Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 12th June – Trinity Sunday

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

Aldringham

Friston

Knodishall

10.30am

11.00am

9.00am

9.00am

Festival Holy Communion

Morning Service

Holy Communion

Morning Prayer

     

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.

 

First Reading
Proverbs 8: 1-4,22-31
Does not wisdom call and understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:  “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all who live. “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, when he had not yet made earth and fields or the world’s first bits of soil. When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker, and I was daily his delight, playing before him always, playing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.

Second Reading
Romans 5: 1-5
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 afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Gospel Reading
John 16 12-15
Jesus said: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

 

Sermon preached by The Revd Johanna Mabey at
Aldringham 5th June 2022

Pentecost Jubilee


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

What a weekend… I expect like me, many of you have been glued to the tele watching the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to have all these large gatherings and the state pomp and circumstance once again!

The sin of pride aside… I think we do these things better than any other nation on the planet.

And thanks to dear old Paddington, we now know what the Queen keeps in her famous handbag!

We gather this morning to celebrate and give thanks for our Queen’s long reign on Pentecost Sunday – the festival of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church.

God’s breath, energy, and spirit give a direction to our lives.

The gifts of love, joy and peace are the gifts of the spirit.

As we heard in our first reading, these gifts enable communication and understanding between people who don’t speak the same language…people from different cultures and traditions, people who have a huge capacity to be divided and live in enmity.

Our rejoicing today is set against a backdrop of much division, uncertainty, challenge and suffering in our world.

The world’s a place of continual change.

But for me, and many, the Queen has quite simply always been there. A constant in our lives, and in the life of our nation.

70 years ago, Britain was a very different place to the Britain of today.

Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister again, of a country still dominated by the impact of the Second World War.

Although food rationing wouldn’t end for more than another year, Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume created Coronation chicken to help the celebrations. In Joe Lyons’ Corner Houses, Welsh Rarebit cost 4 pence (4d) and a meat pie cost 7 pence (7d).

In the Hit Parade, itself less than a year old, the American Frankie Laine topped the charts for nine consecutive weeks with ‘I Believe’.

The major items of foreign policy were to do with the Korean War, Operation Ajax in Iran, the emergencies in Malaya and with the Mau Mau in Kenya.

One Queen, but so far in her reign, there have been seven Archbishops of Canterbury,14 British Prime ministers and 170 Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth Realms.

The conflicts and opportunities of our world have changed over the past seven decades, but the Queen has been steadfast, and she has shown a remarkable capacity to grow and change with us.

She has shown a benevolent neutrality, tolerance and understanding in her communications and her values.

As for any family and any community, the 70 years of our Queen’s reign haven’t all been gloriously free of personal or family difficulty. Perhaps those occasions have deepened our sympathies and affection for the Queen and our gratitude for her devotion to duty and service.

God doesn’t do anything by accident. The fact that the Jubilee and Pentecost are being celebrated at the same time signpost us to the thread and continuity of the Queen’s deep Christian faith and her commitment to others.

The Christian commitment to others, which is part of the wisdom of all religions, is necessary for people to flourish.

It’s the same instinct that’s brought communities together up and down the country, and indeed around the world to celebrate and give thanks to the Queen for these past 70 years.

Today we give thanks for everything and, as at her Coronation,
but if anything, with even deeper affection and gratitude,
we pray and acclaim: God Save The Queen!

Let’s say it together,
God Save The Queen.
Amen.

Post Communion
Almighty and eternal God, you have revealed yourself as Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith, that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory, who are three
Persons yet one God, now and for ever.

 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR FLOWER TEAMS

I am sure many of you will agree how beautiful our churches looked for the Jubilee weekend. Thank you so much for all your work and talent shown with these displays.

Here are some photos of just a few of the displays from

Aldeburgh and Aldringham churches

A bouquet of flowers

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A bouquet of flowers

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A bouquet of flowers in a church

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A bouquet of flowers on a table

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Next Week
Sunday 19th June
First Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

Licensing and Installation of Reverend Sarah du Boulay
at 7.30pm on Thursday 30th June 2022
at the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Aldeburgh

The Churchwardens wish to invite everyone to the licensing by The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the Installation by The Archdeacon of Suffolk of the Reverend Sarah du Boulay as
Priest-in-Charge of The Alde Sandlings Benefice.

There will be refreshments in the Church Hall after the service

Can you contribute with a plate of food? We need small finger food – sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese straws, savoury tartlets, sausages, crisps, and cakes. To prevent vast quantities of the same item, there will be a list in the west porch at Aldeburgh Parish church that you could add your name and food item that you would like to contribute with. Perhaps each church in the Benefice would like to do the same, or please do let Sandra Saint know or Claire at admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

Youth Club has Returned

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

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com
/thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.c
om/stedscathedral

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

Friston Open Gardens

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

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays on Zoom
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 18th June Good News Faith Cafe @ The Outside Inn, Parrot Pub 9.30 – 10.30

The wedding season is upon us!

After two years of postponed weddings, we are delighted to say love is definitely back in the air at The Alde Sandlings Benefice.

Our first wedding kicked off on May 7th with the lovely Ryan and Rebecca. Revd Johanna Mabey led the service.

Many congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Vincent

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 5th June – Pentecost

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh


Aldringham

Friston

Knodishall

8.00am

10.30am

11.00am

9.45am

9.00am

Holy Communion

Holy Communion

Holy Communion

Morning Prayer

Holy Communion

     

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.

First Reading
Genesis 11.1-9
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, ‘Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So, the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore, it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Second 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.”

Gospel Reading
John 14.8-17
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. ‘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.

 

Sermon preached by The Revd James Marston at
Aldeburgh 29th May 2022

John 17:20-26


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

This week, the seventh Sunday of Easter marks the end of Eastertide and prepares us for Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit that we recall next week.

This Sunday also co-incides with what I am now referring to APCM-tide. Today is the final annual parish church meeting of four of them across the benefice and I invite all of you to stay for it, if you so wish, taking the somewhat uncharitable view that if I have to be here then so should you.

Indeed, as I relaxed on my day off this week after a light luncheon of fresh bread served with Cypriot halloumi on a bed of crispy salad with balsamic glaze, I was thinking about APCM’s and The Queen popped into my mind.

