Colin

Shellrock Ramblings - 13th June

Peggy Joan Thomas

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Peggy Thomas has died, 11 days short of her 100th birthday.

 

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 2nd May

My Dear Friends

Earlier this week we had a ministry team meeting following on from all the APCMs that took place last week. One of the topics we discussed was the on-going issue of communication, about church services and events connected with the church. As you know Colin has been chiefly responsible for co-ordinating communication and has done so effectively and efficiently for a long while. Before lockdown Ramblings consisted of just a list of the key services, events, and a small amount of “special” news.

At lockdown it was decided that in addition to the telephone calls and e-mails I make, I would try to keep in touch with everyone by sending an introductory reflection on the week which would be contained in each week’s Ramblings. Now that we have the opportunity more readily to meet face to face we decided at the ministry team that this would no longer be necessary. So ------ this is my last, at least for the time being, although Ramblings as it has been previously, will continue, along with several other sources of information, including new magazines. 

I also want to let you know that I shall be away from 7th-21st of May. We are having some work done on our house and shall be without water, gas, electricity etc. Hopefully on our return the worst of the disruption will be over.

Finally, I am adding below the letter received from our Bishop Graham about the appointment of the new Bishop of Lynn. I know that not all of you take the EDP where it was announced, and this pastoral letter gives information about her. 

You remain in my thoughts each day.

My love to you all

Christina

Letter from the Bishop of Norwich

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

I am delighted to let you know that 10 Downing Street has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Jane Steen, currently Archdeacon of Southwark, to be the next Bishop of Lynn. Archdeacon Jane has a deep pastoral care for the people and communities that she serves currently in Southwark and has a rich experience of mission in the Church of England, including supporting church communities to flourish. She will bring these aspects, together with her great sense of joy and fun, to the role of Bishop of Lynn. ------- Archdeacon Jane will be consecrated a bishop in Norwich Cathedral on the Feast Day of St Etheldreda, 23rd June 2021. For further details please see the news article and a short video where Archdeacon Jane introduces herself:

https://www.dioceseofnorwich.org/news/new-bishop-of-lynn-announced/

I am confident that Jane and her husband, Pip, will soon come to love this diocese and its people. Please pray for them today and as they prepare to join us. May we be a blessing to them, as they will be a blessing to us

Notices

Sunday 2nd May, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 8 v 26-end, Psalm 22 v 25-end, 1 John 4 v 7–end, John 15 v 1-8

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Sunday 9th May, the sixth Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 10 v 44-end, Psalm 98, 1 John 5 v 1-6, John 15 v 9-17

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with members of the Church Leaders’ Group, Ireland

10.45am BBC1 - Sunday Morning Stories, the Revd Kate Bottley share tales of faith, hope and spirituality

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, with Claire McCollum and Sean Fletcher

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from St Peter’s Eaton Square, London (23 April 2021)

This will be the final program listing.  I hope they have been of some use during this period of limited Sunday services.  Of course, the programs will continue! CT

Centering Prayer

‘Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, that is prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us.’

Prior to our first lockdown in 2020, a workshop was being organised to introduce this form of prayer to our benefice.  Obviously this got cancelled.  Now the bonds of isolation and restrictions are being loosened I have started the process of organising this workshop again.  It is likely to be held on a Saturday in July or (more likely) early Autumn, and will run from 10am to 4pm.

I have attended one workshop on this form of prayer and it is simple and effective.  It can be used as part of your individual prayer or within a group prayer session.

So are you interested?

It would be helpful to have an idea of numbers for this workshop before I go too far into the planning stage.  So can you please let me know of your interest either by email on colin.thomas196@btinternet.com or by telephone on 01953 453455.  Although this is essentially a form of Christian prayer, it appears that some who have attended a workshop have no religious belief and found it beneficial, so it is open to everyone.

Thank you.

Colin

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 25th April

My Dear Friends

Speaking to several people during the week, they all remarked about what a shock it is to go to a busier schedule. Certainly, I have felt it as this week has been particularly active with quite a lot of time being taken up with the Annual General meetings of the 5 PCCs, and which need to happen before the end of April. This year has been complicated because of course last year it was only possible to meet via zoom or through e-mails, so there was more business to get through.

At the RAS meeting we said goodbye to John Scase who is retiring as warden of that parish, and also as a member of the PCC. John has been a wonderful warden, totally reliable, extremely conscientious, and always head of the game in terms of seeing what needs doing and ensuring the smooth material functioning of this church. The role and duties of a warden are often underestimated. There should be two wardens for each church in order to share the work- load, and for too many years John has been on his own. We are glad that he will be having a rest from this heavy responsibility, but of course he will be sorely missed. John, we thank you for everything you have done for the parish of RAS as well as the benefice as a whole.

In addition to the five annual meetings, we have had two funerals: Isobel Rann on Monday 19th at Breckland crematorium and Anne Ellis on Thursday 22nd at RAS.  We shall continue to pray for their families and friends.

The weather on several days has been gorgeous and all of us must surely be grateful for some warmth for our tired bodies. Robin and I went for a lovely walk in Merton earlier in the week and just caught the tail end of the daffodils. The ground was covered with them. I would certainly recommend Merton as a not too difficult walk, not just now but at any time of the year. On the way back we called for a beer in a marquee outside a pub, the first opportunity for many months. I guess there will be many firsts for the next weeks ahead, including the opportunity to greet new grandchildren and relatives who are in care. It’s not over yet, but slowly and surely, we’re emerging out of what for so many has been such a difficult and indeed traumatic time.

