midst of wolves, that they are likely to be persecuted. But he hadn’t ever set them apart in any other way. They were a collection of very ordinary people to who he gave very extraordinary tasks. And they did them – well, eleven of them did, the twelfth did something rather different.

And you know what’s coming, don’t you? It’s a task for all of us, here and now. In last week’s service we heard the very final words of Matthew’s gospel, the so-called ‘great commission’. Jesus was, again, speaking just to his, by then, post resurrection, 11 disciples. ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’. They still weren’t ordained, they were set apart only because of their closeness to the person of Jesus. The task – the task of building up the people of God – is one for us all. We who wear our unusual collars have a special part to play in the proceedings, but we cannot do it alone – we need the power of the Holy Spirit and, just as Jesus did, the help of some special but ordinary people.

To end with, some wonderful words which I may have quoted before and which come from the Methodist church in Singapore as a reminder of what ordination is, and isn’t.

‘We are not ordaining you to be a caring person; you are already called to that. We are not ordaining you to serve the Church in committees, activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership. We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues, ecology, race, politics, revolution, for that is laid upon every Christian. We are ordaining you to something smaller and less spectacular: to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community, so that they speak a word to people today; to remember and practice those rituals and rites of meaning that in their poetry address human beings at the level where change operates; to foster in community through word and sacrament that encounter with truth which will set men and women free to minister as the body of Christ.’

I reckon that’s as good a definition of what priests are called to do and to be – and what you’re called to do and to be as well.

Amen

Post Communion
Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts:
may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope,
and make us grow in love; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
21st June – Second Sunday after Trinity

How about some baking?

At Aldeburgh Parish Church we are incredibly lucky to have such talented bakers amongst our congregation. We can always rely on delicious cakes for our Friday Markets, Summer Fetes, and Coffee Mornings.
Something that we are all missing dearly at the moment.

This week we are in for a real treat with a recipe from Valerie Wallace. Thank you so much Valerie for sharing this with us. Ready, steady BAKE!!!

SOMERSET CIDER FRUIT CAKE – as sold at August Friday Markets

Oven 180C/350F/GAS MARK 4

Baking time between 60-70 minutes for lined 20cm tin

OR 2 lined 1lb tins around 35/40 minutes

Ingredients:

265g Mixed dried fruit –
100 g each of sultanas & raisins
and 65g of currants

4 tbsp of Thatcher’s vintage dry cider (other ciders available)!

175g Unsalted butter

175g Light Muscovado Sugar

3 Large Eggs

265g Self-raising flour

1 tsp Mixed Spice

*Soak mixed fruit in cider overnight unless taken from freezer – see Tip.

Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour. Sift in the rest of the flour with the mixed spice and fold in mixed fruit with juice.

Bake in preheated oven until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the tin. Freezes well.

Tip: If you are going to make more cakes over the weeks buy a 500ml bottle of cider; measure 265g of mixed fruit – 100g each of sultana/raisins and 65g of currants into 8/9 self seal reusable bags. Add 4 tbsp of cider into each bag, seal and put in freezer. They come out plump and juicy as the alcohol does not freeze.

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

How about you??
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Cooking tips, craft ideas, a really good film or book. Nice lockdown walks. Successful allotment achievements? Or like Mary & Valerie share a recipe. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

🎶 Christina Johnston 🎶

Many of you know soprano Christina Johnston who has performed at Aldeburgh Parish Church many times. Christina is holding Friday night concerts at 7pm, from her studio at home.
So grab a drink a settle in for a night of wonderful music. You can find her on The Christina Johnston YouTube Channel for past and present concerts.

 

🧺Anyone for a Picnic & Informal Outdoor Service? ✞

What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine.
The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’ If you are interested in taking part in a service along these lines please let Claire know. If there are a sufficient number interested, we can then put some dates together.

 
 

Benefice News Sheet for Trinity Sunday 7th June

Message from the Rector

Welcome to the last of our festive Sundays for quite a while. Since we have been unable to gather in our church buildings, we have marked Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day and Pentecost. On this Trinity Sunday we try our best to understand what it means to worship ‘one God in three persons’ and, traditionally, incumbents leave that task, at least in part, to the Curate. I am very pleased that James has accepted the challenge and risen to it!

I am afraid that there is still no news of when we might meet again in our church buildings. I am, however, very grateful to David Gordon from the congregation in Aldringham, for coming up with what seems to me like a very good idea indeed. He says:

‘From (last) Monday, 6 people can do various things in the churchyard. What if one of us invited 5 people to meet at the cross at a specified time armed with a folding chair and a ‘self-picnic’ (that is, not for sharing) and a glass? The ‘host’ would bring a simple service sheet, perhaps a couple of well known hymns and prayers – and a bottle of wine. The host would then conduct the service, reading a couple of lessons and reading the sermon as per the online benefice service. After the service the 6 people would have their ‘self-picnic’ and a glass of wine in the churchyard, socialising with the other 5.’

David speaks of Aldringham but I see no reason why we shouldn’t try something like this in all four of our churchyards, should there be a sufficient number of people interested. Please would you let Claire or me know if you would be interested in taking part in an informal outdoor service along these lines? We will then do some number-crunching and work out how, and how often, we might meet and worship together. And a huge thank-you to David for the idea. Over to you.

