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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Colin

Shellrock News - December

Ministers Corner

Here is a letter sent out by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, to all parishioners:

Advent 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

 Advent marks the beginning of the Church year. We begin again the annual cycle of hearing and praying the story of Salvation in the birth and ministry, passion and death, resurrection and ascension, of Jesus Christ.

 Our Christian pilgrimage is a journey into the life and company of Jesus. I invite you to seek to live out our diocesan vision to be “Transformed by Christ”.

 To be Transformed by Christ inspires us to be Prayerful, Pastoral and Prophetic. All three ‘P’s’ are powerful words, full of promise and potential, and they will help us navigate the route along our journey of holy transformation.

 Will you come with me on this journey? It is not another programme, not another project, not another ‘thing’ to do. In fact, much more than more ‘do-ing’, I see this as a gift to ‘be’ more, to inhabit more fully and completely our lives as baptised children of God.

 Our new Vision is simply inviting us to build on what we, as disciples of Christ, are already doing – being open to God through prayer, being open to the needs of those around us through pastoral care and being open to issues of justice near and far through finding our prophetic voice.

 With the beginning of Advent, we will be focusing during the course of this next year on the first of those ‘P’ words – Prayerful. We could not begin with anything better, for everything flows from prayer. Advent’s weeks of watching and waiting are such good ones in which to begin deepening our prayer.

 At a time when we can often feel overloaded, and there is a pandemic ‘scratchiness’ around, how good it is to remember that the most important - yet simplest - thing we can do to prepare for the transformation brought by the Christ-child is to let prayer ready our hearts for his arrival.

 But our journeying together towards living more prayerfully goes on long after Advent. Our churches already have many wonderful resources at our disposal to help us to pray but some new ones – specifically for us in this diocese – have been produced to help us in the weeks and months ahead.

 There’s a poem … a new hymn … some notes for preachers … and various prayers and suggestions for how they might be used. All can be found on the diocesan website. In addition, do sign up for this year’s digital Advent Calendar: each of the ‘windows’ will reveal a different person from across this diocese, sharing with us the particular ways of praying. A wonderful opportunity to be inspired daily an incredibly rich variety of prayed-in lives.

 I see this year’s journey into deeper prayerfulness as a great gift. It is a gift offered to each one of us, to each congregation and to the diocese at large. An invitation to journey with me and each other into the mystery of God. As Bishop Jane, Bishop Alan and I travel around the diocese during this next year, we will be keen to hear from you what you are discovering about prayer. And to learn from you.

 Every blessing as you travel through Advent and open this gift in the coming weeks.

Shropham

Please see the diary page for upcoming events at Shropham.

Rockland St Peter

November has been very busy for St. Peter's with some really memorable events.

On 30th October we had Pudsey Lunch in aid of Children in Need which was a huge success.  It was wonderful to see the children in church doing activities, and adults enjoying cake and bacon rolls. People were very generous even to the point of one little girl who donated her £1.50 pocket money. We raised a total of £300 on the day.

The Winter Market on 6th November was another success. There was a lovely atmosphere in the hall despite the chilly air temperature. This was a perfect opportunity for villagers to get together and shop. The traders all remarked on how much they enjoyed being part of our winter market and working with our local community.

We have to say a massive thank you to Chris Riddell for his 'talk and draw' on 20th November and also for his on-line draw that raised much needed funds for St. Peter's.

On the 18th December we have a Nine Lessons and Carols service at 4pm. We are proud to say that the Wymondham Choristers will be there to sing for us.

On the 17th December Rocklands School will have their Carol Service at 2pm.

Santa's Grand Tour will also be on the 17th December; the tour will be around the villages of Little Ellingham and Rocklands finishing at The White Hart.

On Christmas Eve at 3pm is the Light of the World service aimed especially at Rocklands children. The stable will be in church from 1st December, please come and have a look.

Happy New Year.

On the 2nd January will be our first Family Service of 2022. 

JB

Rockland All Saints

It has been a busy month with various things going on and when you read this, December will be here and the ‘silly season’ will be well and truly upon us!  The Advent Lunch and Advent Carol service will be over and the Church Year will have started again!

On December 5th at 10.30,  the service will be at All Saints and we will be remembering and celebrating the lives of  all those we have lost since the beginning of the pandemic, including one of our PCC, Laura Thompson, who sadly passed away so recently on 11th November at home.

The wonderful Christingle service (see poster) is being held on December 12th. The children come at 2.30 and make their Christingles in the Victorian schoolroom and the actual service begins at 3pm. It is a short, lively informal service, with the highlight being the children holding their lit Christingle candles in the semi darkness singing ‘Away in a manger’. The Benefice Music Group leads the singing, with Colin and Kathryn playing guitar and flute……we finish off by eating Nativity biscuits!  If you plan to bring a child, I’d be grateful if you could please let me know beforehand so we can make sure we have enough oranges! (cath@jones871.plus.com) All monies raised will go to The Children’s Society as usual.

