May news from St James' Church

Our Good Friday walk was undertaken by a small number of participants. As Rev Sue prayed with us before we set off, she used a Celtic blessing containing the words ‘may be wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon the fields...’ We’d all seen the forecast and we looked up to the sky, and yes, amazingly, our walk to Rocklands All Saints was once more a dry one!

Our Easter benefice service was full of reasons to be thankful – the Easter candles were rededicated and we renewed our baptismal vows, complete with the sprinkling of water across the congregation. Rev Sue seemed to particularly enjoy that point! The service was followed by bubbly and cake to celebrate together.

The April pop up café was blessed with gloriously sunny weather and a decent turnout, including some new faces. It’s an event we hope will bring the community together to see that there is life outside a service. The cheese biscuits by Margaret and cemetery buns by Charles were particularly well received.

We held our APCM this week and are delighted to report that Charles has agreed to continue as churchwarden for another year. We also have two new members on the PCC, Caroline and Richard, to whom we are hugely grateful and we look forward to them being part of our team.

The Christian Aid Big Breakfast is coming up on Saturday 11th May, 9 – 11am. Everyone is welcome! Offers of assistance with the washing and drying up will be gratefully received!

For your next diary dates, the next St James Pop-up café will be on Saturday 8th June.

The Village Singers have their concert on 15th June - tickets are now available from Rocklands and Great Ellingham Village shops.


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May news from Rockland All Saints Church

The Easter services in the Benefice gave us, as always, a variety of experiences. We enjoyed making our own palm crosses at St Peter’s a week before Easter Day (some more successfully than others, it has to be said!). On Maundy Thursday we had a moving Agape service, again at St Peter’s where we shared a meal of bread, wine and cheese together remembering the Last Supper before we went into quietness after all the chat and laughter, stripped the church of all the decoration and left the building in silence. On Good Friday we met again at All Saints and welcomed the brave souls who had carried the heavy cross from Gt Ellingham on a Walk of Witness. The service was sad and somewhat emotional due to the storyline as we followed the Stations of the Cross as they were read by members of the congregation. Then came the contrast with the joy and jubilation of Easter Day at St James, GE when we celebrated the Resurrection with the choir and organ in full volume! Simnel cake at the end was an added bonus!

As I write, we have still received no applications for the position of church warden even three years after John retired, having served many years more than the regulations officially allow! With a small congregation that is not getting any younger, we are struggling to keep up with the maintenance of the churchyard, so we are so pleased that two female villagers have offered to do stints to help with grass cutting and strimming the rapidly growing nettles! It would be such a shame if our loved ones in the churchyard are left untended……we have increased the area of the wildflower areas where there are no recent graves but there is still a lot of grass to cut each week. We have appealed to the people who come and tend graves regularly to perhaps bring some shears or a strimmer to clear a small area round their loved ones’ graves and have everything crossed that we will have a positive response! Every little helps as the advert says!

Unfortunately, it is not possible to hold the usual Barbara’s Day this year but there will be a Plant and Book sale near the school on the mornings of 22nd, 23rd and 24th May for you to stock up your bookshelves and gardens for the summer! It will be cash only……but you can pop up to the shop to get some out of the PO and maybe have a coffee up there at the same time! We look forward to seeing you there!


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May news from Rockland St Peter Church

The May Magnificat

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle* blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp† are merry

With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes‡ wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

G. M. Hopkins
This poem is linked to the Roman Catholic Church and their Marian prayers and worship.

Spring Clean
We had a spectacular spring clean in April and it has set us up on a good foot for the rest of the year. Thank you to everyone involved!

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place on the 5th of May. All are welcome to join us and see what we have been up to!

New Carpet
The good news is, we have got a lovely new carpet for the centre aisle so that the tired, old one has been replaced. Sadly, we have not received any monetary donations as yet so, if you have a few pennies laying around any donations would be greatly appreciated.


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April news from Rockland All Saints Church

On Saturday 16th March we, in collaboration with St Peter’s, held a very successful Cheese and Wine evening in the Village Hall. There was a lovely buffet of scrumptious food , lots of wine and soft drinks and entertainment by the Roskettes. (Apologies that a key member of the group is hidden from view in the photo….without Colin on the guitar, the girls would not be able to perform in the same way!)