My love to you all

Christina

Notices

Sunday 25th April, the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 4 v 5-12, Psalm 23, 1 John 3 v 16–end, John 10 v 11-18

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

Sunday 2nd May, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 8 v 26-end, Psalm 22 v 25-end, 1 John 4 v 7–end, John 15 v 1-8

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd Ann Easter, former royal chaplain

10.30am BBC1 - Sunday Morning Stories, the Revd Kate Bottley share tales of faith, hope and spirituality

* 1.15pm BBC2 - Songs of Praise, with Revd Kate Bottley

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from London Church of St Matthew, Westminster (6 April 2021)

* change of channel for football again.

 

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 18th April

My Dear Friends

It has been a strange week. There’s been so much to be pleased about as on the 12th there was some more lifting of restrictions. But then we were saddened as we became aware of the loss of yet another of our well known Rockland friends. We heard of the sudden death of Ann, loved for herself and her cheerful disposition and warm welcome at the door of RAS as we came in for the morning services. And of course, before the weekend we heard about Prince Phillip, the Queen’s loss of a husband of 73 years; a long time indeed.

It is still the case in some quarters that whenever grief is mentioned the name of Elisabeth Kubler Ross comes to the fore. She developed a theory that grief manifests in five stages which she called denial, anger, bargaining (often with God), depression and acceptance. Like Richard Coles writing on his experience of loving and losing, I have always been doubtful about the neat and tidy stage model. In the experience of many, grief “does what it wants to do: it is not obedient to psychological patterning or theological argument” (Coles, 2020). So, we need always to be extremely sensitive to the varied ways in which people express their feelings about a loss. Assume nothing; listen carefully.

Just as each of us has a unique way of expressing ourselves following a loss, so it is with our religious and spiritual beliefs and preferred practices in worship, and this takes me to the other subject of my ramblings this morning! Yesterday afternoon the benefice team met face to face for the first time in many months.  Zoom has certainly had its benefits, but it was such a relief to be able to see and hear each other without electronic devices.  We looked at and shall continue to discuss the pattern of services for the whole benefice for several months ahead. In these planning meetings we try to be respectful of as many shades of opinion as possible, but I have no doubt that there will be some who would prefer what is not being provided. Do please let us know your views. That is the only way that we can be truly responsive to your needs, wants and preferences. 

My love to you all.

Christina 

Notices

Sunday 18th April, the Third Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 3 v 12-19, Psalm 4, 1 John 3 v 1–7, Luke 24 v 36b-48

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Monday 19th April

13.00   Scoulton Crematorium - Funeral of Isabella Rann

19.00   St James, Great Ellingham - APCM in the church

Tuesday 20th April

19.00   St Peter, Little Ellingham - APCM in the church

 Thursday 22nd April

14.00 Rockland All Saints - Funeral of Anne Ellis followed by burial in the Methodist graveyard in Chapel Street Rocklands

Sunday 25th April, the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 4 v 5-12, Psalm 23, 1 John 3 v 16–end, John 10 v 11-18

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

(Please note that attendance at funerals is still limited to 30 people.)

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship from Bishopthorpe, residence of the Archbishop of York

10.30am BBC1 - Sunday Morning Stories, the Revd Kate Bottley with tales of faith, hope and spirituality.

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, with Katherine Jenkins talking to the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Worcester Cathedral (April 2009)

Shellrock News

With the change to the management of the village magazines, the church news will be confined to those churches covered by that magazine.

In order that everyone is informed as to what is happening in the benefice the Shellrock News will, once again, be circulated at the Benefice service on the Fourth Sunday of each month.  You can receive your copy either by email or as a hard copy (on paper).  It will also be sited on our website.  Hard copies will also be made available in each of the churches for visitors.

As the default, I shall send the Shellrock News to all the recipients of the Ramblings as an email, but if you would prefer your copy as a hard copy please let me know via my email colin.thomas196@btinternet.com.  Please let me know of anyone else who would like a copy.

A reminder to anyone who wishes to have something included in the Shellrock News or the Ramblings, please give me the information and preferably a few days before publication.  If I am not informed, it can’t be included.

George Reeve

Sadly we have been informed of the death of George Reeve, wife of Ann Reeve, after a long illness.  We send our sincere condolences to Ann and the family.  Please keep them all in your prayers.

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 11th April

My Dear Friends

I think it was TS Eliot who wrote “April is the cruellest month.” It has certainly been a topsy turvy one so far, with lovely warm summery days followed by the bitterest chill that sometimes hits East Anglia. But as promised, we managed our five Easter day services, one in each parish, and this was such a joy to be meeting people face to face after such a long absence.

From now onwards there will be services in both the Rockland and Ellingham churches, as well as at Shropham. Over the next few weeks, we shall be working together on a rota indicating where and when these will be, and we shall communicate this rota as widely as possible. Because of the return to regularity of services, we shall not be publishing a written weekly reflection, which has been something which Sue and I have done during the past few months.

As little by little we are coming out of this most difficult of years, we have a great deal to think about. In the Rockland churches alone, seven of our faithful members have died (not of covid) and we haven’t been able to mourn them as we would have liked. For months the phrase “the new normal“ has been on people’s lips. But what is that new normal when it comes to a benefice of five parishes? And where usefully does the church fit with the villages and people we serve? We shall also be thinking of the way ahead in terms of how we can most effectively respond to the issues of the day. As Mike Starkey, a writer in the Church Times, this week noted: “It is hard to think of a commodity more urgently needed in today’s world than hope. The C20th narrative of human progress has been found wanting:  we emerge from the pandemic against a backdrop of climate crisis and a re-birth of authoritarian politics. The loss of hope is tangible”.