First Reading
Isaiah 40.12-17, 27-end
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust
of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
or as his counsellor has instructed him? Whom did he consult for his
enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice?

Who taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 
Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as dust on the scales; see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. Lebanon would not provide fuel enough, nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.  All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’?  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 28.16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Sermon for Trinity Sunday by The Revd James Marston

May I speak in the name of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In today’s gospel reading we hear of Jesus’ last great exhortation to his followers – amongst whom, as Christians, we count ourselves – to make disciples and baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

But what do we mean by Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

This Sunday we celebrate not an event, not a moment in history that gives us insight or helps explain our faith such as Pentecost or Christmas or even Easter, but instead we celebrate a doctrine, a teaching of the church that has come down to us through the last sixteen or seventeen centuries.

The Trinity – that one God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a theological minefield of potential heresy and misunderstanding. I shan’t go into those now, suffice to say that any ideas of shamrocks or three leaf clovers don’t get it quite right.

But, at the back of the Book of Common Prayer – the great cradle of Church of England doctrine – there are 39 articles, 39 statements of our church’s beliefs. And Number one, right at the beginning, is concerned with the Trinity, the doctrine on which our faith understands God.

This is what it says:

“There is but one living and true God, ever-lasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

And in the words of the Athanasian Creed, found again in the Book of Common Prayer gives us another insight: “we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence.”

The Athanasian Creed also reminds us that God, in essence is mystery we cannot comprehend.

“The Father is incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible; and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. And yet there are not three incomprehensibles, but one incomprehensible…”

I can live with a mystery, but God also gave us minds to understand and the doctrine of the Trinity, it seems to me, is our way of trying to explain at least something of the unknowable.

It might seem odd for the church, in today’s world of uncertainty and fear, to focus on theological nuance but the doctrine of the Trinity is important, not least because it is how God has revealed himself to us through scripture and the long history of Christian experience. But also because, today, as people seek the divine in their lives, perhaps more than ever, now is the time to understand something of the mysterious nature of God.

So how do we live out a Trinitarian faith? I think, in many ways, we do it without thinking.

When we pray, we do so naturally and often without the conscious effort that we are actually praying to God through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And The Grace, which we often extol at the end of church meetings or bible study also gives us a clue and insight into our Trinitarian faith.

“The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore, Amen.”

It isn’t an outright expression of Trinitarian doctrine, but The Grace has been used since the earliest days of the church – maybe as early as just 15 years after the resurrection – and tells us something of how the Trinity is inseparable from our faith and part and parcel of our relationship with God and with each other. Our calling as Christians is simply to share that relationship, that love, that grace and fellowship, with others.

Of course, the Trinity is also a relationship within itself – an eternal dance between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, held together by the glue of love.

Faith too is all about relationship and I think it is these relationships of love with God and with each other that we honour and celebrate today.

We have learnt, in recent weeks, our church family, has much to offer one another and the wider community in terms of support and friendship, love and compassion. And in these difficult days, it is heartening to observe as we reach out to one another and express our faith beyond the church walls.

We might have to stretch our minds to fully comprehend the mysterious doctrine of the trinity, but we have Jesus to emulate and the Holy Spirit within us to live out our faith. Let’s today not only celebrate who we are and what we believe but pray together to renew our faith and re-pledge ourselves and our lives to God, father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in this faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; 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.

Hymn

We sing ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’

Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O Saviour, whose almighty word
the winds and waves submissive heard,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amid its rage didst sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O sacred Spirit, who didst brood
upon the chaos dark and rude,
who bad’st its angry tumult cease,
and gavest light and life and peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
for those in peril on the sea!

O trinity of love and power!
Our brethren’s shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
protect them wheresoe’er they go;
and ever let there rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

William Whiting (1825-1878)

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
14th June – First Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

🎶 Christina Johnston 🎶
Many of you know soprano Christina Johnston who has performed at Aldeburgh Parish Church many times. Christina (who has kindly sung and recorded the Lord’s Prayer for our Trinity Sunday service) is holding Friday night concerts from her studio at home. Next Friday (12th) at 7pm will be themed “BOND NIGHT 007”. So grab a drink a settle in for a night of wonderful music. You can find her on The Christina Johnston YouTube Channel for past and present concerts.

 
 

Benefice News Sheet for 31st May – Pentecost

Message from the Rector

Happy Birthday everyone! Pentecost is widely regarded as the church’s birthday – the day that God’s Holy Spirit arrived on earth with its energy and its inspiration. Our worship is, for the most part, a conventional Holy Communion service but with some extra words and actions that call to mind the true meaning of Pentecost and its ongoing significance. At the end of the service, were we to be in church, each member of the congregation would light a candle from the Paschal Candle that has burned at all of our services since Easter morning. We would then take those candles out with us, carrying the light of Christ out into the world. I will do what I can in the service, but you might like to have a candle handy too. Don’t light it until instructed!

