Shellrock Ramblings

Shellrock Ramblings are now available for download in the resources section of this website here

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - July - Around the Benefice

Shropham with Snetterton

Looking forward to the service on 31st July which will be at 11.30am.

DN

Rockland All Saints

I am writing this early as we are going to be away when the deadline arrives……so not much to report of June news because most of it hasn’t happened yet!

Keeping the churchyard looking clean and tidy has always been a priority for us at All Saints, but with an ageing and dwindling congregation, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep up the standards set by our predecessors! We are SO grateful for the work that David and Maddie Baldwin have put in over many, many years strimming the nettles down and cutting the hedges. Sadly, health issues now currently prevent them from doing as much as they have done……a HUGE thank you to them both and we wish them better health to come.

Although we get a small grant from the Parish Council, this doesn’t go anywhere near covering the cost of fuel and maintenance of the mowers, so we are now having to look for other ways of maintaining the beautiful and peaceful churchyard that is enjoyed by so many, not just churchgoers.  It is no longer sustainable to rely on purely volunteer labour.

On a more positive note, we look forward to the annual Flower Festival that will be held on the weekend of 16-18 July (the flowers in church are open on Monday too but without full tearoom service- drinks and cakes only!)  I am sure it will be as beautiful as ever- we have again ordered good weather! There will be a bric-a-brac stall including lots of books and lunches on Saturday and Sunday from the tearoom as well as the usual delicious cakes, scones etc! We look forward to seeing you there!

CJ

 

Rockland St Peter

The Platinum Jubilee was very exciting for St. Peters. On the 5th June we were joined at the service by Ed Connolly our County Councillor, he came to plant an Oak Tree to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. He was helped by Sue Strutt. The rain stayed away and we were able to have the Choir, accompanied by Kathryn Donald on flute, to sing the National Anthem around the tree. A plaque to put behind the tree, was kindly donated By James Harold, from Rockland Mere Fisheries. A special thanks to everyone who decorated the church with flowers. It looked beautiful. 

     

St Peter, Little Ellingham

Wow, what a special week-end we all had to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  The church looked stunning as it was filled with flowers and memorabilia all depicting something of our Queen’s reign.  Refreshments were served throughout the weekend which was enjoyed by the many people who visited and admired the displays.  There was also an exhibition of artwork from two local artists, Cate Aspinall and Dale Southall.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the hard work of the many people who decorated the church, baked cakes, provided scones and sausage rolls, took turns in serving and welcoming people and finally helped to clear up afterwards.  The organisers are very grateful for their support and to all those who came along over the three days to look at the wonderful creations and spend time partaking of the lovely refreshments.

Although by no means the primary motive for holding this event, we were grateful for the many financial donations made by our visitors which will go towards the Church Repair Fund. 

The finale to the week-end was the Thanksgiving Service held on the Sunday afternoon.  Many people from the village and without came to the service which was conducted by the Revd Sue Strutt.  A mixture of well known hymns, poems and a talk by Sue provided a fitting tribute to our Queen and the end to such a wonderful four days.

CT

St James, Great Ellingham

In July, our café service will include a Teddy Bear Picnic and thanksgiving element for the Teddy Bear Festival.  We look forward to welcoming visitors to the service – we hope to hold the picnic outside, so bring along some nibbles and a picnic blanket.  Everyone is welcome – including teddy bears!

The festival originated at the church many years ago and we are pleased to host the art exhibition, starting with the preview evening on 1st July and open until Sunday 3rd.  There are always plenty of pieces to enjoy (and purchase) so we look forward to seeing the creativity of local artists again.  Access to the church will be restricted from Wednesday 29th June during setup for the exhibition.

A local history exhibition will be held on 9th & 10th July by Heather Etteridge and Matt Hall, the metal detectorist.  If you have been to the church recently, you may have seen Heather’s superb display about the village schools.  Refreshments will be available and it is an event not to be missed!

The Celtic service continues to grow, with a regular established congregation enjoying the quieter reflective pace.  Unfortunately, due to the Arts Festival being held in the church that week-end it has been decided to cancel this service in July.

