19th September Baptism

On September the 19th we all gathered to celebrate the baptism of the lovely little Rose. It was such a joyous service and a great pleasure and privilege to witness the beginning of Rose’s journey within the Christian faith.

We welcome you into the fellowship of faith;
we are children of the same heavenly Father;
we welcome you.

Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.  Do not stop them’.
We thank God for Rose who has come to be baptised today.
Christ loves her and welcomes her into his Church.

Here is The Revd Johanna Mabey baptising Rose, with the proud parents.

Thank you to Rose’s parents, Liz and Caesar, for sharing this photo with us.

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 3rd October – Eighteenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

I had to sit down with a soothing Cornetto this week after I realised my little blue sports car – a missional tool I told the Archdeacon – drank a little more petrol than I was at first prepared to admit. Thankfully I’ve got a fairly full tank and at the moment I’m riding out the crisis and able to panic buy toilet rolls instead.

I am, of course, despite my slight flippancy, reminded of 2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” I think this applies to all worrying and difficult situations in which we all find ourselves in the course of life.

Good news – I heard from our much loved Rev’d Sheila Hart this week. She is on good form, and despite some personal health issues, she is hoping to return to ministry as soon as she can – I suspect she’s already frustrated – perhaps in the New Year.

Rev’d Sheila has asked me to thank you all for your prayers as they mean a great deal to her. In the meantime, she’s helping me with some bits and bobs and, I think, keeping a watchful eye on me from afar! We all wish her well.

In the meantime, Rev’d Jo and I are, I hope, doing our best to keep the ship steady-ish as we approach one of the benefice’s busiest times.

As, ever, we thank you for your support and encouragement.

James

 

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting 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
Genesis 2.18-24
Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’   Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Second Reading
Hebrews 1.1-4: 2.5-12
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.  Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere, ‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? 
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honour, subjecting all things under their feet.’ Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, ‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’

Gospel Reading
Mark 10.2-16
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’ People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Sermon from the Revd James Marston
Matthew 6: 25-33 Harvest sermon
Preached at St Mary, Friston 26.09.21

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

It is at this time of year the church turns its collective attention to marking the change of season and the harvest. As we rejoice today at God’s gifts of the countryside, the seeds that grow, the crops and fruits, and land of plenty that sustains and feeds us in our lives we can reflect that the harvest process itself has changed. The steam engines, the wheat shocks, the threshing drums, the horse powered transport have all largely disappeared.

Wheat, for example, is much less tall than it used to be, and wheat is harvested earlier in the year than ever before. The harvest takes a matter of days rather than weeks. Far less people work on the land than they used to. Modern technology has changed everything.

What hasn’t changed, of course, is God and the thanks we offer to Him here today and in other churches across the land. Harvest Festival remains an important part of our calendar and is a way of thanking God for the world around us and for being in our lives.

We may change and develop during the course of our lives, we grow up, we stop being children and we move on through life, but God remains God. I find some comfort in this, that the God I worship is always there and a constant in my own life.

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus urges his followers not to worry. Not to worry about what they eat, wear, or drink – to strive not for those things but for the Kingdom of God above all things. To put our faith first in our lives and see our lives through the lens of faith, to negate the material and self is not easy.

Indeed, this putting God first is the crux, of course, of the Christian struggle – to put self-second and God first. Yet to aspire to holiness, to live a life that trusts in God is very difficult – we might try but we fail again, and again, and again.

Jesus is not the daily bread made from the fruits of the harvest: wheat, flour, water, fat, and energy, but provides a spiritual food that we can rely on all the year long, for all the length of our lives.

And Jesus is God’s greatest gift.

It is, Jesus, as the son of God, who gives life and light to the world and transforms lives. That for followers of Jesus, there is more than just the physical bread to sustain us through life but, Jesus, the nourishing spiritual bread of life there to sustain us when we fail to live the faith we espouse. A counsellor and friend we can turn to in prayer that can calm and affirm us and replenish our souls to try again to put God first.

And for this, at this Harvest Festival, I believe we can be thankful people. We can express our gratitude to the God not only for the world around us and our community but for the gift of His son Jesus whose presence in our lives and in our community nourishes, sustains, and ultimately saves our souls.

We have come together today to bring thanks to God and to celebrate the safe gathering in of the harvest fed and watered by God’s almighty hand. We are giving thanks for the produce of our agricultural community and of our gardens. We are also here to remember and help others who live in other countries where food and resources are not so plentiful.

We come to church to pray, to sing and worship and spend time with God and each other. We also nourish our souls in the knowledge of the resurrected Jesus Christ in the process. And in this sense this Sunday is no different from any other.

But today, as we nourish our souls once more, Harvest Festival is, perhaps, a special time in which we can give thanks for the joy of faith. The marvellous knowledge and trust in the loving, generous and gracious God we worship.

We can rejoice in not only the harvest and the time of year but also in our faith itself. It is a faith that helps us live through the dry, difficult, and arid times as well as the good. It is a faith that also, when nourished and held in gratitude to God, gives us peace and keeps us going amid all the ups and downs of life.

And as we worship together today, we can think of this great gift of Jesus.

And for Jesus, as well as the other gifts of the harvest that we celebrate today, I believe, we can’t thank God enough.

Amen

 

Post Communion
We praise and thank you, O Christ, for this sacred feast:
for here we receive you, here the memory of your passion is renewed,
here our minds are filled with grace, and here a pledge of future glory is given, when we shall feast at that table where you reign
with all your saints for ever.

 

Texts from Coventry Cathedral’s Tablets of the Word Part Four by John Giles

Come unto Me
All ye that labour and are heavy laden
And I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me,
For I am meek and lowly in heart,
And ye shall find rest unto your souls
                                                  Matthew 11.28

 

Apparently, Roger Bannister’s heart rate as an athlete was lower when he was gently running than when he was sitting down, suggesting that being active can be more restful than relaxing.  If Heaven is the Kingdom of God, then it too must be an active state, for the Kingdom speaks of Justice, Mercy, Love, and all these demand action. You can hardly add bricks to the walls of the Kingdom if you are sitting in an armchair. “Laziness”, once said an Oxford philosopher, in a thick continental accent, “is ze last remnant of Paradise” – well, maybe, but then perhaps not, for active service is the name of the Christian game.

Nonetheless there comes a moment when we both need and long for rest. The Bible certainly speaks of rest. At the Creation God rested on the seventh day and called on his people not to work on the Sabbath Day. Christ called his disciples to “come apart and rest awhile”
(Mark 6.31). We have the lovely promise of the Epistle to the Hebrews in chapter 4 that however fierce the battle of life and the challenges of discipleship, “There remains a rest for the people of God”. The precious promise of rest in our text today is given the other side of hard work and labour undertaken in the Lord’s service. It is spoken to those who have tried to take on Christ’s yoke and to learn his ways.

These are deeply comforting, strengthening, words. George Frederic Handel, in 1741, out of favour with the fickle public of his day, took refuge in Dublin, and incredibly, in a fortnight, composed The Messiah, including the inspired aria using the words of our text above, specially chosen for Coventry’s rebuilt Cathedral. 

To have such reassurance, in words and music, is a real blessing – a resource to keep at the back of our spiritual wardrobe, to be there when needed. More words to be learnt by heart and repeated again and again.

NOTICES

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or for more information on any Pilgrims events.
Some dates for your diary:
Pilgrim Breakfasts and Rambles:
Saturday 6th November     
Saturday 4th December
Zoom Quiz:  Saturday 20th November
The lovely Richard and Sue will be organising our next Zoom quiz.  Please contact the Pilgrims if you can offer a round of questions.

 

Mark, Ro, & Coco
Just a quick note to let you know that Mark, Ro, and Coco, arrived safely in France yesterday afternoon. Beautiful warm sunshine greeted them, and they are settling in nicely for their gap year.

 

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.

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/UCLecK8
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St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/stedscathedral

 

The Alde Sandlings Celebrate God’s Generosity
this Harvest


October 3rd
Aldeburgh Church 10.30am
October 10th Aldringham Church 11.00am

Please remember that your Harvest gifts would be most welcomed at any of the food banks after the services. Of course, you may know of a group or someone that would be in need of a Harvest gift.


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

The Trussel Trust Organisation
Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

 

Sacristan Training Sessions with Revd Johanna Mabey
We are calling for all volunteers at Aldeburgh Parish Church, for Sacristans (Preparing the Holy Eucharist for the celebration of the mass. This includes readying the wine, water, and bread and putting them in place for the start of mass, and then removing and cleaning after the service). If you would be able to take part and assist with this role in our Holy Communion services, please speak to a member of the clergy or our church/deputy wardens. Revd Jo has created a printed guide and is offering training to anyone willing to join the team.

 

Rainbow Tots has Moved!
We are delighted to inform you that the popular Rainbow Tots group have changed their venue to The Church Hall (Aldeburgh). This takes place every Tuesday morning (during term time) at 10am. All Mums and toddlers are welcome. Find them on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rainbowtotsaldeburgh/

Next week –
Sunday 10th October
Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 26th September – Seventeenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

With the resounding success of the benefice’s Harvest Messy church and all the other things that are going on across the Alde Sandlings, there is a real sense of energy and what the French call the “Rentreé” – that “back to school” feeling and return to life in the autumn months.

The summer is behind us, and we are looking forward to the future. The political year, the academic year, the seasons, the church year – all are interlinked and intertwined. It is no coincidence Christians celebrate the light of the coming of Christ in the depths of winter, or that Easter is in the spring. We have harvest just around the corner, Remembrance on the horizon and Christmas coming round the corner.

As I try to till the ground for the next incumbent, we all need to strike the right balance between pause and action – not easy as we come out of a long period of enforced inactivity. It is difficult to hold the space of being in the short term.

In the meantime, the Alde Sandlings Benefice waits on God and waits on His will and His time as you discern the future.

James

Collect
Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
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
Numbers 11.4-6, 10-16, 24-29
The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.’ Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child”, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, “Give us meat to eat!” I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favour in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.’ So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you. So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, ‘My lord Moses, stop them!’ But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’

Second Reading
James 5.13-end
Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9.38-end
John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. ‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

 

Sermon from the Revd James Marston
Preached at Knodishall 19th September

Jeremiah 11:18-20

James 3:13-4:3-8a

Mark 9:30-37

 

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

In my copy of a diary of a country parson by James Woodforde, there is an entry in September 1793 which says the following. “We were very sorry to see on this day’s paper from bath that our very valuable and worthy friend the Reverend Mr Duquesne from Tuddenham was no more. It is a very great loss to us but I hope to him, gain. Pray God he may be eternally happy…Dinner today: boiled leg of mutton and a roasted rabbit.”

Mr Woodforde went on “Drank some spruce beer of Mr Taswells and liked it very much, it was in bottles.”