The other service at All Saints in December is the traditional ‘Midnight Mass’ held at the more civilised hour of 10pm on Christmas Eve. This is a candlelit service and all are most welcome to attend. It humbles me every year to think that Rocklanders have been attending  a service on Christmas Eve in All Saints for hundreds of years and very little has changed in that time in the church, even though the world outside and our lifestyles are so very different!

Please make the effort to join us…I am sure you won’t regret it!

We wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and happy 2022 from all at All Saints Church.  Look after yourselves and stay safe.

CJ

St Peter, Little Ellingham

It gives me great pleasure to report that the doors to our recently installed units now been fitted.  They were removed several months ago to facilitate the repairs required including a change of hinges.  Also the notice board is scheduled to be secured to the wall.  All together the West end of the church will look very much better.  Thank you to Peter Griffiths for his persistence in getting this work carried out, and in time for Christmas too.

On the subject of Christmas, we shall be holding our Carol Service on Sunday 19th December which will be accompanied with the usual refreshments of drinks and mince pies after the service.  Everyone is invited.  At least this year we shall have it indoors where it will be dry and relatively warm.

Sadly, we have been informed of the death of Ann Nash.  Ann was a long-time resident of Anchor Corner, Little Ellingham and has always supported our church.  A fall in July resulted in Ann being hospitalised from where she failed to recover sufficiently to return home.  Covid rules meant only her husband Robin was allowed to visit.  Her funeral is scheduled for 1pm on Friday 10th December at Breckland Crematorium. We send our sincere condolences to husband Robin and family, and to her many friends.

CT

St James, Great Ellingham

We’ve just held our first event for almost two year – a Christmas Shopping Evening.  Thank you to everyone who attended; it was great to see the church full of people buying their gifts and meeting people.  It raised almost £485.  (That covers a quarter of our annual insurance renewal or a third of our gas bill.)  There were some super crafts available and the stallholders enjoyed themselves too.  Our raffle prizes were donated – special mentions go to Tony Perkins Butchers, Norfolk Veg Box, Rachel Ray Reflexology.  Thanks to all who helped in some way, particularly Abby, Pat & Beryl, Charles & Iain, Christine, Nancy.

Another Thank You is for Nancy who makes a variety of jams and donates all the money to church funds.  Take a walk along church street to the white house (Attleborough Rd end) and you might be lucky enough to find a jar or two available for sale.  They are tasty!

Remembrance Sunday was well attended.  Warming refreshments were enjoyed by all after the service with homemade pumpkin soup by Charles (thank you to Richard at Rookery Meadows for the pumpkins).  Another beautiful banner representing the sections of Great Ellingham (St James’) scout group was presented at the service, made by Christine Fuller.

Carols around the tree is back!  It will be on Tuesday 21st December at 6.30pm.  This year it will feature members of the Great Ellingham school choir and the Village Singers, alongside traditional carols for everyone to enjoy.  Mince pies, mulled wine and other assorted goodies will be available.

There won’t be a café service on the 12th December as the music group will instead be playing at the Christingle service at Rockland All Saints.  Traditional midnight mass will be held at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve.  Is it too early to wish you all a very Happy Christmas?!

Keep an eye on the service sheet in the porch or notice board for our services.  Changes and additions are likely during the festive period.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

KD

Food Donations

Donations received at the church (there is a green lidded box in the church) and the village shops are now split between Norwich and Thetford Foodbank.  Most wanted items on the list include: tinned tomatoes, tinned rice pudding, tinned fruit, UHT/long life milk, long life juice & tinned fish.  They are well stocked with pasta!  If you are making extra donations for Christmas, please do this as early in the month as possible so we can get them to the distribution centres.

If you are in need of a referral, contact Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.  Please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.  For donation queries, contact Kathryn 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com.

KD

Here is the Certificate of Appreciation sent from the Norwich Foodbank thanking us for delivering to them 3,044 Kg of food which is estimated to supply 358 people with enough provisions for three days.  It is sad that this service is even necessary but your generosity makes it possible.

See also the item on the Salvation Army’s Toys and Tins Appeal

Salvation Army Toys and Tins Appeal

Every year, the Salvation Army collect new toys to be made into parcels for families referred to them and in need of help.  If you are interested in supplying anything, then I'm happy to collate and drop off.  The earlier they arrive, the sooner they can be sorted, boxed and distributed - however, anything that arrives too late is kept ready for the following year.  Financial gifts through their Just Giving pages are welcomed, or you can buy gifts direct for delivery via their Amazon wish list.

Amazon Gift List

https://amzn.to/3HGdsmJ 

JustGiving Page

https://www.justgiving.com/fund.../toys-and-tins-appeal-2021

Please contact Kathryn on 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com

 

 

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