Colin

Shellrock News - September

St James, Great Ellingham

Our August service in St James was a benefice service, café style with music group.  The ‘café’ service is moving in September to make way for a Holy Communion.  Please check the services listed in the magazine, on the notice board or website for more information.

Don’t forget the Norfolk Churches Trust Cycle Ride/Walk/Drive is back on Saturday 11th September!  Dust off your bicycles or boots and raise some money for your church by raising sponsorship to visit as many churches as possible.  Sponsor forms are available in church and, as per last year, we will provide a ‘snack stop’ for visitors during the day.  Any funds are gratefully received.

The church is entirely funded and maintained by money received in the parish, at services or through events.  As with many charities, the income was significantly decreased during last year so we welcome any amount, small or large.  If you are able to make a regular donation, that helps throughout the year – if you would like bank details to set up a direct debit, please contact Kathryn: 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com

KD

St Peter, Little Ellingham

We have started sorting ourselves out post Covid restrictions and trying to get to some sort of normality.  We have two services each month as will be seen from the service listing.  Everyone is welcome to attend any of our services.

It is with regret that it has been decided not to open the church building each day as we did pre Covid restrictions.  We have experienced several acts of anti-social behaviour recently and feel it is not an appropriate time to leave the church building open unattended.  This is not what the church wishes as it should be an oasis for those who require a time of solitude, peace and prayer.  Maybe those responsible will decide to change their habits from being destructive to something constructive.  We shall continue to monitor the situation.

We shall be holding a Coffee, Tea and Cake morning in the church on Saturday 25th September in aid of the McMillan charity.  This excellent charity supports people with cancer and their families to live as full as life as is possible.  Everyone is invited to join us with all the proceeds going to the charity.

CT

Rockland All Saints

HARVEST SUPPER  IS BACK AGAIN
On Saturday, 2nd October we will be holding our Annual Harvest Supper at the Village Hall.   The meal will begin at 7pm. Seating from 6.30.   There will be quiches with ham and cheese accompanied by various salads and baked potatoes as well as a selection of home made desserts.  We will also be welcoming our Roskette Musical group with their popular music and song.  Please bring your own drinks and glass if you wish.   Amazingly, water will be free!

Tickets will be on sale in September priced £10.    You are assured of a lovely evening.   If you wish to order tickets please ring Cath 483542 or Barbara on 483420 or Julie on 488640.

PARKING CARS UP THE HILL
Please be aware when parking cars outside the church along the grass verge that often on a Sunday morning there are huge tractors travelling along the lane.   If cars are parked close to the hedges there should not be a problem.  If these tractors are unable to pass through please call in the church whether there is a service or not to request that a car can be moved to a safer position.

CHRISSY LISTER, our oldest Rocklander sadly died on 8th August at 97 years old.   The church was packed with family and friends to say goodbye to such a lovely lady, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.   She had lived in Rocklands nearly all her life with Walter, her husband.   Their four children all attended the village school.   Before 'lockdown' she enjoyed meeting knitting friends each Friday morning for coffee and a chat.  In fact she loved knitting and taught all her children, their children and grandchildren.   Latterly she knitted squares for charity blankets.  It was lovely to see that the family flowers included balls of wool and knitting needles.

Chrissy, Rest in Peace

BS

Rockland St Peter

September is a busy month for Rockland St. Peter.

We have a Baptism on the 5th September, a local family having their daughter Baptised at 10-30. Everyone is welcome to attend, we think the church will be full. Such a happy event after all the troubles we have gone through in the last eighteen months.

The Shellrock Benefice Fellowship Group will start meeting again on 7th September at 10am in Rockland St. Peter's Church.

The Rockland Clangers handbell ringing group are also starting on 13th September at 17-30.

On Tuesday 21st September is the first of the Rockland St. Peter's Talks.

A talk called "Bods" by John Brown. This is at 1900hrs. Complimentary Refreshments from 1815.

JB

Shropham with Snetterton

Shropham church is looking forward to the next service on 29th August and to the wedding scheduled for the 4th September.

DN

Food Donations

Donations received at the church (there is a green lidded box in the porch) and the village shops are now being split according to need.  During August these have been taken to Norwich 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 in need of a referral, contact Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.  For donation queries, contact Kathryn 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com.  Please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

KD

Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride

Don’t forget the Norfolk Churches Bike Ride which takes place on Saturday 11th September.  You don’t even have to have a bike; you can walk or drive your way around.  Your local church should have a sponsorship form if you wish to take part.

If you cannot participate, then please consider sponsoring someone who is.   If your church is open, check to see if they require anyone to be in attendance.  Remember that half the money raised will go to the Norfolk Churches Trust and the other half to the church nominated by the participant.