I have to admit this entry brought a smile to my face. Not least because of the juxtaposition of the concept of eternal life and, as we see throughout his diary, Mr Woodforde’s enjoyment of food and drink and people and all that earthly life has to offer.

Indeed, it brought Shakespeare to mind “Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’nights: yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.”

It is as a Christian community our constant mission to stand out as the people of God. In order to do this we are those people in our communities who pray and think about the divine.

But is too much thinking a dangerous thing? I don’t know but I sometimes wonder if it might be. It is easy to focus our minds to such an extent on the numinous that we can forget we come together to worship God and live the faith in the here and now. And, at times, it seems to me we can all think too much about the spiritual and not enough about the present.

I may well be preaching to myself but getting the balance right between earthly things and the metaphysical is a challenge for us all.

Christians are called to be in the world but are also called to be less of the world. It is a fine distinction and we all waver between seeing the world and our place in it through the lens of faith and seeing the world through the lens of the self and our human experience. Too much of one negates the other.

And I think today’s gospel reading, a story in which those around Jesus are caught thinking too much about themselves and not enough about the faith they are being taught may be a useful reminder to us all that the self is something we need to subjugate from time to time. Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.

Furthermore, Jesus points to a child and challenges those around him by highlighting the importance, in His view, of what first century contemporary social attitudes considered unimportant. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me. Jesus is saying, I suggest, that God is interested in and values the unimportant and those often ignored and forgotten in our communities.

Perhaps our attitudes in the 21st century of what’s important and what isn’t sometimes need a shake up too. Perhaps we all get too wrapped up with the details and forget the bigger picture.

This week just as I was worrying the details of something trivial that needed to be done that afternoon a parishioner asked me my views on eternal life.

It made me stop and think and was a question to which I probably responded inadequately but, nonetheless, one which has stayed with me all week and one to which we all ought to give our attention once in a while because it reminds us that it is part and parcel of our faith and set of beliefs.

Rev Woodforde, it seems to me, gets the balance right. His matter of factness about the death of his friend can also be read as a statement of Woodforde’s hope found in his faith, his certainty of eternal life – his prayer suggests his friend is in a better place.

And that life and the here and now, and the roasting of rabbits, goes on.

Amen

Post Communion
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us,
and make us continually to be given to all good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The joyful and busy return of Messy Church!
by The Revd Johanna Mabey

After an enforced break of two years, we had a marvellous return of all things messy with our Harvest Messy Church service on Saturday 18th September in Aldeburgh Church Hall.

It was attended by 31 children and 36 adults!

The Hall was full of the sound of children (and adults) having a wonderful time… the children had grown so much since we last had Messy Church – it was astonishing.

Everyone was extremely happy to be back. The relief and joy that events such as this are now possible again felt very evident.

The children were able to participate in bread roll making, apple bobbing, chocolate apple dipping (that was very messy, but excellent fun) biscuit decorating, writing prayers for our Harvest thankfulness prayer tree, harvest wreath making, pom pom hedgehog making, and many more crafts.

Fran read the Bible story from Luke’s Gospel about the rich farmer who stored up all his crops and didn’t share his wealth. We then talked with the children about what that story could teach us. That was followed by some prayers using various cereals and then we all sang ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’.

Jules and Andy kept us all supplied with endless cups of coffee, squash, hot chocolate and biscuits.

Reverend James offered the final prayer and blessing, and everyone left very happy with their bags full of the things they had made and full of the joys of harvest.

We had a retiring collection in aid of the emergency appeals for the Afghanistan Crisis launched by Unicef, The British Red Cross, and Church’s Welcome – all charities that work with children and families.

Huge and heartfelt thanks to all the helpers and supporters on Saturday – you worked so hard. This was a Benefice/Community wide effort too – with helpers from Aldringham Church, The Baptist Church and the Pilgrims Group. As I keep saying, this valuable ministry amongst children and families would not be possible without you. So, THANK-YOU!!

We also greatly appreciate the support for this ministry that we receive through your prayers – they are so important.

We gave out invitations to every child and family for our Harvest Festival Service in Aldeburgh Church on Sunday 3rd October.

Preparations now begin for Christmas Messy Church on Saturday 11th December at the Fairfield Centre: 10am till 12noon. Time to get the glitter out!

Here are a few photos from the day. There are more to view at

https://www.aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk/harvest-messy-church-18th-september-2021/

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Afghanistan Appeals – THANK YOU!
Last weekend (18/19th September) at the Harvest Messy Church and the 10.30am Aldeburgh Service, there was a collection to help organisations that are supporting the Afghanistan refugees and children. An amazing total of £600 was donated. THANK YOU so much to all those who contributed.
You can of course still donate online by clicking on the links below.

 

Welcome Churches

https://welcomechurches.org/donate/

British Red Cross

https://www.redcross.org.uk/

UNICEF – Protect Children in Afghanistan
https://www.unicef.org.uk/

 

Texts from Coventry Cathedral’s Tablets of the Word – Part Three by John Giles

                        A new commandment I give unto you
that ye love one another
                                      as I have loved you                            John 13.34

 

Jesus had already, quoting from Leviticus, told the lawyer that the second great commandment was to love one’s neighbour as oneself. 

But now he goes further. “Love one another as I have loved you”, i.e., a love directed totally towards the other’s good. There is a general relevance here of course but look more closely.

After the Last Supper Jesus is speaking to his disciples, his closest followers. He is speaking to the Church. This is a special message for Christians in the future. The world may be in conflict or at war, big business fleecing its customers, high-minded professionals revealing inner corruption. Christ’s followers on the other hand must follow a different pattern. The inner love-life of the church continuing often silently, almost invisibly, in the life of society can bring people back to better ways. He had already said “You are the salt of the earth” and again “You are the light of the world”.  Now there is a greater urgency. 

Provost Williams on 14th November 1940, in the smoking ruins of his Cathedral saw the obscenity as well as the savagery of war. The words “Father, Forgive” were inscribed above the altar. He felt the need to reach out to those with a fellow Christian loyalty. In love he sent crosses of nails from the charred timbers in the ruins to Churches and individuals world-wide. Here was love in action across barriers of war. One went to the main Lutheran church in Berlin, the Gedachtnis Kirche, where it is still displayed. After the war Coventry became a centre for young people seeking reconciliation and friendship with those from former enemy countries. I was once with a group of students from UEA who took part in an inspiring programme at John Kennedy House under Canon Paul Oestreicher doing just this. Love was in the air.

Here we are with another vacancy under way. We must all pull together. “Love one another”, says the Lord, “as I have loved you.”

NOTICES

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list, or for the zoom links.

Some dates for your diary:

Pilgrim Breakfasts and Rambles:

Saturday 2nd October     

Saturday 6th November     

Saturday 4th December

Our lovely Chris at the Parrot has offered the pub as the venue for our breakfasts, for £5 he is offering a breakfast bap and coffee / tea combo.  Bap choices include sausage, bacon, or egg.  We will gather at the pub from 9.30 am for breakfast.  A big thank you to Chris! As ever people are welcome to come just for breakfast, for the breakfast and the ramble or for just the ramble.  If you would like to just ramble then I would think we would be moving on in our cars, from the Parrot, at about 10.30am.  The lovely Eric is planning the walk…more on that soon. All are welcome to the breakfasts / rambles.
Please do invite people to come along.

Zoom Quiz:  Saturday 20th November
The lovely Richard and Sue will be organising our next Zoom quiz.  Please email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com if you are able to offer a round.

 

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.

Aldringham Sunday Services

The last outdoor service starts at 11am, in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting.

ALL VERY WELCOME

✟ 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

 

Ride and Stride Update

The 2021 Ride and Stride took place on Saturday 11th September.
Well, the teams have done their bit, now it is time to hand over our sponsor money. Please do see your team leader.

A HUGE thank you, to all that took part.

 

The Alde Sandlings Celebrate
God’s Generosity this Harvest

 


Sunday 26th September

Friston Church 9.45am

Knodishall Church 9.30am

October 3rd

Aldeburgh Church 10.30am

October 10th

Aldringham Church 11.00am

 

Please remember that your Harvest gifts would be most welcomed at any of the food banks after the services. Of course, you may know of a group or someone that would be in need of a Harvest gift.

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op 

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

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

Next week –
Sunday 3rd October
Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Harvest Messy Church – 18th September 2021

The joyful and busy return of Messy Church!

After an enforced break of two years, we had a marvellous return of all things messy with our Harvest Messy Church service on Saturday 18th of September in Aldeburgh Church Hall.

It was attended by 31 children and 36 adults!

The Hall was full of the sound of children (and adults) having a wonderful time… the children had grown so much since we last had Messy Church – it was astonishing.

Everyone was extremely happy to be back. The relief and joy that events such as this are now possible again felt very evident.

The children were able to participate in bread roll making, apple bobbing, chocolate apple dipping (that was very messy, but excellent fun) biscuit decorating, writing prayers for our Harvest thankfulness prayer tree, harvest wreath making, pom pom hedgehog making, and many more crafts.

Fran read the Bible story from Luke’s Gospel about the rich farmer who stored up all his crops and didn’t share his wealth.  We then talked with the children about what that story could teach us.  That was followed by some prayers using various cereals and then we all sang ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’.

Jules and Andy kept us all supplied with endless cups of coffee, squash, hot chocolate and biscuits.

Reverend James offered the final prayer and blessing, and everyone left very happy with their bags full of the things they had made and full of the joys of harvest.

We had a retiring collection in aid of the emergency appeals for the Afghanistan Crisis launched by Unicef, The British Red Cross, and Church’s Welcome – all charities that work with children and families.

Huge and heartfelt thanks to all the helpers and supporters on Saturday – you worked so hard.  This was a Benefice/Community wide effort too – with helpers from Aldringham Church, The Baptist Church and the Pilgrims Group.  As I keep saying, this valuable ministry amongst children and families would not be possible without you.  So THANK-YOU!!

We also greatly appreciate the support for this ministry that we receive through your prayers – they are so important.

We gave out invitations to every child and family for our Harvest Festival Service in Aldeburgh Church on Sunday 3rd October.

Preparations now begin for Christmas Messy Church on Saturday 11th December at the Fairfield Centre: 10am till 12noon.  Time to get the glitter out!

Revd. Johanna Mabey

 

Here are some photos from the day

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 19th September – Sixteenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

Priests are called first and foremost to be a person of prayer. Indeed, all Christians nurture and develop their relationship with God by the medium of prayer.

It is through prayer that we still ourselves sufficiently in order to detach ourselves from the quotidian routine in order to see the world around us through the lens of faith and the spiritual.

The history and practice of the Christian faith inform us that prayer has many forms – immediate and urgent cries for help, intercessionary, liturgical, hymn singing, study, the Eucharist, silence…the list goes on.

