War Memorial Gary Trouton

The Benefice of All Saints Wretton with Stoke Ferry,

May 2005

The Benefice Newsletter

Rector: The Reverend Canon David Kightley 01842 828104

Lay Ministers: Ruth Kightley, Keith MacLeod and Brenda Stewart.

For information concerning marriage, baptism or funerals please contact The Reverend David Kightley in the first instance, the Churchwardens or Verger.

MAY 2005 (Please note change of Services)

1st May Easter 6

(Rogation Sunday) 22nd May

Sunday Trinity Sunday

after Pentecost

9.30am Wretton Holy Communion 9.30am Whittington Service of he word

11.00am Northwold Holy Communion 11.00am Northwold Holy Communion

8th May

Sunday after Ascension Day

29th May

Trinity 1

Pentecost + 2

9.30am Whittington Holy Communion 9.30am

Northwold Benefice Holy Communion

11.00am Northwold Matins

15th May


8.00am Pentecost

(Whit Sunday)



Service of the Word

Holy Communion 5th June


11.00am Trinity 2

Pentecost +3



Holy Communion

Holy Communion

All Saints

Wretton with Stoke Ferry

Churchwardens: Cleaning & Flower Rota:

Keith MacLeod 01366 500960 May: Mrs. Durrance &

Carol Nicholas-Letch 01366 500704 Mrs. Nicholas-Letch

Verger: Trish Willis 07816 169308 June: Mrs. Willis & Mrs. Russell

If you need a lift please telephone the churchwardens or verger.

Witness March Good Friday

We were very lucky to have a bright morning for our annual march of Witness. It started with a prayer at Stoke Ferry Cross and concluded with a very moving service followed by hot-cross buns at the Methodist Chapel Stoke Ferry. Our thanks to all members at The Chapel for their kind hospitality.

Bible Study Anyone interested in coming to our monthly Bible Study evenings are more than welcome. These are very informal and not at all "stuffy". Although the subject is taken seriously we do have great fun with great discussions. They are held in Feltwell - taken by a smashing Lay Minister Ruth Stewart. If you would like more information or are interested in coming please contact Carol on 01366 500704. Lifts to Feltwell can be arranged.

Christ Church Whittington

Churchwarden: Cleaning & Flower Rota:

Roger Warner 01366 500307 May: Mrs. D Eves & Mrs. Elsey

Verger: Trish Willis 07816 169308 June: Mrs. I Eves & Mrs. Ducklin

Winner of Whittington Church's Easter Raffle:

1st Prize - Easter Hamper - Lesley Lee

2nd Prize - Red & White wine - Richard Barnwell

3rd Prize - Easter Egg - Karen Hurn

A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets. £100 has now been added to our general running account for Whittington Church.

The Children's Society

The total amount collected in this years Children's Society boxes was £410.55, Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this tremendous total. I have had a letter from the Society thanking me for the money I have sent to them. part of the letter reads as follows:

"The Children's Society currently works with more than 50,000 children. We believe that no child is beyond hope, understanding or love, and by collecting funds through house boxes you are really helping us to change many children's lives for the better. Please convey our sincerest thanks to all your box holders. Last year, £2 million was collected from house boxes around the country, and every box really does make a positive difference."

If anyone else would like a box in their home, please contact me.

Jenny Elsey

01366 500143

St. Andrew Northwold


Jane Luckman 01366 728921

Brenda Ayres 01366 728565

May 2005 Anglican Church Letter

The General Election will be upon us as you read this. However, as I write it, the campaign has only just started - the strangest start to such a campaign that I can remember - the long phoney campaign when everyone knew the eventual date, but it had not been announced - and then just as we came up to the formal announcement came the illness, death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, followed the next day by the marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and then the birth of a first son for the Liberal Democrat leader. Also, after years of publicised, but behind doors warring between Blair and Brown, there they are, day after day working together wreathed in smiles and Blair promising to be effectively a lame duck Prime Minister if re-elected.