Church sponsored events to look forward to...

Saturday 11 September

9am-5pm            Norfolk Churches Sponsored Bike Ride  (see item)

Tuesday 21 September

7pm                      Rockland St Peter Talks, ‘Bods’ with John Brown.  Doors open at 6.15pm

Saturday 25 September

10am-12noon    McMillan Coffee Morning, in St Peter church, Little Ellingham

 

Back to top of page
 
Colin

Shellrock News - August

St James, Great Ellingham

During June and July, we have had art work from class 6 at Great Ellingham Primary School displayed in the church.  The pictures by year six have now been returned, but a small number of year five pictures still remain.  Do drop by and have a look at their talents!  We hope to feature more work from the children during the year.  The start of July saw the teddy festival art exhibition move into the church.  Many people attended the preview evening, enjoying a lovely burst of evening sunshine and plenty of conversation.  The exhibition featured a wide range of pieces, several from artists within the village.  It was great to see this back in church, along with visitors – a small step towards normality!

On 11th July we held our café style service, with a teddy theme.  As part of the service, we had a talk about the festival and an activity about what our bears, or the festival, mean to us.  Charles wrote a poem entitled, My Ted:

He may live most of his life these days in a quiet corner and gather dust but, sure as night follows day, when he does come into sight, he takes me back to my childhood and family love and kindness, of days of joy and frivolity and for that, he is a cornerstone of who I am, and for that, I give thanks to Ted.

 After the service, we sat outside to enjoy our picnics.  Sadly, the rain appeared so this was cut short but definitely something to consider for the future!

During August there will be a service in St James on Sunday 8th, 10.30am.  This will be the only service in Great Ellingham during the month.  Please see the service list or website for details of other services across the benefice.

The Norfolk Churches Trust Cycle Ride/Walk/Drive is back!  Dust off your bicycles or boots and raise some money for your church by raising sponsorship to visit as many churches as possible.  The date is Saturday 11th September.  Sponsor forms are available in church and, as per last year, we will provide a ‘snack stop’ for visitors during the day.  Any funds are gratefully received.

With the closure of Chequers Lane, please beware of additional traffic using Church Street - take extra care when accessing the car park or walking along the boundary walls.

KD

St Peter, Little Ellingham

With the changes to the rota, there will now be a service in our church on the fourth Sunday of each month.  This will be in addition to our normal Prayer and Praise service.  There is currently no other services being planned.

The doors of our new units have been removed for maintenance.  Apparently they are to be dried and new hinges fitted to make them fit better.  We hope this will be a long term solution to the problems we have had previously.  It is a great facility which will undoubtedly benefit our church for many years to come.  The church remains closed when not in use for the time being.

In July Margaret Thomas was sworn as churchwarden.  Margaret is only one of three churchwardens in the benefice which should ideally number ten. 

CT

Rockland St Peter

St. Peter’s Church is open daily if anyone would like to wander in to have a look around or just sit for a quiet time for reflection.

We will be adopting a new system for services during August on a trial basis.  There will be a morning service in one of the Benefice churches each Sunday.  On the first Sunday in August there will be a service at Rockland St. Peter’s and on the third Sunday there will be a service at Rockland All Saints. The morning services will commence at 10.30 am.  Whichever church you choose to attend, you will be guaranteed a warm welcome. We know it will take time for people’s confidence levels to return but we can assure you that we will remain vigilant and maintain Covid guidelines, for the present.

Looking ahead, we have a really special Family Service with Baptism on Sunday 5th September.  A child from a local family will be baptized in our church. We know this will be a joyous occasion and are looking forward to welcoming the family into our church.

*Saturday 6th November*: Winter Craft Market in the village hall supporting St. Peter’s Church and Cancer Research. Doors open to the public from 10.00 am-2.00 pm. Many local artisans have applied to have tables to sell their wares but if anyone else is interested, please contact Sharon Brown on 01953 483 187. The cost of the ‘table’ is £10 if you wish to be inside or £8 if you would prefer to be outside.

We look forward to seeing you.

SB

Rockland All Saints

Nothing to report

Shropham with Snetterton

There is nothing to report from Shropham.

DN

Food Donations

Donations received at the church (there is a green lidded box in the porch) and the village shops are now being split according to need.  A batch was sent during July to the N&N Chaplaincy.  Thetford Food bank has re-opened for selected donations – tinned tomatoes, tinned rice pudding, tinned fruit, UHT/long life milk, long life juice & tinned fish.  If you are in need of a referral, contact Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.  For donation queries, contact Kathryn 456525 or sunflowerjones@hotmail.com.  Please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

KD

Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride

The annual bike ride this year will take place on Saturday 11th September.  You don’t even have to have a bike; you can walk or drive your way around.  Your local church should have a sponsorship form if you wish to take part.