I think you know by now that I am a fan of the Church Times and this week there was a poem in it which I really enjoyed. This was written by Dallin Chapman, a novelist and poet, when he was recovering from a severe episode of Covid. It was inspired by the phrase ‘and we give thanks for that’ which he heard regularly in daily services.

And I give thanks for that –

Dawn whispering at the window

Nudging memory, books by the bedside

Waiting to be read,

Far echoes of a kettle coming to the boil,

Footsteps on the stairs.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that ---

Kindness, a doctor who took

Time, a nurse who ignored

Night to combat fear,

Care and circles of concern, the distant telephone.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that --

Grasses and scent of spring

Squirrel busy on the lawn,

Birds enjoying our berries,

Faint murmur of mowing,

Wide morning sky, and snowdrops,

The trees’ ancient lullabies.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that ---

For life and breath, for chance

To dream again of longer days, touch

Of loved ones’ hands, of laughter

And visiting old friends.

For just being.

 I give thanks for that.

With my love to you all

Christina

Notices

Sunday 11th April, the Second Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 4 v 32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1 v 1 – 2 v 2, John 20 v 19-end

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

Wednesday 14th April

13.30 Rockland St Peter - Benefice Team meeting

 Sunday 18th April, the Third Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 3 v 12-19, Psalm 4, 1 John 3 v 1–7, Luke 24 v 36b-48

 10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship exploring the road to Emmaus

10.30am BBC1 - Sunday Morning Stories, the Revd Kate Bottley with tales of faith, hope and spirituality.

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, tributes to HRH Prince Philip

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from St Matthew’s Church, Westminster

Ann Ellis

Sadly we have been informed of the sudden death of Ann Ellis, a member of Rocklands All Saints church.  We send our sincere condolences to her family, especially her children Jessica, Megan, Greg, and her brother Roger.  Please keep them all in your prayers.

Ramblings

Just a reminder that if you want anything in the Ramblings to be communicated to the rest of the benefice, then you need to tell me.  I usually send the Ramblings out on Saturday afternoon.  You can contact me via telephone 01953 453455 or email colin.thomas196@btinternet.com.

It is still uncertain as to how the benefice news will continue to be communicated.  Hopefully the Benefice Team meeting on Wednesday will clarify this.  If you have any views then please let me know.

As Christina has indicated, as church services have now resumed the service and reflections circulated each week will cease effective from now.  I would like to thank both Sue and Christina for their contributions each week which has given us the opportunity to hold our own worship at home.  We now look forward to hearing them within the walls of our church buildings once again.

CT

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 4th April

My Dear Friends

Earlier in the year in one of these weekly ramblings I was speaking about journeys, the real and the metaphorical.  We are now almost at the end of a journey through Lent, this wonderful opportunity for reflection.

Today as I write, we would have been preparing for the Maundy Thursday service which it has been our custom to hold as an ‘agape’ meal at Rockland St Peter (agape is a Greek word for unconditional love). I always look forward to this service as it brings together the central aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry through the readings set for the day. On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper when Jesus, much to the protests of Peter, knelt to wash the disciples’ feet.  For me, it highlights wonderfully well Jesus’ true humility and the example he gave to us all, of respecting the dignity of every person. There will be many churches in the land where this ritual of foot washing is actively recalled, but not in our own benefice. 

Another of the set readings for the day is from St Paul (1 Corinthians 11) and it recalls Jesus’ words which we use each time we celebrate Holy Communion. But perhaps central to the way we are intended to follow as disciples are those words spoken by Jesus towards the end of this supper with his friends. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13, 1-7 and 31-35).

On Good Friday, for those who were NOT able to walk or to attend the 3.00 pm service at St James there have been a wonderful variety of programmes, on radio and TV, with the story of Our Lord’s crucifixion told in different ways as well as being able to hear inspiring music.

And then there is Easter. For the first time for a long while, we have been able to arrange for each of the five churches in the Shellrock Benefice to have an Easter Day service. We have been able to achieve this by having different service times (9.30 at Shropham and Little Ellingham, 10.30 at Rockland All Saints and Great Ellingham, 11.30 at Rockland St Peter). Sue will be presiding at the Ellinghams and I shall be at Shropham and the two Rockland Churches. I am very pleased that we have been able to manage this and particularly for those churches where there has been no service for a considerable time. But I must confess that for me personally there is a down-side in that I won’t be there to greet people in the Ellinghams on this special Easter Day. I shall miss you.

I began with “journeys” and perhaps it is with this metaphor that I should end. During the past year, it has been a journey, sometimes seemingly endless, and for all of us in different ways. We had little idea of what we would be facing in March 2020 and there have been times of despair on the way. But the end IS in sight and although care is still required of us, we are reaching that point where we can begin to be a little freer in meeting people, seeing family members and friends, and be together again as a community of disciples. Who knows, we might very soon be able to raise the roof with our singing. Just in case, let’s keep practising!  

I wish you a blessed Easter and love to you all,

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 4th April, Easter Sunday

Readings: Acts 10 v 34-43, Psalm 118 v 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15 v 1-11, Mark 16 v 1-8

Collect: Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him; grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen

Sunday 11th April, the Second Easter of Sunday

Readings: Acts 4 v 32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1 v 1 – 2 v 2, John 20 v 19-end

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

From this Sunday, 11th, St James will be hosting a Morning Service to which everyone is invited.  In accordance with the current rules, social distancing will be in place and congregational singing will still not be allowed.  However it is intended to start ‘normalising’ this service in preparation for better times ahead.

