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Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich News

Update from Rev Rob…

Seymour Road, Shamrock Avenue, Sheldrake Drive, Shelley Street, Shepherd Drive and Shortlands                                                                                                                             

We remember those whose anniversary of death fall at this time.

If you would like a loved one to be remembered on their anniversary, please contact the Parish Office                                                            


In-Person Worship

We continue to meet ‘in-person’ on Sundays at 9.30 am in St Francis and at 10 am in St Marys. Places are limited so you must book in advance either on-line (instructions are on the back page) or by telephoning the parish office and leaving a message (603229) if you are unable to attend then you have the option to cancel yourself or by contacting Kay, Rob or Merv via e-mail and we can cancel for you. This is especially important as the maximum capacity of our churches is 28 (St Marys) and 14 (St Francis)

Annual Church Meetings 2021

The annual church meetings for 2021 will all be held in St Francis Church; this is to allow the meetings to be held both in-person and virtually.  

Annual Meeting of Parishioners (AMP) and Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) This will take place at 7 pm on Wednesday 14th April and will also be a Hybrid model. If you are not able to join on-line then you can register for a physical space by registering in the same way as for a service.


SWITM 200 Club – April 2021 Winners

1st Prize – Stella Jones, 2nd Prize – Keith Foulds & 3rd Prize Barbara Gilder


Revd Rob writes …

If you have ever visited a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean country, you will have heard the regular greeting that is used by people of all faiths. in Arabic it is, ‘Salaam-Alaikum’ which means ‘Peace be unto You’, to which the response is, ‘Alaikum Salaam’ which means ‘And unto you Peace’.

In Hebrew the greeting is ‘Shalom’ which also means ‘peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility’.

There is something very natural in the way that both the greeting and the response is given and received, it is as natural as saying ‘good morning’ or some other greeting. It also goes across cultural and religious boundaries with people of different communities and faiths greeting one another and is, in a part of the world infamous for its intolerance a welcome sign of hope.

You will notice that Jesus uses a very similar greeting in this week’s Gospel passage when he appears amidst the disciples in the upper room on the evening of the day of the resurrection. We are told they were locked behind closed doors for they were fearful of what would happen to them as word of the resurrection spread. Jesus says to them, ‘Peace be with you’, which is probably a very sensible thing to say. Not only were they afraid, but they were also probably not able to believe the story of the resurrection and Jesus himself now stands before them having got past a locked door. If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples, then we might also have been afraid.

The first words that Jesus spoke to them are both a normal greeting – just as it is today – as well as something far more profound. For the greeting is also a prayer and an intention that the recipient of the greeting would find peace, but not a superficial peace. The roots of the Hebrew word for peace give us a clue of what true, authentic peace means and looks like. ‘peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility’ are more than a simple greeting and it is intended that the recipient of the greeting and the giver will bless each other.

I wonder if we have the same intention when we greet one another? When we say good morning to our neighbours, colleagues or the people we encounter in our daily lives? I also wonder if we have the same intention when we greet one another in church at the Peace? Obviously at the moment it is a verbal greeting only, but the intention is the same as when we physically greet one another with the shake of the hand, a hug or a kiss.

I know that the sharing of the peace is for some people a moment of joy and for others a time of intense embarrassment which we would like to be over as soon as possible. But the liturgical purpose is not for a quick gossip, or to catch up on each other’s news, rather it is about expressing to one another the same intention and desire that Jesus has when he greets his disciples.

Of course it does not mean that we are all friends with each other, the same tensions that exist elsewhere are naturally evident within the community of faith. The early church recognised this, and mush of Paul’s letters were him trying to keep the body of Christ together and deal with the squabbles that kept breaking out. Of course the disciples were not always the most tolerant of each other, and Jesus in appearing to them in the upper room is encountering them for the first time after they abandoned him in the garden of Gethsemane and for Peter the first time since he denied him three times. On a most basic level the meeting would have been fraught with difficulties and tensions. The prayer of Jesus that Peace – God’s peace – would be upon them is heartfelt and sincere.

Jesus greets his disciples with the words, ‘Peace be with you’ as a prayer for them, and we greet one another with the same words as a prayer for each other and for ourselves. In these days of Easter my prayer is that we might each know the peace that comes from God, not just for ourselves but for one another, for our communities, nation and the world as a whole. Paul in his letter to the Philippians (4:7) picks up on this when he writes, ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. May it be so and may we say Amen!


St Francis Altar Linens

The linen we use on the Altar at St Francis during the Eucharist are starting to show significant signs of wear and tear and are reaching the threadbare stage. We would like to replace them and are asking for donations from the congregation to cover the cost of new ones. The costs are:

Purificator = £8.99 each (8), Lavabo Towel = £7.99 (4), Pall = £9.99 each (2 – 4) and Corporal = £15.99 (2).

If you would like to contribute towards the cost then please let Sue Strutt know, cheques should be made payable to SWITM PCC.

Instructions for Booking A Place for ‘in-person’ Worship

If you would like to attend a service in person, you can register by going to:

  2. then simply select the service you wish to register for by clicking on the date. 
  3. This will open a box with the date, time and venue in and a map showing the venue.
  4. Click on ‘SIGN UP’ which will open a new window in your browser
  5. The form will ask you to complete your
  6. Name
  7. Telephone Number
  8. Email Address
  9. 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.
  10. There is then the option of adding an additional person / people which will add the sections above.
  11. When you have entered all the details you simply press proceed
  12. You will then be asked to confirm that your details are correct
  13. The final stage is the screen will say that you are signed up
  14. 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.

Alternatively, a place can be booked by telephoning the office on 01473 603229 and leaving a message