Although our whole lives and how we lead them are a prayer to God, making time to join the ancient river of prayer, in whatever form, is the heartbeat of our Christian lives. Prayer is how we still ourselves in order to be able to listen to God in our own lives and ensure we direct our lives to His service.

We do meet to pray together on a Sunday morning, but church services are not really sufficient for the development of our prayer life and, in turn, the nurturing of our souls and our relationships with God. Clergy often try to inspire congregations to a prayer life alongside, yet also outside of, Sunday church.

This week one of our benefice elders Jan Chard has offered to maintain a benefice-wide prayer list for those who we hear of in our communities that might be in need. This is important work and part of our collective ministry and mission to the communities in which we live.

We are, as Christians, called to be aware of and look out for those who might be sick or unwell, in trouble or adversity. These people are prayed for at Morning Prayer at Aldeburgh church which I, and a few others, usually attend.

If you hear of anyone from your parish who is in need and asks for this public prayer ministry do let Jan know and she will update our benefice’s daily prayer list accordingly. Remember we do need people’s verbal permission to put their names on the list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk if you would like someone added.

In other news I’d like to congratulate and thank all those involved with this year’s Ride and Stride event which raised much money for the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. As usual our benefice was well organised and well prepared as we welcomed cyclists keen to explore our churches. 
A great success. 

James

Collect
O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear
the prayers of your people who call upon you;
and grant that they may both perceive and know
what things they ought to do, and also may have
grace and power faithfully to fulfil them;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Jeremiah 11.18-20
It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
then you showed me their evil deeds. 
But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
that they devised schemes, saying,
‘Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!’ 
But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

Second Reading
James 3.13-4.3, 7-8a
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9.30-37
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

A Message from Revd Sheila Hart

I am writing this because I am concerned that some of you have misunderstood James’ message in the pew sheet last week in regard to my future involvement with the benefice and I would like to put a few of those right.
Firstly, I have NOT resigned from the benefice, neither have I resigned as Rural Dean BUT there are a few issues going on with my family and me which are causing me to think carefully about what is the best way for me to handle the next few months especially so that James and the ministry team have time to plan for unforeseen eventualities which may happen.
As a result, I have decided not to lead Sunday worship in any of our churches until our situation has stabilised somewhat.

As far as I am able, I shall continue to attend meetings and do pastoral visits and home communions all with the proviso that all is well with me and Mary, our daughter. I shall give you as much notice as I can for a change in my situation BUT I shall not be resigning from the benefice for the foreseeable future.

I continue to value your thoughts and prayers and do please keep in touch.

With my love to you all

Sheila x

 

Stewardship

St Andrews Aldringham 12 September 2021

Address by Mark Goyder

A few minutes’ walk from here is the RSPB hide. You know the one? It looks across the reedbed towards Sheep wash Crossing. It’s a good place to watch the marsh harriers. To get there you go along the boardwalk.

Early this year a firm of contractors was commissioned by the County Council to renovate the boardwalk. The old planks were ripped up and new ones put down.

When I talked to the men doing the work, I found them disillusioned.
‘This wood that we are putting is no good. It won’t last that well,’ they said.

I asked if they had pointed this out to the council. Yes, they had but they were told to go ahead anyway. Someone had an annual budget to keep to, and had found cheaper timber. They weren’t concerned with the risk that their successors would pay the price for this decision.

Someone at the council has not been behaving like a steward. Stewardship means looking after the assets with which we have been entrusted and passing them on to our successors or to the next generation in better condition.

Let me give you another local example.

When the vicarage in Westleton became redundant, local people developed a plan to enable people to stay in the village as they got older. With the blessing of the Church of England, they envisaged building 20 bungalows as sheltered accommodation, and using the redundant vicarage building itself as a social hub for future residents. In 2020 East Suffolk Council turned the proposal down. They said the proposal was unacceptable in the light of the ‘historical significance of St Peter’s Church nearby’.

I don’t know about you, but I think offering the senior citizens of tomorrow the chance to find a home and stay in the village, and using the vicarage to combat loneliness might be more in tune with the best historical traditions of the church. More so than opening the way for more executive housing.

Now just Imagine if a house builder had been on the look-out for profitable community-initiated schemes and had worked with the community groups to help realise their objective. There are such people about. I’ve just read about a company which specialises in making flats for young people more affordable by making them smaller but designing them so that they don’t feel cramped.

That’s what I would call stewardship. Thinking ahead to the needs of the next generation.

When I started talking to Rev James about future generations, he reminded me about the growing activities of the Messy Church for the under 5s in Aldeburgh…

Let’s think further about what we are doing for future generations.

I have spent my life working in and around business. I spent twelve years as a manager in engineering and paper manufacturing. I have worked with some dedicated people who cared deeply about what they did and the customers they did it for. I have also experienced all kinds of takeover and merger and management buyout, some of them with greedy, uncaring people at the helm who just wanted to extract as much profit as quickly as possible. lt made me realise that business can be a force for good but it matters who owns a company and whether they are thinking short term or long term. So I set up an organisation called Tomorrow’s Company that has spent the last 25 years mobilising the power of business and investment to make things better for people. Making a profit yes; but doing so in a way that adds value to people and the community. As that passage from Ecclesiastes puts it

‘I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s mind’.

If you ask people in different countries around the world if they think the system is working for them, only one fifth say that it is. It is all too remote. Too often people feel helpless to influence things.

To me a vital part of Christian faith – something, as well, which is shared by all major religions – is that everything is connected. And we are taught that the Kingdom of God is not some far away place that we will find out about after death. The Kingdom of God is here, all around us and we are put on this earth to nurture it. God has made everything beautiful. We are here to be good stewards of it. We all have the potential to make things better. We are all endowed by God with some capacity to contribute to the advancement of that Kingdom. We just have to look for it.

How do we in the church think about wealth creation? Do we think of it as a remote thing operated by strangers that we cannot influence?

This is where stewardship comes in. We have more influence than we might imagine. The world of business and investment is not a black box. People are influencing it in all kinds of ways.

Take fast fashion. 90% of the people who work in the garment industry are women. Many of them are badly exploited, not only in Bangladesh but here at home where companies in cities like Leicester have been exposed for exploitation. The garment industry is, after the oil industry, the second biggest polluter in the world.

When my daughter comes to stay with our granddaughter, odd packages keep being delivered. At first, I wondered why Diana was buying so much stuff. But she wasn’t buying it: she was swapping it. There is a very successful enterprise called NU that does this. Its customers are enjoying fashion while also recycling it.

We make all kinds of buying decisions that make a difference.

A confession: I love peanut butter and the like. And my favourite nut butter was a scrumptious almond one that came from Marks & Spencer. I used to buy it in threes and fours!

Then I became aware of the destruction caused by palm oil. I looked at the jar and there it was. Palm oil. That means deforestation and bad impacts on the world’s ability to absorb C02. No more almond butter.

Or think about the decisions people make when they buy a car. Last year, the International Energy Agency published research that showed that SUVs – so-called Sports Utility vehicles – were the second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions (second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions) over the past decade, eclipsing all shipping, aviation, heavy industry and even lorries.

Each year, said IEA, SUVs belch out 700 mega tonnes of CO2, about the entire output of the UK and Netherlands combined. If all SUV drivers banded together to form their own country, it would rank as the seventh largest emitter in the world.

Last weekend I was contacted by a friend whose daughter bought a flat in Basildon. The company building the flats failed to put in any firebreaks in internal walls. As a result of a review following Grenfell Tower, her fire insurance is now FIVE TIMES what it was. I hope none of my pension savings are invested in a building company which is such a poor steward.

Think about investment.

Anyone here who has a pension, or even a life insurance policy, is through those channels a shareholder. As such we have the opportunity to choose funds that have the right impact on this wonderful world, or tell our pension trustees what they can and cannot do with our money.

When I left a big company in my late thirties, I had to set up a personal pension scheme and save directly into that. It gives me a buzz to know that part of my pension is invested in an investment fund that focuses on renewables and environmental improvements, and stays away from industries like oil and tobacco and mining.

In two weeks’ time we will be celebrating Harvest Festival. The hymns we sing and most of the prayers we say are left over from the day when agriculture dominated the economy. Since then, the economy has moved on to manufacturing, services, health, housing, leisure, now digital and artificial intelligence. To me all of that, and the way we invest our money, is part of the harvest. In our church it is time to think about what a c21 version of Harvest festival would look like.

How well have we sowed? How will our grandchildren reap? How can we improve what Ecclesiastes in our reading calls ‘the business that God has given the sons of men to be busy with?’

And the daughters!

That to me is the challenge of stewardship.

 

Post Communion
Almighty God,
you have taught us through your Son
that love is the fulfilling of the law:
grant that we may love you with our whole heart
and our neighbours as ourselves;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Afghanistan Appeals – Can you help? 
This week (19th September) at the 10.30am Aldeburgh Service, there will be a collection to help organisations that are supporting the Afghanistan refugees and children. You can of course donate online by clicking on the links below.

 

Welcome Churches
The Welcome Churches Emergency Afghan Fund is calling for donations to help offer local support to the new arrivals. As the disaster in Afghanistan unfolds, hundreds of Afghans and their families are being evacuated to the U.K. and are in need of assistance. Local churches are at the forefront of a welcoming and inclusive society. Welcoming new neighbours from across the world, especially when they are in need, is part of the biblical mandate Christians have to welcome the stranger. Donate today to help Welcome Churches support the local church as it offers help to newly arrived Afghan families.

https://welcomechurches.org/donate/

British Red Cross

How will my donation help people in Afghanistan?

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the ground in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces – including isolated rural areas – providing essential relief and supporting hospitals and medical facilities. They run over 150 health centres and clinics, including 36 mobile health teams who cover the entire country.  Their Covid-19 hospital in Kabul has also treated thousands of patients and remains operational as cases continue to rise. With their network of staff and 40,000 volunteers, they’re ready to support families through the multiple crises they’re facing right now. Your donation will help go towards delivering food, water, basic medical supplies and medicines, water and shelter.
How will my donation help Afghan families resettled in the UK?
Your money will help their work supporting the hundreds of families currently arriving in the UK from Afghanistan. The Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing emotional support and essential items, including warm clothes, blankets, soap, toothbrushes and nappies.

https://www.redcross.org.uk/

UNICEF – Protect Children in Afghanistan
UNICEF is shocked by the rapid escalation in violence and multiple violations against children’s rights in Afghanistan over recent weeks.

Hundreds of children have been killed and over 1,000 injured, with more and more being left in urgent need of food, water, and medical supplies.

Afghanistan’s children should not pay for this crisis with their childhoods. Boys and girls are caught up in violence, watching as their families and communities are torn apart. They need protection and peace now.