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Easter Sunday Worship from Canterbury Cathedral

10.00am BBC1 - Easter Day Eucharist, from Canterbury Cathedral

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, with Katherine Jenkins from Llandaff Cathedral

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, an Easter service, live from Manchester Cathedral

Singing

The latest rules on singing in churches have been relaxed.  Congregational singing is now allowed outdoors within the confines of the churchyard and with each ‘bubble’ socially distanced.  Singing indoors is confined to a small number of socially distanced people but not the congregation.

Isabella Rann

We have been informed that, sadly, Isabella Rann of Rocklands has recently died.  Our sincere commiserations to Shirley and Laura at their loss.  Please hold them in your prayers.

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 28th March

My Dear Friends

This morning (Thursday) I was at Rocklands, taking the funeral of a well-known local farmer. After the tribute, one of his family read an extract from the farmer’s diary which he’d been keeping since being a young lad.  As I was listening, I was struck by the daily rhythm of this man’s life. It provided structure and meaning; the regularity of the changing seasons with their necessary tasks to be completed, seedtime and harvest, birth and death. For the farming community of course, this kind of rhythm remains, but during this last year, many people have lost the security of a sure structure of work outside the home, the normal school day, meeting with colleagues and/or friends, the letting go at the pub or cinema on a Friday night, and so on. I believe this loss of a regular pattern, and with it a growing uncertainty about “what comes next”, has contributed to the growing numbers who have become mentally unwell.

The other thing that struck me as I was coming away from the funeral is that in the villages served by the Shellrock churches several of our friends will have gone from our midst. This of course is the tiniest fraction of the total loss of life being experienced in the UK. On Tuesday of this week we were reflecting on the loss of 126,000 lives as a result of covid, some families having been decimated, as they were during the war, by the loss of several members.

I don’t know what you did on Tuesday. I lit a row of candles and put them on the porch window-sill, just a token. There would have been no such rituals for the mourners of those who died. The pandemic took away those important symbols which give meaning at the time of loss of a loved one:   no wakes; no places of worship packed with mourners; no funny and public reminiscences about the person who has died; no hugs of comfort from friends.  A man writing in one of our newspapers said “I’ve been robbed ------it feels like you’re in limbo. It’s hard to move on”.

Quite apart from those who have died, it has been estimated that there are around 37,000 people who are currently experiencing what has been called “long covid” and some of these have been very severely affected and are disabled by the condition.  We all of us long to move on.  I certainly do and am very happy that, unlike last year, we shall be having services in all five of our benefice churches on Easter Sunday. As we do move forward though, perhaps we can all continue to remember those whose lives will never be the same. 

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 28th March, Palm Sunday

Readings: Psalm 118 v 1-2, 19-end, Mark 11 v 1-11

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race, sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility and also be made partakers of his resurrection; 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. Amen

10.30am-11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer (Palm crosses will be available during this ‘service’ and at Little Ellingham at 11.45)

Monday 29th March to Thursday 1st April, Holy Week

The Revd Sue Strutt will devote her mornings through Holy week to being in St James Great Ellingham at 10.00am and at St Peter, Little Ellingham at 10.45am for a scripture reading and prayer.  Sue invites everyone in the benefice to join her.

Friday 2nd April, Good Friday

Readings: Isaiah 52 v 13 – 53 v end, Psalm 22, Hebrews 10 v 16-25, John 18 v 1 – 19 v end

14.00 St James, Great Ellingham - Walk of witness around village

15.00 St James, Great Ellingham - Good Friday service

Sunday 4th April, Easter Sunday

Readings: Acts 10 v 34-43, Psalm 118 v 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15 v 1-11, Mark 16 v 1-8

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Holy Communion

0 9.30 St Peter, Little Ellingham - Holy Communion

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Morning Prayer

11.30 Rockland St Peter - Holy Communion

09.30 Shropham - Holy Communion BCP

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship A celebratory service for Palm Sunday

11.00am BBC1 - Lent Worship, from Hale Barns in Greater Manchester

1.15pm BBC2 - Songs of Praise, with Aled Jones, ‘Finding Hope’

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Wells Cathedral (2016)

8.00pm BBC4 - Brotherhood: the Inner Life of Monks

Singing

Information has been received from the diocese giving us further guidance on singing in our worship.  Though the government rules are being relaxed there is a lot of information to sift through to get an accurate picture of what is and what isn’t allowed.  More information will be given in due course, but it does appear we all shall shortly be allowed to sing outside within the confines of the churchyard.  So, being the optimists we all are, start loosening up those vocal chords in preparation.

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 21th March

My Dear Friends

This time last year I was lamenting the fact that the very important and much loved occasions for meeting around Holy Week and Easter were not going to be possible. It is with enormous relief that this year we are going to be able to have services in all of our churches on Easter Day and some other opportunities for meeting during Holy Week. You will see below the schedule of local services and activities that we have brought together.

I know that some of you are still shielding, or are needing to be extremely careful about going outside the house. For those of you who will not be going out, there are a lot of splendid services on all television and radio channels as well as plenty of documentaries on “religious themes”. A couple of years ago as part of our Lent study programme, a group of us went to a synagogue and a mosque and had speakers to give us a talk on Modern Judaism and Islam. Those of us who were involved learned a good deal from these ventures into other faiths. The reason why I mention this is that I have noticed a 5 part BBC1 series called “Being” which begins on 27th March. These 5 programmes will be looking at what ritual means for individuals from Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities. We all benefit by being aware of and attempting understanding of each other.  

