Poverty and Children: I went to an interesting meeting with Christians against Poverty which was held at Saxmundham. This organisation was set up to help individuals and families to get out of debt. Sometimes health, disability or hard edged sums lead people into a desperate position, sometimes it leads to issues with mental health and family breakdown. The hope is to get a debt advisory service going in the Suffolk Coastal area and provide support for families going through the pain of this. The help is practical – consolidation of debts by CAP who the families pay a regular sum to, which is affordable and which takes away the fear of the bailiffs. I wonder what your response is to starting this locally? Not needed – not as much as some areas probably but those doing a budgeting course are aware of some need. This can be linked to the work we are doing with a Foodbank for this area and further afield. The changes to benefits are pushing some people to the edge … and Christians are not called to judge.
Are Christians called to this sort of work … is God bothered? Yes, care for the poor and disadvantaged was central to Jesus call – he talked about money need a lot more than sexuality. He was aware of wealth and poverty 2000 years ago. And so have Christians ever since. One organisation which has been active is The Children’s Society – the nature of their involvement has changed but they advocate the need of young people and runaways still. ON FEBRUARY 4TH we have the beautiful Christingle Service again when we raise money for them – your support for a lovely service – and for today’s poor is needed. Christians Against Poverty – there will be more about this in due time; but they are not asking for money so much as people who might support through prayer or befriending people. Fighting poverty is not just providing cash but also offering friendship and alternative possibilities
Digital Prayer: You may have noticed that we have a new prayer facility in church which complements the Space for Grace. It is there for everyone to use. You type your prayer on the touch screen at the back of the church by the "shop". It is is displayed on the wall by Sir Robert Hitcham's tomb and will be there for a week. We hope this will be helpful to you.
Fairtrade Fortnight: Monday 26th February – Sunday 11th March: Watch out for events throughout this time and extra opportunities to stock up on all your favourite items.
Lent Study Groups: There will be two Lent Study Groups, running for 5 weeks in Lent. One will be straight after Wed Communion, starting on Wed 21st Feb. The other will be an evening meeting beginning the same week, details to be confirmed. Both groups will be on the theme of ‘Living Lent with St Mark’. Everyone is welcome. Further information will be on the Sunday notices or ring Rev Mark on 01728 768875.
Children’s Society Boxes: February is the month for our boxes to be emptied, so please would you bring them to church on Sunday 4th February at our Christingle service if possible or the Sundays following. If you would like a box for 2018, there will be some in church for the next few weeks. For any newcomers, the idea is to put your loose change into the boxes at the end of the day, it soon adds up. Last year we raised the wonderful total of £962! The Children’s Society works with vulnerable children, who have nowhere left to turn. Thank you. Mary Stanbrook
Bishop Martin held a confirmation service at Framlingham on 29th October.
Weddings in Nov: Ben Cannon and Hayley Booker to be married on Sat 25th Nov. We wish them all God’s blessings and every happiness for their future together.
Baptisms in Nov: We are delighted to welcome Hannah Zoe Wheeler into the family of the church, to be baptised on Sunday 5th. We are also delighted to welcome Niall Jay Humphrey, to be baptised on Sun 19th.
Thanksgiving Service for those loved and lost: Sun 5th Nov at 4pm at St Michael’s, an opportunity to remember loved ones and light a candle for them. Refreshments afterwards. All welcome.
Saturday 11th November: Act of Remembrance on Market Hill at 11am.
Sunday 12th November: Remembrance Sunday parade and service. 10.50 around the War Memorial. 11 Silence at War Memorial. 11.05 in Church. Led by Rev Mark. Preacher Rev Martin Dawes from United Free Church.
Framlingham Christmas Day Lunch Club: This annual event is held at the Scout Hall in Fram. If you would like to attend or receive a meal in your own home, please pick up a letter with details and booking form from the back of church
The three legged stool! A strange title, but it is a phrase I used to use when explaining the Church of England to people who were exploring ordination (Mary might remember!). It is that the Church of England is like a three legged stool - it rests on three bases. The first leg is Scripture which contains all we need for salvation, there we find the history of God’s loving acts from creation to a once for all act in Jesus, to the ongoing work of the Spirit in the early Church. The end of October saw the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation and our emphasis on Scripture comes from there. The second leg is tradition – the work of God is not contained within Scripture because that is contained within covers – the Spirit has blown the Church along for 2000+ years and we are the result. At the Reformation we did not lose the ‘catholic’ order of Bishops, Priests and deacons, we kept the parish system as a means of expressing God’s love to every nook and cranny of this country. The third leg is reason or experience – God works through our intellect and through our experience, God allows for our change and development. It is this which means we rightly struggle with changes of society. It means we have been able to embrace the ministry of women. We are not stuck with one way of being society but are aware that the Spirit challenges us and moves us on. This will always lead us to difficulty and change – but opens us up to the possibility that God is changing and renewing us and this is part of his love for us. The Reformation was one such period. I wonder with the challenges facing the Church now whether the Spirit is powerfully at work again, disturbing what we thought was obvious and reshaping the Church for our next steps forward.