You might also like to know that there will be a special Pentecost service co-ordinated by our cathedral at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. It’s called ‘Catching the Fire’ and will be led by Bishops Martin and Mike. More information, including how to access the service, is here:

https://stedscathedral.org/events/catching-the-fire/

First Reading
Acts 2.1-21 
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:  “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Collect
God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Hymn

Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing.
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round,
the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings’ weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far out pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace,
till he become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena (d 1434) tr. R F Littledale (1833-90)

 

Gospel Reading
John 20.19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

 

 

Reflection for Pentecost Sunday by
The Revd Johanna Mabey

Acts 2:1-21

May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

Happy Birthday everyone!

I hope you have balloons, cake and candles at the ready…

because today we celebrate the birthday of the Church which began with the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem over 3,000 miles away and 2,000 years ago.

Pentecost celebrates the power of the Spirit, the power of prayer and the power of the Gospel to change lives. I realise the national mood is far from celebratory at present, as fear and distress continue, but our Pentecost joy is a hope…one we need, now more than ever.

It might be helpful to remember that before the day of Pentecost the disciples were afraid too. Even though they had come to believe that Jesus was alive, that he had been raised from the dead, they still feared for their own lives. They were marked men and women. What had happened to Jesus could happen to them if the authorities found them. So, they stayed hidden, as far away from view as possible, locked in the Upper Room where they could feel safe. What would become of them? They could not stay there for ever.

It sounds strangely relevant for our times now, doesn’t it?

Of course, they had their memories: Jesus washing their feet, blessing, breaking and sharing the bread and passing round the cup of wine as he said, ‘This is my Body’ and ‘This is my Blood’; Jesus giving them a new commandment to love one another; promising them the gift of the Holy Spirit. But how could they know what that meant?

Then later, after they had run away and abandoned him, after they had heard of his agonising death, as they lost all hope and thought of running away again, suddenly there He was, certainly the Jesus they had loved and betrayed, but somehow different. And then the last appearance – His ascension into heaven.

Now what? Stay where they were? Better safe than sorry.

But it was all to change. On the Day of Pentecost: the rushing mighty wind blowing through the whole house and the Upper Room; the tongues of flame divided and dancing on the heads of the apostles. The transformation is extraordinary.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, they no longer fear for their lives, but go out to speak to as many people as they can, to tell them that Jesus is alive.

Of course, they didn’t have to worry about social distancing!

In 2016 Archbishop Justin launched the “Thy Kingdom Come” prayer movement and since then, in the ten days between Ascension Day and Pentecost, hundreds of thousands of Christians have united in a global wave of prayer. The aim is simple, to pray that though the work of the spirit more people would come to know Jesus Christ.

It’s heartening to discover that according to a recent poll, more people are turning to prayer during the coronavirus pandemic, and nearly a quarter of Brits have watched or listened to a religious service since the lockdown began. That’s around 17 million people, and five percent of them have never gone to church before.

As Christians we are called to pray, and that can feel difficult, especially when so many aspects of our troubled world seem to be intractable and hope feels in short supply.

There’s a quote that’s given me hope and comfort recently. It’s from the Dutch Christian, Corrie Ten Boom. She and her family helped to save many Jews from the holocaust, but they were caught and Corrie and was sent to Ravensbűrck concentration camp. She wrote:

“I have a glove here in my hand. The glove cannot do anything by itself, but when my hand is in it, it can do many things. True, it is not the glove, but my hand in the glove that acts. We are gloves. It is the Holy Spirit in us which is the hand, who does the job. We have to make room for the hand so that every finger is filled. The question on Pentecost is not whether God is blessing our own plans and programs, but whether we are open to the great opportunities to which his Spirit calls us.”

We do know that there can be transformations for good. And it is no great leap to see the Holy Spirit of God at work in God’s world right now, transforming, renewing, healing, and uniting. We only have to think of our medics, care-workers, keyworkers and other inspirational efforts like that of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

We are taught by our Lord that we can ourselves make a difference, though we may never see it, through earnest, faithful, determined, regular, committed prayer that God’s will may be done, and God’s kingdom come.

Amen.

Now where is that birthday cake?!

 

Post Communion
Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter
by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation
the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
7th June – Trinity Sunday

 

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op
We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD
 
 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 
 
 
 

Benefice News Sheet 24th May/Seventh Sunday after Easter

Message from the Rector

For Ascension Day (last Thursday), when we would normally have both an early morning service in Aldeburgh and an evening service for the whole Deanery, we came up with an online service of Holy Communion that joined together several of the deanery’s churches in a rather unusual way. The Revd Nic Stuchfield (Assistant Priest at St John’s Saxmundham) masterminded proceedings, several of our clergy contributed and three of our church buildings featured. I made it to the top of Aldeburgh church tower to record a sermon (on a glorious morning) and, if you haven’t seen the whole service you can still find it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irvpgbrs0O4&t=1585s

From Ascension Day until Pentecost (next Sunday) the Church of England celebrates ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. It began as something solely English in 2016 and has now grown into a worldwide and ecumenical call to prayer. This explains a little bit more:

https://www.thykingdomcome.global/about-us

The ‘Lightwave’ community has been asked to co-ordinate activities in our diocese and there are lots of ideas here:

https://www.light-wave.org/lightupsuffolk

Here in our benefice you might like to light a candle in a window each evening and say a prayer for your family, town or village. And each evening at 5pm our Pilgrims Together group is holding a short Zoom gathering to pray five particular prayers and pray for five particular people. If you’d like to know more about ‘555’ drop the Pilgrims an email at 4stephenandgail@gmail.com

And next Sunday the 10.30 act of worship will be a special service of Holy Communion for Pentecost. It’s the church’s birthday so it’s good to celebrate. Come Holy Spirit!

