War Memorial Gary Trouton

Keith MacLeod Newsletter

June 2004

Church of England monthly magazine

The Parishes of St. Andrew, Northwold; All Saints, Wretton with Stoke Ferry;

and Christ Church, Whittington.

For more details contact me, Keith MacLeod at West Barn, Ryston Road, West Dereham

(01366 500960) (07766 766 137) (email: keith.macleod@virgin.net)

Diary for June 2004

30th May (Pentecost - WhitSunday)

11.00am All Age Worship at Christ Church

6th June (Trinity Sunday)

9.30am Service of the Word at All Saints

11.00am Holy Communion at St Andrews

13th June (1st Sunday after Trinity)

9.30am Service of the Word at Christ Church

11.00am Matins at St Andrews

20th June (2nd Sunday after Trinity)

8.00am Holy Communion at St Andrews

9.30am Holy Communion by Extension at All Saints

27th June (3rd Sunday after Trinity)

9.30am Benefice Holy Communion at St


Rotas for Church cleaning & flowers

June Christ Church Mrs D Eves and Mrs J Elsey All Saints Mrs P Willis and Mrs H Durrance

July Christ Church Mrs N Achurch & Mrs J Allen All Saints Mrs P Willis and Mrs P Durrance

Sunday School - All Welcome

There is a Sunday School during the main Sunday services at St. Andrew's Church, Northwold (except for Sunday's with All Age Worship). This is open to any school age child living in the villages of Northwold, Wretton, Stoke Ferry, Whittington and Brookville. If you are not able to stay with your child please drop them off by 10.50 and collect them by 12.15.


We have recently had meetings with the powers that be in Ely and among ourselves as to the future of the Church - the Parish Church of Stoke Ferry and Wretton. We are not viable as we are! We have been mightily encouraged by the support we have been given in seeking new ways forward. So we are now working on plans to restore the Church building both as a place of Christian worship, but also as a resource for the villages - we need to make it more comfortable and usable. There will shortly be a large mailing to all villagers about how our thoughts are developing, seeking your (that is YOUR!) support in a variety of ways to the restoration of the Church as a building to be visited and used by all. In addition to the mailings, there will be an OPEN DAY on 26th June, followed by an early evening service of Songs of Praise, old and new, with Organ, Keyboard, Guitar & Choir - and who knows yet what other sources of music and noise. During the day, we have out on display the Church's treasures - Silver and old books etc. We have been promised by Norwich Record Office that we can borrow some of the old registers etc showing what happened in the Church in centuries past. Please come and see what is in your midst, probably including some items that will surprise you.

Going to Church

It would probably do all of us good to go to Church regularly, even if infrequently. Even the irreligious can receive a sense of peace in a Church that has been used for hundreds of years by others receiving forgiveness and peace. If you need to forgive yourself, so that you have room to receive the forgiveness of others, especially of those whom you love and who love you, you could probably not do much better than to come quietly into a Church and let the wisdom and peace of its stones enter into you.

Here is a story of someone who did not need to go to Church

An old man lived near the top of a high mountain. His parents had died long ago, and since then he had lived on his own. He ate berries and the roots that grew on the mountain, and he drank from its pure springs. One day the priest climbed up the mountain to see him.

'Old man,' the priest said, 'in all the years that I have been here, you have never attended church. Next Sunday, look down onto the village. When you see the people leaving their homes and walking to church, follow them.'

'All right,' said the old man, 'I will do as you say.'

The old man often looked down from his mountain top onto the village, and prayed for the people. So the next Sunday, when he saw them going to church, he walked down the mountain and followed them. Everyone in the village had heard of the old man, but this was the first time most of them had ever seen him. So throughout the service everyone stared at him.

After the service was over, people started talking to him. They could see that his heart, like the mountain water, was completely pure; no evil thought or feeling had ever entered him. He told them that he prayed for them daily; and they realized that the prosperity and harmony which their village enjoyed was due to his prayers.

'Please, old man,' they said eventually, 'do not come to church again. We come because we are sinners, and want to be forgiven. But you have no sin. And we are afraid that if you come regularly, our sinful ideas would infect you. We just want you to pray for us.'

So the old man climbed back up the mountain, and never again attended church. He continued to pray and the village continued to prosper. The old man eventually died, but in heaven he must be continuing to pray for that village - because the village remains famous to this day for its prosperity and harmony.

* * *

The pastor of Downham Market Christian Fellowship recently preached to the text - if it doesn't work, why keep doing it? The opposite famous saying - if it ain't broke, don't change it! - is equally in point. The villagers in the story wisely realised that it worked and did not seek to change it. We should ask if the Churches in our midst work and, if not, if we want to keep them, whether as places of public Christian worship and/or as places of community and as the bearers of valuable tradition, what are we going to do about it?

Keith Mac Leod

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