The first St James Social held in June was attended by a small number of people, playing Scrabble, learning to paint with Christine and enjoying a natter.  The next one will be on Tuesday 5th July, 1.30-3.30pm.  Christine recently had a fall and is awaiting an operation - we wish her a speedy recovery and hope that she will be able to make this afternoon but others will be on standby in her place

KD

Foodbank

Thank you to everyone who continues to support the food bank donations.  It is likely that over the coming weeks, demand for its services will increase.  If you need support with food, please contact Citizens Advice who should be able to assist or provide a voucher to exchange at a food bank.  If you are struggling to collect a box, please ask for help.  Contact Kathryn 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com

KD

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - July - Ministers Corner

My Dear Friends,

As far as the Church is concerned, we are in Ordinary Time. This means there are no big Festivals or extraordinary events to mark before Advent. The Church seasons are in relaxed mode. Those of us who work to maintain and sustain the presence of God in our parishes, however, are still beavering away, making plans and organising events and services.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was very hard work for some. A very lovely Flower Festival took place at Little Ellingham with a Thanksgiving Service in the afternoon of Sunday 5th June, which was also the day of Pentecost. We had already had one celebration of the Jubilee with a terrific service of Thanksgiving at Rockland St Peter in the morning when the Benefice Choir was present, too. Well done, and thank you to everyone who contributed to the weekend and participated. There was lots of lovely food on offer! Plus - we had a wedding and Baptism at Great Ellingham over that weekend!

Looking forward, there is to be another Flower Festival at Rockland All Saints on the weekend of 16th July – more beautiful flower arrangements and more scrummy food anticipated. The annual Teddy Festival will be taking place in Gt Ellingham, with a Teddy Picnic Café Church on 10th July at 4.00p.m. In between times we have a few weddings and a christening to celebrate at various churches within our Benefice. We pray for all those who are coming to mark their life events with us and ask for the blessing of Our Father. It is a privilege to be able to be part of it all.

So... life does not stand still, but I hope you will have a chance for a break away from the usual round of the hard work it takes to keep our parishes alive and well. We all need time for refreshment and relaxation, and to renew our relationship with God. I am sure he knows all we do for his Church and our communities, but he also wants us to rest and not overdo it.

I will be on holiday off and on throughout August and, possibly, one week in September. Harvest is the next big thing when we will be gathering together, starting in September – look out for dates and details in your parish.

My love to all, and praying that you will have a wonderful summer,
Sue

 

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Colin

Benefice BBQ - POSTPONED!

It was originally intended to hold a Benefice BBQ at the Benefice office on Saturday 25th June.

Unfortunately due to an increase in events and workload this month, it has been decided to postpone this event until later this summer.

 

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Colin

Shellrock News - June - Around the Benefice

Rockland St Peter

We managed to have our traditional Agape Meal service on Maundy Thursday 14th April. It was a huge success. It was a chance for everyone to get together and share food and wine to remember the Last Supper, when Jesus shared food with his Disciples. 

We now have the go ahead to demolish the wall that has partially collapsed. It will be replaced with a post and rail fence.

We will have a Family Service on Sunday May 1st at 10-30

Looking forward to June and the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. 

We will have a special Thanksgiving Service on Sunday at 10-30, with the Benefice Choir. This is Rockland St. Peter's contribution to the Platinum Jubilee.

JB

Rockland All Saints

What a beautiful day it was on May 18th when we were able to hold Barbara’s Day for the first time since 2019!  The sun shone all day long and it was so lovely to see so many people coming, after such a long break, to sample the delights of home cooked lunches (including desserts to die for!), drink tea and coffee and catch up with friends old and new in the big marquee as they chatted!

The plant stall was just about sold out by three o’clock and the bric-a-brac tables were looking bare!  The cake tent that had been bursting at the seams at 9am was completely empty….and all our wonderful helpers were exhausted (I was so busy I completely forgot to take any photos!) but on a high after our swansong (yes, this was the very last) garden party had been a success!

We are so grateful to the wonderful crew who helped make Barbara’s Day a success. Everything had to transported from the church down to the venue in Low Lane in various cars and Mr Mac’s trailer, marquees and more tables had to be collected from other corners of the village, the tents and marquees had to be erected (and dismantled afterwards!) and that’s without all the baking and cooking that was done! At the end of the day, all the above had to be done in reverse as everything was returned whence it came!

Thanks to all who helped with preparation, on the day and afterwards – many from other churches in the benefice who were so generous with their time. It is much appreciated.