Collect
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 1.6-14 
The Ascension of Jesus.

So, when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’  When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.


Second Reading
1 Peter 4.12-14 – 5.6-11
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn

The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now;
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty Victor’s brow.

The highest place that heaven affords
is his, is his by right,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords,
and heaven’s eternal Light;

The joy all of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love
and grants his name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
with all its grace, is given;
their name, an everlasting name;
their joy, the joy of heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below,
they reign with him above,
their profit and their joy to know
the mystery of his love.

The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him:
his people’s hope, his people’s wealth,
their everlasting theme.

Thomas Kelly (1769-1855)

 

Gospel Reading
John 17.1-11
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

 

Reflection by The Revd Sheila Hart

It’s been 6 weeks now since that morning when we went to the tomb in the garden and discovered that Jesus’ body was missing.

6 weeks since Mary told us that He was risen and that she had seen Him and spoken to Him.

6 weeks since He suddenly appeared to us in the upper room where we were shut in because we were afraid of what might happen to us if we were to venture out and were recognised by the Jewish authorities for having been His followers.

6 weeks since he breathed the Holy Spirit into us and sent us out into the world as His Father had sent Him.

6 weeks since He had joined our friends for their walk on the road to Emmaus and revealed Himself to them when they shared a meal together.

We have all seen Him somewhere in the past 6 weeks, – in this room, by the seashore for breakfast after we had tried to bring about some sort of normality to our lives by going fishing.

And each time, as He has come and gone, He seems to have been hinting that there will be a time soon when we will no longer see Him in the flesh, so to speak, but this Holy Spirit will be with us and we will be responsible for sharing with our friends and neighbours what we have learned from Him over the three years He was with us.

Meanwhile, He has been quite clear on our brief encounters with Him that we are to stay locked up and that we are to prepare ourselves for something new.

And then only a few days ago He came to us again and told us that we would receive Power when this Holy Spirit came upon us and we were to be Jesus’ witnesses here, in Jerusalem, but not only that, we were to take His teaching to Judaea and Samaria – that place where we were not supposed to have any interaction with its inhabitants – and then to the ends of the earth, to the Gentiles, even. Talk about doing a new thing!

And then, to crown it all, like Elijah did to Elisha in days of old, a cloud took Him up into the heavens, out of our sight and we were left gazing into the sky wondering where He had gone and what we were to do now.

Those men in white suddenly appeared out of nowhere, just like they had done on the morning when He had disappeared from the tomb and asked us what we were doing gazing into heaven and what’s more they told us that eventually he would come back to us in the same way as we had seen Him go from us – in a cloud? I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me. We’ve been locked up again praying and seeking God as to what we should do next. Watching and waiting for this so-called power from on high that Jesus promised us.

Sounds familiar? Possibly. Isn’t this where we have been for the past weeks? Locked up through fear of being infected with Covid 19 or anything else that is likely to put us in harm’s way?

Not able to worship in the ways with which we are familiar?

Having to make do with unfamiliar acts of worship in unfamiliar places without those with whom we are familiar around us?

And all we can do is turn to God and pray for deliverance from the feelings of isolation and loneliness, puzzlement and bewilderment and hope that we will remain healthy and come out of the current situation alive.

And just as the disciples were wondering when things would get back to normal for them after Jesus’ death and resurrection so we are wondering when life will get back to some sort of semblance of normality for us too.

How much of what we have doing over the past weeks will become the new norm?

When will we be able to really see friends and family again?

How much longer will this last?

And when will we be able to go to church when we want to?

And the big question is ‘where is God in all of this?’ Has he really deserted us and left us to cope as best we can on our own until we, like the disciples of the first century, have received the power from on high?

The one sure thing is that God has NOT deserted us. He is with us all the time and is suffering with us. God has not caused our current situation, but He is in it with us and He will keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on Him. The important thing at times like this is that we maintain our relationship with Him, that we take Him into our confidence and tell Him what is on our hearts, how we feel and even how we feel about His allowing us to be in such uncertain times too. Read the Psalms. If you aren’t aware already you will be by the time you have finished that the full range of human emotions are expressed in the Psalms. It’s ok to be frustrated, sad, puzzled, questioning and angry as well as full of joy, peace expectancy and love.

Jesus’ parting words to His disciples in Matthew’s Gospel were ‘Lo I am with you always to the close of the age.’ So let’s believe it and trust Him to bring us through this and out the other side even if it means not going back to things exactly as they were before all this happened. 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.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead – Next Sunday
31st May – Pentecost

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 
 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 
 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help.
They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 

📖 Readers ✞
Would you like to be a part of the weekly online services and read one of the lessons? This can be done reasonably simply by using a phone or a tablet. Here are the instructions for iphones and ipads and I’m sure something similar is possible with other makes. Try opening the voice recorder programme on your PC/Laptop or using a voice recording app on your smartphone or tablet.
https://osxdaily.com/2016/05/04/record-audio-iphone-voice-memos/
If you’d like to have a go, then please let either Mark or Claire know.

