Burnhams Benefice News
All change in the rectory, that is. The current rector, Graham Hitchins, will be retiring in early January. There will be interim arrangements for baptisms and funerals; any weddings currently in the benefice diary will be coordinated by a churchwarden of the relevant parish. The rural dean of the Burnham and Walsingham Deanery, and archdeacon of Lynn will respectively have direct and general oversight of the Benefice. A new rector will be appointed in due course, after consultations, evaluation, and selection procedures.
ALL SOULS DAY 2017 - THURSDAY 2ND NOVEMBER 6.30pm
As has become our custom, we will hold a short service in All Saints', Sutton cum Ulph (opposite The Nelson, Burnham Market), for the commemoration of anyone we want to remember, whose lives here with us on earth have ended, for whom we pray to God that (in the words of Julian of Norwich) "all manner of things shall be well."
People who have been bereaved in the last year can find this a particularly useful time to give thanks to God for their loved ones who have died; everyone, however, is most welcome to come, should you need to stop and pause and remember the life that someone has shared with you. The service does not require a great deal of active participation by those attending - eg, there are no hymns, just contemplative music. There is nonetheless an opportunity to light a candle (which we supply) and place it in the sanctuary as a symbol of the Divine spark we all have returning to God. Names of the deceased are read out loud in memoriam from a list you can find near the church entrance, should you wish to add someone to it.
Even if you can't you can't get there in person, the rector will be only too glad to have details of anyone you want remembered either by candle, name, or both; please feel free to leave a message on 01328 738317.
Death in slow motion
Well, the approach to contact was slow motion - the actual contact was as sudden as an explosion. Such was the battle of Trafalgar.
SUNDAY 1ST OCTOBER - THORPE'S TRAFALGAR COMMEMORATION 2017
21st October, Trafalgar Day, there will be the short commemoration in the crypt of St Paul's, London, around Nelson's tomb; the following day the Sea Cadet Corps parades in Trafalgar Square on behalf of the Royal Navy to commemorate the victory led by Victory.
However, and as usual, Burnham Thorpe gets the country's first Trafalgar commemoration of the year on Sunday 1st October. Quite right, too - it's here Nelson was born. Our service commences at 10.30 in All Saints', Burnham Thorpe, and naturally everyone is welcome - but of course especially all naval and sea-faring types.
FOR THE RECORD!
Following a composite "quote" in the EDP taken from extensive chit-chat with their reporter, this is what the rector (who, btw, said Nelson's church was in Burnham Thorpe!) actually sent to the EDP reporter in response to the recent debate about taking down Nelson's column:
Putting as simple an argument as possible, I would say that the statue has never been seen as representing anything other than the key naval event of the 19th century. Afua Hirsch seems to miss the point that it simply does not have any connotations of pro-slavery; neither does she seem to give the general public of this country any credit for knowing how despicable a thing slavery was - and still is.
I have never heard anyone mention Nelson in connection with this until now, which isn't to say that Hirsch's research is unfounded, just that she is mistaken in thinking that pulling down Nelson's column would make a difference to issues of slavery and bigotry. Nonetheless, her provocative piece has indeed got British history into the limelight, although my own observations after a lifetime of military service, is that learning from history is what individuals do, but not governments brought forth from those individual people, for some strange reason!
Give Us Your Money!
Having completed some refurbishing at St Clement's and St Margaret's, we want to sort out St Mary's and make it more of a resource for the community - as well as it being a church, of course.
The trouble is that rich wool merchants stopped backing their local churches around 400 years ago. So, if you have a spare £200,000 and the tax man is breathing down your neck, we would gratefully accept it as a gift...
(As you can see, my skill set does not include clever fund-raising gimmicks!)
STAND FAST THE HOLY GHOST!
The Holy Spirit (aka the Holy Ghost) came to the disciples shortly after Jesus' ascension to heaven. We still celebrate that every year because the Holy Spirit will come to anyone who truly wants to receive him (male pronoun for convention and convenience only!).
The headline reference? The Royal Navy, during the days of rum issue (ended early 1970s) used to pipe (a ship's internal signal) "up spirits," to which sailors would often reply, "stand fast the Holy Ghost!" A useful theological reference - if only they'd known it! - to the power of the Holy Spirit being the greatest to stand fast against all that is not good. Wood's Navy rum is currently the only commonly available spirit with 100% strength by proof (57% by volume); the Holy Spirit, however, is 100% by volume. Try both and see - but be warned: whereas Wood's might blow your head off, the Holy Spirit will blow your mind!
PENTECOST - THE FEAST OF THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THIS YEAR, 4TH JUNE AT ALL SAINTS', BURNHAM THORPE
EASTER CROWDS GONE, NOW THIS GREAT EVENT AMONGST OURSELVES
...just as the first disciples had it. There were masses at the Easter Masses; Ascension, however, always seems to catch people unexpectedly - again, as it did on the original occasion. Without it, however, there would be no coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; no Pentecost, no Church. There won't be many of us, but we will carry on the tradition of going our way to our place of worship, rejoicing.
18.00, Thursday 25 May 2017. Service for Ascension Day. St Mary's, Burnham Market.
OK, SO WE'RE NOT QUITE THERE
However, lots of things have been going on since Christmas: we've celebrated Epiphany, Candlemas, baptism; undergone ashing and Lent; studied the Jewish Temples of Jerusalem and are now heading into our own Holy of Holies - the Passion of the Christ and his resurrection. We are currently passing from days of darkness to greater light.
Looking ahead, we have plans for improving some of our resources - and our very own camp site! Try this link and have a look for yourself:
Although the Church here in the Burnhams has not been hibernating during winter, it is certainly going to be seen in the light more as we progress through the human history called 2017.
LOTS GOING ON...
so keep an eye on our list of services; hit the "Services' tab, above, which will take you to the overview page, then click on where it says December's Services.
Somewhere, at sometime, there just has to be something which works for you!
Keeping the Rain Out
ST CLEMENT'S, BURNHAM OVERY, IS NOW OFFICIALLY DRY!
Thanks to a grant from the LISTED PLACES OF WORSHIP ROOF REPAIR FUND, we have now finalised our repairs and amenities at St Clement's, Burnham Overy, which comprise a kitchenette, toilet, car parking area (to the east of the church) and, of course, the new roof. The roof repair in particular had some nasty surprises when the old lead was lifted off to repair leakages: rotten timbers and all sorts of snurglies doing their thing in dark places.
It was more than our original budget had anticipated, so the LISTED PLACES OF WORSHIP ROOF REPAIR FUND came to our aid and we now have a watertight roof - and a state-of-the-art anti-theft system to raise the alarm should anyone be stupid enough to try and pinch anything!
GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
...which is what we have been doing: three weekends and three baptisms; good Anglican stuff, coming in threes! There is also a confirmation on Saturday - but I don't know what the "four goals" equivalent of "hat trick" is.
So thank God that the parents of Archie, Ethan and Rose have heard His calling them to their Holy Baptism, and that they will, in due course, come to confirm that faith for themselves.
Pray for Robert, too, as he "recalibrates" his Christian non-conformist identity by being confirmed by the Holy Spirit under the auspices of the Church of England, next Saturday at the cathedral. Very much a conscious decision made by someone of not tender years (hence I'm not using his full name) - sorry, Robert! Lol.
is the first place in the country every year to commemorate the great naval victory - aptly directed from HMS Victory, by the village's most famous son, Horation Nelson. The first Sunday of every October is given over to the continued memory of the seamen lost or disabled off Cape Trafalgar, 21 October 1805.
We usually have representation from the Royal Naval Association, the Royal Navy, and the Sea Cadets; so sailors past, present and future. Do join us at 10.30, All Saints', Burnham Thorpe.
STAND TO, BOTH WATCHES! FALL IN, DIVISIONS! ATTENTION ON THE UPPER DECK!
World War One's biggest naval battle will be commemorated a hundred years on with a service at Nelson's church, All Saints', Burnham Thorpe at 15.30 on Sunday 29 May 2016 (the nearest Sunday to the centenary, 31 May into 1 June).
This was a critical battle, albeit not clear about whose victory it was at the time, which had a definitive effect on the logistics of the whole war. Fatalities amongst sailors from both sides of the action were very high - not forgetting all who subsequently had to bear the physical and mental scars of carnage at sea.
All old shipmates should turn to for this (duty watchmen included); everyone, regardless of sea dog or land lubber, is entirely welcome to share this important commemoration.
PREACHER - THE DEAN OF NORWICH CATHEDRAL, THE VERY REVEREND JANE HEDGES
THE ARCHDEACON'S CHARGE, PICNIC, FUN, ETC...
Not his annual address but his annual run around - literally. Join John Ashe at Sandringham for a jog around the woods, etc, or just have a look at all the stalls that will be there, including a few of our own entrepreneurial folk.
Bank holiday Monday, 2 May, 10.00-16.00 - check out all the stuff going on there by clicking on this link:
LOSING THE HOUR...
caught out almost nobody; churches all had good attendance, even the one which had the dawn vigil service - so their 06.30 was really 05.30!
Some photos of the day on Face Book (click on box in right column - ignore direction from FB to sign in or up).
A DAY OF OBLIGATION!
Yes, it's on Thursday. This year, 2016, it's 24th March. This is the remembrance of Jesus's last supper with his friends. The great Passover.
Therefore we have a service of Holy Communion in St Mary's, commencing 19.30 - 7.30 pm for people that never read timetables. This is the most relevant day of the year to receive Holy Communion, so I hope every communicant member of any church tradition will join us for this.
During the service, apart from Holy Communion, there is the opportunity to have the symbolic washing of your feet (see John 13.1-10). You do not have to join in this part of the service if you find it too difficult to submit to it; there will be others who will be remaining in their seats at this point, so do not be put off attending because of this.
At the end of the communion, the sanctuary is stripped out as a symbol of the emptiness following betrayal and desertion of Jesus's friends and support. Without further comment, people may leave after this point or remain for contemplation over the following hour or part thereof.
20 March 2016 - make sure you read - or listen to - the correct time and place (click services tab, above). I don't mind what you wear!
A TIME WHICH SHOULD HAVE A BIT OF DIFFICULTY
but perhaps it's difficult enough trying to reconcile ourselves to some of things Jesus said - a lot of that was quite difficult, too! Pop along to our sessions on the difficult sayings of Jesus every Thursday evening during Lent at 18.00; the first session is at the Methodist chapel, Station Road, Burnham Market.
There are, of course, far more many hard sayings of Jesus than there are weeks in Lent but I'm sure one to struggle with per week is enough for now.
Epiphany - The Real Revelation
A FOUL BOUT OF UNCOMMONLY WET NORFOLK WEATHER
did not keep some hardy folk away from our Epiphany evensong. A dozen or so people may not sound a lot, however, the crowds had gone home, the car park was a quagmire, the rain was lashing down, the church was our most remote; yet we still managed a meaningfully shared time together on a dour evening in All Saints' church, Burnham Thorpe.
The worship was nevertheless not dour as we huddled in Nelson's church, high and dry from the deluge going on outside. The rector had planned a small, intimate BCP based service for the expected (in the circumstances) four people - including him! Nonetheless, God is full of surprises. Just like the original Epiphany.
He was even with us still as we dragged out a vehicle from the car-park-turned-swamp after the service. Such adventures... :)
The Church Lights Shone
...THIS CHRISTMAS - AND STILL THE PEOPLE COME
Carolling in its many forms warmed people up for the great feast as we approached Christmas. St Mary's held the more traditional service, followed the day after by the opposite end of the spectrum gathered in The Nelson for informal singing and Christmas sound-bites with Christmas bar-bites. The following evening saw a massive gathering in All Saints', Burnham Thorpe, for the carols service, the music and reading at which was mainly supplied by our children - who, of course, gave it all a great sense of spontaneity!
The singing was magnificent, too, at the midnight mass in St Mary's, which saw a full church again. Christmas saw large gatherings around the benefice, not least being a packed church - with many having to stand - in St Clement's, opened again after the various works that have taken place there, where we had a simple service of singing and hearing the wonderful story of God's presence with us. The joy was palpable; I wish I could have bottled it up for any difficult times in 2016.
Pre-Advent Christmas Lights Wash-out
STALLS AND A WARM WELCOME AT ST MARY'S
Despite atrocious weather of high winds and freezing rain (literally when the sleet started!), and despite the cancellation of several things for the Burnham Market Christmas lights turn-on event, there were plenty of people around - and a significant number of them came into St Mary's. What they found there - being tried for the first time - was a number of traders having set up and some light refreshment.
There were many who remarked that it was a lovely building to be in - the response to which was, of course, to invite them back on Sunday! Despite the pews getting in the way, we managed to get a reasonable flow of people up and down the isles to see what was on offer.
The success of this was very much from the efforts of the Jacklins and our goodly people manning the refreshments; well done for taking the initiative, Lucy and Chris.