The biggest ‘thank you’ of all, of course,  has to go to John and Barbara Scase who were the hosts and arch-organisers and allowed their home and garden to be used yet again to raise some money for the little church on the hill!  What the public sees on the day is just the tip of the iceberg ……the organisation behind the scenes is extraordinary! So THANK YOU  Barbara and John!  I have lost count of the number of times Barbara’s Day has been held but it is a village event so many will remember fondly, not least all the Rocklands schoolchildren who come over during the school day, with their helpers, each clutching an envelope with £1 inside and then return to school clutching their bargain buys and are so excited with their purchases! Magic!

We now look forward to the Flower Festival in July so please mark the weekend of July 16-18 in your diary!  Another event not to be missed!

CJ

Shropham with Snetterton

A piece of the font that fell out has been replaced and a window has been repaired. 

Looking forward to the service on 29th May

DN

St Peter, Little Ellingham

We are busy preparing for our Flower Festival to be held in our church over the week-end of the Queen’s Jubilee.  This promises to be a wonderfully colourful celebration of our queen and her 70 years reign, highlighting her achievements and her interests.  The church will be open Friday to Sunday between 10am and 4pm.  There is no entrance fee, only donations invited towards the church maintenance fund.  Light refreshments will be available throughout the week-end.

Our service of Thanksgiving at 4pm on Sunday will bring our Jubilee celebrations to a close.  Some traditional hymns will be at the core of this Thanksgiving reflecting on the service our queen has given to her country and her church.

CT

St James, Great Ellingham

Our café church service on 8th May was on the theme of Noah and the Ark.  Due to two members of the music group being unavailable (covid strikes again!), the songs were adapted to be a simpler and led by the flute.  It was lovely to see new faces in the congregation – one family to hear their marriage banns being read and another visiting prior to their child’s Baptism.  Along with extracts from the bible telling the story, we also heard ‘All afloat on Noah’s boat’, a lovely rhyming book adaptation ending with all the animals performing in a talent show.  Whilst we like a bit of audience participation at café church, the suggestion of a talent show as part of the service, was swiftly dismissed!  We did use the ark as a visual prop and the children enjoyed lining up the animals and sorting them into different colours, to signify the rainbow sent as God’s promise never to send a flood again.

The Celtic service continues to grow, with a regular established congregation enjoying the quieter reflective pace.  Within it, there is plenty of opportunity for discussion and fellowship at this service.  As I type, the choir is rehearsing for its ‘outing’ at Great Ellingham on Sunday.  They continue to add an extra dimension to our services, bringing additional sung elements to the communion service.

Plans are also in final stages for the Big Breakfast – thank you to all the volunteers who have made this happen, particularly Charles with the bbq cooking.  Watch this space for the amount raised…. (£428.55)

During June and July there will be some disruption to access to the church and library – this is due to the set-up for the Village Singers concert and the Teddy Festival art exhibition.  Notices will be displayed on the porch door advising of closures and apologies for any inconvenience.

Look out for the July café church – this will feature ‘Thanksgiving’ for the teddy festival and be followed by a teddy bear’s picnic.  Everyone is welcome; please bring along your teddy, picnic blanket and nibbles.

KD

Foodbank

This continues to be well supported, with 6-8 boxes being collected each week from Sainsbury’s and 1-2 boxes from the village shop.  The donations are mostly taken to the Thetford warehouse for sorting and packing, before being distributed to its centres at Watton, Attleborough and Thetford.  ‘Bumper’ weeks are also sent onto Norwich.  Thank you to Mary, Neville, Colin & Margaret for their help.

KD

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - June - Ministers Corner

Dear Friends,

As you read this we will be about to embark on a glorious, celebratory weekend for our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. We are praying the weather will be glorious, too. I remember (just) that actual Coronation Day and it poured with rain. We were not one of the lucky families who knew somebody with a brand new black and white television and invited to gather around it to watch the whole ceremony flickering in front of our eyes, but I do have a memory (and a few photos) of a tea party in the local Methodist Church Hall. – rows of tables filled with children, and our mums in aprons, smiling and serving sandwiches and cakes.

I’m sure some of you have tales to tell of memories about the Coronation or meeting the Queen at some point in your life. If you do, I would like to hear about it and, if you agree, to relate your experience during the services. Or, do you have a relevant poem or piece of prose you would like to be read?