It's not clear that politics was much in evidence during this period! There has been a considerable absence of conviction. The Tories probably, on balance, agree with what Mr Flight, Vice Chairman of the party, was heard to say in a private gathering about plans to cut taxes, but can't bring themselves to say so, or possibly do not quite know how to say so in an attractive and convincing way. Labourites either love Brown's economic success, but can't quite see themselves going back to Old Labour and are terrified of him becoming leader OR, on the other hand, love Blair's (at least till recently) political success, but can't stomach New Labour and its not-really-Socialist leanings. We all love the humourousness of Charles Kennedy, but can't be sure that there is enough depth in his party and its policies.

It all rather reminds me of Jane Fonda, a life long, born and bred atheist, always following her own path, who, now in her 60s, has become a Christian, but cannot say why! She says 'I'm still not ready to defend it [Christianity] or analyze it or anything, but I have become moved by it, fascinated by it and helped by it - and I'm not even sure what it is. But I am humming with reverence and going at it in my usual full-bore way.' As a reporter in Time Magazine has recently written, Jane Fonda has never let a lack of certitude translate into a lack of enthusiasm, and she understands that the exuberance with which she broadcasts her new self - accepting Christianity after years of spiritual apathy - will undoubtedly raise eyebrows.

I wonder how many of us have never let, not the lack of, but the possession of certitude (whether for our Christianity or for our belief in our chosen political party) translate itself into actual enthusiasm or exuberance - and we too often excuse ourselves by claiming to be British - the never failing excuse for our lack of action, emotion or anything visible to anyone else.

During the Royal Wedding in St George's Chapel, the Creed - the statement of the fundamentals of Christian belief - was sung by a Russian Contralto - it was the Creed by the Russian composer Grigoriev. It was sung in Russian - rather it was chanted in Russian. Actually I do not like the words 'sung' or 'chanted' in the context. She 'delivered' it with such power that anyone paying attention (which is more than the cameraman did!) could not but be gripped. This was not a mere statement of belief; this was an assertion, an affirmation, a testimony - defying any listener to deny it. It was done with so much power that it seems as though her whole body was going to come out of her mouth, not just words and notes. If Jane Fonda was first attracted (which obviously she was not, but please come along with me) to Christianity by this performance, then it is so easy to understand why she was 'moved by it, fascinated by it and helped by it'.

It would not be possible to leave this discussion without paying a short visit to Rome and Carol Wojtyla's funeral. That man had been a little like Grigoriev's Creed - his life had been a statement, an affirmation, evidenced by his whole being, right up to those last days when he spoke to the world silently just by being there. More than words had always come from him. Many of us disagree with aspects of and some of his words, but his life and his presence were never less than Holy. Many of those who wept in St Peter's Square and in Krakow and watching their TV screens around the world were not Roman Catholics. I suspect that many were not Christians - but God speaks to us all in our own language.

So are you going to vote? Can you find enough certitude (not just in the mere words and Manifestos of the parties and their leaders, but in what they mean, in what they seem to want to make of life - their own and ours) that you can be exuberant in choosing to vote (or choosing as a political act not to vote - to actively abstain). How fantastic it would be if we could have a General Election in which every one on the Roll voted or abstained out of positive conviction, not negative posturing or tactical gerrymandering. How marvellous if we could all vote for what we believe is right, not for what will be to our personal benefit. For example is it wrong that we are signed up to the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees (ie asylum seekers)? If it is not wrong, then it is almost certainly right and our only concern should be to ensure that we can recognise a refugee when one presents himself. Vote, but do vote out of conscience, not out of pragmatism. Vote for principles of truth and compassion, not for short-term gain, whether for you or even for your country.

To do this, you will have to look beyond the electioneering, this acting and posturing that we demand of our political leaders and representatives.

Having lectured my readers, I am left with my own lack of certitude - I will vote, hopefully with exuberance and from my heart - but I am not quite sure how to apply that to the choice before me! So I have no option but to do some real work - I have to find out what the parties are going to do with British Society and to the rest of the world. Given that for the very most part there are only differences of degree between the major parties, I am left to consider whether there are specifics that one or other of them are offering, which I find morally unacceptable.

I wish I could finish this with a rendering of the Russian Creed by the lady who sang at the Royal Wedding. In my mind I am rehearsing it again now and I am yet again convinced and excited.

Keith MacLeod

Licensed Lay Minister

Carol Nicholas-Letch/Keith MacLeoad

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