Her Majesty said at her Ruby Jubilee, now 30 years ago, that 1992 was a not a year she will look back on with undiluted pleasure. It is true that APCM-tide might not enthuse diluted pleasure amongst clergy, but they do provide a moment in which to take stock and reflect on the past year.

For me the last year has been one of learning and discovery, for you one of waiting and anticipation for a new incumbent, whose arrival is now just around the corner.

This is indeed an exciting time for our benefice and one which marks the start of a new chapter of the history of these four churches.

I know Reverend Sarah is an unknown quantity for many of you, but I and one or two others know her, and I know how excited she is to be coming here in just a few weeks’ time as she takes this big step in her ministry journey.

How will you welcome Reverend Sarah?

Aside from the pomp and ceremony of the licensing service at the end of June, I can tell you that reminding her of your name when you speak to her for at least the first year will help.

How will our community help her adjust to our little foibles and idiosyncrasies?

I have said many time that if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard “that’s the way we’ve always done things” I’d be able to afford a house on Crag Path. Yet often, with a little exploration, the way we’ve always done things

is not often the hard wired immovable tradition we might think it is.

How willing will you be to change and be evolution needed to keep our church moving forward in the love of Christ?

I hope you’ll back Reverend Sarah in her calling and role all the way.

And a final question to consider, what can you do to ease her path and show her your love?

I can tell you that the patience and gratitude you so often exercise and express to me and to others goes a long way.

I’ll leave those thoughts with you and remind you that Aldeburgh church has been for many years been a place of training for curates, so I have no doubt you know what you’re doing when it comes to welcoming and supporting a new incumbent.

Today’s gospel reading is also a reminder.

A reminder that Jesus, through his life, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension saves us by bringing us into relationship with God. Jesus becomes one of us in order to point us to God and in order that we have may have a relationship with God through him.

John’s understanding of Christ, his Christological insight, is perhaps, at its most clear in the passage where Jesus prays:

“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

This prayer for all believers reminds us too that Christ is here among us and that we make up the body of Christ at all times, not just on a Sunday morning at half past ten.

By being the body of Christ, by worshipping, by feeding our souls with prayer and the Eucharist we nourish our faith in order to reflect it back to those around us, so, as Jesus put’s it “the world may believe.”.

So as Jesus prays for us believers to reflect his glory and live in him, the challenge this week and for all our lives is simply this.

To live the message of Easter, to love God with all our heart, mind and strength, to put Him first in all we do.

To go from Sunday worship in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Amen

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.

 

Notices

Dates for your Diaries

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

Our New Priest in Charge Revd Sarah du Boulay
Licensing Service
Thursday 30th June at 7.30pm at Aldeburgh.
You are all invited to welcome Sarah.
Refreshments will be served immediately after the service.

Youth Club has Returned

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

✟ Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.
com/stedscathedral

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

Friston Open Gardens

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

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list, or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 18th June Good News Faith Cafe @ The Outside Inn, Parrot Pub 9.30 – 10.30 A time for conversation, a hot drink, and a croissant.  A time to share and offer our thoughts and stories. Acts of kindness within the Outside Inn and out into the outside world. 

Next Week
Sunday 12th June
Trinity Sunday

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

 

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


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

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

Dates for your Diaries

Jubilee/Pentecost Services 5th June

Aldeburgh 8am and 10.30am Holy Communion Services

Aldringham 11am Holy Communion Service

Friston 9.45am Morning Prayer

Knodishall 9am Holy Communion Service

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

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

 

 

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

John 14:23-29

The Continuing presence of God as Holy Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray:

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

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

Youth Club has Returned

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

A message from Jenny Digby – Aldeburgh

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

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

I would welcome any donation, no matter how small, it all adds up.
If you would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page by clicking here:
 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/
Jenny-Jones47?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_
medium=fundraising&utm_content=Jenny-Jones
47&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=
cbf6dfc1175f402ca29d8544404390b5
.

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

 

✟ Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

Friston Open Gardens

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

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy to be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

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

Next Week
Sunday 5th June – Pentecost/Jubilee

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 22nd May – Sixth Sunday of Easter

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

Aldringham

Friston

Knodishall

10.30am

11.00am

9.00am

9.00am

Holy Communion

Morning Prayer

Holy Communion

Morning Prayer

Message from Revd James Marston

A big thank you to all involved with the Civic Service last Sunday.

Our church welcomed representatives from across the county, and, as always, we all played our part with professionalism and élan. Many complimented and expressed admiration for the “way we do things” at the reception afterwards. I have included my sermon in this week’s newsletter.

I’d like to draw your attention to next week’s Ascension Day service at Aldeburgh church on Thursday May 26, which will be a service of Holy Communion following the Book of Common Prayer at 10am in the Trinity/Lady Chapel. We’ll be keeping it simple this year and I shan’t be going up the tower – I’m not too keen on heights or those narrow stairs. There is also, for those interested, a deanery service at 7.30pm at St Peter’s Westleton.

And for those who have been making discreet enquiries, my little blue car should be with us again soon, about which I will be much relieved.

Blessings to you all,

James

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.

First Reading
Acts 16.9-15
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.

Second Reading
Revelation 21.10, 22-22.5
And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

Gospel Reading
John 14.23-29
Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Dates for your Diaries

Ascension Day 26th May
Holy Communion 10am at Aldeburgh

Deanery Service for Ascension Day at St Peter’s, Westleton at 7.30pm


Jubilee/Pentecost Services 5th June

Aldeburgh 8am and 10.30am Holy Communion Services

Aldringham 11am Holy Communion Service

Friston 9am Morning Prayer

Knodishall 9am Holy Communion Service

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

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

Sermon preached by The Revd James Marston at
Aldeburgh 15th May 2022

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

George Crabbe, a son of Aldeburgh, and erstwhile predecessor of mine, is famed for his narrative and realistic form of poetry as well as his somewhat unsentimental description of our borough, once wrote the following:

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells

Tis a tall building with a tower and bells,

Where priest and clerk with joint exertion strive

To keep the ardour of their flock alive.”

