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Rector's View - November 2008

Dear friends,

"Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot"

"Bonfire night" is the event in November which many people remember most of all. Children and families look forward to the celebrations and much preparation goes into making the day an enjoyable success. It is, after all, good to have fun - to have the opportunity to let our hair down and enjoy a well conducted firework display, together with a hot dog and a toffee apple. Or two! However, other dates in November need more serious consideration.

November 2nd is All Saints' Sunday, when we remember the great heroes of the Church; we celebrate their lives and give thanks for their example. Whatever we imagine Saints to be they are, in fact, ordinary people who have allowed God into their lives to do great things for Him. The saints are real people whom, like us, got things wrong. Despite setbacks and failures they persisted. They serve as role models for us - striving towards truly Christian lives. We can, all of us, be saints because that is what God calls us to be, and he calls us to bring out the saint in those we meet. It is also, of course, our Patronal Festival at All Saints', Stansfield. There are services at Denston; Stansfield and Stradishall that day.

November 9th is Remembrance Sunday, when we remember those who lost their lives in war. The scale of suffering and loss of human life is so great that it is difficult for us to comprehend. We must remember, however, that those numbers are made up of individuals - someone's father, or husband, or son. We remember them not so as to glorify war but to remember those who gave their all in the cause of peace and in the struggle for a better world, free from discrimination, prejudice and oppression. We honour their memories by continuing to work, in our own day, for a better society. The Benefice joins together for a service at All Saints', Stansfield at 10.00am. Then we are invited to gather for the Churches Together united Act of Remembrance at Wickhambrook War Memorial at 12.00 noon.

We also join together to mark the beginning of Advent, on 30th November, with a united service at Wickhambrook Methodist Church at 3.30pm. I am very much looking forward to my first Churches Together Service here. There is also a Holy Communion Service at Stradishall at 9.30am on Advent Sunday.

November is indeed a month for remembering.

With every blessing,

Stephen

Rev'd Stephen Abbott

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Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011