UNICEF is on the ground reaching vulnerable children and families with essential life-saving supplies. 
https://www.unicef.org.uk/

 

Please do donate what you can.
At the 10.30am (19th September) Aldeburgh service all contactless donations will be going to help the appeals

   

Next week –
Sunday 26th September
Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

 

Texts from Coventry Cathedral’s Tablets of the Word
Part Two by John Giles

I am the Vine,
Ye are the branches.
He that abideth in Me, and I in him
The same beareth much fruit
For apart from me you can do nothing.     John 15.5

Six of the verses chosen for Coventry Cathedral are from St. John’s Gospel. Three, including today’s verse, come from what we know as Christ’s Last Discourses with the disciples, following the Last Supper.

Grapes, wine, and the vines from which they came, played a large part in Jewish life. Had not Noah planted the first vineyard after the Flood (Genesis 9.20)? Grapes, vines, and vineyards figure regularly throughout the Old Testament, while the vine is a symbol of the ideal Israel. To this day Jews keeping Passover take care to spill some red wine as a symbol of God’s Grace and Generosity. My Old Testament professor used to say the Jews of old had a “wine-based economy”. No puritan streak there!

So Christ invites his followers to abide in him, to come in under his roof and stay with him. He is the stock of the vine; we are to be the branches, growing grapes from the rising sap of his goodness. Oh dear, we don’t do it very well. But the grapes come in the end from Him. Our job is to abide in him. The word comes again famously in the story of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus meeting the stranger: “Abide with us, for it is toward evening” There is a lovely Taizé chant saying just that.

It is not easy to “abide”, to “dwell” in Christ in a materialistic fun-loving culture such as our own, obsessed with gold medals which are idolised, rather than the (very good) things, in sport, gardening, acting etc., they celebrate.  We need to maintain our union with the stock, through church, prayer, the scriptures. If we think of Christ as the Vine Stock, then he has become a very old vine, a true Vielle Vigne, from which as we know the best wines of all are grown. Sidney Carter kept alive the thought of Christianity keeping us young and old in his
“One more step along the world I go”:

 

You are older than the world can be,

you are younger than the life in me;

ever old and ever new,

keep me travelling along with you:

And it’s from the old I travel to the new:

Keep me travelling along with you.

 

NOTICES

Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

 

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.

 

Aldringham Battle of Britain Service

This Sunday (19th)

 

The service starts at 11am, in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting.

ALL VERY WELCOME

 

U Food Banks at the East of England Co-op U

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

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

✞ Compline on Zoom ✞

Compline online services are every Wednesday at 6pm.

All are very welcome.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more info

 

✟ 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

 

Ride and Stride Update

The 2021 Ride and Stride took place on Saturday 11th September.
It was lovely to see the churches buzzing with activity again, with supporters and candidates. Well, the teams have done their bit (some visiting up to 18 churches) now it is time to hand over our sponsor money. Please do see your team leader.

A HUGE thank you, to all that took part.

Janey Blanchflower’s (Aldringham, St Andrew’s)
report of her expedition
Janey will be in church on Sunday and will hope to collect any remaining sponsorship money.

The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Sponsored Bike Ride 2021 
A big thank you to all my generous sponsors.  The weather was ideal this year – light winds, dry, warm but cloudy – which helped enormously. 
This year I started and finished from my home in Thorpeness, cycling 38 miles between 9am and 3.30pm.  No lycra, straight handlebars, three gears and a useful bicycle basket, but I did overtake two lycra-clad cyclists on lightweight racing bikes and a man in lycra on a modern Penny Farthing. 
My route was Aldringham, Leiston, Theberton, Middleton, Westleton, 
Dunwich, Darsham, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Friston, Knodishall and
Aldeburgh.  I managed to survive being edged off the road by wide
4 X 4s and being cut up by boy racers but fortunately there weren’t too many of these.  The most delightful part of the ride was along Fenstreet, a narrow lane with grass growing down the centre which runs along the edge of the Darsham Marshes Nature Reserve between Darsham and Middleton.  No cars, lots of trees, the sound of birdsong and glimpses of a buzzard circling overhead. 
We are fortunate to have such beautiful churches in this area and I was able to visit Darsham, Kelsale and St John’s Saxmundham for the first time.  The last leg along the switchback of Leiston Road towards Aldeburgh was hard work and a friend’s framed Victorian text came to mind: ‘In my life, let there be hills to climb’…. The final church was Aldeburgh Baptist Church where I was greeted effusively by the artist Theronda Hoffman who had an exhibition of her work in the church.  She was delighted to fill in the last entry on the sponsorship form and insisted on giving me a present of a pretty tea towel printed with one of her pictures.  Whenever I use it, I will be reminded of a wonderful day on my bike. 

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 12th September – Fifteenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge,
The Revd James Marston

I begin with some unsettling news. Our benefice’s assistant priest, The Revd Sheila Hart, advised me this week that she will be withdrawing from active ministry for the foreseeable future due to personal and family health issues.

Our prayers are with her and her family at this difficult time as we support Sheila through the coming weeks and months as medical investigations continue.

Meanwhile this news naturally means there will be some practical issues with regard to staffing and timing of regular and other services in our benefice, which I, and the ministry team, will be working on in the coming days. I ask for your support, understanding and patience as we do this.

Be assured of our ongoing support for all of our parishes, as we work through the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, we heard the sad news that Val Jeffery, a much-loved and long-standing worshipper at Aldeburgh church died peacefully earlier this week. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dick and the rest of their family. May Val rest in peace and rise in glory.

With this sad and unsettling news from our church community this week and the difficulties of the last 18 months for us all, it may well be time for some spiritual nourishment as we face the challenges of the coming weeks and months.

I would urge you to think about joining me once in a while at the service of Morning Prayer – held at 9am from Monday to Saturday in Aldeburgh church. I go most days and it is by daily giving ourselves to God that Christians nourish their souls in order to do render service to God and the community. And during this service we pray for those in need as well as for the church and other communities of the benefice and diocese.

Regular prayer is important work which underpins our work for others and our own faith and by prayer we are reminded of our joint enterprise of sharing God’s love and supporting one another in the journey of faith.

Peace be with you.

James

Collect
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel that,
always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Isaiah 50.4-9a
The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backwards.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be
put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up. 

Second Reading
James 3.1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Gospel Reading
Mark 8.27-end
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

Sermon for 12th September, Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity,
by The Revd Johanna Mabey

Isaiah 35.4-7a

James 2.1-10 [11-13] 14-17

Mark 7.24-end

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

As we’ve just heard in our readings, healing is a sign of God’s kingdom – the fulfilment of God’s purposes.

So it’s a bit disappointing isn’t it? and a bit rubbish to say the least, for those of us who often pray for healing – for ourselves and for others – when, often the longed-for healing doesn’t materialise.

We know we’re supposed to have a more nuanced understanding of healing as something emotional and spiritual if not always physical – but, if we’re honest, that can still feel a bit like a consolation prize.

So, what are we supposed to do when our diseases of mind and body persist?

What’s the point of all this unalleviated suffering?

What’s God up to?

There are some simple answers to that question that are sometimes offered – and please note these come with a hefty health-warning:

First: if we only prayed enough, or if we prayed in the ‘right’ way, then God would do what we asked.

Or Second: suffering is an entirely just punishment for our sins so we just have to bear it, because, deep down, we deserve it.

Or, third: there is no God, so there is no point, no meaning to any of it!

One could offer countless objections to all three of those answers, but, perhaps the most important objection is that not one of them is of any help!

All of them, ultimately, increase and compound suffering – and nowhere do we see Jesus either doing this, or recommending that we should.

As I’m sure you know, a cornerstone of medical ethics is

non-maleficence,

or ‘First do no harm’, and as people of faith, we have a similar responsibility.

We are not here to make things worse for one another.

I’ve been privileged to work in places where sadly people seem to have more than their fair share of suffering… as part of my ministry training, I undertook a placement at Ipswich hospital as a chaplain.

Visiting the neo-natal intensive care unit, the suffering of children felt especially devastating and unjust – the questions there seem somehow sharper, more urgent – we can hear it in the persistent and courageous voice of the Syro-phoenecian woman in the gospel, as she pleads for her daughter.

In a hospital, you know that you aren’t going to make it all better- but you can make sure that it isn’t made worse!

You can make sure it isn’t made worse by the environment in which the patient and family are held…

That said, spend time with anyone who has a chronic disability and it’s soon clear, that there’s so much in the world that makes things worse for them – as if their troubles weren’t enough.

Access for wheelchair users remains a significant issue. It doesn’t take much imagination to know what it’s like not to be able to get into places where other people can go. Being excluded, even if there is no malice or harm intended, is never good.

In the letter of James that we heard earlier, there’s a clear instruction to the Church to show no favouritism; to make no distinctions between rich and poor members.

It’s important that we remain alert not just to those we may be favouring but also those we may be excluding, albeit un-intentionally.

When it comes to human suffering, there’s much we can do that falls into the category of ‘first do no harm’.

Simply paying attention to the attitudes of mind that, without any malice, marginalise…

and the aspects of the physical environment that restrict and exclude, all of which simply makes the suffering worse than it need be.

This may not literally give sight to the blind or unstop ears – although it might make life less hard for those who have those difficulties.

When Jesus said ‘the poor will always be with you’, I think we can be pretty sure that there will always be suffering in this life…for all of us – in one way or another.

So what is God up to in this? I suspect God is up to the same thing he has been up to from the beginning, which is the creation and redemption of the world, and I suspect that no life is too short or limited to be of significance in that creative-redemptive process.

Yes, the suffering is hard – hard to endure, harder still to understand – but we have more power than we realise.

James, in his epistle, quotes the same scripture as Jesus; ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself’.

It is love, the greatest of all spiritual gifts, that enables us to recognise and respond to the suffering in others.

It is love that fires that deep sense of the sheer offensiveness of suffering – an energy that drives so many – especially in the medical and caring professions.

God is at work in all of this. The same God who in Christ worked miracles to show us that our desire for healing is ultimately his, and that all those prayers we offer for healing are not in vain, even if the result in this life is not the fullness of what we seek.

Christ is risen from the dead to assure us that suffering and death won’t have the final word, and Christ gives himself to us in bread and wine as a pledge that we too will share in that victory.

In the meantime, there’s much we can do for our neighbour through love; through simple, practical compassion so that suffering isn’t compounded, isn’t made worse by marginalising, or excluding those who suffer.

I’ve been speaking mostly about disability this morning, but much is also applicable to the suffering of refugees – so much in our news right now.

