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Broome Church 2

St. Mary’s Church, Ditchingham
For further details click: St. Mary’s Church


Rev’d Chris Hutton (Rector)
Tel: 01986 895423 ~ email: chrishutton@hotmail.com

The Church Office, School Road, Earsham NR35 2TF
Mon, Wed & Fri 10am ~ 2.00pm
Tel: 01986 894494            e-mail:  office@earshambenefice.org.uk


~ SERVICES IN OUR PARISH CHURCHES ~


BROOME

  • 5th September 2021 ~ 10.00am Benefice Holy Communion Service at Denton ~ Bishop Alan (Thetford) & Revd. C. Hutton
  • 12th September 2021 ~ 10am ~ Morning Prayer
  • 19th September 2021 ~ No Service at Broome
  • 26th September 2021 ~ 10.00am ~ Holy Communion Harvest Service

BROOME CHURCHWARDENS DETAILS

Liz Tipple 01986 893069/ Roger Tuffley ~ 01508 518977


DITCHINGHAM normally 10am every Sunday

  • 5th September 2021 ~ 10.00am Benefice Holy Communion Service at Denton ~ Bishop Alan (Thetford) & Revd. C. Hutton
  • 12th September 2021~ No Service at Ditchingham
  • 19th September 2021 ~ 10.00am ~ Holy Communion Harvest Service
  • 26th September 2021 ~ No Service at Ditchingham

DITCHINGHAM CHURCHWARDENS DETAILS

Sally Ellson ~ 01986 892687


Services held in HEDENHAM

  • 5th September 2021 ~ 10.00am Benefice Holy Communion Service at Denton ~ Bishop Alan (Thetford) & Revd. C. Hutton
  • 5th September 2021 ~ 6.00pm Evensong Service
  • 12th September 2021 ~ No Service at Hedenham
  • 19th September 2021 ~ No Service at Hedenham
  • 26th September 2021 ~ No Service at Hedenham

HEDENHAM CHURCHWARDENS DETAILS

Hannah Morris ~ 01508 482794 / Rosie Sethia ~ 01508 482522


RECTOR’S NEWSLETTER

Church Thoughts – August/September 2021

If you have taken a walk in the northern parts of the parish you will have seen signs have appeared on the footpath posts for a new pilgrimage walk. The ‘Via Beata’ which means ‘a way of blessing’.

The Christian faith has a long history of pilgrimage. Ever since those first disciples rushed to see for themselves the place where Jesus had been buried and was now no longer present, men and women have travelled to sites made significant either by the deeds carried out there, words spoken there, or the fact that a holy man or woman lived there or whose remains are present. This practice has had a huge influence not only on the spiritual history of the British Isles but on the physical infrastructure as well, leading to a glorious network of abbeys built to support the needs of those travellers. One of those famous pilgrimage destinations was right here in Norfolk at Walsingham.

The purpose for those undertaking a pilgrimage is to get away from the stresses and worries of the world and deepen the Christian’s connection with God. As you walk and visit places where God has impacted people’s lives it gives you time to reflect on the beauty of creation, and where people have done great things and experienced God.

The ‘Via Beata’ is a new pilgrimage route across the U.K. from East to West at its widest point, Lowestoft to St David’s. Along the path there will be way stations of Christian art-works that will communicate God’s love for people, and for the U.K. So next time you happen to be in the northern of the parish, you may see a small group of pilgrims walking their way right across the country marvelling at the beautiful Norfolk countryside that God and man has created. Visit www.viabeata.co.uk for more info.

Rev’d Chris Hutton

Earsham Ditchingham Benefice 01986 895423

www.earshambenefice.org.uk

 

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

We give thanks for the freedoms we have enjoyed this summer, for holidays, for socialising again, for the vaccinations.

As we go forward locally, nationally and worldwide, we pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for hope, for peace, and we trust you to lead us forward, not just back to the old ways. We contributed to the Covid crisis by our own lack of stewardship. We repent and ask you to refill us today with the love, power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, that we may be effective witnesses to Jesus. We love the natural world, and we praise and worship you, Father, through the grace of Jesus Christ, out Lord and Saviour.