Remembrance Dutifully Observed
SILENCE DESCENDS ON BURNHAM MARKET
Having already held two acts of remembrance (Overy war memorial and the main service in St Mary's, Burnham Market), the Armistice Day remembrance on Burnham Market village green, in front of the war memorial, witnessed a first for the village: a two minute silence that was actually silent. This was mainly due to the Coasthopper bus driver who came through just at that moment, realised what was happening, pulled over and turned the engine off. This inspired the other traffic in the village to do the same. The last post finished, the church tower clock chimed the eleventh hour; the people around, in addition to all who had gathered at the memorial, stood still, the shopkeepers came to their doors; the silence of respectful tribute to our fallen.
Reveille breaking the silence, the general public returned to their business and the crowd gathered at the village cross continued with the remainder of the short remembrance service.
Well done, Burnham Market.
July in All its Glory
DON'T MISS OUT ON TWO SPECIAL SERVICES
The Richeldis Singers are back for their annual musical contribution to our evensong on Sunday 5 July at 17.00. (Please note the time, which is earlier than usual.) This is always enriches our worship; do come along and be swept up by it all. There is a second treat, too: a chance to meet our neighbouring rector, Susan Bowden-Pickstock, who will be officiating at the service.
Following the positive remarks after last year's event, the garden service is happening again this year: 10.30 on 19 July at the rectory (in St Mary's if the weather is unsuitable). After the service there is a bring-and-share lunch; if you have a contribution to make to that, perhaps you could contact Lettie Steele or Helen Hitchins.
Crab Canon & Trinity
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
may well have been thinking subconsciously about the Holy Trinity - God, Father; God, Son; God, Holy Spirit - when his genius came up with the crab fugue from BWV1079, The Musical Offering. On Trinity Sunday we saw how the theme works forwards, backwards, forwards and backwards simultaneously, and still working perfectly logically when the MS is twisted into a möbius strip - effectively bringing the theme from one dimension to another in seamless harmony.
There is no perfect human explanation for the Holy Trinity, but we may have our perception of it nudged in the right direction without the countless words that have been written on the subject. Have a think on it yourself; try this link to Jos Leys' excellent portrayal:
Prayer on the Move
HOSTS OF DAFFODILS AND CROWDS OF GOLDEN WORSHIPPERS
From the sunrise (there behind the clouds somewhere!) service at St Margaret's to the sun going down again at St Mary's evensong and Holy Communion, the swollen population here in the Burnhams had handsome representation in the pews. With especially large crowds at Thorpe and Overy, the day's rejoicing was shared by almost 400 people, both residents and visitors giving the response to "Christ is risen," with, "He is risen indeed!"
Let's see how far into the year we can keep the sense of joy going.
Here's Looking at You, Kid
LENT AT THE MOVIES
The old favourite, Casablanca, provided plenty of material for the Lent study group. Great stories are always going to echo something of God's story, too. Try it for yourself: think of a (good) film and determine what the themes are.
Prayer on the Move
Church House Publishing (the CofE's in-house publisher) has an app for following Lent: Reflections for Lent 2015. For the price of a (large) coffee, you can have at your fingertips readings, thoughts and prayers for each day of Lent. What could be easier? So instead of a session of Candy Crush, spend 5 minutes doing something that has real results.
Do also look at the other few apps Church House has, for example, the daily prayer app which follows the Common Worship cycle - and is free! Click on the link below and start downloading.
Palm Sunday & Holy Week
RAINY PROCESSIONS AND COLD INTERCESSIONS
The weather seemed to be in line with the various moods of Holy Week - although Palm Sunday provided soggy worshippers by the time they got to the other end of Burnham Market, having joined with the Roman Catholics initially for the blessing of the palms.
Always room in our cloud for a bright lining, though: after the service at All Saints', Ulph/Sutton, it was across the road into the Nelson for something warm...
Christmas is Over
THE SEASON OF REJOICING COMES TO AN END
- only to wait for the season of preparation for the next big celebration, Easter. However, there's some hard work to be done until then: Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday. It is worth it though; trust me, I'm the rector...
Carols & Lessons @ Thorpe
AMENDMENT TO PUBLISHED TIME
The Carols & Lessons service at All Saints', Burnham Thorpe, will be at 18.30 on Tuesday 23 December. The timing in the Burnhams Community Newsletter for this service is a typo. Hopefully you will find 18.30 a convenient time to come and join us in our singing and listening again to the Christmas story.
THE BURNHAMS REMEMBER
A main service of remembrance at Burnham Thorpe saw around 200 people in attendance as we gave thanks for the opportunities we now have for peace, paid for by the lives of so many thousands in two world wars and the other conflicts over the past one hundred years.
Of particular note was the attendance of one parishioner, John Cureton, who had been a Royal Marine motorcycle despatch rider during the Normandy Landings 70 years ago. Well done, John, for falling in on parade yet again - aged 93!
Acts of Remembrance were also held at the war memorials at Burnham Overy on the eve of Remembrance Sunday and Burnham Market on Armistice Day itself. The latter had the remarkable effect of stilling most of the traffic; as a local commentator posted on her Facebook page: "Well done to Parcel Force, Anglian Water, several building firms, shoppers and drivers for stopping and standing."
COME, LET US CELEBRATE THE FEAST!
St Clement's, Burnham Overy, was this year's Harvest Festival venue. Unfortunately, we were all having such a good time during the lunch, none of us remembered to take a photo of all the people. Nonetheless, if you've ever wondered what we do with the quirky area on the other side of the tower, have a look at the couple of photos on our Face Book link (right-hand column). Another great harvest get-together, courtesy of Biddy Bunkle making it all happen.
FAREWELL TO THE SUMMER
Having rejoiced in the partnership of the lovely young couples who married here, we rejoiced a lot in our community of worship. The various summer fêtes brought people together - and produced much needed contributions towards the mammoth expense of running our churches.
We also came together to celebrate our summer season with the main July service at St Mary's actually being held in the rectory garden. (Photos are on our Facebook link.) It was followed by a garden lunch, to which everyone in attendance contributed. Despite the sense of experiment, it was an occasion everyone there enjoyed. We hope to do it again next year, so watch out for it in ten months' time.
The harbour service at Overy, Sunday of the late summer bank holiday weekend, was well attended as ever. There was also a large bemused but interested peripheral crowd, thanks to the service coinciding with high tide.
Now we're settling down to routines again, but nonetheless with one last festive coming together before the cooler days of autumn. Our harvest festival (11.00) at St Clement's, Overy, followed by harvest lunch in church on Sunday 14th September. Contact Biddy Bunkle for tickets; I remember the last one at Overy - I ate far too much!
WE HAVE BEEN - AND WILL BE - GATHERED TOGETHER...
