Bansfield BeneficeDiocese of St Edmundbury & IpswichChurch of England Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes

Church News Volume 3, Issue 5

Dear friends,

As 2001 ended and a New Year dawned a new Benefice was born in the Church of England. Bansfield Benefice became a legal entity under the provisions of the Pastoral Measure 1983, as confirmed by Her Majesty the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, at the Court at Buckingham Palace on 11th December 2001.

But I thought we were already a Benefice? You might be saying. Well of course we have been working together under the title of a Benefice for about three years now - laying the foundations for this important event. Now we are legally one Benefice, seven individual and distinct parishes, with one incumbent, one parsonage house, seven church buildings, one chapel, one church hall.

I hope that in years to come future generations will look back upon this event and thank God for the foresight of strengthening the church in this part of God's Kingdom by bringing small congregations together, pooling resources, working as one for the furtherance of the Gospel. We have seen remarkable evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst over the last few years, proving that the faith we have shown in coming together as a Benefice is God's will and the Holy Spirit's guidance. The monthly Benefice service has given great encouragement to us all, showing us that quality worship is possible with larger congregations, along with the chance to try new styles of liturgy, and the chance to meet together socially after the service for refreshments. Each of our Benefice parishes has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Great things are happening around the Benefice showing God at work in our midst. The JAM CUB has grown to 50 children receiving a monthly newsletter, many of them attending the monthly Club meeting and coming along to other events such as the Christmas party, summer garden party, and Hot Cross Bun Club. The Benefice has its own web site with Benefice news, events, service details as well as details on each of the parishes. This monthly newsletter reaches out to many people, those who come to worship in church and those who are interested in what is happening.

At Stansfield church the trial of holding the Harvest Festival and supper together in the village hall was a great success as was the Christmas eve Carol service. At Denston church the fabric of the building is in excellent condition, many people making special visits to see this wonderful building, one of the top parish churches in the country. Stradishall church struggles with few worshippers and yet at times of celebration the church can be full (Harvest, Christmas, etc). At Wickhambrook church work has just been completed on the tower, the clock face repainted, and Go, Go Gabrielle rock musical receiving its premiere performance in the church. Lidgate church has organised its marquee company with great local support, raising money for the church building. Ousden church has formed a restoration committee to raise money for the maintenance and repair of the church building. New people have joined the congregation and St. Barnabas Chapel in the Ousden cemetery used for worship during the winter months, following work to clean and refurbish it. Cowlinge church has just undergone extensive repairs and fund raising is going ahead for the next phase of the project. The church is alive and very active. The new Benefice contains the hope for the future of the church especially in rural areas - great lay involvement in the running and managing of the parishes, in worship and pastoral work, and an increased understanding of what it means to be the Body of Christ in the 21st century.

Come and join us in this important work, in these exciting times of growth.

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011