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Rector's View - November 2009

Dear friends,

St. Edmund's day is celebrated on 20th November each year. St. Edmund gives his name to our Borough, our Diocese and our Cathedral - but who was he?

He was born in about the year 840. While he was still a boy, on Christmas Day 855, the nobles and clergy of Norfolk, assembled at Attleborough, acknowledged Edmund as their King. In the following year he was accepted by Suffolk as well. History remembers him as a talented and successful ruler. He won the hearts of his subjects by his care of the poor and his steady suppression of wrong-doing. He was also a devout Christian. He is said to have learnt the entire Psalter by heart.

Then, in 866, there came a massive Danish invasion. The invaders crossed the Humber and took York. Then they marched south into Mercia, as far as Nottingham, plundering, burning and enslaving as they went. In 870 they crossed into East Anglia, setting up winter quarters at Thetford. After Edmund's initial victory at Thetford, the Danes brought in reinforcements, and Edmund and his army retired towards his castle at Framlingham. The Danish leader, Ingvar, sent Edmund terms requiring him, amongst other things, to renounce his Christian faith. Edmund steadfastly refused. He was then overtaken and surrounded at Hoxne. He was again offered terms, which he refused, declaring that his faith was dearer to him than life, which he would never purchase by offending God. Ingvar had him tied to a tree and his flesh was torn with whips. Then he was shot at with arrows. Finally, Ingvar cut his bonds, dragged him from the tree to which he was nailed by arrows, and beheaded him on 20th November 870.

The body of the king was buried at Hoxne. In about 903 the body was translated to Beodricsworth, the town now known as Bury St. Edmunds.

Edmund has left us with a proud and noble heritage. His is an example of both loving, humble service to his people, and also unswerving loyalty and devotion to God - whatever the price.

Are you exploring the Christian Faith? Are you considering Confirmation in 2010?

It is hoped to begin groups both for young people and adults in the New Year. The Deanery Confirmation will be at Kedington on Sunday 23rd May.

These groups will provide an opportunity for people who live in the parishes of the Bansfield Benefice to consider whether they would like to be confirmed. Those who live outside the seven parishes, but who regularly worship at one or more of the parish churches, are also welcome to join the groups. To join the young people's group you need to be at least eleven by the time of the Confirmation and your parents or guardians must be happy for you to do so.

We'll discover together all about Confirmation - what it is and what it involves. Confirmation is an important step and we need to prepare for it carefully and thoughtfully. We aim to do this through a variety of reading, discussions and activities. We shall discover together what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a full member of His Church.

If you might be interested in joining one of the groups, please let me or a Churchwarden know by the end of the year. Joining a group does not commit you to proceed to confirmation - just to exploring the possibility and to finding out more!

When we know who would like to join a group we can meet together to discuss when and where it would be best to meet. We will need to meet each week for about 45 minutes for the young people and an hour for the adults.

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

With every blessing,

Stephen

Rev'd Stephen Abbott

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011