...in the sight of Almighty God, etc, to share in the great joy of our various couples committing themselves to lifelong partnerships in the state of Holy Matrimony. (The clue is in the title.) Another season is underway of these happy events; please pray for them as they respond to their calling to be one with another:
Also a Great Day
ASCENSION DAY CELEBRATED
at St Mary's, Burnham Market. About a dozen and a half of the faithful got together to observe this day of obligation. The service over quite quickly (and purposely so: the suddenness with which Jesus departs in scripture is quite astounding), we celebrated with a hymn - like the original disciples did. Then celebrated some more with a couple of bottles of wine. It really was quite good.
Just thought I'd let you know.
The Greatest Day
AND STILL THE CROWDS CAME...
at Easter. Only 380 - but who's counting?! Wonderful people, wonderful day. I feel a chorus of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah coming on...
That's Easter for you.
Christ is risen indeed! (Hallelujah, by the way.)
The Big Deal
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Think you know them? Perhaps, perhaps not...
Come along to All Saints', Burnham Sutton cum Ulph (opposite the Nelson in Burnham Market) at 18.00 every Tuesday during Lent. It's no more than 45 minutes (after which we conclude with the brief but peaceful service of Compline); interactive remarks welcome!
Ross Lambert RIP - Funeral
AIR COMMODORE JOHN ROSS LAMBERT OBE, MA(Oxon), RAF(ret'd)
The memorial service for Ross will be held at St Clement's, Burnham Overy Town, at 12.00 on Friday 28 February 2014. There will be a wake at the Jolly Sailor, Brancaster Staithe after the service.
We give thanks for another of Overy's characterful sons and long-time churchwarden. Please pray also for his family.
Chris Geering RIP
CHRISTOPHER GEERING'S FUNERAL DETAILS
The funeral of the late Chris Geering will take place in All Saints', Burnham Thorpe, on Monday 10th February 2014, at 13.00 (followed by private burial at St Clement's, Burnham Overy). A reception will follow at Sussex Barns (approximately 2 miles west of Burnham Market).
Directions to the church: using Google Earth, the post code PE31 8HS will take you to a point approximately 300 metres SSE of the church; the OS grid reference is TF 855412; for all sailors, 52°56'29.88"N, 0°45'17.47"E will put you in the centre of the car park.
Please give thanks in your prayers for all the good Chris brought to our community; pray also for Chris's family.
The newest member of the Church (today, anyway) is Florence Evie Banks, brought along by her mum and dad, Georgina and Christopher. It would be good if we could all say a prayer for Florence, her mum and dad, please.
LEST WE FORGET...
all the people who helped in the background over the Christmas festivities in our churches: many, many thanks. (I'm not even going to try and name them all - I'm bound to leave someone out if I do!)
A few pictures on our Face Book link (see right column), for example, of stuff happening behind the scenes.
Come and Worship...
CHRIST THE NEWBORN KING! (in the words of the carol)
Well, they did. Somewhere in the region of 500 of them. And that was just in the churches. The angel hosts also gathered to sing carols with us in all our local pubs, too. There we heard anew the story of the Saviour's birth, brought to the everyday folk of the Burnhams, just like the angels brought the same news originally to the everyday shepherds of Bethlehem district.
You weren't there? What a pity; better luck next Christmas...
A Light Shineth in the Darkness...
THAT IS, THE DARK NIGHTS IN BURNHAM MARKET
In the best of tastes, our usual low light pollution has been pierced by the village greens' lights and Christmas tree. However, outshining them all are two of our churches, SSt Mary and Margaret. Great spotlights have gone on again to illuminate our church buildings during the evening hours. Come and see...
AND IF THAT DOESN'T MAKE THE POINT -
see the inside of St Mary's just before an autumn sunrise.
View it by going to our Facebook link.
The two lights - both window and candle - reminding us of God's promises in dark times. The photo reminding us that local (and international!) photographer Harry Cory Wright really knows his craft. (With many thanks, Harry.)
Burnham Market Advent Market
LOTS OF STALLS IN STORE IN BURNHAM MARKET'S MARKET
Read all about it by clicking on the link:
SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2013 - be there!
News of Trafalgar
A GREAT VICTORY - YOU MAY HAVE HEARD...
We are approaching our annual commemoration of Thorpe's most famous son, Admiral Horatio Nelson, and those who fell with him at Trafalgar. Come and join in the first of the country's annual round of this event. Our music will be led by the choir of Nelson's old school, Norwich School; attending will be the Royal Naval Association and the Sea Cadets, along with representatives of several more of our youth groups.
Everyone is, of course, most welcome on Sunday 6 October, 10.30 at All Saints', Burnham Thorpe - Nelson's home church.
FIRST COMBINED SST MARY'S AND MARGARET'S SUMMER FÊTE
A warm summer Sunday afternoon saw plenty of people passing through an otherwise quiet corner of Burnham Norton. On this occasion, however, the sounds of George Cushing's street organ set the scene for simple fun and summer time easy livin' at the back of the home of a couple of our congregation. So, many thanks to Richard and Stephany Worseley for generously hosting this event.
There are a few pictures; click on our Facebook link.
BRIGHT BRIDES AND GALLANT GROOMS
We're well into our wedding season - and what a joy it has been to be involved with these young couples, all of whom have made a very conscious decision to make their commitment to one another - and to God - in an explicit Christian framework. I hope you will join with me in wishing them happiness and fulfilment in their marriages, also remembering them in your prayers.
WHO ARE THEY THIS YEAR?
- (27 April) Ben Skillings and Sarah Moore at St Margaret's
- (4 May) Geoff Lane and Kim Butcher at St Mary's
- (1 June) Tom Harding and Lucy Geering at All Saints', Thorpe
- (22 June) Barney Guest and Jane Lockwood at St Mary's
- (6 July) Paul and Lucy (née Deakin) Lamont at St Margaret's (renewal of vows following their marriage in South Africa)
- (9 August) Simon Jackson and Naomi Taylor at St Margaret's
- (30 November) Elliot Nicholson and Caroline Lo at St Mary's
UP, UP - BUT NOT AWAY
...as a friend of mine cleverly stated about Jesus' Ascension. Although the rector is not very healthy at the moment (sick on shore), the congregation celebrating Ascension Day was healthy enough in numbers. Our thanks go in particular to the Very Rev'd Michael Yorke, a local retired priest, whose own gradual return to health was enough for him to preside at Thursday's Holy Communion; also the choir, which marked the feast day appropriately with an anthem - and then at the Hoste afterwards!
NOT THE TESTOSTERONE-FEST
The two main services of Easter Day saw at least 300 adults through the doors in the Burnhams, plus plenty of children, plus about another 50 at other services. Not bad for a benefice that apparently has only 500 or so residents. How do we do it? We don't. Never think that God cannot move people to take notice of some good news instead of the speculation, blame and bad news in which the world at large often peddles.
