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Rector's View - August 2009

Dear friends,

As I approach the end of my first year here, time seems to have passed very quickly. It has been a real pleasure getting to know the seven churches and seven villages. It has been quite a task – all are special and all are unique, with their own distinctive history, character, and outlook.

As well as being distinct, however, there are things they share – and not just a Rector! All are beautiful, with friendly people and a strong sense of community. I am increasingly aware of the tremendous good will and generosity there is towards the Church – in terms of time, talent, and money. It is difficult to imagine how our small rural churches could survive at all without such willing kindness and I wanted to express my profound gratitude.

Just thinking, for the moment, about the three parishes ‘this side of the road’ so much is being done by such dedicated, hard working people. At the end of May there was the celebrated and much appreciated Denston Festival Weekend. Voces8 and Andrew Wilson gave so much of their considerable and varied talents throughout the weekend. Masterminded by Derek and Gill Bailey, there was a tremendous team effort, involving the entire PCC and a host of others. Far from sitting back for a well deserved rest, discussions are already underway about next year’s big fundraising event! Then, in June, local historian Clive Paine made a welcome return visit to Stradishall. Clive took us on a fascinating and very informative tour of both the inside and outside of the church. Fellowship and good company was enjoyed over refreshments, very kindly provided by Mr and Mrs Helliwell and by Mr and Mrs Coe. This event not only benefitted Stradishall but also other historic churches. Also in June, Paul and Sue Long very kindly hosted a lovely outdoor Service followed by a magnificent BBQ, in aid of timely roof repairs to Stansfield church. Paul and Sue went to endless trouble to make this occasion the tremendous success it was and we are most grateful. Many thanks also to the many people who contributed in many different ways, both beforehand and on the day. Then, at the time of writing in early July, Stansfield's first charity horse ride was about to take place. This was the brainwave of Phil Dennis who, together with Wendy Johnson Houghton and Anna Slater, has worked very hard to make it work. At the time of writing they had managed to attract 45+ riders and horses. Money raised will benefit both the church and the village hall. Very many thanks to them and to all the participants. Looking ahead to August, lots of people are already working hard to prepare for Stansfield’s Village Fete on 22nd August- it again promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon as well as a much appreciated fund raiser. Then, on 30th August, at 11.00am, there will be a Pet Service at Stansfield Church. This short, friendly and informal service will be a great opportunity to thank God for our Pets – friends and companions- and to ask His Blessing upon them. Please bring Pets on a lead or in a cage, as appropriate.

There is so much to be thankful for in the life of our parishes.

With every blessing,


Revd Stephen Abbott

The Bansfield Benefice Jam Club

Jam stands for "Jesus and Me". The club meets on the first Sunday of each month, at 9.15am, in the Benefice Hall next to Wickhambrook church. The children range in age from three to ten. A theme for the day is chosen with activities, songs and games linked to it. The children join the congregation at Wickhambrook towards the end of the service for a blessing and to show them what they have done that morning in the Jam Club. New members, ( as well as new helpers!) are always welcome. If you might be interested please let me know in the first instance.

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Last Modified Sunday 04 March 2018