Each community has organised their own events. We do have, however, two services of Thanksgiving in the Shellrock Benefice on Sunday 5th June:

10.30a.m. Rockland St Peter with the Benefice Choir and the planting of a Jubilee Tree after the service.
4.00p.m. Little Ellingham, as part of a weekend long Flower Festival beginning on Friday 3rd, to 5th June.
In addition, there will be a wedding, wedding blessing, and a baptism in our Benefice over the weekend – lots of reasons to thank God and be joyful.

Sunday 5th is the day of Pentecost, already a celebratory day in the Church’s year. The next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. After that we relax and move into ‘Ordinary Time’ until Advent, although there will be several weddings and baptisms throughout the year in the Shellrock Benefice. We are also continuing to negotiate the merger with High Oak and Hingham Benefice – more news on that will be forthcoming over the next few months. Exciting times, we must let God lead us and be thankful.

My love to you all,

Sue

 

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Colin

Shellrock News - May - Around the Benefice

St James, Great Ellingham

We are looking forward to the return of the Christian Aid Big Breakfast on Saturday 21st May, from 9am.  Breakfast to suit all requirements will be available in return for a donation towards the charity.  Christian Aid is a charity that works across the world, seeking to eradicate poverty by supporting projects like water pumps, skills training, education and health information to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

The Breakfast menu will consist of bacon and sausages (from Tony Perkins Butchers), plus a range of cereals, toast and fruit.  Donations are hugely appreciated (big or small) and it should be possible to take contactless donations, technology permitting….  This was a great event in 2019 and we look forward to welcoming you all.

Another fund-raising event for Christian Aid is a coffee morning that the Methodist Church is holding on Thursday 5th May between 10am and 11am.

The Good Friday Walk of Witness was a bright and sunny day as a group of us headed from the village down Penhill Road and on towards Rocklands.  A short refreshment stop at the shop was welcome before we continued onto Rockland All Saints church.

On Easter Sunday, a congregation of 25 gathered to remember the reason for our faith; the resurrection of Jesus.  In a sermon from Dale, peppered with amusing anecdotes, he reminded us that He died on the cross to restore and revive us.

KD

Rockland St Peter

We managed to have our traditional Agape Meal service on Maundy Thursday 14th April. It was a huge success. It was a chance for everyone to get together and share food and wine to remember the Last Supper, when Jesus shared food with his Disciples. 

We now have the go ahead to demolish the wall that has partially collapsed. It will be replaced with a post and rail fence.

We will have a Family Service on Sunday May 1st at 10-30

Looking forward to June and the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. 

We will have a special Thanksgiving Service on Sunday at 10-30, with the Benefice Choir. This is Rockland St. Peter's contribution to the Platinum Jubilee.

JB

Shropham with Snetterton

The Easter Day Service at Shropham included a very well attended baptism.  All in there were some 140 adults and 40 children in church.

Half of the NW window of the church has been removed for repair.  A part of the top of the font which came loose but luckily did not fall and break is due to be repaired.

The next service is on 29th May, BCP Holy Communion.

DN

St Peter, Little Ellingham

Despite the efforts of a bird (we think) our church looked wonderful for the Easter service.  The flower arrangements were lovingly created by an enthusiastic group of women (yes not a man in sight) which bodes well for our forthcoming Flower Festival in June as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

The week before, we held our Palm Sunday service which was almost scuppered by several key people becoming ill with Covid.  Sadly the choir were unable to sing their repertoire of songs which will be held over for another time.

The Walsingham Pilgrims visited our village for the first time since Covid struck.  Normally they would have stayed overnight in the village Hall but due to Covid they decided to return to Wymondham each night.  We provided refreshments prior to their holding an informal service in the church.  We hope next year the situation will be much improved and normal service resumed.

Another meeting is scheduled for this month to discuss the merger of our benefice with the Hingham and High Oaks benefice.  It is still too early to say how much progress has been made so hopefully more will be forthcoming at this meeting.

CT

Rockland All Saints

Spring has now arrived and we have all enjoyed some lovely weather this Easter, for a change!

During April, we held two services, both over the Easter period. On Good Friday we welcomed the weary team who had completed the Walk of Witness from St James’ in Gt Ellingham across the back (and somewhat circuitous) route and we had a meaningful reflective service as we remembered what happened on that day in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago. But, as we know, on the third day He rose again and on Easter Day the service was joyful and looking forward…. both services were well attended and went very well.

