Update from Rev Rob…
This week pray for the following roads in our parish.
Martin Road, Mather Way, Matlock Close, Mayfly Close, Merlin Road, Merrion Close
We remember those who have recently died.
Anne Roberts, Molly Burgess, Doris Wood, Amy Woodiwiss
and Brenda Caley
We remember those whose anniversary of death fall at this time.
Robin Simpson (25th January), Ernie Fisk (31st January) & Janet Spratling (31st January)
SWITM 200 Club
The following winners have been announced for December
1st Prize – Pat Dobson – £36.25
2nd Prize – Joy Watling – £21.75
3rd Prize – Brenda Simmons – £14.50
Parish Office Telephone
The Parish Office remains out of action.
Until the 31st December please contact Rob on 01473 901361.
From the 1st to the 3rd January please contact Merv on 01473 601750.
From Monday 4th please revert to Kay on 07934 441903
Tier 4 Restrictions
As Suffolk is now in Tier 4 the only activities which are permitted are public worship, funerals (maximum of 30 people), Weddings (6 people max), our Pop-Up Shops and certain private hirers whose meetings fall within the scope of the exemptions to the regulations. It is currently forbidden for anyone not directly connected with the above to be on church property without the permission of either Rob or the Churchwardens. Please note we are currently not permitted to hold Baptisms.
Anne Roberts Funeral Service
This will take place on Friday 22nd January at 10.15 am in St Peters Church. Attendance is limited by law to 30 people maximum, if you would like to attend this needs to be arranged with Pat Dobson who is making the arrangements. Please do not attend unless you have a place confirmed by Pat.
IN PERSON WORSHIP
Saint Peters Church
We currently hold a 9.30 am service at St Peters on a Sunday morning. The deadline for telephone bookings to 07934 441903 is mid-day on the Thursday before the service on the Sunday. The deadline for on-line bookings is midnight Friday.
Saint Francis Hawthorn Drive
The 9.30 am service on a Thursday has resumed but in the main church and not the Holy Cross Chapel. Attendance is limited to 14 people and places must be booked in advance using one of the methods above. The deadline for telephone bookings to 07934 441903 is mid-day and midnight for online bookings on the Tuesday before the service.
How to Book Online for In-Person Worship
Sundays 9.30 am @ St. Peter Stoke Park Drive.
If you would like to attend this service, you can register by going to:
- then simply select the service you wish to register for by clicking on the date.
- This will open a box with the date, time and venue in and a map showing the venue.
- Click on ‘SIGN UP’ which will open a new window in your browser
- The form will ask you to complete your
- Telephone Number
- Email Address
- Whether you wish for a double seat because you are attending with a person from the same house or with who you are in a support bubble.
- There is then the option of adding an additional person / people which will add the sections above.
- When you have entered all the details you simply press proceed
- You will then be asked to confirm that your details are correct
- The final stage is the screen will say that you are signed up
- A confirmation email will then be sent to you on Saturday morning to confirm your seat(s)
This operates a first come first served basis, if you later decide you cannot attend then please let Kay, Rob or Merv know as soon as possible and we will delete the booking.
Since we resumed ‘in-person’ worship the advice has been to keep doors and windows open to allow for spaces to be well ventilated. This has now been updated so that doors and windows can be kept closed during services. We will however be ensuring that they are well ventilated before the service starts so it is impractical to heat our spaces – the exception being St Marys Church Hall on a Wednesday morning (simply because the heating is almost instantaneous). Please continue to dress for the weather and wear several layers
Church Open for Private Prayer
St Mary at Stoke St Mary’s is now open on Saturdays between 12 noon – 2.00 pm Please note revised times.
You are welcome to stay for as long or as short a time as you wish. There is an opportunity to light candles.
St Mary’s is ‘COVID secure’ and a steward is present throughout ~~~~~~~~~~+~~~~~~~~~~
Children’s Society Boxes.