Crabbe was writing in latter half of the 18th century, and today 250 years later the tall building with tower and bells remains an indisputable observation, and even the ardour of our flock has been known, on occasion, to make its presence felt.

The church is also a place where we administer the sacraments, teach and keep the faith, bury the dead, baptise the young and marry those keen to make their vows before the Almighty and eternal God before having a “do” down at the Wentworth.

Our church, every church, is a public building, a public and prayerful space, open to all and belonging to everyone.

Today, in many ways, we celebrate and mark the reformation of our community after a couple of difficult years through which our town has pulled together and been reminded of the power and purpose of community.

The last two years have shown us quite clearly that the sense of community is strong in this town, and not just because we are at the end of the road or because, dare I say it, everyone likes to know the ins and outs of everyone else’s business.

Ours is a town in which we care for one another and pull together when the tough times come.

And today we come together to firstly congratulate Peter as he takes on the mantle, and, if I may say so, rather smart robes of the mayorship. And I know we all wish him and Catherine well as they serve their year of office as they represent our town, in this exciting Jubilee year, at all sorts of events, civic functions and meet and greets. They may even, I suspect, get to go to the odd cocktail party. This is Aldeburgh, after all.

We also meet here today, after an interval of some time, to celebrate and remember the relationship between our worshipping community and our civic leaders, an ancient and symbiotic relationship developed over hundreds of years through the countless generations of our town.

As well as hymns that I hope people know and, I promise you, a fairly short sermon, I have chosen to celebrate this relationship with Holy Communion, the appropriate and sacramental expression of God’s grace, which brings people together, in relationship with Him.

Indeed, our gospel reading today Jesus commands his disciples to love one another, a reminder too perhaps, of the two great commandments, and really the essence of the Christian faith, to love thy God and to love thy neighbour.

The Christian faith is all about relationship, our personal and communal relationship with God and our relationship with those around us.

These relationships, alongside our town’s history and heritage, its communities, and its future, we celebrate and offer thanks for at this civic service.

We are delighted to welcome you, our civic leaders, and our communities, here to your church.

We wish you well as you serve our town in the year ahead, and I wish you God’s blessing on all your discussions, on all your endeavours and on all that you do.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

Post Communion

God our Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life:
may we thirst for you,
the spring of life and source of goodness,
through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Aldeburgh Parish Church Collections
The collection at this Sunday’s service (22nd) will be
donated to Christian Aid.

 

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

A message from Jenny Digby – Aldeburgh

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

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

I would welcome any donation, no matter how small, it all adds up.
If you would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page by clicking here:
 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/
Jenny-Jones47?utm_source=
Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm
_content=Jenny-Jones47&utm_campaign=pfp-
email&utm_term=cbf6dfc1175f402ca29d8544404390b5
.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast, and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Bowel Cancer UK, so it’s the most efficient way to give – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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

 

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the
Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/
UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page
https://www.
facebook.com/stedscathedral

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

A Call for Helpers and Keys (Aldeburgh)
You will all be aware that I have been the sole churchwarden for almost two years now. During this time, I have been blessed with the generous assistance of Adrian Brown, our Treasurer and Derek Cook, our Deputy Churchwarden. The role of churchwarden is personally rewarding but also demanding of one’s time, energy and sometimes one’s patience. Every church needs two churchwardens, and this is especially important for a church the size of Aldeburgh Parish Church. As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, I am concerned that we may enter another year with only one churchwarden. I am happy to continue as a churchwarden, but this is not a job that I can continue to do on my own. We very much need someone with energy and enthusiasm to join me as churchwarden. As we return to offering a variety of services and move to larger congregations, we find that we need more helpers in our church. We particularly need sacristans, servers, and cleaners. Are you able to offer your time and help? Our cleaning team gather in the church on Saturday morning after Morning Prayer so please come along and join in. If you are interested in helping to prepare for and possibly serving at our communion services, please contact either myself, Claire our Administrator, or one of our priests. We can explain what is involved and offer full training.

We need additional keys for our church volunteers.  Are there any keys out there that aren’t used anymore?  Perhaps you have stood down from your role within the church but still have keys.  If you could let me or Claire know, we can arrange returning of the keys and then update our records.   This would be very helpful and prevent an unnecessary expense of having to have new keys cut. 
Ken Smith

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

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

Next Week
Sunday 29th May
Seventh Sunday of Easter

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 15th May – Fifth Sunday of Easter

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 11 1-18
Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, ‘Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?’ Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, ‘I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” But I replied, “By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.” But a second time the voice answered from heaven, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, “Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.” And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?’ When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, ‘Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.’ 

 

Second Reading
Revelation 21 1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’  Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Gospel Reading
John 13.31-35
When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”  I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

 

Sermon preached by The Revd James Marston at
Aldeburgh 8th May 2022

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

Have you been to see Downton Abbey? As you might imagine last night was the highlight of my week – a spaghetti carbonara, with a side order of garlic bread, followed by an hour and a half in what Quentin Crisp called the “forgetting chamber”.

The costumes, the story, the lavish settings – Downton Abbey has widespread appeal and certainly lifts the spirits. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I’ve even got the cookbook.

If I fancy rusting up one of Mrs Patmore’s feasts in my rectory in the hinterland of the heritage coast, all I have to do is thumb through until something catches my eye.

So last night I was delighted and thankful to be able to indulge my passion for Downton Abbey.

And as we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Easter, with spring all around us, and hope restored, I cannot ignore the feeling of gratitude our faith so often inspires.

From a personal perspective I can express gratitude for being here among you, gratitude, as my time here begins to come to an end, for the opportunities I have had to cut my teeth on parish ministry, gratitude for a welcoming and loving and well run Christian community in which to be formed as a priest. That has been your ministry to me and others before me, for many a year.

And as you know it is the celebration of the Eucharist that is the exclusive honour and privilege of priesthood.

And this week I thought I might do a little teaching, if you’ll indulge me, about the cornerstone of gratitude in our worshipping life, expressed, as you know, through the Eucharist which we are about to pray together.

Here at St Peter and St Paul, the Eucharist is a regular feature of our worship, and we take it seriously and reverently and conduct this service with due respect.