The churches of the main traditions will be having the usual get together to share the first part of our respective Palm Sunday services. Everyone is welcomed to come along to the church green in Burnham Market at 09.30 on Sunday 24th March. For people that only want a tiny taster of "church" that day, it will only last about 10-15 minutes. What have you got to lose?
We Anglicans will then be having a procession up to St Margaret's (top of Bellamy's Lane), where we will continue our Palm Sunday worship. Of course, you don't have to be Anglican to join us for that either.
See the band of hardy processors on our Facebook.
Ashes to Ashes
DUST TO DUST. TIME FOR LENT: AWAY WITH LUST!
Hopefully you'll have noticed that we mark the start of Lent next Wednesday with two services: Holy Communion (BCP) at 09.30, then another in modern language at 18.00 with the traditional imposition of ashes, symbolising our acceptance of this period of restraint and penance. Both services are relatively short and will take place in All Saints' Sutton cum Ulph (opposite the Nelson in Burnham Market).
Do join us; you know it's good for you.
Time to Say Goodbye
TO CHRISTMAS AND ALL THAT
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple - known otherwise as CANDLEMAS. In a nutshell, it's the time of year we turn from the innocence of Jesus' infancy and look toward the journey ahead: challenge, miracles, good news, insult, fickleness, betrayal, trust, death and resurrection. This is what it's all about; this is life in its fulness and fulfillment.
DEANERY CANDLEMAS SERVICE - ST MARY'S, WALSINGHAM @ 17.30, SUNDAY 3rd FEBRUARY
We, as a benefice, will be celebrating Candlemas in All Saints', Burnham Thorpe, at the main service (10.30), and then again as a Deanery in Walsingham. Therefore no evensong in Thorpe. Do try and come to at least one - but preferably both!
...ARE GO! ALMOST. THAT IS TO SAY, THE RECTOR HAS A 4X4 AND A PAIR OF CROSS-COUNTRY SKIS
Any parishioners finding themselves stuck or marooned in the current bad weather - especially our more senior people - should feel free to call up the rector, who will be able to get to you one way or another.
(AND THE REAL THUNDERBIRD? ...will be staying in the garage until the weather's F-A-B again.)
Bright New Start
A NEW YEAR PROMISES A BRIGHT START...
...according to the Met Office. According to God, there's always a chance for a bright start. Seems promising for 2013.
CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE BURNHAMS
It doesn't matter what the weather is here, the celebration of the birth of Christ is waterproof, frost-proof - and misery-proof. Just ask the hundreds that celebrated with us here in the Burnhams. As we heard at the Christmas Eve Christingle in All Saints', Burnham Sutton, in answer to the question, "Whose birthday is it anyway?" there was a church full of children who were bang on the target with the right answer. Which, doubtless, you know, too...
End of the World
BURNHAM MARKET PRIMARY SCHOOL CHRISTINGLE SERVICE
Despite the last-minute decision to relocate the service back in school (was due in St Mary's) because of inclement weather, the children delighted parents, teachers and friends alike with their reminder of the real Christmas story. What better way to finish our time here - if, indeed, the world does end tomorrow...
BISHOP OF LYNN TO PREACH AND PRESIDE AT ST CLEMENT'S - SUNDAY 9 DECEMBER
Don't miss out on meeting our bishop, the Right Reverend Jonathan Meyrick, here at our main act of worship on Sunday 9th December. This will be part of his official visitation to our benefice, which commenced on 4 December with a good look around our parishes, including the shops and school.
We are very pleased that Rebecca, the bishop's wife, will also be with us for that occasion, too.
O Come All Ye Faithful
WHAT'S ON AND WHERE FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS HOMAGE
Although there is a list of services for December, following the tabs above, I thought you might like to see a list of the services directly relating to Christmas, including the ones our local brethren of other traditions are holding. Have a look at the following link:
Advent of Advent
BURNHAM MARKET CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
will be turned on at 16.30, Saturday 24 November this year. The guest turning on the lights is the actor Cliff Parisi. Although starting as a comedian and having appeared in dozens of TV shows, Cliff is now best known from his role as Minty Peterson in EastEnders. There will be many stalls as usual to help the evening along, including the opportunity for mulled wine and hog roast.
WHEN DOES ADVENT ACTUALLY START, THEN?
Well, as usual, Burnham Market is slightly ahead of the Burnhams Benefice in their run-up to Christmas - not that anyone minds that! Advent Sunday is 2nd December; see our Services page for details of that and other services for the rest of this year, including Christmas Day itself.
BURNHAM THORPE REMEMBERS NELSON - OF COURSE Nelson's birthplace, Burnham Thorpe, is the first place every year to commemorate Trafalgar and the pivotal part played by Thorpe's most famous son. We have developed this service to include several groups: our own worshipping community, the Sea Cadets, the Royal Naval Association, and the choir of Norwich School.
It was great to see the church - rather large for such a small village - full again, which, although we have capacity attendance several times a year, is always a good sign that we are appropriately maintaining our link with the Senior Service.
Check our Facebook for a couple of photos. (It is not necessary to sign up for Facebook to see our pages, so ignore the dialogue box, that may appear when you're taken to the link, by clicking the "close" button, lower right corner.)
Harvest Time - For God
A MAGNIFICENT BREAD LOAF FROM GROOM'S BAKERY...
...but there was an even better result from the harvest when we celebrated the youngsters we've baptised in the Name of God over the last couple of years. In fact, a few of them were there, their parents celebrating God's harvest. Mind you, there was the other ubiquitous element of our family services present, too: curly-wurlys. Of course.
Rector Walks On Water
BURNHAM OVERY STAITHE HARBOUR SERVICE
To be honest, he did cheat a bit; the water - unbeknown to the congregation - was only about two inches deep! A convenient ridge of sand happened to be under the rector's feet as he boldly followed the Bible reading about Jesus walking on the water, by walking out to the nearest boat.
The eighty-plus people in attendance will have to wait until next year to find out if the rector would get more than the fringe of his cassock wet without the "miracle" of submerged features to walk on. It did demonstrate one thing, however: following Jesus is more than often really not as difficult as you might think.
Click on facebook link (to the right) for some pictures.
BCP And All That
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER - 350 YEARS ON
St Margaret's, Sunday 25th August is, within a few days, the 350th anniversary of the first use of the Book of Common Prayer. In some parts of the country there were riots when this happened; hopefully, everybody will be a bit more peaceable on this occasion. To effect this, we will be doing the service at 10.30 according to the rubrics (instructions) of 1662, which means, in essence, the congregation do very little but sit there. Enjoy!