The Syro-phoenician woman was only looking for the crumbs under the table. She knew it wouldn’t take much to change her world, and with God, as we know in the Eucharist, even crumbs; tiny fragments, can become charged with the hope of a new world, and become signs of the fulfilment of God’s healing work.
Amen

Post Communion
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Afghanistan Appeals – Can you help?
Next week (19th September) at the 10.30am Aldeburgh Service, there will be a collection to help organisations that are supporting the Afghanistan refugees and children. You can of course donate online by clicking on the links below.

Welcome Churches

The Welcome Churches Emergency Afghan Fund is calling for donations to help offer local support to the new arrivals. As the disaster in Afghanistan unfolds, hundreds of Afghans and their families are being evacuated to the U.K. and are in need of assistance. Local churches are at the forefront of a welcoming and inclusive society. Welcoming new neighbours from across the world, especially when they are in need, is part of the biblical mandate Christians have to welcome the stranger. Donate today to help Welcome Churches support the local church as it offers help to newly arrived Afghan families.

https://welcomechurches.org/donate/

British Red Cross

How will my donation help people in Afghanistan?
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the ground in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces – including isolated rural areas – providing essential relief and supporting hospitals and medical facilities. They run over 150 health centres and clinics, including 36 mobile health teams who cover the entire country.  Their Covid-19 hospital in Kabul has also treated thousands of patients and remains operational as cases continue to rise. With their network of staff and 40,000 volunteers, they’re ready to support families through the multiple crises they’re facing right now. Your donation will help go towards delivering food, water, basic medical supplies and medicines, water and shelter.
How will my donation help Afghan families resettled in the UK?
Your money will help their work supporting the hundreds of families currently arriving in the UK from Afghanistan. The Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing emotional support and essential items, including warm clothes, blankets, soap, toothbrushes and nappies.

https://www.redcross.org.uk/

UNICEF – Protect Children in Afghanistan

UNICEF is shocked by the rapid escalation in violence and multiple violations against children’s rights in Afghanistan over recent weeks.
Hundreds of children have been killed and over 1,000 injured, with more and more being left in urgent need of food, water, and medical supplies.

Afghanistan’s children should not pay for this crisis with their childhoods. Boys and girls are caught up in violence, watching as their families and communities are torn apart. They need protection and peace now.

UNICEF is on the ground reaching vulnerable children and families with essential life-saving supplies.
https://www.unicef.org.uk/

Please do donate what you can. At the 10.30am Aldeburgh service on the 19th September all contactless donations will be going to help the appeals

Texts For Today from Coventry Cathedral by
Canon John Giles

Tablets of the Word is the name given to the eight stone slabs on the side walls of the modern Cathedral in Coventry rebuilt in the 1950s. They bear key New Testament verses, beautifully carved by Ralph Beyer. Roughly seven feet long, they face diagonally into the nave so that you can see them and read them as you go up to the Altar.

The carved words of the verses are basic to Christianity. They were chosen by Provost Howard Williams, following his other inspired decision to inscribe “Father Forgive” above the altar in the ruins of the old cathedral, destroyed by German bombs on the night of 14th November, 1940.

The Tablets of the Word give us a series of powerful texts to strengthen our understanding of the message of the New Testament. I will be commenting on them in the coming weeks. Coventry incidentally is the UK City of Culture 2021.

Tablet 1

The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.    Luke 19.11


The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
                              John 10.11

“Are we lost?” asked one of the young. “We’re not lost” said the leader (your correspondent of course) “We just don’t know quite where we are”. The church youth group from St. Mark’s Sheffield was on a Sunday afternoon “Ramble”, in the Peak District. We had ended up on Kinder Scout, one of the bleakest places in the British Isles. Some Ramble! We all got safely back to base in the end, but for a moment there was real uncertainty. Does that ring a bell for us today?

According to Luke, Jesus speaks of himself as Son of Man. He comes amongst us as one of us, as a man, in full humanity, however gifted, where humanity crosses over into divinity. He is not lost himself. His whole concern is for those who are lost. There are so many types of lostness, uncertainty. We might spend a moment thinking quite where lostness hits us, and where Christ’s teaching and example can refix our spiritual and practical compass bearings. And then go on to Part 2 of this Tablet of the Word:

The Good Shepherd. John chapter 10 is directed straight at the disciples, and of course Christ’s followers today. The title of the Good Shepherd was especially dear to the first Christians in Rome. In the catacombs are several wall paintings of a young shepherd dressed in a Roman toga, carrying fire in a bucket, and carrying a sheep on his shoulders. Those first Christians knew full well Christ had given his very life for them. It is that sort of faithfulness and dedication to others at whatever expense that can bring back direction and value to our society today.

We shouldn’t say too much about verses like these. They are far too important to be wrecked by over- elaborate commentary. They need rather just to be repeated again and again to ourselves till the truth behind them really sinks in. And then let thankfulness break out – as it can and surely will.

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Next week –
Sunday 19th September
Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

An Update from The Pilgrims
As a group we are also planning to arrange Zoom Quiz and Storytelling Ceilidh evenings again for the winter months.  These proved very popular, and many people said that they appreciated being able to enjoy such evenings from the comfort of their own armchair!  We would also like to gather people’s thoughts on more Zoom Bible study sessions, as again these too proved very popular. Pilgrim Breakfast and Pilgrim Rambles will be starting again very soon too, more information to follow. We did begin to discuss the venue for our Wednesday gatherings at last week’s online meeting.  Everyone present was in agreement that with the current situation regarding Covid, the Thorpeness Pavilion is too small to meet safely and enjoy face to face Pilgrims with singing, shared food etc (which, as we know, is all very important to our face-to-face gatherings).  Continuing on Zoom was considered best for the foreseeable future; we are very open to any suggestions…one being that Wednesday becomes regular on Zoom, especially now we have a gathered community taking in several members, who live a good distance from the area, and wouldn’t be able to attend face to face. But to look to plan face to face ‘Pilgrim Specials’ (for example Harvest) and find a local hall location which is big enough to safely meet and gather in the way we would like to…
We would love to hear your thoughts on the above and we are open to hearing any other ideas that Pilgrims might engage in within our local community. Please do contact us, email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com

✞ Pilgrims Together on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.

People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for more information

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.

Aldringham Outdoor Services

The services start at 11am, in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting, these services will continue throughout September.

ALL VERY WELCOME

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

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

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

The Return of Our Messy Church Services

We are delighted to be re-starting our much loved Messy Church Services with Harvest Messy Church on
Saturday 18th September 2021 in the Church Hall
10am to 12noon.

Children of any age, parents, and grandparents are all welcome.

No Charge.

A fun morning of crafts, bread making, singing, games and prayer…

If you would like to book a place, please contact
admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

HELPERS NEEDED FOR THIS VERY VALUABLE MINISTRY.
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV. JO!

Another date for your diary:

Christmas Messy Church on Saturday 11th December at
The Fairfield Centre

10am to 12 noon

AGAIN, HELPERS ARE NEEDED…
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV JO!

Compline on Zoom

Compline online services are every Wednesday at 6pm.

All are very welcome.

To join on Zoom, please contact

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

🎶 Alan Bullard Weekly Online Hymns 🎹

Since the lockdown started Alan has recorded over 200 hymns which are available each week to view online. These have been very popular amongst other churches. If you would like to receive these each week, please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk and we will pass this onto Alan. Here is the link to this week’s hymn – For the fruits of all creation – as the season of harvest begins

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AtEyLDlEdaeJg90dJaIAZH2NdN9N4Q

(you don’t need to sign into anything, just press play)
and Alan’s website for your information.

Website

www.alanbullard.co.uk

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 5th September – Fourteenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Curate in Charge, The Revd James Marston

As I began to think about my message to you today over a mid-week macaroni cheese and glass of white wine in the rectory kitchen here in Friston, I thought to myself how so much has happened to me and us in the last two years – flood, plague, lockdowns, uncertainty, and now the retirement of our much-loved incumbent.  

As we keep the show on the road until a new appointment is made, we find ourselves in a strange position – one of pause and reflection, as is natural and expected in a period of vacancy, combined with a renewed energy, and urge to act and do as we emerge blinking into the activity of autumn and the winter months.  

It is my job, I think, to help guide the benefice through this time and try to strike the right balance.  Some habits and customs may fall by the wayside, other fresh ideas and thoughts may emerge – let’s see how it goes.  

Whatever happens this remains an exciting benefice, with much going on and much to look forward to. This week I am preparing for services such as baptisms and memorials and a marriage blessing that have all been requested, following the time of restriction, as people wish to engage once again with church.  And I would commend to you the success, for example, of the benefice choir at Mark’s final service – perhaps this coming together of skill, enthusiasm and passion for praising God gives us food for thought.  

And I urge to you help and encourage Rev Jo with the re-emergence of Messy Church on September 18th, an important area in which the Holy Spirit is clearly busy and an activity in which we can all, from across our group of churches, play our part.  

Curates, assistant priests and even rectors do not work discreetly, away from the community in which they serve, but together with those in the pews and wider community.  

Proclaiming the Gospel and the knowledge of Christ is a team effort and to share the love of God in this place at this time, whatever the challenges, is something I know I and my clergy colleagues are excited to be part of.  

I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and months we meet again as a benefice at the end of October for our All Saints service in which, I hope, we will celebrate, once again, who we are as we praise God together.    

In the meantime, even though the future might seem a little uncertain, this week’s Old Testament reading contains the opposite “Be strong, do not fear!” 

Peace be with you.  

James  

Collect
Almighty God,
whose only Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence:
give us pure hearts and steadfast wills
to worship you in spirit and in 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
Isaiah 35.4-7a
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 

Second Reading
James 2.1-10 [11-13] 14-17
My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. [For the one who said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’, also said, ‘You shall not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgement will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement.] What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Gospel Reading
Mark 7.24-end
From there Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’

Sermon for 5th September
Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity,
by The Revd Mark Lowther

DEUTERONOMY 4: 1-2, 6-9
JAMES 1: 17-END
MARK 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

What is a sermon actually for? Putting together this last one that I’ll preach here as Rector (and laughing to myself that I was starting with this thought – a bit late, you might think!) I did a bit of Googling. There’s lots and lots of American stuff, of course – quite a lot from churches and pastors who are quite used to a sermon that lasts at least half-an-hour – but one observation caught my eye. There was the story of a preacher who arrived in the pulpit of a church where he was the guest preacher to find a notice that said, ‘What are you trying to do to these people’?

We who do preach always hope that the words that we say might actually help a congregation in some way and maybe even encourage them to make positive changes in their lives. But realistically, we know that the chances are that much of the time, the words that we preach will soon end up in the mental recycling bin, forgotten about like a week-old newspaper. But, as anyone who knows me knows, I’m an optimist (I can’t actually see how you can be a Christian and not be an optimist) – so how, with these three readings ringing in our ears, can I offer you a thought or two that might last longer than last week’s Sunday Times? What can I do to you?