‘Eucharist’ means thanksgiving. The Eucharist can be discussed in countless ways, but there are, it seems to me, three core understandings I thought I’d share with you today.

Remembering Christ

Meeting Christ,

and Responding to Christ.

We’ll start by thinking about Remembering Christ.

Perhaps the most obvious thing about the Eucharist is that we do it to remember Jesus. We fulfil his command to remember him when we come together in his name and share bread and wine together.

The narrative of the Last Supper is recited as a centre part of the Eucharistic Prayer and most people imagine that it was always there from the very beginning. In fact it was most probably a later insertion into the prayer, and took several centuries to be generally used.

The real core of the prayer is the thanksgiving over the bread and wine, continuing the practice which Jesus and his disciples had followed whenever they had eaten together. From then on, they ‘did this’ to remember him.

At the last supper, the gospels portray Jesus as foreseeing his own coming death and presenting it as being ‘for the forgiveness of sins’. It is more than just instituting a memorial practice: Jesus was offering his life to God in obedience to his love and praying for his disciples in spite of their lack of understanding and their coming abandonment of him. And remembrance is never just a neutral mental act: it carries emotions and response.

St Paul in his letter to the Corinthians gives the earliest narrative of the Last Supper and concludes: ‘As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’.

‘Proclaiming’ is a much stronger and more positive word than mere remembrance: there is no separating the death of Jesus from his resurrection, or his earthly life from his life with us now.

That is why Christians moved their worship from Jewish Sabbath to Sunday, the day on which Jesus was raised from the dead and on which we celebrate his victory over death and sin.

It is important also that Paul looks forward to Christ’s second coming: our worship does not simply look back but also forward to the time when the world is reconciled and brought to wholeness in God’s loving plan. So there’s a lot to simply remembering.

Meeting Christ

There is a wide range of opinion across the Christian traditions about how Christ is present with us in the Eucharist, but every Christian tradition affirms that he is present with us in this worship.

The resurrection appearances often included Jesus eating with his disciples; and most famous is the story of him walking with two men on the road to Emmaus.

At the end of the day they share food together, and when Jesus says the meal grace and breaks the bread they recognise him. Luke’s gospel summarises the story by saying how ‘they recognised him in the breaking of the bread’. So we are not just thinking about how Christ died all those years ago but meeting him alive with us now.

Jesus said ‘This is my body … this is my blood’. Some traditions put an emphasis more on his presence in the bread and wine; others on him being present in our hearts as we eat and drink together. Our personal approach may depend on our own church upbringing. But whichever our emphasis we should keep both these ideas within the frame of our understanding of this service.

In communion we are joined to Christ and to one another. The broken bread and common cup are important symbols of our belonging to one another.

This is so fundamental that it is often forgotten, but the symbolism can come alive again if, for example, teachers and pupils in a school, or warders and prisoners in a jail, stand or kneel side by side as equals to receive communion.

We are all God’s children whatever our earthly rank or whatever we have done or suffered in life.

And finally, Responding to Christ.

Any act of remembrance carries with it an emotional and often an active response. In the first instance the Christian response to Christ’s self-giving is of celebration and thanksgiving.

The thanksgiving prayer that Jesus had said over the bread and cup is now the ‘Eucharistic Prayer’ for all that God has done for us, but focussed on Jesus Christ, his life, his ministry and death, and his risen life among us now.

And in turn, we align ourselves with him in response to his giving of himself to us.

Traditionally the Eucharist is talked about as a place of ‘offering’.

We offer bread and wine, we offer worship in thanksgiving, we offer our souls and bodies, ourselves to be made new by Him. And we hold before God the church and the world that it too may be transformed by his Holy Spirit and reconciled to him in his kingdom.

Remembering, meeting and responding to Christ; the Eucharist contains many rich ideas.

Frequent attendance at the same service might seem unimaginative, but part of the aim is to deepen our understanding and appreciation and to make it a cornerstone of our lives.

And hopefully we should grow, as individuals and as a community, into living as the Body of Christ on earth and look forward joyfully to the time when we shall join in the heavenly banquet.

Remembering Christ

Meeting Christ,

and Responding to Christ.

 

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.

 

Next Week
Sunday 22nd May
Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

NOTICES

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A message from Jenny Digby – Aldeburgh

 

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

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

I would welcome any donation, no matter how small,
it all adds up.
If you would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page
by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/
Jenny-Jones47?utm_
source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm
_content=Jenny-Jones47&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_
term=cbf6dfc1175f402ca29d8544404390b5
.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast, and totally secure. Once you donate,
they’ll send your money directly to Bowel Cancer UK, so it’s the most efficient
way to give – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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

 
 
 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

A Call for Helpers and Keys (Aldeburgh)
You will all be aware that I have been the sole churchwarden for almost two years now. During this time, I have been blessed with the generous assistance of Adrian Brown, our Treasurer and Derek Cook, our Deputy Churchwarden. The role of churchwarden is personally rewarding but also demanding of one’s time, energy and sometimes one’s patience. Every church needs two churchwardens, and this is especially important for a church the size of Aldeburgh Parish Church. As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, I am concerned that we may enter another year with only one churchwarden. I am happy to continue as a churchwarden, but this is not a job that I can continue to do on my own. We very much need someone with energy and enthusiasm to join me as churchwarden. As we return to offering a variety of services and move to larger congregations, we find that we need more helpers in our church. We particularly need sacristans, servers, and cleaners. Are you able to offer your time and help? Our cleaning team gather in the church on Saturday morning after Morning Prayer so please come along and join in. If you are interested in helping to prepare for and possibly serving at our communion services, please contact either myself, Claire our Administrator, or one of our priests. We can explain what is involved and offer full training.

 

Aldeburgh Parish Church Collections

The collection at this Sunday’s Civic service (15th) will be donated to the Mayor’s choice of charity, which is St Elizabeth Hospice.
Sunday 22nd May, the collection will be donated to Christian Aid.

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 21st May Good News Faith Cafe @ The Outside Inn,
Parrot Pub 9.30 – 10.30

A time for conversation, a hot drink and a croissant.  A time to share and offer our thoughts and stories.  Acts of kindness within the Outside Inn and out into the outside world.