One of the many causalities of Covid has been the (severe) reduction of church funds.  Of the money raised by the bike ride, half goes to the Norfolk Churches Trust and the other half to your nominated church.

Benefice Team meeting

From the meeting held on 12th July it was decided that there will only be one morning act of worship in one church in the benefice each Sunday.  Other acts of worship may be planned for the afternoon and evening.  Please keep an eye on the Notices.

There is still no update on any changes to the structure of the benefice.  It is not expected we shall hear anything for a few months yet.

 

Back to top of page
 
Colin

Shellrock Ramblings - 13th June

Peggy Joan Thomas

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

 

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 2nd May

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

You remain in my thoughts each day.

My love to you all

Christina

Letter from the Bishop of Norwich

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

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

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

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

Notices

Sunday 2nd May, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Sunday 9th May, the sixth Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

Centering Prayer

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

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

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

So are you interested?

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

Thank you.

Colin

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 25th April

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

My love to you all

Christina

Notices

Sunday 25th April, the Fourth Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

Sunday 2nd May, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

* change of channel for football again.

 

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 18th April

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

My love to you all.

Christina 

Notices

Sunday 18th April, the Third Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Monday 19th April

13.00   Scoulton Crematorium - Funeral of Isabella Rann

19.00   St James, Great Ellingham - APCM in the church

Tuesday 20th April

19.00   St Peter, Little Ellingham - APCM in the church

 Thursday 22nd April

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

Sunday 25th April, the Fourth Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

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

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

Shellrock News

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

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

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

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

George Reeve

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

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 11th April

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

And I give thanks for that –

Dawn whispering at the window

Nudging memory, books by the bedside

Waiting to be read,

Far echoes of a kettle coming to the boil,

Footsteps on the stairs.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that ---

Kindness, a doctor who took

Time, a nurse who ignored

Night to combat fear,

Care and circles of concern, the distant telephone.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that --

Grasses and scent of spring

Squirrel busy on the lawn,

Birds enjoying our berries,

Faint murmur of mowing,

Wide morning sky, and snowdrops,

The trees’ ancient lullabies.

I give thanks for that.

 

I give thanks for that ---

For life and breath, for chance

To dream again of longer days, touch

Of loved ones’ hands, of laughter

And visiting old friends.

For just being.

 I give thanks for that.

With my love to you all

Christina

Notices

Sunday 11th April, the Second Sunday of Easter

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland St Peter - Morning Prayer

Wednesday 14th April

13.30 Rockland St Peter - Benefice Team meeting

 Sunday 18th April, the Third Sunday of Easter

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

 10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Holy Communion

Scheduled broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

Ann Ellis

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

Ramblings

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

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

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

CT

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 4th April

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 4th April, Easter Sunday

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

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

Sunday 11th April, the Second Easter of Sunday

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Morning Service

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

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

8.10am Radio 4 - Easter Sunday Worship from Canterbury Cathedral

10.00am BBC1 - Easter Day Eucharist, from Canterbury Cathedral

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

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

Singing

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

Isabella Rann

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

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 28th March

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

Sunday 28th March, Palm Sunday

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

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love towards the human race, sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you   in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

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

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

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

Friday 2nd April, Good Friday

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

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

15.00 St James, Great Ellingham - Good Friday service

Sunday 4th April, Easter Sunday

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

10.30 St James, Great Ellingham - Holy Communion

0 9.30 St Peter, Little Ellingham - Holy Communion

10.30 Rockland All Saints - Morning Prayer

11.30 Rockland St Peter - Holy Communion

09.30 Shropham - Holy Communion BCP

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

8.00pm BBC4 - Brotherhood: the Inner Life of Monks

Singing

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

 

Back to top of page
 
Christina

Shellrock Ramblings - 21th March

My Dear Friends

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

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

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

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

My love to you all

Christina

Sunday Service

The Shellrock Sunday Service and reflection are here

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

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

Collect: Most merciful God,   who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ   delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross   we may triumph in the power of his victory;   through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you   in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

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

Sunday 28th March, Palm Sunday

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

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

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

Broadcasted religious programs this Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

* Change of channel, football again, what else!

Covid Anniversary

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

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

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

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

Shellrock News

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

Colin

 

Back to top of page
 

Email Updates

Always be the first to know. Tailor your email update to suit your preferences. You can set it to check for updates to the site at a frequency that suits you. You will only be mailed when there is new content.

Sign up / Sign in »

Get in touch

Comments? Good or bad experiences of the site?
Phone:
Email:

Online contact form »