Well, let’s get one thing clear straight away. It’s not what I can do to you that really matters, it’s what God can do to you – at best I’m just an enabler. What God can do to you and what you can do for God. In that reading from the Old Testament Moses was telling the people of Israel to observe the rules, the ‘statutes and ordinances’ that God had given him and that their duty was to pass them on to future generations. Which they did.

But there grew up Jewish sects who interpreted ‘the law’ very literally, forgetting to ask themselves why they actually did what they did but just doing it – and giving others who didn’t a hard time. Like the Pharisees. The Pharisees were Jews who, to quote an encyclopaedia definition, ‘continued a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple, applying Jewish law to mundane activities in order to sanctify the every-day world.’ And their ‘holier-than-thou’-ness, their pettiness, not to put too fine a point on it, got Jesus’s goat. He called them ‘hypocrites’ – and the origin of that word is tied up with Greek theatre – it originally meant something like ‘play-acting’ – playing a part, not being yourself.

The issue in question was Jesus and his friends being criticised for not obeying the Jewish purity laws, not washing their hands or their food before they ate. Now we know that washing your hands and your vegetables and fruit is a good thing to do and we know why. But if you didn’t know why (and ordinary 1st-century folk certainly didn’t know what a germ was) and if you blindly just did something because it was in an ancient book of rules it was a very different matter.

The pharisees had a very good reason for being so precious about the laws – it was because, for them, it defined who they were. The laws had come into being, at least in part, to separate the Jews from the peoples whose lands they occupied. ‘We do it this way – we’re not like them’. And here’s where things begin to become a little uncomfortable for us – because we do the same, don’t we? We can all too easily pretend that by doing some things, not doing some things, preserving some outdated things, satisfying ourselves and (we think) making us look good in others’ eyes we are better than others. And God know that we aren’t.

The end of our reading from the Letter of James is very true but potentially very dangerous. He speaks of Christians keeping themselves ‘unstained by the world’. ‘The world’ to James was, of course, the one ruled by a Roman emperor and which had little time for what we might call the ‘human rights’ of the ordinary people of a country like Palestine. The fledgling church told of a very different kind of monarchy, the rule of a heavenly King, a king of love.

So seeing ‘the world’ for what it is and not being seduced by it is vitally important – as much for us now as it was for 1st-century Palestine. But what James doesn’t mean is that we should distance ourselves from the world – because that’s not what God did and does. ‘God so loved the world’ that he came into it in human form. Engaged with people, loved them, healed them, fed them ‘true bread’.

Died for them, rose again, and lives for them now and forever. He lived for others and calls us to do the same. The examples that James gives us are caring for orphans and widows in their distress but that is just one example (a good one) of what living for others means, isn’t it?

I have seen some wonderful examples of people living for others during my time here. Those who devote themselves to a sick partner or friend, those who give huge amounts of their time to help others less fortunate than themselves, those who use their God-given talents in service of one kind or another. To use James’s vocabulary, not just hearers of the word but doers. Wonderful!

Not everything has been quite so positive but, do you know, I have been very touched by the fact that, on more than one occasion in the last week, people who I know disagree with each other have come together for a common cause – to say goodbye to Ro and to me. And may I say a big thank-you for that. And leave you with a quotation from the introduction to a rather wonderful little book called ‘How To Be an Anglican’ by the British former Dean of Philadelphia Cathedral, Richard Giles. It’s quite a long passage (and I’ve trimmed it slightly) but is worth it, I think – and it sums up so well my own feelings today.

Giles writes:

The churches of the Anglican communion often appear to exist chiefly for the purpose of keeping God amused, and indeed that’s no mean calling. It is truly a wonderful, and sometimes comical, creation; a church quite unlike any other, which defies most attempts to classify or tame it, but which is all the stronger for not taking itself too seriously. Certainly it will drive you mad at times, for it lacks the machinery necessary for imposing the party line, and has neither the ruthlessness to expel the intruder nor the earnestness always to get off its backside as quickly as it should. If you persevere you will become exasperated and sometimes angry. You will not find in Anglicanism a structure of cast-iron certainties bolted securely one on top of the other, but neither will you have to suspend your rational thought-processes upon entering our doors.

You will find in Anglican tradition a consistent, holistic approach in which faith is not holed up in a separate ‘religious’ compartment but is part of life. It offers no safe havens or cocoons in which we can evade the piercing eyes of the same Jesus who only had to look at Peter to say all there was to be said. ….. So if you are in the mood for an adventure, and can cope with a degree of uncertainty along the way, able to enjoy the journeying as much as the arriving, then read on.’

How To Be an Anglican, Richard Giles, Canterbury Press 2003

I recommend that you do. And so, Alde Sandlings Benefice, journey on – grow together in love and faith, be ready to laugh and cry together. God has great plans for you. Keep on listening in prayer for what they might be – and then go for it.

Returning to that injunction in a pulpit – What am I (what is God) trying to do to these people? Answer – love them – because God is love. Know that you are loved.

Amen

 

Post Communion
Lord God, the source of truth and love,
keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark’s Farewell Benefice Holy Communion Service
29th August 2021

Last Sunday we said farewell to our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther, and boy did we do him proud! Congregation members from all four churches within the Alde Sandlings Benefice joined together at Aldeburgh Parish Church for the most wonderful Holy Communion Service.

The real treat was to hear the Benefice singers. Alan Bullard had somehow pulled together twenty-four choir members within the Benefice and not only conducted and led the choir, but also wrote two pieces of music especially for this service. So, thank you Alan, and of course Andrew Gosden (organist), and the Benefice Singers for all your work in really making this service extra special. We do hope we can repeat this sooner rather than later.

After the final hymn Revd Johanna Mabey presented Mark with a gift from all the elders, clergy, and Claire in the form of a framed word art gift. We had all put our heads together to put forward words and phrases that best expressed our time with Mark, with some giggles. Then a book was presented, that Revd Jo had asked many people to sign with their best wishes for Mark & Ro as they begin their retirement. Revd James Marston then announced that in the best Anglicans traditions, we’ve had a ‘whip round’ and Mark was then handed a cheque. Coco (the spaniel) was also given a gift of course.

Here are a few photos from the day, which includes the beautifully designed retirement cake baked by Fran Smith, which was presented to Mark & Ro in the Church Hall.

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WE WISH YOU BOTH A VERY HAPPY RETIREMENT MARK & RO (& COCO)

WE REALLY WILL MISS YOU

 

A message from the now retired Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

A short note to say an enormous thank-you to everyone involved in making last Sunday morning so memorable for me, and for Ro. To be honest I’m still processing it all but every time I think back on it, I can’t help smiling to myself. It was so good to have folk from all of the parishes worshipping together, singing together, praying together – a joy. And then there were the gifts. The ‘picture of words’ is just wonderful and each time I look at it I see something new. The collection was so generous, and I promise that we will buy something very special with it to remember the Alde Sandlings by. The things that you all wrote in my leaving book are very moving and it’s particularly good to have the messages from the children at Aldeburgh Primary School. Finally, thanks to the caterers for the wonderful spread in the Church Hall afterwards – with a special mention to Fran for an amazing cake! It must have taken ages to do and I’m so glad to have photos of it before we all tucked in.

It has been a privilege to be your Priest-in-Charge / Rector for the last six years and you will always be in my prayers. And now – look after James and the team (because I know they will look after you) and I pray that someone will be appointed to the Alde Sandlings Benefice who will enjoy being here as much as I have done.

With every blessing, and my love

Mark

Alan Bullard Weekly Online Hymns 
Since the lockdown started Alan has recorded over 200 hymns which are available each week to view online. These have been very popular amongst other churches. If you would like to receive these each week, please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk and we will pass this onto Alan. Here is the link to this week’s hymn, which is Amazing Grace (you don’t need to sign into anything, just press play)
and Alan’s website for your information.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AtEyLDlEdaeJhMkh0k-ed6IfWL0-pg

Website

www.alanbullard.co.uk

Next week –
Sunday 12th September
Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

NOTICES

✞ Pilgrims Together return on Wednesdays ✞

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links

 

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.

 

✟ Aldringham Outdoor Services ✟

The services start at 11am, in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting, these services will continue throughout September.

ALL VERY WELCOME

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

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

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

Friston Ride and Stride Information

Ian & Mary Cycle to Raise Awareness of the
Energy Projects

Ian & Mary Shipman of Friston have raised around £16,000 over 25 years for the Trust, which exists to support the preservation of our valuable Heritage Churches within the county of Suffolk. This year they plan to cycle to 21 churches to raise awareness of the scale and extent of the various energy projects which threaten this area of East Suffolk and the Heritage Coast. The map shows the huge spread of the impacts of the projects on our countryside and communities.

page1image15933776

page1image15933984

Ian & Mary will be cycling 30 miles to visit churches across 16 towns and villages – a challenge but demonstrates the enormity of the energy projects. These are:-

  • Sizewell C the tentacles of which spread from Darsham to Wickham Market
  • Scottish Power Renewables/National Grid with three substations and ancillary equipment covering 32 acres and taking 100 acres out of arable use in Friston alone, plus 9 kilometres of cable routes, 70 metres wide from Thorpeness, via Sizewell and inland to Friston.
  • National Grid Ventures’ proposal to locate the substation for its Nautilus interconnector and cable corridor within the same area, to be connected to the new National Grid substation in Friston. Another planned interconnector Eurolink is also in the pipeline.

If approved, the construction of these projects will extend over 12 years causing major disruption to residents and visitors, threatening the tourist economy, closing footpaths, and causing environmental damage. Our churches will also bear the brunt of this, with Friston Church being less than 250M from the substation site and threatening the peace and tranquillity of the Churchyard and Church itself.

The route will be a physical challenge for Mary on her “sit-up and beg” bike while Ian, despite his age, still enjoying the adrenaline of a racing bike! Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk if you would like to donate. Alternatively online donations may be made on the Just Giving website at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/St-Mary-Friston

The 2021 Suffolk Historic Churches Ride and Stride

Saturday 11th September 9am-5pm

The Annual Sponsored Ride and Stride is a national event, and every second Saturday in September cyclists and walkers all round the country are out making money for their local county Churches Trust.
If you would like to take part, you can either walk, cycle or be a recorder on the day.

WE OF COURSE NEED OUR TEAMS TO BE SPONSORED,
so please do sponsor if you can.

At Aldeburgh there is Adrian and Jill Brown; Richard and Emily Rapior; Mary Sidwell; Ed Wilhelm (Bellringer); Fran Smith (recorder).
Aldeburgh also needs people to sit with Fran throughout the day, 9am to 5pm, to help with recording, in 1 or 2 hour stints.

If you would like to take part, please either:

Email admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk and Claire will pass on your details to the team organiser at each church.