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 8th May – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

Aldringham

Friston

Knodishall

10.30am

11.00am

9.00am

9.00am

Holy Communion

Service of the Word

Holy Communion

Morning Prayer

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 9.36-end
Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, ‘Please come to us without delay.’ So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Second Reading
Revelation 7.9-end
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’  And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat;  for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

Gospel Reading
John 10.22-30
At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.’

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

 

Sermon preached by The Revd Sheila Murray at
Aldringham 1st May 2022

John 21:1-19

In today’s gospel story of breakfast on the beach, we enter further into the Easter season, and the work of Easter: working out what it means to have the Resurrection set loose in the world, in the church, and in our lives.

One of the oddest experiences of Easter is that it can feel empty, after the graphic realities of Holy Week: bread broken, feet washed, thorns pressed into Jesus’ scalp, crosses raised, a body laid in a newly hewn grave. Easter, by contrast, is about an absence: the body is no longer in the tomb; and we are left to work out what that means.

Today’s story makes it clear that one of the functions of Resurrection life is restoration of relationship, and deep forgiveness.

Peter announces he’s going fishing, and several of the disciples decide to go along with him. In earlier chapters in John’s gospel, Peter has denied Jesus and fled from the scene of his crucifixion.. Last week we had the story of Jesus appearing to his disciples in the Upper Room. And although it’s clear that Peter loves Jesus without reservation, we are left to imagine his disappointment with himself, and his guilt and shame.

It seems that Peter has returned to what he knows; he feels most like himself aboard a fishing boat, handling the heavy nets, battling with nature often during the darkness of the night. And in our story, we hear that sadly his efforts are fruitless. After a night of fishing, they have caught no fish. On top of his grief, and his sense of having failed Jesus, he is now confronted with failing at something he has done all his life.

But as the dawn breaks, the disciples see a man on the shore, and they see the smoke from a small fire. The stranger calls out to them suggesting they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, as he shouts across the water. Surprisingly, the disciples comply – and suddenly the nets are full to bursting with fish!

We are told that the beloved disciple shouts: “It is the Lord!” and Peter in his usual impetuous manner, climbs out of the boat, making his way to the shore with his heart bursting with excitement.

This story provides a bookend to the Last Supper; this being the “First Breakfast” which changes the trajectory for the disciples from grief and confusion to purpose and mission. Everything Jesus said to the disciples before his crucifixion – and in John’s gospel, he said a lot – is now coming to bear on the disciples, and their purpose.

But first, Jesus has some very specific business with Peter. It always bears repeating that Peter, in so many gospel stories, is a stand-in for us. His enthusiasm, awkwardness, lack of understanding, and enormous love for Jesus are just like our own. So, when the gospel story focuses on Peter, it’s fair to say that we are also a part of the story.

Before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus told Peter that he would deny him, and sadly, his prediction came true. Peter was accosted repeatedly by bystanders as he waited outside while Jesus was being interviewed, and each time, Peter denies knowing Jesus. He is absent at the crucifixion. But we know he was among the disciples who met behind locked doors out of fear. Now Jesus speaks to him directly: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asks him three times, and three times Peter affirms his love for Jesus. Each time, Jesus says: then feed my sheep.

Peter is given the opportunity to undo his denial of Jesus with three affirmations of his love. Jesus tells him what to do with that love: feed the flock. Though the word “forgiveness” never appears in this story, it is nevertheless a critical theme. Peter, the impetuous, big-mouthed disciple, gave in to fear, and failed to acknowledge Jesus, failed to stick around for the bitter end. Now Peter is given the opportunity to face his risen Lord and begin again – in the words of the hymn ‘I come with joy a child of God, forgiven, loved and free.”

And this story offers some of the deepest implications of the Resurrection for us: we too are forgiven. We too are invited to start over. We too are completely loved. And we too have a job to do. This isn’t only Peter’s story; it’s our story. When fear holds us back, love calls us forward. When we feel trapped by the way things have always been, Jesus invites us to cast our nets on the other side of the boat – change our perspective, in light of the Resurrection.

So, what does this mean for you? If you understand yourself to be completely forgiven, completely loved, and completely free, how would that change the choices you make about your work? Your money? Your relationships?

The light of the resurrection, shining into us, invites us to look clearly at how we have made choices out of fear rather than love, and to move away from the fears that bind us.

The implications of this story also resonate in our churches: If we are completely loved, completely forgiven and completely free, what does that imply about how we do church, about how we relate to the other churches in the Benefice and how we relate to our local communities?

God’s love, set loose in the world in the Resurrection, needs our eyes, our hands, our feet, and our hearts to make it concrete in our place and time. Like Peter, we’re invited to change our perspective, and cast our nets where the love of God is available for us and there’s plenty for everyone.

I wonder if you know these words written by St Teresa of Avila:

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Amen.

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Aldringham Church – Ukraine Appeal
Aldringham church had a collection every Sunday during Lent for the Diocese Ukraine appeal. The grand total (including giftaid) came to £1,793. A huge thank you to all that donated.  David Gordon – Aldringham Treasurer

A Call for Helpers and Keys (Aldeburgh)
You will all be aware that I have been the sole churchwarden for almost two years now. During this time, I have been blessed with the generous assistance of Adrian Brown, our Treasurer and Derek Cook, our Deputy Churchwarden. The role of churchwarden is personally rewarding but also demanding of one’s time, energy and sometimes one’s patience. Every church needs two churchwardens, and this is especially important for a church the size of Aldeburgh Parish Church. As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, I am concerned that we may enter another year with only one churchwarden. I am happy to continue as a churchwarden, but this is not a job that I can continue to do on my own. We very much need someone with energy and enthusiasm to join me as churchwarden. As we return to offering a variety of services and move to larger congregations, we find that we need more helpers in our church. We particularly need sacristans, servers, and cleaners. Are you able to offer your time and help? Our cleaning team gather in the church on Saturday morning after Morning Prayer so please come along and join in. If you are interested in helping to prepare for and possibly serving at our communion services, please contact either myself, Claire our Administrator, or one of our priests. We can explain what is involved and offer full training.