Next Tuesday is the Day of Reflection and this is an opportunity to remember all that has happened over the past year, to mourn those who have died but also to give thanks for the care received both in hospitals and communities throughout the nation. At 12.00 midday there will be a minute’s silence and we are all invited to keep this as a mark of remembrance and respect. For those people throughout the country who have lost someone either as a direct result of Covid or for other reasons, it has been a terribly hard year and perhaps in addition to that time of silence , we can keep them in our thoughts throughout the week.

I am also aware as I am writing that in our benefice we have several people who are extremely unwell and also at least one recently bereaved family. We hold them in our minds and hearts. 

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 21st March, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Passiontide begins

Readings:  Jeremiah 31 v 31 – 34, Psalm 51 v 1-13, Hebrews 5 v 5-10, John 12 v 20-33

Collect: Most merciful God,   who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ   delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross   we may triumph in the power of his victory;   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. Amen

10.30am-11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 28th March, Palm Sunday

Readings: Psalm 118 v 1-2, 19-end, Mark 11 v 1-11

10.30am-11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

There will be extra services over the Easter weekend.  More details next week.

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship marking the anniversary of the first Covid lockdown with Debbie Thrower

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

11.30am BBC1 - Lent Worship, from St Martin’s Church in Maidstone

* 1.15pm BBC2 - Songs of Praise, the Revd Kate Bottley’s favourite moments

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from the Chapel of Eton College

* Change of channel, football again, what else!

Covid Anniversary

This coming Tuesday, 23rd March, there is a National Day of Reflection to mark the anniversary of the start of our first Covid lockdown.  During this period much has happened and yet little has happened.  Our cosy little worlds have been changed in so many ways it can be hard to visualise anything different.

Sadly a planned service to mark this day has had to be shelved due to current Covid regulations but we can all have our own moment of reflection in the comfort of our now very familiar homes.

The Bishop of Norwich gave his own reflection on the past year which was broadcasted on Radio Norfolk recently.  It is an interesting reflection which you can read by following the link below:

https://www.dioceseofnorwich.org/news/bishop-graham-reflects-on-the-past-year/

Shellrock News

As most of you are aware, the Ellingham Pump and the Rocklander each have a new editorial team.  The Rocklander was first published for March and The Pump will first be published for April.  It is unclear as to the future of the Shellrock News within these two publications, though each magazine is including the local church news.  Whilst these magazines ‘bed in’ I shall endeavour to send out the Shellrock News on the last week-end of the month via email thereby providing all members of our church with what is going on in other parishes.   If there is anyone who wishes to receive this in paper form please let me know and I will arrange to have a copy delivered.  You know how to get in contact with me.

Colin

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 14th March

My Dear Friends

Somehow, it has seemed particularly busy this week although if you were to ask, with what, I’d be hard pressed to tell you. I guess that during the last year we have become used to working at a different pace, and then it all changes again.  Some of the things that have been pre-occupying have been the various diocesan meetings we have attended. As just one example, on Monday of this week Sue and I were part of a diocesan ZOOM meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury being present. He took the opportunity to say thank you for all the patience, forbearance and support given by so many people during the last difficult year. I had a sense that his words of gratitude came from his heart. He spoke of the many people in different walks of life who have been exhausted and deeply troubled by the changes that have affected everyone and he assured us that they are very much in his daily prayers. It was a privilege being with Archbishop Justin. I thought he looked very tired and certainly in need of time away for the rest and refreshment which he will be taking over the next few months. He has come in for quite a lot of criticism for his decision to close churches last year at the start of the pandemic, and towards his time with us on ZOOM he said “I was wrong and I am sorry”. Just as a passing thought ------ I do wish that some of our politicians could have similar courage and honesty to openly apologise for their errors of judgement!   

Quite a lot of the activity this week has been around thinking about Holy Week and Easter. Last year we missed Mothering Sunday and all the services leading up to and including Easter. This year, thanks to vaccination, some restrictions have been lifted to such an extent that we are able to have several services in the benefice, even though the numbers attending each will need to be limited in order to maintain safe distance between us. Dates, times, and places will be announced over the next three weeks.

This is also the time of year when each parish will be coming up for its annual general meeting. These meetings will be brief, even though there will be a two-year catching up with business and administrative matters to be dealt with, including the voting of office bearers for the forthcoming year. After May, and as soon as it is possible to meet more freely, we will be planning some meetings to consider the future: how we want things to be in the communities served by the churches in the months and years to come. All my reading and all the meetings I have been attending over the last six months indicate that there will be some structural changes within the church as a whole. However, I really don’t think we should worry about this, despite what some newspapers have been indicating. Rather, perhaps we can look forward to change as a golden opportunity to be creative, and in a lot of different ways.

As I was writing this, I received an e-mail from Eleanor Langan with news about Michael. Earlier last year, he was very unwell and needed to be admitted to hospital for a while. I had been concerned, and asked Eleanor to keep me informed of progress. She said in her note this morning that he is now much better, is home again, and looking forward to being able to travel more freely, an activity which you will remember was extremely important for his health and well-being.

Sunday is Mothering Sunday. Although the emphasis is clearly on mothers, I always see this day as an opportunity to remember all those who have been important in nurturing us into adulthood. Especially in our modern society, there will be many who have been and are being cared for with great love by people other than their mothers. Perhaps we can bear this in mind as we think of people important to us and give thanks for their love and care on Sunday. 

I wish you well for the forthcoming week.

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 14th March, Fourth Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday

Readings:  1 Samuel 1 v 20–end, Psalm 127 v 1–4, 2 Corinthians 1 v 3–7, John 19 v 25b-27

Collect: Merciful Lord absolve your people from their offences, that through your bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins which by our frailty we have committed; grant this, heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 21st March, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Passiontide begins

Readings:  Jeremiah 31 v 31 – 34 Psalm 51 v 1-13, Hebrews 5 v 5-10, John 12 v 20-33

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship a service for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

11.15am BBC1 - Lent Worship, A Mothering Sunday service from St Cuthbert’s Church, Preston

* 1:15pm BBC2 - Songs of Praise, Brenda Edwards visits a new Christian Community grocery

** 4.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge

*   Change of channel, football again, what else!