Many thanks to the 50+ people who attended and to those who provided food and worked so hard to make the event such a success- I think a good time was had by all and over £500 was raised to be split between the two Rockland churches. Future fundraisers and other events will be advertised more fully later , but look out for a plant and book sale in May- many bargains to be had!


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April news from Rockland St Peter Church

News and Views from St. Peter’s Church
Spring has sprung! As we write this, cowslips are emerging and the daffodils are in bloom. Sam Thomas’ lambs are prancing around us as we drive out of Gt. Ellingham and the traffic lights, although unwelcome by some, allow us to pause and take in the view for a little longer. We had a very busy March with Mothering Sunday, Palm Sunday and an Agape service. April is giving us time to prepare the church and we are having a spring clean to get us ready for the rest of the year.
Spring Clean
Sunday 7th April - 2pm. Our wonderful team need a little help on Sunday the 7th of April after the service at around 12pm. We have some ground tidying to do and spring cleaning to do within the church.
Cheese and Wine Joint Venture
We had a great time with our joint cheese and wine event and are happy to report it was a huge success. The Roskettes were wonderful and we got a beautiful snap of two ladies who keep the church spick and span: Joan Dove and Beryl Chilleystone. Two of the most loved and appreciated women! We hope they know it but if they don’t, they might after reading this!
New Carpet
We are in the process of gathering quotes for a new carpet down the centre of the church aisle as our current one has served its lifespan and needs replacing. We are happy to receive any donations towards this: please and thank you.

Call for Young People
Do you have ideas of what to do inside the church? Do you want a craft activity? A cake sale? A planting session on the grounds? Please share your ideas for our future planning. The future of our village churches grows ever uncertain and to keep these beautiful buildings in good condition; they need people who care about them and want to see them standing for years to come. Without a new generation wanting to take custodian of the buildings, we face losing them. While we would love more young Christians to join us, we also welcome anyone who has an interest in history and wishes to protect the church as a historic building even if they do not believe.
Contact Details
John Brown: johnbrown.propmaster@gmail.com
Follow us on FB: www.facebook.com/rstpeterschurch


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April news from St James' Church

During March we held our annual spring fair, raising around £600 for church funds. The church was filled with craft stalls and the school choir entertained with their songs Here comes the sun, If I had a hammer and Rocking Bunny. There were plenty of refreshments to go round too. A raffle was held and there are a couple of items uncollected: Barbara (pink 382) with a phone number ending 451 (I have tried to call but not able to get through) and Olivia (pink 340) with no contact details. If these might be you, please contact Kathryn 01953 572159 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com so you can be united with your prizes!

We had a lovely Mothering Sunday service, joined by young people from the Scout group. Many posies were made and then distributed during the service. Again, there was plenty of cake available afterwards!

As we look ahead to Easter, we have our walk of witness on Good Friday, departing at 12 noon from the church. This will take us to Rocklands, where walkers can join the congregation at Rockland All Saints if they wish, for the 2pm service. Everyone is welcome. Dress for the weather. Easter Sunday will be celebrated together as a benefice, with the choir, at St James’. Don’t forget to change your clocks though!

Our next events will be the pop-up café on Saturday 13th April, 10 – 12, and the Christian Aid Big Breakfast on Saturday 11th May, 9 – 11am. Do book these events in your diary. We’d love to see you. Our APCM will be on Wednesday 17th April, 7pm, in the church.


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Shellrock Ramblings - 31st March

Spring into Summer
A reminder that British Summer Time begins this Sunday 31st March. This means the clocks will go forward by 1 hour.

Priest-in-charge Vacancy
We have been informed that due to illness the advert inviting applications to fill our vacancy has not yet been published.

Change to Deanery
We have been informed that, as from 26 March 2024, the Humbleyard Deanery will be dissolved with some of the parishes in that Deanery being incorporated into our Deanery, Thetford and Rocklands. Those now part of our Deanery are:

- Hethersett
- High Oak, Hingham and Scoulton with Woodrising
- Wymondham with Silfield and Spooner Row

The other parishes involved have been incorporated into other Deaneries.


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