If BCP is a bit remote for you, the evening service (18.30) will be at the staithe (jetty) at Burnham Overy. Do come along to this brief service to thank God for the fun and adventure of our harbour, also for the safety of them who "go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters." (Ps 107.23)
Sol Est In Caelum
GET YOUR NICE SUMMER FROCKS ON AND HAVE A PLEASANT AFTERNOON
Fed up with big events now? There's just the thing waiting for you at 3, Marsh Lane (St Anthony Cottage) from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday, 5th August: the Saints Margaret and Mary church fête. Have a browse, a play - or a nice cup of tea (ah, go on, go on, go on, go on...); it'll be very pleasant.
Thank you, Stephanie and Richard Worsley for your hospitality and allowing us to trample all over your lawn.
Contributions of books, raffle prizes or bric-a-brac will be appreciated; phone 730296.
THE QUEEN WAS UNAVOIDABLY DELAYED - SO WE PROMOTED A (YOUNG) LADY IN WAITING
Complete with her retinue of Prince Consort and Archbishop of the Burnhams, we anointed and crowned Georgia, Queen of all the Burnhams (except Deepdale!), its islands and other territories. Long live Queen Georgia the First! (Which she will, we hope - she's only eight at the moment.)
The regalia and signs of power, commitment, humility, resposibility and justice, we slightly pinched from the coronation of the the other Queen - the one that rules the country - hoping that Her Majesty wouldn't mind us using them. (Queen Georgia seemed to be quite happy to take it on for a while anyway.)
Have a look at a few photographs of our royalty (which does NOT refer to the rector!) by clicking on our Face Book link, on the right of this page.
GUEST APPEARANCE: QUEEN MARY OF BURNHAM MARKET
You'll just have to come along and find out. 11.00 Sunday morning in the marquee on Burnham Market playing field. Even though it's a short service - to which everyone is welcome, regardless of tradition - there will still be something good to sing: I vow to thee my country; Jerusalem; God save the Queen (of course); and remembering it's also Trinity Sunday: Father we adore you. Hopefully something for everyone.
At least come along and see Queen Mary being crowned!
The Vision At Overy Staithe
FUN ON YOUTUBE
Further to the Pentecost piece, below, have a look at some footage on the event by going to our Face Book link on the right of this page.
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Well, Book of Common Prayer might not have done it for most people on the great feast of Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' followers, but the boat blessing short service at Overy Staithe had plenty of people in celebration mode.
The boat was built by one of our younger members of the worshipping community here: Ash. He just about fulfilled all the verse - often quoted at Pentecost - except possibly for the "old men" bit, as he's still at junior school! He prophesied he'd build a boat, he had the vision, then (and this is the lesson for today) he did something about it.
Let's all ask God for his Spirit to come on us. What boat are we going to build?
(Go to our Facebook page for a few photographs.)
OVER 500 PEOPLE TURN UP AT OUR SERVICES ON EASTER DAY
So, one small community can project the attraction of the Resurrection enough to get so many people together to celebrate it, that, in our five churches, one had 20 people at 06.00 (yes, that's 6 o'clock in the morning!) for the dawn service, another had about three dozen before breakfast, the third service filled our largest church, the last morning service set a new record for fitting people into St Clement's (almost 300), and finally there were another twenty or so still wanting to celebrate the Great Day in the evening.
Secular Britain? Who knows? They're certainly not all secular here in the Burnhams when our extended community turns up for time off!
Palm Sunday Starts At The Pub
PALM SUNDAY THIS YEAR IS AT BURNHAM THORPE
The main service, in addition to the blessing of our palm crosses, has the baptism of a new member of our universal family. However, although the service itself will start at the usual time, 10.30, we gather at the Lord Nelson at 10.00 for the blessing of our crosses, followed by a casual procession across the green to the church. Let's hope it's not raining - but it'll be great anyway.
Come and join us.
Burnham Thorpe Star Player
MARY HEATHER - ANOTHER OUTSTANDING YEAR
One of our churchwardens, Mary Heather, has recently received a West Norfolk Diamond Jubilee Award For Voluntary Service. This will come as no surprise to anyone in the benefice - and especially in Burnham Thorpe, where Mary throws enormous energy into the village that quite belies her seniority. And it's not a one-off year, either: Mary has been the recipient of this reward a number of times, the consistency of which just goes to reinforce the point. Well done, Mary!
(Go to our Facebook page for a picture of Mary receiving her award at a special dinner at King's Lynn town hall.)
THE LAITY FLEX THEIR THEOLOGICAL MUSCLES
This is great news for the rector because all he has to do is turn up! Our Reader, David Crombie, and one of the churchwardens, Mike Tapper, have got together to bring us a series of six thought-provoking short sessions, "Snapshots of Jesus," based on the Gospel according to Matthew.
In fact, these sessions run on past the end of Lent but that simply means that our time together will become more than just a Lenten discipline...
So, come along and find out a bit more about who this Jesus really was: trouble maker, ethical reformer, Messiah?
Meet in the Methodist Church, Station Road, every Wednesday tea-time, 16.45-17.45, for the next 7 weeks (first session, 7 March, last session 18 April).
RT REVD JONATHAN MEYRICK FULL OF THE SPIRIT
In fact our new Bishop of Lynn - obviously full of the Holy Spirit (ça va sans dire) - is also full of the Spirit of Adventure, the Spirit of Discovery, and the Olympic Spirit, too.
Cycling around his whole area over the next week or so, the passing prelate paused at the rectory for a cuppa on his way to Rudham from the coast. Having to negotiate some of the twisty and bumpy roads here abouts on a bicycle is one thing but just for a bit of extra challenge he managed to do it with his bishop's crook (staff) strapped to the machine as well.
[go to our Facebook page for the photo]
LENT COMES OUT OF AN OLD JUMPER, SOME ADVICE FROM SIR ALEC GUINNESS, AND THE RAVEL PIANO CONCERTO
All was explained at the service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes at St Mary's on Ash Wednesday. I expect you missed it...
GOOD NEWS! You may get another chance in due course. Come along and find out.
Christmas Is Almost Over
CANDLEMAS PUTS THE EXTENDED CHRISTMAS SEASON TO BED FOR ANOTHER CHURCH YEAR
Only 44 weeks to go before we start getting excited again with Advent 2012 (beginning of December). For the time being, we will close this year's season on Sunday 29 January at All Saints', Burnham Sutton, with a service at 10.30 for Candlemas. This recalls when the baby Jesus was presented at the temple by his parents. The wise old duty priest, Simeon, and the prophetess, Anna, both realise who Jesus is. But, there's good news - and not so good news...
Come along and find out what happened next, as we turn from our season of celebration and head towards some heavier weather: Lent.