** Time change

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 7th March

My Dear Friends

This week, I want to share with you some of what might be going on in the Church of England beyond the boundaries of our benefice, but which may have future implications for all of us here in Shellrock.

Today, Bishop Graham sent an invitation to the diocesan clergy to meet with Archbishop Justin Welby on line on 8th March. This is an open invitation to all licensed clergy to speak with him about our experiences of the pandemic and its impact on ministry. If I have any contribution to make at all, it will be to reflect on how difficult I personally have found it not to be able to visit people in their own homes. E-mails and telephone calls obviously are available, but brought up on the importance of personal pastoral care, I have found it hard to be obedient to the law of the land. I wished that more had been done to give minsters a protected status which acknowledged the importance of emotional and spiritual well-being alongside physical protection.

Another e-mail came in today from Bishop Graham and this was a thank you for the efforts made by so many people to keep up their financial giving. Although there are certainly shortfalls, it is remarkable that the total overall amount of parish share is as high as it is.  “The Parish Share received for the year ending 31 December 2020 totalled £6.160 million (77.28% of the total request).  Whilst this is a decrease of £926,398 compared to 2019, and £1.812 million less than the requested amount, it is a phenomenal effort.”

Bishop Graham ends with the following paragraph.  

Significant work has already been done to limit expenditure and secure additional grant funding, but there is more to do as we review our activities – both centrally and locally – and we will continue to keep you updated as we move forward with our new vision to be transformed by Christ to be prayerful, pastoral and prophetic.  For now, though, please accept my gracious thanks for your parish’s commitment and ministry!”

It is clear that there are going to be some fairly major changes to accommodate these shortfalls, and also to look again and with perhaps fresh eyes at what we are doing as a church. Later on this week, on March 4th, at their request, Sue and I are meeting on Zoom with Bishop Alan and Archdeacon Steven Betts. Neither Sue nor I have any idea what will be on the agenda although I imagine that it will be a significant meeting for us all. I shall let you know as soon as possible the outcome of this meeting.

My love to you all.

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 7th March, Third Sunday of Lent

Readings: Exodus 20 v 1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1 v 18-25, John 2 v 13-22

Collect: Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; 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. Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 14th March, Fourth Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday

Readings: 1 Samuel  1: 20 – end, Psalm 127: 1 – 4, 2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 7, John 19: 25b - 27.

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd Canon Jutta Brueck

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

11.30am BBC1 - Lent Worship, from All Saints Church, Hale Barns

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, Katherine Jenkins reflects on personal prayer

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (2012)

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 28th February

My Dear friends

I have just come back from my allowed daily constitutional and while out I saw the many signs of Spring in the air with wonderful carpets of snowdrops, quite a number of daffodils just coming into flower, newly born lambs, some calves and the birds being very busy building their nests.  Talking of daffodils, I hope you will forgive me for being rather nostalgic, for on Monday it is St David’s Day.

For anyone brought up in Wales, this is a very important day. March 1st is the date when we remember Saint David's death in 589 but it was quite a lot later, in the C12th, that he was canonised. He was born in south west Wales into an aristocratic family. He founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (the Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire where St David's Cathedral stands today. This is a beautiful Cathedral and well worth a visit.  David's fame as a teacher spread among Celtic Christians, and he helped found about 12 monasteries.

When I was growing up in South Wales, there was always a holiday atmosphere on March 1st with a half day off school. We tried to find traditional Welsh costumes with the tall black hats and woolly shawls and some, with the aid of crepe paper, came dressed as daffodils. And of course, not to be outdone by the Scots with their Burns’ night haggis, we feasted on leeks and other delicacies!

Away from memories and back to the here and now in East Anglia, we are almost through our second week of Lent. I hope that you are able to find the opportunity to use this time to reflect on your Christian journey, as I have previously suggested, in any way that is right for you. As we slowly come out of “lockdown” there will be much to think about as we get used to being together again, but also things that we would like to develop in the future. This is a golden opportunity to make changes, to leave behind those things that we have not been so happy with, and to take some risks.

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 28th February, Second Sunday of Lent

Readings: Genesis 17 v 1-7, 15-16, Psalm 22 v 23-end, Romans 4 v 13-end, Mark 8 v 31-end

Collect: Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 7th March, Third Sunday of Lent

Readings: Exodus 20 v 1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1 v 18-25, John 2 v 13-22

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd John Davis, Archbishop of Wales, in Brecon Cathedral

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

11.15am BBC1 - Lent Worship, St Martin’s Church, Maidstone

*1.15pm BBC2 - Songs of Praise with Sean Fletcher explores Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, a service for Ash Wednesday from the chapel of King’s College, London (2013)

* change of channels, football again!

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 21st February

My Dear Friends

Although I have been thinking about the start of the Lenten season for a number of weeks, I discovered on Shrove Tuesday when I was preparing to make pancakes that I only had one egg, and that one I was saving for Robin’s breakfast. So this year, for the first time since I could remember I had no pancakes! That was a shame because I have always enjoyed Shrove Tuesday and the whole ritual of pancakes, the tossing and the races.  And now of course Lent is upon us.