We need additional keys for our church volunteers.  Are there any keys out there that aren’t used anymore?  Perhaps you have stood down from your role within the church but still have keys.  If you could let me or Claire know, we can arrange returning of the keys and then update our records.   This would be very helpful and prevent an unnecessary expense of having to have new keys cut. 
Ken Smith

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel
/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list, or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 21st May Good News Faith Cafe @ The Outside Inn,
Parrot Pub 9.30 – 10.30

A time for conversation, a hot drink and a croissant.  A time to share and offer our thoughts and stories.  Acts of kindness within the Outside Inn and out into the outside world.

Next Week
Sunday 15th May
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 1st May – Third Sunday of Easter 

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

8.00am

10.30am

Holy Communion

Service of the Word

Aldringham

11.00am

Holy Communion

Knodishall

9.00am

Holy Communion

Collect
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the
disciples with the sight of the risen Lord:give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
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
Acts 9.1-6
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’

Second Reading
Revelation 5.11-end
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!’ 
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, ‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped. 

Gospel Reading
John 21.1-19
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

Post Communion
Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciple
in the breaking of bread: open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

Sermon preached by The Revd Johanna Mabey at
Aldeburgh 24th April 2022

John 20:19 to end

“May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord our rock and our redeemer.”

In some traditions today is called Low Sunday because church attendance is low, along with energy… after the build-up and excitement of Easter, the clergy are exhausted, as are the organists, flower team, wardens, choirs and perhaps even our congregations!

In some ways it’s a lot like other weeks after: the week after the wedding, the big birthday party, the birth, the death. What now? What next? Things will never be the same, but how exactly are they different? It’s just too soon to tell….

In other ways, the problem with the week after Easter is that things aren’t that different. After forty days of preparing for the life-changing reality of the resurrection, we’re still shaken by the awful news headlines, still despairing of the situation in Ukraine, still worried about the rising cost of living… still waking up in the middle of the night with more anxieties than alleluias…

Even if the world isn’t different this week after Easter, shouldn’t we be?

There aren’t many ‘Week After’ stories in the gospels:

Mark’s in such a hurry that he wraps things up with the empty tomb. Matthew adds a few lines about Jesus appearing to the disciples in

Galilee, commissioning them to carry on. Luke tells a great story about a stranger meeting up with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but that happens on the same day Jesus vanishes from his tomb, and the minute the disciples recognise the stranger, he’s gone, carried up into heaven and out of their sight.

John is the only one who lingers on what it’s like to be a disciple after Easter. He’s the only one with a ‘Week After’ story, about Jesus and a disciple called Didymus, the Twin: better known to most of us as Doubting Thomas.

But to my mind, Thomas wasn’t any less trusting than the rest of them. When the women ran home from the grave to tell the Disciples that Jesus wasn’t in his tomb, they didn’t believe them.

They ran to see for themselves.

When Jesus came back that same night to the house where the disciples were hiding, they believed because they saw him for themselves.

The only reason Thomas got singled out was because he wasn’t there. He didn’t get to see for himself, which is why he had questions the others didn’t have. They had evidence. He had hearsay.

He wasn’t trying to decide whether he believed Jesus had risen from the dead. He was trying to decide whether he believed what the other disciples told him, and he decided he didn’t – couldn’t – until he saw for himself what they had seen. So, his trust issue wasn’t with Jesus. It was with his brothers.

I don’t know about you, but I rather like Thomas’ honesty. I feel grateful for him, because he’s proof that even people who were right there had trouble believing that Jesus had risen from the dead.

After Jesus’ death, Thomas was as desolate as the rest of them – then he was as baffled as the rest of them when Mary said she’d seen the Lord.

After that, Thomas became the missing disciple, the one who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there in the locked house with the others that night, wasn’t there when Jesus came and stood among them, wasn’t there when Jesus gave them his peace, showed them his wounds, gave them power over sin, and bid them receive the Holy Spirit -basically everything he had to bring his little church back to life. Before they saw Jesus, it must have looked like the end of everything for the disciples. They’d had the breath knocked out of them.

No breath means no life. There’s no way forward without breath.

Before Jesus came to them, that’s how the disciples were – all locked up in the house where they met – physically and literally. Then Jesus came to breathe on them and their fear turned to rejoicing – He gave them his own breath to bring them back to life.

But Thomas wasn’t there.

In the usual interpretation of this story, Thomas’ problem was that he needed physical proof that God had raised Jesus from the dead. He wanted to weigh the evidence for himself, and without that, Thomas said, he wouldn’t believe.

But if you listen to what he says, another possibility opens up.

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,” Thomas says, “and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

It’s the wounds Thomas wants to see, not the face. He wants to touch the places where the Jesus he knew so well was hurt.

He wanted to see the marks on Jesus’ body. He wanted to reach out and touch those wounds. Only then would he believe that it mattered, that Jesus’ resurrected life meant something for every life… each and every one of us… no matter how hurt… no matter how scarred.

I’ve heard it said that if you’re still breathing, there’s more

right with you… than wrong with you!

Thomas puts it more forcefully, once he’s seen the marks on Jesus’ body for himself, he exclaims “My Lord and my God!” He wasn’t the missing disciple anymore.

Thomas was back- a week late, but back and Jesus didn’t seem to mind coming back for him alone.

So here we are, back the week after Easter, still gathering faithfully many years since the first Easter, exhausted or not on this Low Sunday.

Let’s take a deep breath together now, and remember Jesus’ words:

Blessed are we who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

The Lord is risen!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

A Time and a Place: George Crabbe, Aldeburgh and Suffolk by Frances Gibb

We are very excited to share the news that one of
Aldeburgh’s congregation has had a book published.
Frances has very kindly written summary for us about her book.

Sheltered close to the eastern wall of the parish church of St Peter and St Paul is a tall double gravestone. It is deeply weathered, its inscriptions almost obliterated.

The graves are those of Mary and George Crabbe (1725-80 and 1733-86) whose son George was the eighteenth-century poet, clergyman, and surgeon-apothecary. Their tombstone is the only physical link to the Crabbes’ lives in Aldeburgh three centuries ago.

Inside the church, in a rather dark hidden corner, is a marble bust to the Crabbes’ poet son. The sculpture was carved in 1847 by the English sculptor Thomas Thurlow, who created various church memorials in the locality of his birthplace in Saxmundham. 

