Today we said our Farewells to Richard as he leaves us to be Interim Priest-in-charge of St John’s Timberhill and St Julian’s in Norwich. One of the things Attleborough is famous for is Peter Beales’ Roses so at the end of the Parish Eucharist we presented him with two rose bushes to remind him of his time here (an Attleborough bush and a Norwich Cathedral, as the Cathedral can just about be seen from Timberhill) and a cheque with the remaining money collected from the congregations. We reflected on the big impact he has had on many people’s lives in Attleborough and Besthorpe in the last three and a half years. We also shared a lovely lunch in the hall. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make the day such a success. Please pray for Richard as he prepares to begin his new ministry in March.
Following a recent visit to St Mary's Church by Anne Aves when she spoke about the work she is involved in in Israel in memory of John Aves (Rector of Attleborough 1982-1999, who died in Bethlehem in 2004), we are exploring the possibility of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2020.
There will be a meeting on Thursday 21 February at 7.30pm in the Upper Room of the Church Hall, to which anyone who may be interested is warmly invited. We hope to be able to discuss options including possible dates, to give some indication of the likely cost, and to answer questions, including any you may have about security or other issues.
Glynis and Bob Baker have led a number of pilgrimages over the last fifteen years and recommend it as an inspirational opportunity to deepen understand and faith. Attending the meeting does not commit anyone to coming! Further information from Glynis or Bob (01953 454215).
This year, every parish in the Church of England has to prepare a new Electoral Roll. This exercise takes place every six years, and the Roll is begun again ‘from scratch’, so everyone on the old Roll needs to apply again to join the new Roll.
Application forms were distributed at every service on Sunday 3 February and are now available at the back of the church. Please complete one as soon as possible, and before Sunday 10 March, and return it to the Church Office. The names on the completed new Roll will be publicly displayed for at least fourteen days before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (which takes place on Thursday 4 April at Attleborough and Thursday 25 April at Besthorpe).
We encourage all members of the Church Family to join the Electoral Roll. You are entitled to be on the Roll if you are baptised and over the age of 16, AND either live in the parish or have regularly attended public worship here in the past six months.
In practical terms, the Roll is an extremely useful pastoral tool for the clergy and church officers, who use it almost daily: it helps us to keep in touch with you and builds us together as an active body of Christians in Attleborough and Besthorpe.
The following letter was printed in the February 2019 edition of the benefice magazine, 'The Link'
39 Cedar Drive
Feast of the Conversion of St Paul 2019
So many memories crowd in as I approach my final weeks in the parish. My two Ordinations, of course, and that wonderful First Mass in which you were all so involved; Church Family visits to Walsingham, Mirfield, and Cambridge; the Flower Festival of 2017 and the tremendous sense of energy which propelled it forward; countless baptisms, weddings and funerals and the gift of sharing in Christ’s presence among us at these moments of grace; the great joy of the Church’s festivals which spills into our worship and hospitality; numerous parish parties, suppers, lunches, teas, drinks – and meetings; the beautiful way the golden evening light shafts into the peace of St Mary’s as the sun sets; friends gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; the hugs and the laughter; the daily round of prayer and praise which sanctifies everything we do here, and the priest’s priceless privilege of offering the ‘sweet Sacrament divine’, the Holy Eucharist, with two or three people on weekdays in the chapel or with hundreds amid clouds of incense and glorious music at times of festivity and rejoicing. It has been wonderful to be part of the life of this Church Family at a time of growth and renewal.
Our two churches have beautiful dedications: the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Church of All Saints. Mary in her glory in heaven shows us that our God exalts the humble and meek and fills the hungry with good things, and we rejoice that as she is the Mother of our Lord, so she has become our Mother also. All Saints point us to the joy and the cost of following Christ, and undergird us with the strengthening power of that unseen cloud of witnesses who surround our steps as we journey on. Both of them – the Assumption and All Saints – remind us of what our human nature can be, what is the promise of our inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim in season and out of season, since, like St Paul, ‘we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.’
I thank Matthew, first, for his sympathy, teaching, guidance, kindness and nurture, his willingness to let us try new things, and his generosity in sharing the ministry here with a new and inexperienced colleague. I thank Pat, upon whom all the staff are entirely dependent and who models a tremendous, practical Christian compassion, wisdom, dedication and love. I ask forgiveness of those of you whom I have hurt, or offended, or let down. I want to say a sincere ‘thank you’ to you all for your support, your encouragement, your patience, your humour and the constant generous hospitality of your homes, your large-heartedness, warm-spiritedness and zeal in the Faith.
I hope you and yours will be able to join us for the Parish Eucharist at 10am on Sunday 17 February, my last Sunday as your Assistant Curate, when as a Church Family we’ll meet our Risen Lord in the Breaking of the Bread, and share drinks and lunch afterwards.
‘Blessed, praised, hallowed and adored be Jesus Christ on his throne of glory in heaven, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people.’
With love and affection in Jesus,
your friend and priest,
Laban called the pillar Mizpah, for he said,
‘The LORD watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other.’
Over 100 of us gathered for the Parish Eucharist at St Mary's on this Sunday in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, when it was great to welcome brothers and sisters from Attleborough Methodist Church, together with a guest preacher, the Revd Alec Callaby, born an Anglican, now a Methodist. In his sermon he spoke about the miracle of the water made wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, and reflected on the transformation that Jesus brings in our lives.
Giving thanks for all the blessings of the past year, we wish you and yours peace, health and joy in the Year of our Saviour 2019. Here are some of the highlights of the past year in Attleborough and Besthorpe, condensed into three minutes. Make sure your sound is on!
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