During the past few editions of Ramblings and also in my Sunday reflections, I’ve been suggesting that we use the time of Lent for considering our journeys as Christians and indeed our life’s journey and some of its key events and moments. How did we reach this point in time? What do we want in the future when we have more opportunity for mixing and going out and are not constantly thinking about avoiding contact with others? One of the reasons why I’ve been suggesting this is that it is almost inevitable that there will be changes in churches and the patterns of our worship. All denominations and faiths have been affected financially and in the months ahead there will be some deep thinking and probably some difficult decisions. It is important that as far as we are able to, we all of us declare what we want, how we want to develop as a Christian community in the future, and to be active participants in this process of decision making.  

I have asked the wardens and some parish leaders to ask members of PCCs about what they would like to happen in the future. This is in preparation for a meeting that Sue and I will be having with Bishop Alan and with Archdeacon Steven on March 4th. But this poll of opinion is certainly not restricted to PCC members, and if you would like to express them, your views will be very welcome.

In addition to this, each Wednesday, starting from Ash Wednesday, Colin will be sending out a copy of the compline liturgy. When we have been able to have Wednesday meetings in the past we have often ended with this, a quiet thoughtful and prayerful end for a busy day. Also on a Wednesday we will be sending out mid week reflections and other materials for you to have available. These and the well publicised services on social media, and radio and television throughout Lent will go at least some way to giving us opportunities for thought and prayer during the next weeks.

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 21st February, First Sunday of Lent

Readings: Genesis 9 v 8-17, Psalm 25 v 1-9, 1 Peter 3 v 18-end, Mark 1 v 9-15

Collect: Almighty Father, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weaknesses, so may we know your power to save, 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. Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 28th February, Second Sunday of Lent

Readings: Genesis 17 v 1-7, 15-16, Psalm 22 v 23-end, Romans 4 v 13-end, Mark 8 v 31-end

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Fr Dermot Preston

10.00am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

11.00am BBC1 - Lent Worship, Revd Mark Bradford leads a service in St Cuthbert’s Church, Preston

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise with Katherine Jenkins exploring faith in L’Abri fellowship, Hampshire

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, a service for Ash Wednesday in the chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge (2019)

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 14th February

My Dear Friends

I hope you are doing something special today, it being by tradition the day for love and lovers! I looked up a bit of information about St Valentine and discovered some quite interesting information. He was recognised as a saint in the third century after his martyrdom on February 14th. He was a clergyman in the Roman Empire and he ministered particularly to Christians who were being persecuted.  From the Middle Ages, his day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love, and I did wonder how this had come about. Apparently, many of the legends associated with Saint Valentine were invented in the C14th by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle. One of these stories was based on the belief that birds started to pair in mid-February so it was appropriate that the date of Saint Francis’ death should be remembered as a time of romance and love. True or not, I think it’s a sweet thought.

As I am writing this, the other thing that I’m aware of is the drop in temperature, and in Scotland to more than -25 degrees. This is bringing back memories of when I was living in Scotland and the temperature went down to -18. There were a lot of frozen pipes, including our own, deep snow, and impassable roads in blizzard conditions for nearly a week. It brought out the best of community living where we shared fires, baths and food, in the village where we were living. Of course, here today is not as cold as further north, but I do hope that people are keeping warm and cosy and not going short of anything they need.

Well, we’re one week further on and closer to the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday being February 17th. You may remember that in the last couple of weeks of these ramblings, I have been suggesting a kind of review of our Christian journey. The last time I included some questions which might serve to trigger the memories. I would like to continue with this theme and wonder if you might begin to think about your life in the church community itself. Some, I know, will have lived all their lives in one of the parishes that have been brought together as the Shellrock Benefice. Others have been residing in different parts of the country and have experienced contrasting styles, traditions and perspectives on church and church life. Again, some have grown up in a different denomination and they will have their own understanding of churchmanship. I believe all these opportunities for reflection are useful in that they highlight what we have personally valued in our membership, what we have perhaps turned away from, and looking into the future, where we would want to go from here. I hope you might give yourselves a few minutes for reflection on these things and as we move into Lent there will be other things that I will suggest. 

But before signing off, and without wanting to embarrass them, I do know that Sharon and John certainly took advantage of the romance of Valentine’s Day! They are today celebrating a rather special wedding anniversary. Congratulations to you both, and I hope you have found a way of remembering such a special occasion. 

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 14th February

Readings: 2 Kings 2 v 1-12, Psalm 50 v 1-6, 2 Corinthians 4 v 3-6, Mark 9 v 2-9

Collect: Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majestybefore he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Wednesday 17th February, Ash Wednesday

Readings: Joel 2 v 1-2, 12-17, Psalm 51 v 1-18, 2 Corinthians 5 v 20b – 6 v 10, Matthew 6 v 1-6, 16-21

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:   create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; 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. Amen

Sunday 21st February

Readings: Genesis 9 v 8-17, Psalm 25 v 1-9, 1 Peter 3 v 18-end, Mark 1 v 9-15

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd Richard Littledale

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise with Sean Fletcher at Ripon Cathedral for the start of Lent

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from the chapel of Clare College, Cambridge

Lent

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  Some of you may already have decided on a Lent discipline; some of you may think you have already had enough of discipline these past 12 months!

In the absence of attending church services, maybe you would like to consider holding a daily service of Compline.  This lovely short service is the perfect way to end a day and may facilitate any time you wish to use for reflection.  An order of service will be sent out each Wednesday in Lent together with the readings for each day.  There may also be additional material for you to use.  If you are interested, then please look out for the email.

If there is anyone who wishes to have a copy of the email but does not have internet access, then please let me know, preferably by telephone, and I shall endeavour to get a copy to them.