Oh, and by the way, I'll be giving out the last of the winter wine; that is, enjoy some mulled wine after the service. Be there.
Bishop Of Norwich
BISHOP OF NORWICH VISITS BURNHAMS BENEFICE
We were very pleased that the Bishop of our diocese, the Right Reverend Graham James and Mrs Julie James joined us for our main act of worship at St Mary's, Burnham Market this week. Around 80 people heard him preach a message of the difference it makes to our lives to come and see for ourselves what faith in Jesus has to offer: something better than life without it.
Bishop Graham also presided at the Holy Communion and stayed to talk with the parishioners afterwards. It was a very happy time; if you weren't there, well, you missed a good occasion.
There's a picture of some of the gathering on our facebook site (click on the link to the right).
CIRCUMCISION, GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH
If I was inventing a religion I couldn't have thought up these festivals! Truth is stranger than fiction: having remembered that Jesus, eight days into his life, had a sharp lesson in the grit of the human lot, we are about to celebrate also the amazing insights that can come from that (epiphany = revelation, or revealing, or the penny dropping). Epiphany is, of course, when the magi (wise men) visited the new-born Jesus. Come and be a wise man/woman with us on Sunday 8th Jan at 10.30
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN THE BURNHAMS CHURCHES OVER CHRISTMAS
Excellent singing and some palpable holy moments: it was proof enough that people still have a need to know God in their lives - which is hardly surprising because that's somewhere in the maker's instructions...
Advent Sunday - 27th November
THE ARCHDEACON OF LYNN PREACHES AT ST MARGARET'S FOR ADVENT SUNDAY
Come and meet our Archdeacon, the Venerable John Ashe, at the 10.30 Holy Communion service (Book of Common Prayer). We are very pleased to have his visit to the benefice and to hear his wisdom from the pulpit. He, in turn, is always delighted to meet as many of us as possible, so do come along and enjoy the more traditional liturgy this Advent Sunday.
CANDLE-LIT EVENING SERVICE AT ST MARGARET'S
Please note that the evening service - 18.30 - for Advent Sunday is not evensong but a service especially for the beginning of Advent. It will be similar to last year's and hopefully will be helpful in directing us into this season of preparation for Christmas. As ever, everyone is welcomed.
Remembrance Sunday - 13th November
THE MAIN (10.45) SERVICE ON SUNDAY 13TH NOVEMBER IS AT ST MARY'S, BURNHAM MARKET. (THERE IS NOT A SERVICE IN ST CLEMENT'S AT THIS TIME.)
There has been some confusion for a few people with regard to the worship on Remembrance Sunday because in the Community Newsletter the church services page has been printed with a resized grid, meaning essential information has dropped out of the box. However, the official methods of promulgation for church services - the church notice boards and this website - have all the correct information. Moreover, on the offending page itself there is a clear indication outside the grid of what's happening, and where, for the Acts of Remembrance this year. If you are ever in doubt, please continue to look at the notice boards and this website for information.
All Souls' Day - 2nd November
LIGHT A CANDLE AT ALL SAINTS', BURNHAM SUTTON-CUM-ULPH
If you've had a bereavement in the last year, this may be the first opportunity since the funeral to take part in a symbolic act in memory of the person who has died. Many people find that simply lighting a candle in a place especially set aside is an effective and meaningful way of laying all our doubts and fears literally before the altar.
As usual, the service for All Saints' Day will be at 18.30 (6.30 pm) at Sutton church (the one opposite the Nelson pub in Burnham Market) on Wednesday 2nd November. This service is not just for the more recently bereaved but for anyone at all who wishes to stop for half an hour and give thanks to God for the lives of the important people in our lives who have died.
The Nelson Touch
ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, BURNHAM THORPE, DEFIES GOVERNMENT NAVAL CUTS
Supported by the Norwich School Choir, a congregation of many old sailors, mainly from the Royal Naval Association, and some younger ones from Training Ship Vancouver of the Sea Cadet Corps, we found plenty to celebrate in the life of one of the Royal Navy's most famous leaders, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.
Remembering the victory at Trafalgar and the many seamen who fell alongside Nelson, and the countless number of the Naval Service who have done so since - and still do - we find there is still much of value our naval heritage can provide in inspiration and lessons in resilience. Let's hope all those young people there will pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Nelson and prove that we still have what it takes to overcome our own shortfalls and make a difference in the world. Trust in God - as Nelson did - and we will indeed do so.
WHO WAS THERE
Go the Face Book link (blue box to the right) for some photographs.
ASH - well done to this young man (10), who was grabbed on arrival at church and asked to read the epistle, had a quick look at it and subsequently executed the task with enormous success.
No cabbages for the youngsters (and some not so young) as yet again we had a service with lots of Curley-Wurley bribes. NB Youth Club: I told you that you ought to be there...
Harvest Festival - 11th August
...this year is at St Clement's, Burnham Overy (see locations tab). It wasn't exactly a spectacular year for grain, although great for apples. There is also another bounty of creation we share with God throughout the year: our children. So we're going to have the baptism of a young lad not yet ten months old. We make an offering of our best at harvest - and it doesn't get better than this.
Why not join in the harvest lunch at Overy village hall (just before you reach the junction of the coast road at Overy Staithe). You certainly won't get better value anywhere in north Norfolk than the £7.50 being asked to cover the cost of the food and drink. Contact either of the St Clement's churchwardens to reserve your tickets (you'll find their details by clicking on our "Contacts" page).
Bank Holiday Sunday - 28 August
A DAY OF TRADITION - TRINITY 10 TO TRINITY HOUSE
The Sunday morning services for the Tenth Sunday After Trinity are Book of Common Prayer. Holy Communion at 08.00, Matins - yes, Matins! - at 10.30; both at St Margaret's (refer to church locations tab, above). Great news for traditionalists.
Good news for another sort of traditionalist, too: the evening service will be the short act of worship on the water's edge at Overy Staithe. It doesn't come more traditional than this, for at the water's edge Jesus preached to the crowds, and from this shore countless seafarers have gone from church to ketch. Our evening service starts at 18.30 - half past six in the evening, for you landlubbers!
Spend a short time this bank holiday sharing in centuries of worship.
Sunday 31 July
ALL SAINTS', SUTTON
Another 5th Sunday, another chance for us all to worship together at our smallest church, Sutton-cum-Ulph. It's a cosy place for us to gather, so do support the services there.
Don't miss the opportunity to be led in our worship by the Very Rev'd Michael Yorke (erstwhile Dean of Lichfield Cathedral), our friend and neighbour here in the Burnhams, who is kindly helping out over the next couple of weeks. (Many thanks, Michael.)