Bible Study Online
We have started a ‘Zoom’ Bible Study looking at the previous weeks Gospel in more detail than can be contained in a sermon. All are welcome to join, if you don’t yet receive e-mail updates from Merv (firstname.lastname@example.org) please ask him to add you to the list to receive instructions on how to join. This is a long-term plan that will continue after lockdown has been eased.
The PRAYER Course
Will resume on the 6th January in place of the Wednesday evening Bible study with one more session before and then for 4 weeks after Christmas on Zoom. It is described as ‘An eight-week journey that will help you and your community to grow and deepen your prayer life’.
|Christmas / New Year Break|
|Session 5||Unanswered Prayer||6th January 2021|
|Session 6||Contemplation||13th January 2021|
|Session 7||Listening||20th January 2021|
|Session 8||Spiritual Warfare||27th January 2021|
Rev Kay writes….
Grown up Conversations
A few weeks ago I was asked a question by my singing teacher about whether I had always sung. I replied that I had, starting with school choirs. It was only later that I realised that for my first two years of senior school I had not, in fact, belonged to a choir. I am sure there were reasons, but whatever they were I began to grow in conviction that they should be put to one side.
One day as I was leaving school at the end of the day I passed the music room and noticed that the music teacher was in there on her own; I knocked on the door, went in and asked if I could talk to her; I was warmly welcomed and invited to sit down. I took a deep breath and asked if I would be able to join the choir. Her response was warm and encouraging, she checked that I knew when the choir rehearsed and invited me to come along on Friday, adding that it was a good time to join as they were starting to learn new music and that she had never mentioned choir to me, thinking I was involved in another activity during Friday lunchtimes.
I am sure I went away smiling, not only had I received the answer I wanted but felt the genuineness and warmth of her welcome. In my next termly report she added that I was a reliable and capable member of the choir and I felt elated.
That memory (I was aged about 13) has returned to me during periods of lockdown with the added realisation that the teacher was young, inexperienced and often nervous; classes often gave her a hard time. Could it just be that our conversation had benefitted us both.
I now think of what I have just described as a first “grown up” conversation with a teacher/ person of authority.
Having made this identification my thoughts move to other things that happened at about the same time. School assemblies were having a bit of an overhaul; as well as prayers mostly learned by heart and traditional bible passages from the King James Bible, new material was being read with opportunity for reflection. One source of this was “Prayers of Life” by Michel Quoist, One prayer that particularly captivated me, was “Lord I have Time”. I know that I later ordered the book from the local shop, purchasing it with birthday or Christmas money and over the years read that prayer so many times that the pages began to fall apart.
The prayer is too long to reproduce in full. It begins by describing how, through busyness, people pay God scant attention, and ends with the realisation …
You who are beyond time, Lord, you smile to see us fighting it.
And you know what you are doing.
You make no mistakes in your distribution of time to us.
You give each one time to do what you want us to do.
But we must not lose time
For time is a gift that you give us,
But a perishable gift,
A gift that does not keep.
Lord, I have time,
I have plenty of time,
All the time that you give me,
The years of my life, the days of my years, the hours of my days.
They are all mine.
Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,
But to fill completely, up to the brim.
To offer them to you, that of their insipid water
You may make a rich wine as you made once in Galilee.
I am not asking you today, Lord, for time to do this and then that,
but your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that you give,
what you want me to do.
– Michel Quoist (1918-1997) Prayers Of Life
I also have things to realise and connections to make, not only that Jesus miracle of changing water into wine forms part of Sunday’s Gospel, but also that the reading, re reading and pondering of this prayer, sometimes silently, sometimes whispering it quietly, was my first “grown up” conversation with God, one of dedication and commitment, a willingness to place myself in his hands and to be formed, always lovingly if not always comfortably, into the person he desires me to be and for the life and ministry he has prepared for me.
The church calls this Vocation, it is a gift and a source of joy. It over arches and supports all the individual tasks and responsibilities we undertake and the life that we share with others. It is lived in the power of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of many.
Be assured that these words come with my prayers that you who read them may have strength to seek and discover your Vocation
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3.20 (The Message)