Colin

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 7th February

My Dear Friends

By the time you read this, I imagine that more of you will have received your first dose of vaccine and I hope that you’re beginning to see and sense the light appearing at the end of a dark tunnel.

Lent is one week closer, and in last week’s Ramblings, I mentioned the idea that we might do something together, even though we are physically separated. Some of you will remember that as children we often used to be encouraged to give up something important for Lent. Like Jesus in the wilderness, we were to be tempted and then learn to resist our favourite chocolate bars! Whatever the customs we have grown up with, I see Lent as an important time for personal reflection and of learning more about our faith.

This year, since we are unable to meet except distanced from each other, it can be a useful opportunity for quiet reflection and drawing on our memories. Last week I put forward the idea that we could gather some examples of our reflections, in the form of written comments, poems, art or whatever, that might be brought together as our community Lent reflections when we are able to meet again.

This is an opportunity not only to think about our individual faith journeys but also what we want church to be in the future. I have no doubt that the expression of church WILL change in the months and years ahead and rather than passively accepting what might be on offer, I think that it is better to express preferences now,  and try to shape what will be right for us in the future, as different parishes and community as a whole.

I am offering some headings below. You don’t have to use these, but I know that is often easier when stimulated by questions, or topics to consider. This week, I’m suggestion that you spend some time thinking about the start of your Christian journey. This may have been in childhood, or much later. You might enjoy bringing together   some things from the past and pondering on their influence. Do you have a copy of your Baptismal certificate, for example, or any photos taken of that time, or pictures of your God-parents?. Of course, it may have been much later that you came to call yourself a Christian. Whatever the thoughts, just take a note so that at some later date we might be able to discuss these influences. In later weeks we can be looking at other aspects of the journey and experiences in the gathered Christian community, or church.

  • Earliest memories
  • Christening
  • God parents
  • Sunday school
  • School assemblies
  • RE in school
  • Confirmation
  • Routes into belief
  • Talk/ instruction from parents
  • People of influence

Have a good week, and my love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 7th February

Readings: Proverbs 8 v 22-31, Psalm 104 v 26-end, Colossians 1 v 15-20, John 1 v 1-14

Collect: Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen

10.30-11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 14th February

Readings: 2 Kings 2 v 1-12, Psalm 50 v 1-6, 2 Corinthians 4 v 3-6, Mark 9 v 2-9

10.30-11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd Henry Lu of the Chinese Overseas Christian Mission

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, Gospel Singer of the year, the Final

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from Truro Cathedral (February 2016)

 

 

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Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 31st January

My Dear Friends

Almost as soon as the crib and Christmas decorations are down and packed away, we are rushed on to think of the next “season” which of course is Ash Wednesday and Lent. It is unlikely that we’ll be able to do as we usually do for Ash Wednesday, or to hold evening discussions during the Lenten season. There are plenty of resources available for those who have access to the internet and who enjoy browsing, and each week in Ramblings there will be an indication of some of these on the internet or television or radio that people might use and enjoy. But I also know that there are others who haven’t access, or really don’t like using such distanced materials.  Because of this the ministry team has been speaking together about how we might observe Lent this year.

I have been thinking quite a lot over the past few weeks about something that we could be doing together even when we necessarily are separated. This is what I have thought as a possibility.

One day when I was browsing in one of our churches (it was Rockland St Peter) I looked again at the photographs that had been lovingly and carefully brought together representing “church” over the years. Some of the photos were taken in the church at a service; there were many that were showing people and activities outside the building, on the street, in gardens, at dances, special events, and shared meals. These photographs show people meeting; a church in action.

Many of us have had a lifetime of contact and involvement in church; others are newer to it; some are still searching. I am suggesting that it may be useful for us as individuals to think about our faith, and try to find a way of expressing it so that when we are able to meet again, we might be able to discuss and share. The following are just a few examples of possibilities: compose, or write down the words of a favourite poem, write a letter to a friend, draw a cartoon, paint a stone, start a piece of embroidery, reflect and commit to paper thoughts about a piece of scripture that you have found inspiring, or describe in some form some experience that has been important. It really doesn’t matter what the content is, because each will have value and will be saying something about our experiences of life as individuals as well as our journey together as a community. All of these things have value, and we can listen and learn from each other. 

I would like to think that when we are able to meet again in person, we will be able to share these things and bring them together to keep for posterity as a record of our Lenten journey in this extraordinary year.  The buildings may be empty but the church as people can remain as active as ever and be ready to share when able.

Also, each week during Lent, in these Ramblings, I shall be suggesting some questions which I think are useful to be asking as we think ahead to our life together as a church community.

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 31st January

Readings: Malachi 3 v 1-5, Psalm24, Hebrews 2 v 14-end, Luke 2 v 22-40

Collect: Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with clean and pure hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Sunday 7th February

Readings: Proverbs 8 v 22-31, Psalm 104 v 26-end, Colossians 1 v 15-20, John 1 v 1-14

10.30am to 11.30am St James Great Ellingham - Private Prayer

Broadcasted religious programs Sunday 31st

8.10am Radio 4 - Sunday Worship with Revd Stephen Forde

10.30am BBC1 - The Big Questions, discusses issues ethical, moral and religious

1.15pm BBC1 - Songs of Praise, Gospel Singer of the year Pt1

3.00pm Radio 3 - Choral Evensong, from St Paul’s Cathedral (January 2011)

Lent

It is hard to grasp that Lent starts in just over two weeks, Ash Wednesday is 17th February.  As Christina has indicated, for those who wish to use this time for some form of study or reflection there will be some resources made available in the Ramblings.  And who knows, by Easter life might even be a little easier.

 

 

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