Again, the bust is one of the only remaining signs that Crabbe the poet lived and grew up in Aldeburgh, the son of a collector of salt taxes who worked on Slaughden quay. 

Yet appropriately, the sculpture is sited opposite the famous stained glass window by John Piper – a tribute to Benjamin Britten. Appropriate, because Crabbe (1754 -1832) is best known for his poem Peter Grimes, which inspired Benjamin Britten’s opera of that name. It is a tale of a brutal sadistic fisherman who was accused of murdering his boy apprentices, and the opera in 1945 put Britten on the world stage as a composer. 

Most people who live in Aldeburgh or visit will know of Britten; fewer know of Crabbe, even if they notice Crabbe Street. Britten is by far the bigger name, the louder voice of the two men. But it was Britten’s discovery of Crabbe’s poems, when the composer was living in California, that brought him home to Suffolk and inspired the writing of Peter Grimes. 

The year was 1941: Britten and Pears, both pacifists, had left England, then at war, to live in California. They came across an article about Crabbe in The Listener magazine written by E. M. Foster. The piece later prompted the composer to say: “I did not know any of the poems of Crabbe at that time, but reading about him gave such a feeling of nostalgia for Suffolk, where I have always lived, that I searched for a copy of his works.”

So began the association between Britten and Crabbe, with Aldeburgh the connection. Crabbe had a love-hate relationship with the town he called a “little venal borough” and his early experiences there dominate his writings.  

Even when he left Suffolk – where he lived for more than half his life – and moved further inland, Aldeburgh and Suffolk remained an unbroken thread through his works, the flavour and piquancy that gave his poetry its hard realistic edge. 

Crabbe was not solely a professional poet: he set out to be an apothecary-surgeon, although he never had the funds to complete his medical training. In a moment of epiphany, he stood at the so-called Leech Pond in Aldeburgh (a long-lost site) and decided to abandon all pursuit of medicine, heading instead to London to seek his fortune as a poet with just a few pounds in his pocket. 

By good fortune and talent, he found a patron – none other than the leading statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke. But Burke recognised that Crabbe needed a regular income – and also that Crabbe was a man of faith. So it was that the aspiring poet became a clergyman. 

Crabbe was duly admitted as a deacon in London in December 1781 and licensed as a curate to the rector of Aldeburgh, the Rev. James Benet. He was ordained priest the following year in Norwich. So Crabbe came back to Aldeburgh – somewhat to his dismay: he had failed in his endeavours in the medical profession and was not remembered with any great affection or respect by the townsfolk.

His misgivings were justified: his first sermon was not well received. The pulpit in our church is the one from which Crabbe would have preached. It was made in 1632 by Charles Warne and James Garrard as a copy of the pulpit in Kelsale. Crabbe delivered his sermon on 20 January 1782, taking as his theme: “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2: 1). The congregation did not seem to heed the message. Later Crabbe complained: “I have been unkindly received in the place.”

Crabbe secured a move to another curacy in Leicestershire. But Aldeburgh continued to be the main influence in his writings. And neither he, nor his congregation then, could have guessed that one day, the church would boast a marble bust in his honour. 

A Time and a Place: George Crabbe, Aldeburgh and Suffolk by Frances Gibb

Published by The Lutterworth Press, April 2022.
Launch: Aldeburgh Bookshop – Friday May 13th at 6 pm

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Next Week
Sunday 8th May
Fourth Sunday of Easter

 

NOTICES

A Call for Helpers and Keys (Aldeburgh)
You will all be aware that I have been the sole churchwarden for almost two years now. During this time, I have been blessed with the generous assistance of Adrian Brown, our Treasurer and Derek Cook, our Deputy Churchwarden. The role of churchwarden is personally rewarding but also demanding of one’s time, energy and sometimes one’s patience. Every church needs two churchwardens, and this is especially important for a church the size of Aldeburgh Parish Church. As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, I am concerned that we may enter another year with only one churchwarden. I am happy to continue as a churchwarden, but this is not a job that I can continue to do on my own. We very much need someone with energy and enthusiasm to join me as churchwarden. As we return to offering a variety of services and move to larger congregations, we find that we need more helpers in our church. We particularly need sacristans, servers, and cleaners. Are you able to offer your time and help? Our cleaning team gather in the church on Saturday morning after Morning Prayer so please come along and join in. If you are interested in helping to prepare for and possibly serving at our communion services, please contact either myself, Claire our Administrator, or one of our priests. We can explain what is involved and offer full training.

We need additional keys for our church volunteers.  Are there any keys out there that aren’t used anymore?  Perhaps you have stood down from your role within the church but still have keys.  If you could let me or Claire know, we can arrange returning of the keys and then update our records.   This would be very helpful and prevent an unnecessary expense of having to have new keys cut. 
Ken Smith

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/
channel/UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, be added to our mailing list or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 7th May Pilgrim Community Breakfast and Ramble starting at the Parrot Pub at 9.30am for Breakfast.

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 24th April – Second Sunday of Easter  

Services this Sunday for The Alde Sandlings Benefice

Aldeburgh

10.30am

6.00pm

Holy Communion

Evening Prayer

Aldringham

11.00am

Service of the Word

Knodishall

9.00am

Morning Prayer

Message from Revd James Marston

As we enter this Eastertide and celebrate the joy of our faith, let me begin by thanking everyone involved with the Easter celebrations across the benefice. We thanked God, with music, flowers, church services, welcome, and enthusiasm, the very best of the Alde Sandlings – to swelled congregations and plenty of visitors to our churches.  

Easter is a time of refreshment and renewal, and we have much to look forward with a new priest-in-charge due in a matter of weeks.  

In the meantime, as we continue to wait patiently and with joy in our hearts, I wish you all a happy and enjoyable Eastertide.  

James  

Collect
Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away
the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your
Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Acts 5.27-32
When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’

Second Reading
Revelation 1.4-8
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 
Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.
‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. 

Gospel Reading
John 20.19-end
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.’ But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’  Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. 