Or see the organiser at the church you worship (Fran Smith, Aldeburgh, David Copp, Aldringham, Simon Ive, Friston) where they will be pleased to give you a sponsor form and take your details.

 

The Return of Our Messy Church Services

We are delighted to be re-starting our much loved Messy Church Services with Harvest Messy Church on
Saturday 18th September 2021 in the Church Hall
10am to 12noon.

Children of any age, parents, and grandparents are all welcome.

No Charge.

A fun morning of crafts, bread making, singing, games and prayer…

If you would like to book a place, Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

HELPERS NEEDED FOR THIS VERY VALUABLE MINISTRY.
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV. JO!

Another date for your diary:

Christmas Messy Church on Saturday 11th December at 
The Fairfield Centre

10am to 12 noon

AGAIN, HELPERS ARE NEEDED…
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV JO!

✞ Compline on Zoom ✞

Compline online services are every Wednesday at 6pm.

All are very welcome.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links

 

Benefice Fun Day

The second Alde Sandlings Fun Day took place last Friday (27th) at Aldeburgh Parish Church. It was an absolute delight to see so many visitors and friends come to join us all. A HUGE THANK YOU to all those who contributed with the donations, baking, helping on the day, and of course the BBQ. The total monies collected on all the stalls was £1,186.08, giving a grand total of £2,061.72 for both weeks.
WELL DONE EVERYONE

 

✟ 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/UC
LecK8GovYoaYzIgyOElKZg

St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/stedscathedral

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 29th August – Thirteenth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

The Vicarage is even more untidy than usual, with piles of things heading for charity shops, recycling, suitcases, or the dustbin. The car has gained a large roof-box. And I have a piece of paper, signed by Bishop Martin, headed ‘Alde Sandlings Benefice’, that says that I ‘resign irrevocably the said benefice from the First day of September 2021’. We’re off! Well actually, though I cease to be the incumbent from next Wednesday, Rosemary and I (and Coco the Spaniel) will be around until September 29th when, all being well, we head off for our ‘gap year’ in France.

I have a lot of people to thank and will do so at various appropriate times. This, though, is my last online pew-sheet and the person I would like to thank here is the one who has made sure that this document reaches you each Saturday morning, at 10.00 precisely, and contains all of the necessary information, readings, etc etc. Claire Turner has been one of my closest colleagues for most of the time that I have been here, and I can honestly say that I could not have done what I have done without her. She has known just the right time to badger me for ‘stuff’, been properly insistent when she needs something from me, always been available for help and advice, and done everything with the most wonderful willingness and humour – we have laughed a great deal! I know that she and James are looking forward to working together during the vacancy – they make a great team. Please do look after Claire – she plays such a vital part in what we do. Every church should have one!

I’ll try my best to record Sunday morning’s service for the Youtube channel. It will be a bit trickier than usual, and I will have to put the camera further back than is ideal but will give it a go – just in case you are unable to be with us.

It has been the most extraordinary privilege to be the incumbent of, first, Aldeburgh and The Whinlands and then the Alde Sandlings Benefice for the last six years. I will take away so many happy memories of people, places, and occasions. Our journeys in faith, and with God, continue and my prayer is that a new incumbent will be appointed who will travel with you, grow alongside you, help you to realise ambitions – and have at least as much fun as I have had! And in the meantime, I know that the churches are in safe hands with James as Curate-in-Charge. Please look after him too – he’ll need and appreciate your love and your prayers. But (as I said last week) I predict that you and he really will be able to go places together and will enjoy the journey.

With my love and prayers, as ever

Mark

Collect
Almighty God, who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
Deuteronomy 4.1-2, 6-9
So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’ For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today? But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.

Second Reading
James 1.17-end
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. 

Gospel Reading
Mark 7.1-8,14,15,21-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, “This people honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.” You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’ Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’ 

 

Sermon for 29th August – Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity,
by The Revd James Marston

Ephesians 6.10-20

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

I often wonder how we would react if we turned on the television, stuffed full of turkey and mince pies, to watch the gracious address by Her Majesty on Christmas day afternoon and it started with the words “What a year I’ve had.”

This year she’s lost her husband and has quite a few family troubles. Fodder, you might call it, for the commentators and column inches serving the public’s appetite for gossip and opinion passing.

In the Book of Common Prayer we pray to God to replenish her with grace, so that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way.

We also ask she is endued plenteously with heavenly gifts; and grant her in health and wealth long to live. It might seem odd to us with our 21st century understanding of wealth to pray for an increase in income of a fairly rich lady but back in 1662 wealth meant something a little different.

The word wealth comes from the old English ‘weal’, which means ‘wealth, welfare, and wellbeing’. Weal is in turn related to the older word ‘wel’, meaning ‘in a state of good fortune, welfare, or happiness. We aren’t praying for a new royal yacht to rule the waves and promote our nation on the global stage – though personally I’d have no problem with that – instead we are really petitioning God to look after her and keep her close. It can’t be easy being her, but she’s made no secret of her sustaining faith, her life of prayer, her trust in the almighty – we know she knows who’s minister she is. She’s also the governor and exemplar of our church, it is to her I swore my ordination oath of obedience.

But keeping our eyes on God is not always easy. The Queen has, in her well documented and long life, gone through the ups and downs of life just as we all do.

Today’s epistle reading – the exhortation to put on the armour of God – is one which Christians turn to again and again. It is St Paul’s extended metaphor on how to survive when we live through difficult times. Times when all seems hopeless and lost, times we’d rather not live through.

St Paul was writing to a small community, a minority community of believers that stood alone in a world of non-believers, a community that needed encouragement to carry on.

For the Ephesians, no matter what hostility is displayed by their fellow townfolk, they are to understand that hostility as emanating from larger, darker, spiritual forces. Such forces cannot be fought by the believers themselves, but are rather to be resisted by faith, prayer and turning together to God.

However, donning of the armour of God on our part does not create us an impenetrable community who does not hear the cries of others. It does however, encourage a boldness in our witness to Christ, a confidence in the power of prayer, a corporate resistance to forces we cannot see and therefore so often dismiss as irrelevant or non-existent.

A final thought: Christian communities like ours are, I believe the lucky ones, we have faith to guide and steer us through the fog of life, thanks to the armour of God we are girded in truth, faith, peace, the Spirit through the word and eucharist, and in prayer for our defense and strength.

Amen.

Post Communion
God our creator, you feed your children with the true manna,
the living bread from heaven: let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage until we come to that place where hunger and thirst are no more; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Mark’s Suffolk Summer Farewell Concert – 22nd August

We started Aldeburgh’s contribution in saying farewell to our Mark last Sunday. The concert began with Revd Jo introducing the concert team, and then handed over to the organiser Geoff Lavery who led the concert.

It was a truly wonderful concert, with Geoff Lavery on piano, Mark Pulman on piano and organ, Linda Lavery on recorder, Sarah Gallop, Soprano, and the Kingfisher quartet, Beth, Isobel, Yan Li and Chris. As Mark said when the concert finished – WOW. Wow indeed. Thank you so much to all the musicians that made the afternoon so special. It will be an afternoon that I am sure many of us will remember fondly.

We then made our way to the Church Hall for tea and cake. Thank you to all our bakers and helpers that really did put on a rather delicious selection of cakes. How lucky are we to be blessed with such talented bakers!

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NOTICES

Pilgrims Together return on Wednesdays

The Pilgrims worship together every Wednesday.
You are all more than welcome to join them via Zoom.  
The worship starts at 6.30pm (Zoom call opens from 6.10pm) and the call is then left open after the worship time for people to catch up.  The worship is about 30 minutes long.  We have a different worship sheet each week which goes out on a Monday ahead of the Wednesday.  
People are more than welcome to email pilgrimstogether473@gmail.com 
to receive a copy or be added to our mailing list.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the link

 

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.

 

Aldringham Outdoor Services

The services start at 11am (not 29th) in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting, these services will continue throughout
August and September.

ALL VERY WELCOME

 

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

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

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

Friston Ride and Stride Information

Ian & Mary Cycle to Raise Awareness of the
Energy Projects

Ian & Mary Shipman of Friston have raised around £16,000 over 25 years for the Trust, which exists to support the preservation of our valuable Heritage Churches within the county of Suffolk. This year they plan to cycle to 21 churches to raise awareness of the scale and extent of the various energy projects which threaten this area of East Suffolk and the Heritage Coast. The map shows the huge spread of the impacts of the projects on our countryside and communities.

page1image15933776

Ian & Mary will be cycling 30 miles to visit churches across 16 towns and villages – a challenge but demonstrates the enormity of the energy projects. These are:-

  • Sizewell C the tentacles of which spread from Darsham to Wickham Market
  • Scottish Power Renewables/National Grid with three substations and ancillary equipment covering 32 acres and taking 100 acres out of arable use in Friston alone, plus 9 kilometres of cable routes, 70 metres wide from Thorpeness, via Sizewell and inland to Friston.
  • National Grid Ventures’ proposal to locate the substation for its Nautilus interconnector and cable corridor within the same area, to be connected to the new National Grid substation in Friston. Another planned interconnector Eurolink is also in the pipeline.

If approved, the construction of these projects will extend over 12 years causing major disruption to residents and visitors, threatening the tourist economy, closing footpaths, and causing environmental damage. Our churches will also bear the brunt of this, with Friston Church being less than 250M from the substation site and threatening the peace and tranquillity of the Churchyard and Church itself.

page1image15933984

The route will be a physical challenge for Mary on her “sit-up and beg” bike while Ian, despite his age, still enjoying the adrenaline of a racing bike! If you would like to support Ian & Mary, please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk. Alternatively online donations may be made on the Just Giving website at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/St-Mary-Friston

The 2021 Suffolk Historic Churches Ride and Stride

Saturday 11th September 9am-5pm

The Annual Sponsored Ride and Stride is a national event, and every second Saturday in September cyclists and walkers all round the country are out making money for their local county Churches Trust.
If you would like to take part, you can either walk, cycle or be a recorder on the day, or of course, you might like to
sponsor one of the team, please either:

Email admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk and Claire will pass on your details to the team organiser at each church.

Or see the organiser at the church you worship (Fran Smith, Aldeburgh, David Copp, Aldringham, Simon Ive, Friston) where they will be pleased to give you a sponsor form and take your details.

 

The Return of Our Messy Church Services

We are delighted to be re-starting our much loved Messy Church Services with Harvest Messy Church on
Saturday 18th September 2021 in the Church Hall
10am to 12noon.

Children of any age, parents, and grandparents are all welcome.

No Charge.

A fun morning of crafts, bread making, singing, games and prayer…

If you would like to book a place, please contact
Revd. Jo via email: admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk

HELPERS NEEDED FOR THIS VERY VALUABLE MINISTRY.
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV. JO!

