Burnhams Benefice News
Services Coming Up
Please find below the link to this week's podcast service from the Burnham Benefice for the 17th January 2021. In collaboration with my church wardens in this benefice we have reluctantly decided that at the present it is prudent and cautious not to hold congregational worship.
It is my intention to offer a single service of said Sunday Holy Communion weekly in St. Mary's Burnham Market at some point during lockdown once our rates of infection begin to reliably and regularly fall. There are a number of factors which suggest St. Mary's would be a sensible place for these services, important among which is its size. When we reintroduce services all the precautions to which we have become accustomed, social distancing, sanitising, the special arrangements for receiving Communion, no singing, wearing of masks and no mixing outside households or formal bubbles will be rigorously in place. Even so, I stress that worship will be offered, there is no obligation to attend and if you fall into one of the four groups deemed most at risk (those scheduled for early vaccination) I would urge you to think most carefully before deciding to come.
The churches remain open for private prayer in our usual rotation. ( Monday - Thursday TOWN) and if you would like to join me for morning prayer by zoom or telephone please be in touch.
Welcome to Steve!
Please join us on Feb 25th at 7.00pm at St Mary’s Burnham Westgate for the installation of the Rev’d Steve Wood as Priest in Charge of the Burnhams Benefice and afterwards at the village hall for refeshments.
Rev'd Steven Wood
The Bishop of Lynn, Bishop Jonathan, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev'd Steven Wood, currently Vicar of Streatley, near Luton, in the Diocese of St Albans, as Priest in Charge of the Burnhams Benefice. The Bishop thinks that we can look forward to welcoming him and his wife Frances, probably some time in February.
The period during which there is no rector for the benefice is called a vacancy. During this time a search and selection procedure takes place; the length of this period is enormously variable but a national average is about 6-9 months. During this time initial enquiries can be directed through the churchwardens (see the Contacts link, above).
A vacancy can be quite an exciting time for a worshipping community, when Anglican Christians can know the reality of St Peter's notion of the "priesthood of all believers" and look to a future which progresses the mission of the Church in this place. Do feel that we can all be part of this.
Christmas isn't over
(In fact, the season isn't really over until 2 February - Candlemas.)
More importantly for now, we have the usual services at All Saints', Burnham Sutton cum Ulph this Sunday, known in the church year as Christmas 1 - and, this year, also New Year's Eve. As usual, we'll be popping over the road for coffee at the Nelson after the 10.30 service. This time you might want to make an evening of it back at church at 18.30 for evensong, into the Nelson again afterwards for an evening with Nelson's Shantymen and seeing in the new year.
So, let's keep celebrating Christmas...
One of our worshipping community here in the Burnhams has made her commitment to a fuller membership of the Church. Although our Holy Baptism gives us this membership in the first place, there's something really special about an adult who recognises the calling of God to do something further about it. Mozeltov, Carole, on your Confirmation today in Norwich Cathedral!
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.