We are pleased to announce that Barbara’s Day is back and will be held as usual at Cheyney (in Low Lane opposite Rocklands School) on May 18th from 10am to 3pm.  Covid has prevented this event from taking place for the last two years so we are delighted it can happen again this year!  We will be offering the usual Ploughman’s lunches with salads and desserts and the usual array of refreshments, all homemade!  There will also be a plant stall, bric-a-brac, books, cakes and home made jams etc as well as a raffle.  (Please note that we do not have facilities for card payments so sorry, it is cash only!)  As always, we hope to welcome the children from the school during the day….attached is a picture from the archives with some children who are now very much more grown up than when the photo was taken!  Do you recognise anyone (apart from Julie Dekker, of course!)

We look forward to seeing you very soon – in the meantime, as always, stay safe!

CJ

Foodbank

We continue to supply the Thetford Foodbank with a good supply of items.  Thetford is the main warehouse for Attleborough and Watton.  It appears that nationally the situation is becoming problematic in that more people are needing to access the Foodbank’s services whilst donations are decreasing.  So thank you to everyone who continues to support this vital service.

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - May - Ministers Corner

Dear Friends,

We are on the cusp of summer, and what a summer it promises to be.  Two items of significance are occurring………..

At the end of May we will be looking forward to celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years reign.  There are not many others who can say they have stuck with the same job for that length of time, but she has not had a choice.  Imagine being born into a family where only one job is available, whether you like it or not.  Some members of that family have chosen to leave, others have undertaken what they see as their duty in support of that one person – the Queen – doing her work.

I, for one, am very proud of our royal heritage but many see it as a privileged waste of time and public money.  Be that as it may, 70 years is almost a lifetime for some of us, and congratulations are due to Her Majesty.  She has not wavered in her obligation and responsibility. I believe, however, that the times in which we are living now are probably the most difficult for her both personally, having lost her ‘strength and stay’, and publicly with the criticism of her family and the monarchy.  Parts of the UK and the Commonwealth are wishing to part company and, although much of that is political, I think she must feel it on a personal level.  Some of the headlines are very cruel.

So, I hope you join with me in wishing her well, and simply holding her, and her family, in our prayers on her Platinum Jubilee.

We have two Thanksgiving Services in the Benefice over the Jubilee weekend, on June 5th – Rockland St Peter at 10.30a.m with the Choir, and Little Ellingham at 4.00p.m.  We would like you, the communities, to suggest hymns/songs, and if there is a relevant poem or reading that you find, please tell someone from the church – suggestions in by May 14th please, so we have time to arrange the service and give the choir time to know what they will be singing; their rehearsal is on May 19th.

Appropriately, June 5th is also Pentecost when we remember the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples and they are sent out to build the Church of Jesus Christ.  It is the birthday celebration of the Church – a very important day that will not be lost on Queen Elizabeth II.

BUT…….before that, we are giving more consideration to joining with the High Oak and Hingham Benefice, as mentioned in previous Shellrock News.  We are hoping that, before the end of the summer at least, an advertisement will have been put out for a new incumbent to be the Vicar of the two Benefices.  The merger of the two will take place later.

In preparation for that, a meeting with Bishop Alan and Archdeacon Steven is taking place at Gt Ellingham on May 10th at 7.00p.m. to which all interested parties are welcome. This will include members of the High Oak and Hingham Benefice.  Please would all PCC members attend if you can?  Others would be welcome to observe and listen.

There are many events to look forward to; let us do so with hope and joy in our hearts despite the negativity of the world.  People are still coming to church to be married and bringing their children for baptism – occasions for rejoicing……..

My love to you all,

Sue

 

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Colin

Shellrock News - April - Around the Benefice

Rockland St Peter

Not much to report this month apart from our Agape Meal Service returns on 14th April at 1900hrs. We hope at RSP that the merger with Hingham goes smoothly. It was very pleasant to meet the people who came to our service on 6th March. Nadine seems a very positive forward thinking lady, it will be nice to share more services with the people from Hingham.

JB

Shropham with Snetterton

Shropham is looking forward to the service on Easter Day which will include the christening of Jack Nudds.

DN

St James, Great Ellingham

At our March café church service, we started to look at creation taking our reading from Genesis.  This will be the basis for our services for the next few months.  At the end of the service, we planted two trees in the south side of the churchyard.  These will be dedicated later in the year.