 

✟ Thank you all 💌
Janet May, who as many of you will know has had to spend some time in hospital recently, is now at home in Knodishall.  She is recovering slowly but well and would like to thank everyone who has phoned, sent cards and messages with offers of help and, of course, all who have been holding her in their prayers.  She really appreciates your care for both her and for Bill.

 

News Sheet for 17th May – Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

So, where are we? How soon might we be able to be back in church? The current situation is like this. Bishop Martin has issued advice that, subject to a number of cautions, clergy can once again pray in their churches and stream or record services there. None of our churches currently has broadband available so live streaming from any of the churches is impossible. We could record a service and then stream it, but it wouldn’t be ‘live’. I am very willing to give this a try, but I sense that ‘live’ services, even if they are held in the vicarage dining-room, have a value of bringing people together in a way that a recorded service would not. Please do let me know your thoughts. The clergy-team will be visiting churches regularly from now on and praying while they are there.

The government is aware that some thinking about places of worship needs to be done. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick is leading a ministerial task force looking at “when and how places of worship can open safely for some of the practices where social distancing can take place”. It seems pretty clear that very little will change before July at the earliest. This is, of course, frustrating but any change needs to be done in a way that protects vulnerable people and is practical for churches that do not have staff permanently on-site to keep things hygienic. We await the task-force’s thoughts with great interest.

In the meantime we pray, we worship – joining together online on Sundays and Wednesdays (see the notices for details of how and when) and we continue to try to be Christ’s hands and feet at work in our communities in any way we can.

Psalm 66: Verses 7-end

O praise our God, ye people: and make the voice of his praise to be heard;

Who holdeth our soul in life: and suffereth not our feet to slip.

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou also hast tried us, like as silver is tried.

Thou broughtest us into the snare: and laidest trouble upon our loins.

Thou sufferedst men to ride over our heads: we went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

I will go into thine house with burnt offerings: and will pay thee my vows, which I promised with my lips, and spake with my mouth, when I was in trouble.

I will offer unto thee fat burnt sacrifices, with the incense of rams: I will offer bullocks and goats.

O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.

I called unto him with my mouth: and gave him praises with my tongue.

If I incline unto wickedness with mine heart: The Lord will not hear me.

But God hath heard me: and considered the voice of my prayer.

Praised be God, who hath not cast out my prayer: nor turned his mercy from me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

 

First Reading
Acts 17.22-31 
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.” 
Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’


Second Reading

John 14.15-21
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’

Collect
God our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; 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.

 

Sermon by our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

John 14: 15-21

So here we are again – online – live from the Vicarage Dining Room – recorded music – recorded and emailed readings – my wife sitting in the study ready to pounce on the phone if it dares to ring and making sure that Coco the spaniel doesn’t wander into the middle of the service. We’ve been doing this for so long now that it is beginning to feel just a bit normal. But, of course, it isn’t and, like you I’m sure, I can’t wait to get back into church again. It may yet be a while, but we will get there. So, inevitably, thoughts turn to what we are learning about church and about ourselves during this time of enforced separation from our buildings. This coming week our Bishops have encouraged their clergy to join them (online, of course) for a meeting to begin to share what we have discovered about online worship, pastoral care, priorities, meetings,
well-being and so on. And, coincidentally I think but interestingly nonetheless, the days on which these meetings happen are marked in the church calendar as Rogation Days.

Rogationtide, the days immediately leading up to Ascension Day on Thursday, is an ancient and nowadays often ignored time when we are encouraged to think about planting. The name ‘Rogation’ comes from the Latin ‘Rogare’ – to ask – and this is the time when traditionally God’s blessing was asked on newly-planted seeds. It is, if you like, the opposite of Harvest Festival. Then we give thanks for what has grown – at Rogationtide we pray that something will. Which is why it’s a good time to think about where we currently are and what we’re learning – what might grow from having had to be church in a very different way. The experience has been disturbing, certainly, but out of disturbance can come good things. You turn the soil over before you plant, don’t you?

Today’s New Testament reading is one of those beautiful poetic passages from John’s gospel in which the gospel-writer puts into Jesus’s own mouth a summing-up of who he is, his relationship to God and, in the case of today’s passage, what is going to happen. Jesus foretells Pentecost, when ‘another Advocate, to be with you forever’ will arrive – the Holy Spirit. And, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘if you love me, keep my commandments’. And they are ….. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind, and with all your strength.’ And ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no other commandment greater than these’ says Jesus, ‘On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ In other words, all of that stuff in the Hebrew Bible, what we call the Old Testament, all of the legalistic commands in books like Leviticus and Numbers, and all that the prophets wrote was, in the end, about just those two commandments. Love God and love your neighbour as much as you love yourself. That’s what matters. And, it has to be said that there has been a lot of neighbour-loving going on in the last few weeks. It doesn’t need a church building, does it? In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles Paul, typically bluntly, spells it out. ‘The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands …’ Where does God live? Listen to Jesus in our reading from John – as I said before, anticipating Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.’ God lives – ‘abides’ – that beautiful gentle word – in us. We are the church, the body of Christ.