Church Thoughts – July 2021

Mid-summer approaches! Where did the first half of the year go? It hardly feels like the year has began but we are already half way through and the calendar doesn’t lie. All those New Year resolutions that were time limited still incomplete. All those things that needed to be done in the spring (weeding the garden etc) that didn’t get completed. All the things that we want to get done before the kids break up from school. Is it any wonder that life can feel that it is, or has, run away from us? It is so hard to differentiate from the urgent and the important, from the necessary and preferable, from the inconsequential and the desirable. Sadly, although most of these dilemmas are first-world issues they are still ones that exercise our time, our energy, and our resources.

The first disciples of Jesus lived in a very different world. Their options were far more limited. They were subject to all sorts of vagaries and changing circumstances over which they had no control and although this was first-century Palestine, much of our world today finds itself in a similar position (albeit with a different sort of technology available which has both advantages and disadvantages). Yet, Jesus spoke to them about an approach to life which may speak as much to us in the Western world of the 21st century. His simple sentence saying “why worry about tomorrow, tomorrow has enough worries of its own” (Matthew 6v24), challenges us to let go of a lot that can wear us down.

Jesus says, in short, we ought to let tomorrow worry about itself. He’s not saying we cannot or should not make wise plans. Nor is He saying we ought to literally ignore anything but the most immediate questions. His context here is about the emotions of fear and anxiety. Those who trust in God should try not to allow useless worry over the future. Tomorrow’s fight will happen tomorrow. Today has plenty of trouble with which we need to trust God. We are to trust God in a moment-by-moment way. So as we realise that we reach the half way point to the year, we don’t look back and worry about what’s not happened, we don’t worry about tomorrow as we leave that to God, we enjoy his blessings Today in all there fullness!

Rev’d Chris Hutton
Earsham Ditchingham Benefice 01986 895423
www.earshambenefice.org.uk

 

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

At this time with others we pray psalm 91:-

‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust”

Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare, and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of the night,

Nor the arrow that flies by day,

Nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

Nor the plague that destroys at midday.

These who love me I will deliver,

(Ps 91, v 1 – 6, 14a)


Church Thoughts – June 2021

As we come to the end hopefully of the last ever COVID lockdown, as the vaccines start to work and we go back to normality, today I want to address a question I have been asked several times in this last year – Why did God allow COVID? If God is loving, why did he let my loved one die? There is no easy answer to the problem of suffering (and the 500 words I’m allowed will only allow me to scratch the surface). There is not a section of the Bible, a verse which tells us the reason why what has happened to you, happened to you. What there is in God’s word is something to help us understand what suffering is, what it might be for and how to live through it.

The first thing to say about suffering is that it isn’t natural. It’s real, it hurts and the writers of the Bible knew that more than most, but it isn’t natural. The first page of the Bible, Genesis 1 records the creation of the world, when each stage is completed it says this; “and God saw that it was good”. The world in its original, intended state does not contain suffering; there is no crying, no pain, no death. Christians believe that when God made the word, there was no suffering and the world is not how the loving God made it.

Even though suffering isn’t natural, the Bible also says that suffering isn’t meaningless. Firstly this is demonstrated in the person of Jesus. Jesus was God become man. Jesus was tired, he was hungry, he wept over sickness and disease, over the death of a friend. He was rejected by his own people, even his closest friends abandoned him. All his suffering had its crescendo at the cross where Jesus was crucified as a common criminal. He was mocked, spat upon and endured the most excruciating physical pain and, more than that, the most excruciating emotional and spiritual pain as God the Father turned away from the Son that he loves. Why did he go through that suffering – so we could be forgiven – suffering isn’t meaningless.

Peter writing to the Christians in Asia Minor who were being persecuted and killed during the reign of Emperor Nero, are also told that times of suffering are often times that faith is refined – and he uses the example of making pure Gold (1 Peter 1). During times of suffering we can either run towards God or run away from him. We may look back and not know why God allowed us to suffer in a particular way, or why he allowed a bad thing to happen to a good person, but Christians do believe that the suffering isn’t meaningless, often God uses it for good and often for the refinement of faith.