Post Communion

Lord God our Father, through our Saviour Jesus Christ you have assured your children of eternal life and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sermon preached by The Revd James Marston at
Aldeburgh 17th April 2022

Easter Sunday John 20 1-18 2022

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

In the words of the psalmist: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Easter Sunday 2022 is, it seems to me, cause for a double celebration. Not only is it Easter – the biggest feast of the church’s year which marks the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – but also the future is looking bright.

We have come through much together, something of a time of insecurity and uncertainty inevitably brought about by vacancy and yet we still have hope.

But we are still going strong, the choir is still singing, the organ is still playing, the formidable flower ladies are still ruling the roost, the bells are being rung, the churchwarden still knows what’s going on, even the curate has learnt one or two things.

And indeed, ladies and gentlemen on a personal note, and I know that has concerned many of you, I can announce this morning that my little blue car should be with us again shortly, so you’ll all soon know where I am and what I’m up to once more.

Prayer and worship, gratitude, and service, at the heart of our community, and the future for our church and our benefice looks bright. We have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to.

And today, Ester Sunday, always something of a new beginning for us all as we journey in faith, heralded, of course, by the renewed life of spring that we cannot fail to notice around us. We can once again be enthused by the joy of Easter and the celebration of the victory of God.

Today, this Easter morning, is one we can all be grateful for and a reason for the joy in our hearts.

We hear from the Gospel accounts, that following the death of Jesus and the unimaginable horrors of the crucifixion, that Christ appears to them, though they don’t always recognise him immediately.

Indeed, in John’s account the recognition of Jesus by Mary comes aurally not visually from the moment he mentions her name. Begging the observation, of course, that our Lord may communicate with us in ways we might not expect or which we might find surprising, or which we sometimes, indeed often, fail to notice.

Nonetheless, the result of the resurrection, in those early days, is that the followers of Jesus were utterly compelled to come out of hiding and risk their own lives to tell others of what they had experienced and share the joy of faith.

Whatever the resurrection was, and it often strikes me as something of a mystery that is hard to pin down in human words, it was life changing and transformative for those who believed.

And it remains the case today, the resurrection is still life changing and transformative. The resurrected Christ has not gone away.

And from those first confused and unsure witnesses to the rest of the disciples to St Paul onwards, over the last 2,000 years countless numbers of people have experienced and know the presence of Jesus in their lives.

And that is also what we are celebrating today, and as Christians we are no less compelled to retell the story share the faith and hold on to the hope of salvation and eternal life.

As we come together again and pray the ancient thanksgiving of the Eucharist, I am reminded that Jesus is here among us as ever.

In the bread and wine of communion, in each other, in the Body of Christ that makes up this worshipping community in this Holy and sacred place, the resurrected Christ is present.

It seems to me that Easter Sunday is the firing pistol we may sometimes need to reenergise and reinvigorate our faith.

Not least because it is a reminder of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that extraordinary mysterious and mind boggling event on which our faith is based, and for which we must thank again and again almighty God.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I wish you all a joyful and happy Easter.

Amen.

 

Next Week
Sunday 1st May
Third Sunday of Easter

NOTICES

A Call for Helpers and Keys (Aldeburgh)
You will all be aware that I have been the sole churchwarden for almost two years now. During this time, I have been blessed with the generous assistance of Adrian Brown, our Treasurer and Derek Cook, our Deputy Churchwarden. The role of churchwarden is personally rewarding but also demanding of one’s time, energy and sometimes one’s patience. Every church needs two churchwardens, and this is especially important for a church the size of Aldeburgh Parish Church. As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, I am concerned that we may enter another year with only one churchwarden. I am happy to continue as a churchwarden, but this is not a job that I can continue to do on my own. We very much need someone with energy and enthusiasm to join me as churchwarden. As we return to offering a variety of services and move to larger congregations, we find that we need more helpers in our church. We particularly need sacristans, servers, and cleaners. Are you able to offer your time and help? Our cleaning team gather in the church on Saturday morning after Morning Prayer so please come along and join in. If you are interested in helping to prepare for and possibly serving at our communion services, please contact either myself, Claire our Administrator, or one of our priests. We can explain what is involved and offer full training.

We need additional keys for our church volunteers.  Are there any keys out there that aren’t used anymore?  Perhaps you have stood down from your role within the church but still have keys.  If you could let me or Claire know, we can arrange returning of the keys and then update our records.   This would be very helpful and prevent an unnecessary expense of having to have new keys cut. 
Ken Smith

Church of England and Diocese Online Worship

There are many online services you can view from the Church of England and our cathedral. Here are some links below.

Church of England website

https://www.churchofengland.org/
prayer-and-worship/church-online/weekly-online-services

Church of England Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/
thechurchofengland/

Church of England YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/
UCLecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/
stedscathedral

Update from David Jenkins – Aid for Ukraine
Firstly may I thank you most sincerely for your most generous donations to the Appeal in aid of Ukraine.  Lately I have had a number of enquires as too when the collection is to re-commence. This morning I have been in contact with Anglia Freight in Ipswich who have been storing, sorting, and dispatching the donations. They have told me that the situation for the people distributing within Ukraine is currently so dangerous that they are unable to accept for the time being any more goods. I have been assured that as soon as the situation becomes safer, they will resume sending aid out to Ukraine and that I shall be the first to hear.  Love and Prayer to you all David.

 

Weekly Benefice Newsletter

If you would like something added to the weekly newsletter that is relevant to the Benefice, please do let Claire know and we will do our best to include it the following week.

All requests by 4pm on Thursday please

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

Foodbanks provide a valuable service to those in need in our communities. The Aldeburgh Co-op and Solar in Leiston are doing a grand job in collecting food donations, which are collected regularly and distributed. So please look out for the various collection baskets.

 

Concerts at Aldeburgh – 11th and 12th May

We are delighted to announce that the Fitzwilliam String Quartet will be returning to Aldeburgh Parish Church on the 11th & 12th May for two concerts, both starting at 7pm. Music includes Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Britten. All Welcome. £12 cash only on the door.

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.   People are welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy, to be added to our mailing list, or for the Zoom links.

Saturday 7th May Pilgrim Community Breakfast and Ramble starting at the Parrot Pub at 9.30am for Breakfast.