Coming up in April, we have Palm Sunday at the start of Holy Week – there will be a café church in the afternoon in addition to the service at Little Ellingham in the morning.  The annual Walk of Witness will take place on Good Friday, departing from Great Ellingham at 12 noon.  The walk takes us along Mill Lane to Rocklands.  Everyone is welcome, including well behaved dogs!  The walk ends at All Saints church; walkers are welcome to stay for the service if they wish.  There will be a Holy Communion service at 10.30am on Easter Sunday in St James’.

**Diary Date:  The Christian Aid Big Breakfast is returning on Saturday 21st May.  This was thoroughly enjoyable when held three years ago – a selection of cereals, fruit and bacon rolls in exchange for a donation towards the charity.  Watch this space for more information next month!**

We are planning a new group at church, St James Social.  This will be on Monday afternoons and for anyone who would like to meet new friends, share stories, play board games, enjoy some refreshments.  Look out for the poster or see Christine Fuller for more information!

The library continues to be well used, with a good selection of books and magazines along with jigsaw puzzles.  It’s not just fiction – cookery books and gardening magazines are well represented if you are looking for inspiration!

KD

St Peter, Little Ellingham

Thankfully our electricity supply was restored within the week of the fallen tree taking out the cable, so our services have now resumed.  There is some damage to the wall which held the cable but we are hoping this will require only minor repairs.  Sadly our wheelie bin, which was fatally damaged by the weight of the tree, has not yet been replaced.

We have started to plan our Queen’s Jubilee week-end with a flower festival and a special service of Thanksgiving.  More details will be given closer to the time of the celebrations.

For now we look forward to our Easter celebrations.  The benefice holds several services over this period starting with a Palm Sunday service in our church.  We shall have a special Prayer and Praise service on Easter Sunday evening.

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held in the church at 1pm on Sunday 24th April.  We shall be reporting on the year past and electing our churchwarden(s) and PCC members.  All eligible people are invited to attend.

CT

Rockland All Saints

Last month, I mentioned the huge beech tree that was uprooted and fell in the churchyard at All Saints during Storm Eunice. Very many thanks to all those who offered advice and helped in the decision making of the safest way to sort the problem out.  It seemed a mammoth job and, although we were pleased no buildings had been affected, it meant that our insurance policy did not extend to cover any of the costs of getting the tree cut up and removed.

   

Now, with HUGE thanks to the work of Tom Bird and his assistant, (tree surgeons from Norwich who were able to attend promptly with their amazing equipment) most of the tree has gone and the churchyard is almost restored to how it was before the storm. Only one gravestone took a direct hit and that family is looking into getting a replacement headstone in place. Some larger bits of wood have been taken for use in gardens and other pieces have been chopped and taken for woodturning stoves and open fires. If there is anything left by the time you read this, please do help yourself!  This time last month, we thought we had an insurmountable problem, but today, thanks to the kindness of those people, we had it sorted in time for the funeral of Daphne Blackbourn on March 25th, sadly the latest in a long list of funerals in Rocklands in recent months.

Now, a date for your diary!  For what could be the last time in this format,  Barbara’s Day will be held at Cheyney, in Low Lane (opposite school) on May 18th with all the usual treats!  If you haven’t been before, make a special effort to attend this year for coffee and cakes and/or a delicious home cooked lunch, and browse the stalls with bric-a-brac, books, plants and shrubs and a whole lot more!!  If you have missed it for the last couple of years, put the date in your diary NOW!!  It would be lovely to make this a bumper year! And while you have your diary open, please add the Flower Festival which this year will take place from Saturday July 16th until Monday 18th inclusive….another event you won’t want to miss, I’m sure!  More details nearer the time!

CJ

Foodbank

The Foodbank donations continue to be gratefully received by Thetford Foodbank.  With the current poor financial situation for many, it is likely to be a busy time ahead for the staff.

 

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - April - Ministers Corner

Dear Friends,

Before Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the day we now call Palm Sunday, knowing he was challenging the authorities which would probably lead to his death, he prepared the disciples for his departure.  He talked about a new way of relating to God as Father, that he would not be there to guide them but that they must keep their vision of the Kingdom and reject the pressures to stay in the past – “those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it” (Luke 17:33).

We, in the Shellrock Benefice, find ourselves in a similar situation.  Changes are occurring within our Benefice in more ways than one, and we have to either go along with them in a steady, positive way or, in trying to keep what we have had, get left behind. 