Thirdly the bible also shows us that suffering isn’t forever. So even though suffering isn’t natural or meaningless, you may be asking the question, why doesn’t God just do something about it – and the answer is that he has, through the death of Jesus Christ. As Christians we look forward to a time when there will be no more suffering and we will be with God forever in heaven (Revelation 21).

So why did in 2019, God allow a virus to mutate and spread across the world? Sorry but no one can answer that exact question but I can tell you that suffering isn’t natural, it isn’t meaningless and it isn’t forever.

Rev’d Chris Hutton

Earsham Ditchingham Benefice 01986 895423
www.earshambenefice.org.uk

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

Yours Lord, is the greatness, and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor. Your agenda was infinitely broader than the disciples realised, broader than we realise. Open our minds now, Lord God. We praise your glorious name. We give you thanks. Thanks for vaccines, reduction in Covid cases (hopefully) and easing of restrictions locally. Thanks for increased awareness and valuing of the natural world, for our desire for meaning in life.

We pray earnestly for continued improvement in the pandemic situation (including variants) and for an awareness of your presence, for an attitude of gratitude, of outgoing love and care. Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my heart as it is in heaven.


December 2020

Church Thoughts – December 2020

What a strange year it has been! It seems unbelievable that we are at the end of the year, because so many planned events have been interrupted, postponed or cancelled. Now we are approaching the build up to Christmas, and the Christmas celebrations themselves, so much is unknown – will we be able to gather as families, as churches, as communities? Will we have to hold only virtual celebrations, each in our home or can our services go ahead?

Whatever the answer, Christmas will be celebrated differently this year, but this does not necessarily mean that it will not be as good as before. This will be a season like no other! Many of our regular symbols and traditions; candles, lights, decorations can and will be used. We can however also make exciting, new traditions, as we explore the art of the possible and what will be allowable.

That is because while our celebrations may change, the meaning of what Christmas is about doesn’t. The Christmas celebration is all about the birth of Jesus Christ. At Christmas we remember God, not as some distant deity in the sky but as a real living human person. God being born as man, God experiencing what it is to be human, God being with us then, now and forever. As the gospel of John says: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Do join us for our online Christingle service – 6pm on Tuesday 1st December. Grab a round fruit, a birthday candle, 4 cocktail sticks and some sweets and join with us as we create our Christingle at home. Check out the link from our website and Facebook page. Please do also keep an eye out on our website check out all our Christmas services. If allowable we will be holding a Christmas Service on Sunday 20th at Broome church in morning and a service in Ditchingham church at 4pm. On Christmas Eve there will a Communion service at Hedenham at 11:30pm and on Christmas Day a service at Ditchingham Church at 10am.

I am sure that we will continue to celebrating God’s love and faithfulness to us, even in difficult circumstances so may God bless you, and keep you safe at this special Advent and Christmas time.

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

“Father, thank you for research and front-line teams, and for a possible covid vaccine. For bringing us closer to nature during lockdowns, and seeing your hand in it. For your love in Jesus, born at Christmas to give us all eternal life.

We pray for continuation of prayer for covid-19, a successful outcome and effective control arrangements for vaccines. For change, individually, and nationally, to see a bigger picture behind everything. We pray that we live with a healthy environment, healthy bodies, healthy relationships, and work together positively for our future. We pray to know within ourselves your love through Jesus, who lived and died for love of us. In his name we pray.”


Church Thoughts – November 2020

As you receive this newsletter we will only be days away from the American presidential elections. Whoever wins will be leading one of the most influencing counties in the world, which will impact even us across the sea. However, I must confess I’ve been tempted to wonder whether the present U.S President cares for anybody else but himself as our present crisis shows (and while the vast majority go into politics because they care, the same could be said of one or two in every political party in our country too). Following his treatment and how he’s responded to his exceptional care, he has made little mention of 210,000 victims of the virus in the U.S and those affected by bereavement as well as no mention of the numerous White House staff he infected. If I was American I’d be wondering whether this man noticed the suffering of others.