We rightly love our church buildings and as places where people have gathered over the centuries to worship and to pray, they are, and will always remain, special places. As I said right at the beginning, I can’t wait to be back worshipping there again. But we have been forced to learn, to re-read familiar bible-passages in a new context. And when we do that sometimes there are revelations waiting for us if we do but listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling us. In Rogationtide we plant, we ask for God’s blessing on what we plant, praying that it may yield a good harvest. This year gives Rogationtide a whole new meaning for us and our prayers are needed in a whole new way. But of one thing we can be sure. The verses in John’s gospel immediately before today’s reading, which we read last week, tell us all we need to know. Jesus says ‘I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’
Amen

 

Hymn

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill;
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

William Cowper (1731-1800)

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

 

The Week Ahead

Next Sunday – 24th May

Seventh Sunday of Easter

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

I can confirm that we are working hard on how best we, as a Society, can best support our local communities. There have also been articles in the paper about how food banks are struggling to receive donations as many supermarket shelves are empty.

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 

Message from Suffolk Trading Standards 
Please pass this on to friends and neighbours
There have been reports in Suffolk of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross, knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable individuals, taking their money to do shopping – and then not returning.
There have also been reports that cards are being put through doors with the British Red Cross branding, offering help.

British Red Cross are NOT utilising a postcard system currently in connection to Covid-19 and any distribution of these cards locally needs to be reported to us via 0808 223 1133.
Please share and make sure your neighbours and any elderly/vulnerable relatives are aware.

 

How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞

Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel). 
At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

☏ Citizens Advice 📧
The Leiston, Saxmundham and district Citizens Advice would
like to advise that they are there and ready to help. They can provide advice for a wide range of issues from benefits and housing, employment,
and Coronavirus related issues.
Phone – 01728 832193 or Suffolk Adviceline – 0300 330 1151
(Leiston office – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2)
Email – supervisor@leistoncab.cabnet.org.uk
Post – 14 Colonial House, Station Road, Leiston, IP16 4JD

 

✞ Ascension Day ✞

Thursday 21st May is Ascension Day, one of the most important days in the church year.  Traditionally we have held a joint service for our whole deanery in the evening.  This year we aim to compile a service with contributions from several of the deanery’s churches and it should be available online at any time during the day.  We will email the link round and put it on our church websites.  And, all being well, it will incorporate at least one element recorded at the top of the
Aldeburgh church tower!

 

News Sheet for 10th May – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Message from The Rector

I suspect that for many of us this will feel like a special weekend. On Friday we marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day – a day which, I’m sure, any who lived through it will never forget. Even those of us who didn’t will remember our parents telling us stories about the dark days of the war, the feeling at one time that all was not looking good and the eventual sense of joy and relief when the guns and the bombs stopped. Thanks be to God.

Our current situation is very different, and comparisons are dangerous. But there is beginning to be a sense that the worst may be over, though we still have a long way to go and we must take care not to try to do too much too soon. We are anticipating some progress in an announcement from our Prime Minister on Sunday. Churches need to be somewhat cautious as they find their way forward – many of our regular congregations fall into one vulnerable category or another and we have a duty of care to them. Please be assured that we will do as much as we can as soon as we can. Remember that one of our senior bishops, The Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, was formerly England’s Chief Nursing Officer – there is real expertise at the top table. And (I know I have said this before, but it remains at the heart of everything) Easter teaches us that there is hope – there is always hope. Thanks be to God!

Collect
Almighty God, who through your only begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



First Reading

Acts 7.55-end 
But filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.


Second Reading
1 Peter 2.2-10
Like new-born infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner’, and ‘A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

Hymn: Now the Green Blade Riseth

Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love whom men had slain,
Thinking that never He would wake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Forth He came at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Quick from the dead the risen God is seen:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Gospel
John 14.1-14
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Reflection by Revd Nichola Winter

Can it really be the fifth Sunday of Easter? Many of us probably feel rather disoriented as well as disconnected. We’re blessed with a wonderful variety of streamed services, online worship we can join, and telephone chats – however I still find myself missing hugely the spiritual connection that comes with sharing worship with congregations in our lovely church buildings. One day soon…

Inevitably, time flows on. The forty great days of Easter continue with their exhilarating stories of the risen Christ and all that means to, and for, us. Today we hear the beautiful passage, so often read at funeral services, that brings the promise of new life for us all. At a time of sorrow, we are given a hope-filled vision of the life that Jesus offers each one of us. When Jesus first utters those words, it is on the eve of his crucifixion. He has already given his followers the new, and great, commandment that they must love one another. He has washed their feet, told them that they, too, are there to serve – to wash each other’s feet. And then come those words of gentle reassurance, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled… believe in God, believe also in me… I go to prepare a place for you.’ Indeed, I often think these words belong with the other great Comfortable Words that come in the traditional communion service…

But, as usual, the disciples cannot accept the words of Jesus at face value. There’s Thomas – doubting, querying. ‘We don’t know where you’re going… how can we?’ and Philip, wanting the ‘i’s dotted and the ‘t’s crossed. ‘Show us the Father,’ he says, ‘then we’ll be satisfied…’ Perhaps it is for our sake, two thousand years later, that these fearful, questioning, doubting followers still come to us, epitomising all our doubts and fears for the future. They had been with Jesus throughout his ministry, seen the wonders he performed and yet still they find it hard to take all that he says on trust. What does that say to us in these days when we are fearful and apprehensive about the future; when we, too, perhaps find it difficult to keep faith? We need to imagine Jesus speaking directly to us. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’ Do not be afraid. Hold on to me and the promises that I give you… I am the way, the truth and the life… If, in my name, you ask me for anything, I will do it.