The disciples found themselves in a vortex of events that was bringing them into one of the worst times they had experienced with Jesus but, after a few days, all was turned on its head and the future was bright.  Those that had stayed with him went on to bring his message of love to the rest of the world and their names live on forever, through the generations into eternity.

We have no dates for our joint venture with the High Oak and Hingham Benefice.  We pray that we will be led by the Holy Spirit, looking forward not back. And we pray for Bishop Alan and Archdeacon Stephen who are making the decisions on our behalf.  It is our task to work together, with them and the other Benefice’s ministers and congregations.  Many of them will be feeling the trepidation, too, but all we need to know is that wherever we go with it, Jesus has been before us. We need have no fear.

This is also true for our own lives.  Interestingly, “do not be afraid“ is in the Bible 365 times, once for each day of the year.

A very happy and blessed Easter to you all,

Sue

 

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Colin

Shellrock News - March - Around the Benefice

St James, Great Ellingham
February has been a quiet month of services at St James – a heating problem meant that café church was cancelled, but we look forward to the service on the 27th February where the newly re-formed benefice choir will be in attendance.

Storm Eunice brought a tree down in the churchyard – please bear with us as we clear this. Thank you to Charles who spotted this and used his tractor to bring away from the wall. Luckily, it appears no damage has been caused. Access through the gate from Attleborough Road is affected.

In March we will be welcoming Bishop Graham to a Deanery Synod meeting held in the church. Mothering Sunday on 27th March will be a celebration to mums of all shapes and sizes – not just direct relations but all those who ‘mother’ and guide us through life. We plan to give out traditional posies.

The library continues to be well used, with a good selection of books and magazines along with jigsaw puzzles. It’s not just fiction – cookery books and gardening magazines are well represented if you are looking for inspiration!

KD

Rockland All Saints

Typically, the visual aid I had lost when I gave the tribute to the Queen at the Candlemas service at the beginning of this month, turned up a couple of days later in a bag at the back of the shoe drawer (no idea how it got there - must have been the cat up to his tricks, as I certainly didn’t put it there!) So that you get to see it, albeit a bit late, here is the beautiful crown Carol knitted for the Flower Festival in 2012! Thanks to all who attended the service and gave such lovely positive feedback afterwards - we are so glad you enjoyed it!

Unfortunately, All Saints didn’t come through Storm Eunice without casualty - a huge tree fell in the graveyard near the most recent graves. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and there was no serious damage...but it is quite a headache working out how best to clear up the debris. The
Diocese has been contacted for advice and the insurance company will need to be involved, so hopefully we will see a way forward, without danger to life or limb. (Our usual tree surgeon advised great caution after he saw it and said it needed specialist action as it is such a huge tree that is completely uprooted.) Several families are very distressed that their loved ones’ gravestones have been disturbed but the story could have been so much worse. The good news is that the buildings are intact and nobody was hurt.....and so many have come forward offering to help when it is safe to do so, which is so kind!

Our next service is on 20th March and we look forward to the newly-formed choir singing at that! It has been a long time....!!

CJ

Rockland St Peter
First of all, can I just let the people of Rocklands know that we have a problem with the wall at the top of St. Peter's Lane. Part of the wall has collapsed, therefore it is not advisable to drive or walk up the lane to gain access to the church. We will attempt to get it sorted out as soon as possible. St. Peter's, as well as the other churches in the Shellrock Benefice, have to make a very important decision about our future. After Reverend Christina retired on 31st December we have been asked by the Diocese to join the Hingham Benefice. This will make it easier for the Diocese to manage staffing levels.

On a brighter note we have the Baptism of Freddie Dawney on Sunday 6th March. Many people from the village will be there.

We are looking forward to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. There will be a special service at St Peter's on Sunday 5th June.

JB

St Peter, Little Ellingham
Despite having our trees trimmed by UK Power recently, we suffered the same fate as many others when one of our trees came down during store Eunice. Thankfully the only casualty was our wheelie bin which tried to cushion the tree’s descent. Broken and with no wheels it awaits collection by Breckland Council and a replacement. I say it was the only casualty, but the tree did bring down the power line to the church. Sadly the weakest link was not at the pole but the church wall where the anchor point was ripped from the wall and the cable severed. It turned out that the cable was still ‘live’ and to give UK Power their due, they were there to make it safe within two hours of being told. As yet we don’t know the full extent of the damage, but we are hoping it is not too great. UK Power restored the power by the Tuesday evening after some alterations to the fittings. If the same thing happens again it is hoped it doesn’t take the wall with it next time! Note to self, ‘lop trees in vicinity of power line’.