It’s caused me to reflect on who is paying attention to us and cares for each us. If you have ever hand to care for a loved one, whether a child, a sick partner of an elderly relative, you will now what this means. You will know this experience of not letting a loved one out of your sight unless they’re sleeping. We do it with our children, especially when they are babies and toddlers and we do it later in life with our parents. However, when it comes to our relationship with God, we can often feel out of his sight. When times are hard, we feel we’ve slipped off his radar. With isolation and distancing from others, from family and friends rearing their ugly heads again, it can be destabilising when we fear being isolated from God.

I believe it’s important for us to remind ourselves that this feeling of being away fro God’s sight is wrong, that we have a God who, incredibly, is always paying us loving attention. Jesus was the master of the art of noticing. His eye was always focussed on those missed by other people. His compassion was directed with laser like intensity towards the social pariahs, the vulnerable, and the victims of discrimination. Jesus shows us that God has mastered the art of noticing and seeing. On one occasion he asked “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” In effect he’s saying if God is attentive when a sparrow falls to the ground, how much more will he notice what is going on in your life – every minute of every day! There is not the smallest detail of our life that is not of vital interest to God. God is not dozing off. His gaze is not easily distracted like ours. As we perhaps enter another stage of lockdown, we remember that God is always paying loving attention to us.

Revd Chris Hutton (Rector)

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

 “Father God, thank you for Jesus, for his sacrificial death, that through him all believers are declared righteous in your sight – a holy people. James writes: ‘the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5 V16). We believe and trust as we pray for our present uncertain situation. Father may your will be done. Consider the threats we face, and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal, and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4, v 29, 30) Inspire us to co-operate together, that people and businesses will survive and by your grace we’ll get though this. Lord have mercy on us”


Church Thoughts – October 2020

What skill have you learnt over lockdown? Some of us may be a long time from school days but ‘you are never too old to learn’. It may be that as you helped you children with the home schooling, you finally learnt what a ‘fronted adverbial’ (aged 8 Grammar) is. Maybe you leant new exercise moves following Joe Wicks, new art skills following ‘Draw with Rob’. Perhaps you discovered a new skill pottering away in your ‘man shed’ that you were set to at the bottom of the garden, or maybe you discovered some new love of nature during your daily prescribed walks. You might even have learnt how to ‘zoom’.

King Solomon writing in the book of proverbs writes this: “remember what you were taught, and listen carefully to words of knowledge”. For Christians, we are encouraged to never stop learning and the place where we are to get our knowledge from is the Bible. For Christians it is the guide for our lives, it is our ‘living water’. If you consider yourself a Christian I would urge you as Solomon said to ‘remember what you are taught, and listen carefully to words of knowledge’. Remember what the bible has taught you and keep on learning from it.

These wise words of the Bible however do not just have to be for Christians. Over the years we are taught many things and we never stop learning, but as we get older we can forget to listen carefully to words of knowledge. We start to assume that we know everything, or that we have nothing new to learn. This is far from the truth. So please as we come out of lockdown/enter a stricter lockdown (delete whichever is not applicable – we have no idea where we will be in a months time) please don’t forget all you have learnt in this strange year and listen carefully to all it has taught you.

Revd Chris Hutton (Rector)

PRAYERS FOR OUR PARISHES

“Father God, thank you for the scientists latest understanding of Covid 19, and our part in our dire situation. Also for practical love all around. Yet we fail to value your creation – Earths resources over –exploited and wasted ,polluted. Life dying More Covid 19 cases. Self centeredness. Stress and its consequences. We repent. You command us to love

‘Father forgive us we don’t know what we are doing’. This wake up call tells us to change our attitude by radical action. Do we really believe? Do we seriously believe in the power of prayer? We pray for things to happen rightly. Have mercy on us. Lord look at our predicament. Give us wisdom. James letter, chapter 5 verse 16 can encourage us – “Lord have mercy on us for the sake of Jesus Christ”.