It is, perhaps, at times of great trial that these words come ringing through to us. At times of bereavement they form one of the most comforting of passages – we are not alone. Jesus has walked this way before us. He has been through bereavement, pain and death; he has suffered deprivation of liberty; been deserted by friends and family. He has descended to the depths – and yet he returns, comes back to life and takes us with him. He presents us with the greatest hope that we could ever possibly wish for. Look for a moment at the reading from Acts, which describes the death of Stephen, the first martyr. Confronting the reality of death Stephen has this glorious vision of the heavens opening and the Son of Man at the right hand of God. Jesus’ promise becomes reality for him. He sees the place to which he is going. Then, Peter, in his first letter, knowing that we are faced with the most astounding teaching about Jesus – recognises that we need to take it in gentle stages. Beginning with ‘pure, spiritual milk’ we progress in our faith to the harder obstacles – but even these become the building blocks of faith. The stone rejected by the master-builder – the one who ought to know what he’s talking about – becomes something completely different. The useless, the rejected becomes the very thing that is needed to create a new foundation.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.’ Jesus calls each one of us to him. We can find comfort in his words, in his promise and in the new life he offers each one of us. As we pass through this time of trial let us hold fast to that hope, to that promise. Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. Amen.

Post Communion
Eternal God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:
grant us to walk in his way, to rejoice in his truth, and to share his risen life; who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead

Next Sunday – 17th May

Sixth Sunday of Easter

NOTICES

 Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

I can confirm that we are working hard on how best we, as a Society, can best support our local communities. There have also been articles in the paper about how food banks are struggling to receive donations as many supermarket shelves are empty.

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 

Message from Suffolk Trading Standards 
Please pass this on to friends and neighbours
There have been reports in Suffolk of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross, knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable individuals, taking their money to do shopping – and then not returning.
There have also been reports that cards are being put through doors with the British Red Cross branding, offering help.

British Red Cross are NOT utilising a postcard system currently in connection to Covid-19 and any distribution of these cards locally needs to be reported to us via 0808 223 1133.
Please share and make sure your neighbours and any elderly/vulnerable relatives are aware.

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.

 

✞ Wednesday Online Services ✞
Around our Benefice there are, as well as our Sunday morning 10.30am online gatherings, three acts of worship that take place on Wednesdays.  At 10.00am there is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer streamed from The Vicarage at (Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel).  

At 6pm there’s the opportunity to join members of the congregation in Friston for a short quiet service of Compline.  It’s done via Zoom and if you’d like to know more please contact Martin Steadman on martin@steadman.me.uk
Also, via Zoom, Pilgrims Together gathers online at 6.30pm for worship in the Iona tradition, including some hymns and songs.  The contact to find out more about that is pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
All are welcome at any of these services.

 

Don’t forget Christian Aid week
Starting on 10th May Christian Aid have gone online and are hosting a fun daily quiz to join and raise funds. Do visit their website www.christianaid.org.uk to find the resources, links along with e-fundraising envelopes.

 

News Sheet for 3rd May – Fourth Sunday of Easter

 

Message from The Rector

Greetings from The Vicarage and welcome to another Sunday with online worship from The Vicarage. We haven’t tried an informal ‘Service of the Word’ yet so here goes. As ever, all feedback gratefully received. This one isn’t really a ‘Family Service’ but our plans are that the next one will be – watch this space!

Many thanks to those who have been in touch volunteering to read. Claire and I have compiled a list and we’ll begin to be in touch this coming week – so next Sunday’s service will be a little less of a monologue.

Before next Sunday we do, of course, mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th. Most of the national and local plans have been put on hold but at the time of writing I do know that both Aldringham and Friston churches will be doing special things in their churchyards that are not time-specific but will certainly be worth a visit. So if your daily exercise should take you past either church do look out for what I know will be beautiful tributes – and huge thanks to those who will make them happen.

Mark

Collect
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 2.42-end 
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.


Second Reading
John 10.1-10
Jesus said ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Sermon by Revd James Marston

May I speak in the name of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We will meet again. We have hope.
Emotions run high at a time like this, we have good days and bad days, highs and lows as we live through these challenging times.
Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter – a time of hope and celebration in the church.
Some of the ways in which we usually mark Eastertide are unavailable to us but that doesn’t mean we do not have hope, or indeed the love that Easter celebrates.And I can’t help thinking as we hear Her Majesty and others talk openly about prayer in the public sphere and how at this time we might turn to something more spiritual and deeper to help us get through these weeks.
At the moment we are drawn, perhaps more than ever, to consider the role and part faith plays in our own lives when we are threatened by, not only an indiscriminate virus but also by enforced divorce from much that defines ourselves and our way of life.
There is no point in pretending that many of us do not find the conditions that we are living in painful, frustrating, and contrary to our very nature.
For those of us who now find ourselves with a surfeit of time – something we often say we crave more of but then perhaps struggle to deal with when it comes – we can turn to all sorts of activities to keep the melancholy wolf from the door.
In my own attempts to keep busy I’ve even baked a cake which, though it ended up being fed to the birds, did keep me busy during an unforgiving hour.
Time, of course, gives us greater clarity. And when we look back, we see clearly and in a different light that which has gone before. This is often the case with God, we see but glimpses of Him and His work though with the critical distance of time, those of faith often see God’s action in their lives more clearly, months, years, perhaps even decades after the event.