CT

Foodbank
The Foodbank collections are still ongoing. Your donations are always appreciated so please continue to provide whatever items they can use. A full list is on their website, https://thetford.foodbank.org.uk/

Choir
As has already been mentioned, the Benefice church choir is again up and running. There are no specific practice nights, it depends on when during the month the choir is attending a service. We are looking forward to preparing for future services, including weddings, under the musical leadership of Neville Moon. Anyone who wishes to join us is very welcome.
CT

Church sponsored events to look forward to this month
Although we are not holding a Lent course this year there are two courses running in neighbouring parishes.

St Mary’s Church, Attleborough, five sessions on Wednesdays from 9th March to 6 th April:

7pm Holy Communion, 7.30pm to 8.45pm Lent course.
Each week ‘explore your own spirituality and prayer life with the help of some of the great Christian spiritual traditions:
Our own Anglican tradition
The Desert Father’s Solitude
The Benedictine Rule
The Franciscan Way
The Ignatian School

St Andrew’s Church, Hingham, five sessions on:
From Tuesdays 8th March 1130am with soup served at 1230pm or
Thursdays 10th March 7.30pm at The Meadows, Hingham
How does the uniqueness of Christianity work?
How does prayer work?
How does the church work?
How does God’s justice work?
How does heaven work?

Booking for this course is requested, to John Edmondson by email on: dean@johnedmondson.org

 

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Sue

Shellrock News - March - Ministers Corner

Ministers Corner
Dear Friends,

Firstly, as I write, Russia is invading Ukraine. It is an horrific situation for the people of Ukraine, and Kyiv in particular. Please pray for them and the country’s leaders.

Lent begins next week; 2nd March is Ash Wednesday. There will be a service of Holy Communion and Ashing at Little Ellingham at 7.00 p.m. to mark the beginning of Lent.

We are not running a Lent course this year (see church sponsored events, ed) but perhaps we can, in our services and individually, concentrate on Prayer. As mentioned above, we certainly need to pray for world peace and for governments to be stable, but we also have people around us who need our prayers. I have experienced the power of prayer several times in my own life, and it should not be underestimated.

Praying is a way of bringing God into our lives, also the lives of others. It can be a formal prayer such as those we use in our services. “Our Father, who art in heaven.....” is a good one to start with, but I also like what we call the Prayer for Purity – “Almighty, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secret is hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your Holy Name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”. This is good when we are tired – God knows what it is we want to pray about, he knows all the secrets of our hearts. We don’t have to put it into more words!

OR .... we can use our own words. We could have a long ‘chat’ with God or a few short prayers. We can ask God questions, say thank you, tell him about something we have done, tell him we are sorry, ask for help. Above all, we can pray for others, especially those who need God’s healing love to be directed towards them, which will bring comfort and peace within their hearts.

It is certain that we all know people who are sick or anxious, bereaved, distressed, or just having a bad time. Sometimes those people are not unhappy for their names to be mentioned in Church at the intercessions. It helps to know that we are thinking of them, and we can broaden the number of prayers being offered for one person. Also, if they are mentioned in the Ramblings we can refer to it during the week so they can be prayed for every day. Happy events can be mentioned in prayers, too, such as thanksgiving for a newborn, a baptism, or marriage. If you know of anyone who would like to have prayers said for them, please let me know. We will ask their permission before they are mentioned publicly.

In the meantime, my prayers are with you all, and I hope the start of Lent brings respite and peace.

Sue

P.S. There is no more news on the plan to merge with High Oak and Hingham. Most responded in a positive way to Archdeacon Steven Betts in February. We have another Zoom meeting with him and Bishop Alan on March 28th. This is too late for the April Shellrock News but I am sure the outcome will be disseminated in some way.

 

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Colin

Benefice church choir

The Benefice Church Choir has reformed after a long absence; over two years by my reckoning. As there is currently no fourth Sunday Benefice service with our churches taking it in turn, the choir will sing in one church each month in a rotation. The first time the choir will be present will be on 27th March in St James, next month in Rockland All Saints on 20th and so on.

We currently rehearse once each month in preparation for a forthcoming service and any weddings. The choir is open to all so if you wish to join us then please get in touch with me.

 

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