Another date for your diary:

Christmas Messy Church on Saturday 11th December at 
The Fairfield Centre

10am to 12 noon

AGAIN, HELPERS ARE NEEDED…
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH REV. JO!

 

✞ Friston Compline on Zoom ✞

St Mary’s Compline online services are every Wednesday at 6pm.

All are very welcome.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the links

Next week –
Sunday 5th September
Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 22nd August – Twelfth Sunday of Trinity

Message from our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther

I can’t quite believe that this will be my penultimate ‘pew-sheet top’
(as Claire and I call it). My diary is full of final things – last services in particular churches, last PCC meetings etc etc. But I’ll restrain myself from any farewell thoughts for now and concentrate on looking forward. From the conversations that I have already heard I know that, during the vacancy, our benefice is going to be in safe hands. James will be ‘curate-in-charge’ and I know that he already has plenty of plans forming for the upcoming major occasions in the church diary – from Harvest Festival, via Remembrance Sunday to Advent and Christmas. But he can only do what needs doing with your support and I would ask that you give him that support generously. If you do, I predict that, together, you will really be able to go places.

A final plug for the second and last of the Aldeburgh Friday Markets – August 27th from 10 until 2, with a delicious barbeque available from Midday. At the previous market, on the 13th, it was so good to see representatives from the Friends of Aldringham Church and St Lawrence’s, Knodishall running their own stalls and making some money for their own churches. And, though it was quite unlike any Friday Market we have held before, fun was had, and good conversation enjoyed. A huge thank-you to the organising team, who have dealt so well with the challenges of recent months – and please do come and enjoy all that will be on offer on Friday.

With my love and prayers, as ever

Mark

 

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray
and to give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid
and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask
but through the merits and mediation of 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
Joshua 24: 1-2a, 14-18
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God.  And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. ‘Now therefore revere the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’ Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’

Second Reading
Ephesians 6.10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. 

Gospel Reading
John 6.56-69
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’ Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’

Sermon for 22nd August – Twelfth Sunday after Trinity,
by The Revd James Marston

Luke 1 46 -55

Today, in our gospel reading, we have just heard Mary’s song of praise – known as the magnifcat – one of the most well-known songs in the Christian tradition, one of the ancient hymns of the faith.

Perhaps time and repetition can dull our senses and it is perhaps a bit too easy to think the mag – as it is known in churchy circles – is simply that bit we say between the readings at evening prayer. But in fact, it is an extraordinary statement and outburst of praise – often reflected in the power of its musical settings.

In this statement, Mary, gives a hint of the gospel before the gospel is written. She outlines the revolutionary message that Jesus’ life death resurrection and ascension actually mean – the lifting up of the lowly, the subjugation of pride, the feeding of the hungry; trusting in great mercy of God rather than in money and wealth.

Thus, the magnificat is also a world changing statement of faith, indeed an early manifesto of Christianity that reflects and heralds the victory of the resurrection long before it actually happens.

And above all, the magnifcat sets the tone for the entire Gospel – because the child Mary bears is bringing something so different, so radical, so life changing, that she’ll be blessed by generations to come. God has looked on her with great favour, even though she’s just a lowly handmaiden.

And there’s more. The Song of Mary is also deeply imbued with Old Testament quotations, verses Mary would have known since childhood. Verses that pointed towards a saviour of the world who would be the fulfilment of ancient prophesies. Mary is not only expressing what is to come but she is also proclaiming what has been spoken about for centuries – the ancient prophesies were true after all.

But the story behind the story, it seems to me, is perhaps something far simpler – that of a mother to be excited about the baby that is to come and sharing that delight with those around her.

And the excitement and joy that Mary experiences flows out off her in an expression of spontaneous gratitude to God. It is a response of worship. Mary is expressing her faith with such confidence her words have been repeated and cherished, set to music and remembered for centuries. Mary is also saying yes to God’s service with deep joy and willingness of heart.

And I think it is from this confidence and this joy that we can draw hope and inspiration.

It seems to me that much of the times we are living through has revolved around a surfeit of insecurity and quite a big dose of fear.

We must be careful not let fear rule and manage our lives. As Christians we are peddlers of a message of hope, as a congregation we are a beacon in our community of confidence in God.

The Song of Mary is a confident expression of hope – that God is here, and he is with us. As a Christian community, the body of Christ in this place, we are called to share the confidence of our faith with the wider community.

This week our Friday markets – and I managed to pick up a nice selection of cheese scones and sausage rolls – showed once again our visible engagement with the community in which we live.

We not only brought the benefice together in relationship and fellowship but showed Aldeburgh and those among whom we live that we are still here, still keeping the faith, still bearers of hope. May we continue to grow in that confidence in the coming weeks and months.

And we are also called, like Mary, to say yes to God with a willing heart and to praise and worship God in thanks and gratitude –it is no coincidence that the theology of Holy Communion service has thanksgiving at its root.

Today as we come together to pray, give thanks, and encourage one another, let us be renewed in our faith, thankful for all we have and all we are, let us say yes to God once again and go out into the world to celebrate in our lives and in all we do, the extraordinary saviour Mary bore.

Amen.

Post Communion
God of all mercy, in this eucharist you have set aside our sins
and given us your healing:
grant that we who are made whole in Christ
may bring that healing to this broken world,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

NOTICES

Mark’s Retirement – UPDATED

A huge thank you to all those who have been in contact to reserve seating for the concert and benefice service for Mark’s retirement farewell events. This has been a huge help to let us know your wishes regarding being seated socially distanced, or not. The main objective was to make sure that EVERYONE is comfortable and feels happy when attending a large gathering in one building. We are now fully booked for the Holy Communion Service. A BIG THANK YOU to Ken Smith for arranging the seating plans. No small task.
We support the government and Church of England guidance and “expect and recommend” people to wear a mask during the concert and the service.

 

Tuesday Coffee Morning with Mark & Friends

Our LAST Zoom coffee morning with Mark, will be from 10.30am – 11.30am on Tuesday. All are very welcome. Grab your favourite morning beverage and let’s have a good ole chat.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the link

 

Pilgrims Together

The Pilgrim’s will be taking an August break from the Wednesday evening Zoom gatherings. They will be returning on Wednesday 1st September. They continue to worship by The Meare at Thorpeness, this being the last of the summer services this Sunday 22nd at 9.30am. ALL VERY WELCOME

 

Aldringham Outdoor Services

The services start at 11am in the beautiful Aldringham churchyard. Weather permitting, these services will continue throughout
August and September.

ALL VERY WELCOME

Food Banks at the East of England Co-op

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

 

The Trussel Trust Organisation

Food banks in our network have seen an increase in the number of food parcels given out over the last year due to Coronavirus, so any donations are much appreciated. You can find out which items your local food bank is most in need of by entering your postcode here – https://www.trusselltrust.org/give-food/ 

01722 580 178 or emailing supportercare@trusselltrust.org

 

Friston Compline on Zoom

St Mary’s Compline online services are every Wednesday at 6pm.

All are very welcome.

Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk for the link

 

Alde Sandlings Benefice Fun Day in August

The next Friday Market is August 27th 10am – 2pm
The stalls are as follows:

BBQ, Vegetables, Plants, Fruit and Flowers, Cakes and Savouries, Jams etc, Craft Stalls, General Bric a Brac. Tombola and Games. All the churches in the Alde Sandlings are invited to have their chosen stalls to raise much depleted funds for the churches. Please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk if any church members of the Alde Sandlings Benefice would like to have a stall.


Congratulations to the two people that were the closest on guessing how many sweets were in the jar (54)
on the first Friday market.
A big THANK YOU to all those who guessed.

WANTED for Friday Markets 

CAKES, SAVOURIES, JAMS, PRESERVES, PRODUCE,
PLANTS, GOOD QUALITY BRIC A BRAC, JEWELLERY,
SCARVES, HANDBAGS, CRAFTS, GIFT ITEMS
Items can be taken to the Church Hall after 4pm on Thursday before the market, or the morning of market.

Friston Ride and Stride Information

Ian & Mary Cycle to Raise Awareness of the
Energy Projects

Ian & Mary Shipman of Friston have raised around £16,000 over 25 years for the Trust, which exists to support the preservation of our valuable Heritage Churches within the county of Suffolk. This year they plan to cycle to 21 churches to raise awareness of the scale and extent of the various energy projects which threaten this area of East Suffolk and the Heritage Coast. The map shows the huge spread of the impacts of the projects on our countryside and communities.

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Ian & Mary will be cycling 30 miles to visit churches across 16 towns and villages – a challenge but demonstrates the enormity of the energy projects. These are:-

  • Sizewell C the tentacles of which spread from Darsham to Wickham Market
  • Scottish Power Renewables/National Grid with three substations and ancillary equipment covering 32 acres and taking 100 acres out of arable use in Friston alone, plus 9 kilometres of cable routes, 70 metres wide from Thorpeness, via Sizewell and inland to Friston.
  • National Grid Ventures’ proposal to locate the substation for its Nautilus interconnector and cable corridor within the same area, to be connected to the new National Grid substation in Friston. Another planned interconnector Eurolink is also in the pipeline.

If approved, the construction of these projects will extend over 12 years causing major disruption to residents and visitors, threatening the tourist economy, closing footpaths, and causing environmental damage. Our churches will also bear the brunt of this, with Friston Church being less than 250M from the substation site and threatening the peace and tranquillity of the Churchyard and Church itself.

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The route will be a physical challenge for Mary on her “sit-up and beg” bike while Ian, despite his age, still enjoying the adrenaline of a racing bike! If you would like to support Ian & Mary, please contact admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk. Alternatively online donations may be made on the Just Giving website at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/St-Mary-Friston

The 2021 Suffolk Historic Churches Ride and Stride

Saturday 11th September 9am-5pm

The Annual Sponsored Ride and Stride is a national event, and every second Saturday in September cyclists and walkers all round the country are out making money for their local county Churches Trust.
If you would like to take part, you can either walk, cycle or be a recorder on the day, or of course, you might like to
sponsor one of the team, please either:

Email admin@aldeburghparishchurch.org.uk and Claire will pass on your details to the team organiser at each church.

Or see the organiser at the church you worship (Fran Smith, Aldeburgh, David Copp, Aldringham, Simon Ive, Friston) where they will be pleased to give you a sponsor form and take your details.

Next week – Sunday 29th August
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Our Rector, The Revd Mark Lowther Retirement

Mark’s last service will be on Sunday 29th August at 10.30am at Aldeburgh Parish Church. This will be a Benefice Holy Communion Service. We thank everyone that has been in touch to reserve seating, stating whether they wish to be socially distanced or not. This has helped us hugely knowing your preferences, that you feel happy and comforatble in attending a large gathering within a building. We now wish to advise that we are fully booked for this service.