Today’s gospel reading with its images of sheep, shepherds, gates and flocks is little more than an exhortation to follow Jesus and be led by him and his rightful authority. We are the sheep that recognise his voice, know who he is and follow him. As a shepherd of His flock Jesus leads us rather than drives and calls repeatedly to keep us together and it is through him, the gate, we come closer to God.

Last week Reverend Jo talked powerfully to us about retuning our vision in order to recognise where God is in our lives and consider where He is asking us to share hope and forgiveness.
In our reading from Acts we hear how Jesus’ disciples, after that first Easter kept the faith by spending time in prayer and praise of God as they grew the church community.
As well as the passage of time, prayer, can also give us a wider perspective, and, in turn, peace of mind, which can help us manage our fear and anxiety. It is also how we maintain and develop and retune our relationship with God. From prayer our faith stems and it is from prayer our faith deepens.
This might be partly because prayer eventually shows to us ourselves. And once we know ourselves, we can see more clearly the reasons for our behaviour, the things we can be grateful for, and perhaps glimpse of something more than ourselves, something of the divine in the world around us and in our own lives.
At the moment we cannot go to church to pray, maybe we don’t need to, we have the countryside, exercise, the open air, our own homes and the technology that enables us to pray alongside and with the Rector the Eucharistic prayer in which we witness the breaking of bread, even if we don’t actually eat it.
Church, as we are coming to discover, is much more than the building – it is really about people and community – and prayer is nothing more than talking to God, an outpouring of words and thoughts that can be done anywhere and at any time – not just at 10.30am on a Sunday morning.  There is much written about how to pray and what to do but simply being grateful to God is something we can all easily forget, preferring perhaps to pay more heed to what we want rather than what we already have. So my task for you this week, as we all retune and renew our relationship with God is simply to saying thank you to God, as often as you can, and aloud if you can, and where you can, throughout the days ahead, for all that we have, for our loved ones, for our homes, for our countryside, for our health and our lives.
Simply acknowledging God through the positivity and optimism of gratitude is often where the relationship with the love and hope of Easter, with God, starts, strengthens and deepens.

And once that gratitude is expressed the world quickly starts to look different and we can say with renewed confidence and without fear that we will meet again and that we have hope.

Amen.

 

The Church of England is producing lots of good material and advice at present. This includes some excellent prayers for us all to use and I commend them to you:

https://www.churchofengland.org/

You can also join the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich weekly newsletter mailing list by visiting:

https://www.cofesuffolk.org/publications/e-news

The Week Ahead

Next Sunday – 10th May

Fifth Sunday of Easter

 

NOTICES

Food Banks – Message from the Community
Engagement Officer at the East of England Co-op

We support 22 independent and Trussell Trust Foodbanks through our Food Stores; the Foodbanks all collect from the stores who support them. To find the list of who we support and how to find out what their specific needs are please go on to our website 

https://www.eastofengland.coop/food/ethics-and-sustainability/food-banks-(1)?viewmode=0

I can confirm that we are working hard on how best we, as a Society, can best support our local communities. There have also been articles in the paper about how food banks are struggling to receive donations as many supermarket shelves are empty.

Suffolk Community Foundation are in need of donations to support the various Suffolk Charities they are involved with, to support them financially go to https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/in-response-to-the-coronavirus-threat-suffolk-community-foundation-launches-local-appeal/.

 

Message from Suffolk Trading Standards 
Please pass this on to friends and neighbours
There have been reports in Suffolk of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross, knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable individuals, taking their money to do shopping – and then not returning.
There have also been reports that cards are being put through doors with the British Red Cross branding, offering help.

British Red Cross are NOT utilising a postcard system currently in connection to Covid-19 and any distribution of these cards locally needs to be reported to us via 0808 223 1133.
Please share and make sure your neighbours and any elderly/vulnerable relatives are aware.

 

✞Wednesday Morning Holy Week✞
During Eastertide (any beyond, if it proves to be useful) each Wednesday morning at 10.00am we will stream in the usual place
(Alde Sandlings YouTube Channel) a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer.

 
 

🎶 Christina Johnston Concerts – Live Streaming 🎶
Many of you will know Suffolk soprano Christina Johnston, who has performed many times at Aldeburgh Parish Church. During these exceptional times Christina has decided to perform weekly concerts on a Friday evening for us all to enjoy.
Click on the link below to view the first one and view live every
Friday at 7pm.
https://www.facebook.com/classicalsuffolk/live_videos/

 

 How about you?? 
Would you like to share your stories that you think others might like to hear about? Or like Mary share a recipe or a pastime idea to keep us occupied. Please do let Claire know and we will do our best to add to the weekly pew sheet.