Don't miss, either, the chance to pop across the road to have a drink together at our newly re-vamped pub, The Nelson. We did this last 5th Sunday and the 20-or-so who fancied a pre-lunch pint had a very convivial time.
First Sunday After Trinity
So who do we believe God is - or are?
HAVE ANOTHER ANOTHER THINK ABOUT IT: SUNDAY 26 JUNE 2011 AT ST MARGARET'S (see church locations)
WELL, IT'S AN AMAZING ONE, THREE...
Round like a circle in a spiral Like a wheel within a wheel Never ending or beginning On an ever-spinning reel Like a snowball down a mountain Or a carnival balloon Like a carousel that's turning Running rings around the moon Like a clock whose hands are sweeping Past the minutes of its face And the world is like an apple Whirling silently in space Like the circles that you find In the windmills of your mind...
COME AND HAVE ANOTHER THINK ABOUT IT: 10.30, 19th JUNE, ST MARY'S, BURNHAM MARKET
PUT THE CHEESE DOWN AND STEP AWAY FROM IT
It's good to be in Norfolk for Whitsun (Pentecost): if we were in Cambridgeshire there would be cheeses rolling everywhere; at one place in Gloucestershire cheese will be flying through the air!
No cheese at Burnham Overy, however - just a great celebration of the traditional birthday of the Church. Will it be messy? Come and find out...
Easter Et Cetera
EASTER'S ALIVE AND WELL HERE
The greatest of the Church's festivals went well here in the Burnhams. There were over 300 people came through our doors for services on Easter Day alone - including the 18 who turned themselves out of their beds to greet the day at 05.45, which was sunrise, when we had our first Holy Communion of Easter in St Margaret's, Norton. Every church had a Holy Communion on Easter Day, and it was especially good to see how many children had come with their parents.
Follow the link to our Facebook page to see some of the events over Holy Week.
THE MAIN ACT OF WORSHIP AT ST MARY'S
There is only a tiny space in the table of services in the community newsletter to express the idea that we start at 09.30 with the blessing of the palms - which we will be doing with our Roman Catholic brethren from St Henry's - and where that is to happen. It is in fact the commencement of the main service for Palm Sunday, which develops into Holy Communion in St Mary's for us and Holy Mass in St Henry's for the RCs.
Turn up at half past nine near the church east gate. Then we will go back to church when the palms bit has been done.
Yes, this is posted on 1st April, but you'd have to be an April fool not to take note of the Great Day approaching. Follow the link on the Services page for details of our celebrations and Holy Week services. And don't forget...
Mothering Sunday, 3rd April; main service at 10.30 in All Saints', Burnham Thorpe. Come along, bring your mums, children. Come along, bring your children, mums. (Dads are more than welcome, too!)
21.00 on Thursday 10th March, BBC1, Comic Relief visits Kibera (Part 2*), commonly referred to as Africa's largest slum. Our connection is that this is where Sutton church's charitable giving went last year, via Sarah, the daughter of Anthonie and 'Lyn Stilgo, who had an involvement there through her own church.
Not only is it good to see the sort of benefits that might result from us being charitable, but also to realise how connected we really are with one another as the Church of Jesus.
* Part 1 is available on iPlayer until 21.59 on 17th March.
Do Chocolate for Lent
Yes! There is a way of doing chocolate during Lent! Or rather, Chocolat. This year's Lent course will be based on the themes brought up in the novel/film Chocolat.
Watch out for further information. (We might even get our hands on the real stuff - that is, for anyone who hasn't given it up...)
A New Churchwarden for Thorpe
Congratulations to Mike Tapper for stepping up to the mark and filling the several-years-vacated churchwarden post at All Saints', Burnham Thorpe. He joins Mary Heather, who has been the other - and up until now, only - churchwarden for Thorpe. Mary also does many other things for the parish, so hopefully she will be able to put her feet up for a couple of minutes a day now.
Mike is no stranger to the workings of the Church in Thorpe, having had oversight of the church fabric for some time, and also being the vice-chair of the PCC - to whom the rector almost always passes the gavel at meetings!
Mike was sworn into the office of churchwarden by the rural dean, Fr Norman Banks, after a deanery service of Candlemas carols, readings and music at St Mary and All Saints, Little Walsingham. (see photo' via Facebook link)
Burnhams Fog Lit Up With Celebrations
Christmas may have been a bit foggy here and there but it did not stop several hundreds of residents and visitors getting together at the various services to celebrate the great anniversary of Jesus' birth. The people went forth indeed rejoicing - hopefully enhanced by, not simply because of, the mulled wine offered after some of the services.
We also welcomed into the Christian family a young lady called Clarissa, who received Holy Baptism on the feast of St Stephen (Boxing Day), just a few days before being one year old. Let's hope she always manages to celebrate both her birthdays and Christmas without confusion!
Thorpe Shepherds Visit Crib
Shepherds (the children of Burnham Thorpe) sang to about 100 carollers during the service of lessons and carols. The Pattersley Singers became the church choir for the evening. The Nelson's Shantymen rounded off the service with a hearty old English rendition of "On Christmas night all Christians sing" - with the solo introductory line sung by the group's Scotsman! After the service there were minced pies and mulled wine. Which was good.
Yes, you should've been there...
The Burnhams Winter Wonderland
Shooters from Holkham came close to bagging lesser-seen creatures in North Norfolk: a brace of parishioners and a parson, Nordic skiing across the rolling downs of Thorpe parish. Good skiing and good shooting, thankfully in different directions after the customary civilities from each party.
A 'New Rhythm of Worship'
The Burnhams Benefice is adopting a new rhythm of worship from the start of its new year, which is Advent Sunday (28 Nov).
This is happening because the passing system was based mainly on criteria established about 30 years ago. Things have moved on: the 5 closely located parishes of the benefice comprise one worshiping community, which we want to demonstrate by gathering in the numbers that reflect the true vitality of the Church here in the Burnhams.
It is hoped that this will also make services more accessible, and the rotation of locations more memorable for all concerned, especially the visitors who regularly swell our community.
Each Sunday will have services at 08.00, 10.30 and 18.30. All the services on a particular Sunday of the month will happen in the same church, which means that 1st Sundays will be at Thorpe, 2nd Sundays at Overy, 3rd Sundays at Westgate, 4th Sundays at Norton. This gives us the acronym, "TOWN", which conveniently gives the initial letter for each location in the order it happens during a month. (You might find the mnemonic, "Going round the TOWN", helpful!) 5th Sundays, when they happen, will be at Sutton, which will continue to be the venue for the Wednesday Holy Communion at 09.30. Services for special times of the year will be adjusted accordingly.