Introducing the new Bishop of Kagera Everyone around Murgwanza is very excited about the appointment of Darlington Bendankeha as the new Bishop of Kagera. "We are delighted that Canon Darlington has been elected as the next Bishop of Kagera. Canon Darlington is already well known to many in this Diocese and his humility, energy and passion for mission are all qualities that will be effectively used in his new role and a blessing to many. We ask you to keep him in your prayers as he takes up his new role and also pray for Bishop Aaron as he steps down after such long and fruitful service." Bishop Martin and Bishop Mike. Our diocese has been linked with the Diocese of Kagera in Tanzania since 1994. Our common aims are friendship, understanding, praying, learning and sharing. Our link gives us opportunities to become partners in mission as we learn from each other how to be more effective in doing God’s work in His world.
The East Anglian Academy – Celebrity Organ Recital with Matthias Havinga. Sunday 8th October 3 – 4.30pm in St Michael’s Church. Tickets £12; school-age students free
Coffee morning: On Saturday 21st October in St Michael’s Church, 10 – 12 noon, to celebrate One World Week (22nd – 28th Oct). There will be amazing cakes, a Fairtrade Stall and Fairtrade beverages all in aid of The Delhi Brotherhood and Fairtrade.
2017 – The Year of the Bishop!
No they are not endangered, nor is the UN giving them special protection, it is just that Framlingham is being blessed by seeing them a lot this year – their walk in March, Bishop Mike leading sessions on worship in July and now we see him and Bishop Martin again in October. Both times stress important parts of our shared Church life. Taking them in reverse order:
October 29th 4pm – Bishop Martin is coming to lead the Confirmation Service which will also be a Holy Communion. This will be the main service that day as we support those making their Christian promises for themselves and making an important step on their Christian journey of following Christ and being a disciple. But it is a good time for all of us to think about our faith and the difference it makes. On September 10th at 9.30 Jeanette Gosney our preacher challenged us to think how our faith shows, how would anyone know we are God’s people? This is a challenge for all of us to ponder and to support Issy Sholl, Florie Ryan, Jacqueline Ryan, Lucy Wasmuth and Christopher Wasmuth through your prayers and by being with them on the 29th.
Bishop Mike – is coming to the 9.30 at Framlingham and the 11.15 at Saxtead on October 15th and the theme will be healing as we are remembering St Luke who St Paul called ‘the beloved physician’ and so he has become a focus for the spiritual and physical healing work of the Church. At Framlingham there will be the opportunity for the laying on of hands and anointing with oil for those who want it alongside the giving of the Bread and Wine. At Saxtead there will be a similar opportunity and Bishop Mike will preach at both services explaining what this means and how it focuses us on the grace and mercy of God in our lives. This was arranged even before the March walk or the July worship sessions were known – but means we have benefited from his teaching ministry more than our fair share this year.
We can only be grateful for ‘The Year of the Bishops’ and pray for their ministry here and across the diocese.
News from Kagera: Chris and Anji Dawkins, Kagera Link Coordinators, sent this report from Kagera. Thomas Shavu, the co-ordinator, is full of plans and thanks to the success of our Lent appeal some of them will now be realised. St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese will be funding a three year programme of development work, led by Thomas. One of his major projects is tree planting. Because of the traditional practice of cutting down trees for fuel for cooking, the whole area is very bare, which has devastating results when the rains come – the topsoil is just washed away and no water stays in the ground. Thomas took us to one of six tree nurseries he has set up across the Diocese, where we met a group of villagers caring for 100,000 tree seedlings. For their labour, watering and tending the seedlings over the next few months, the villagers will be given a selection of trees to plant on their own land. The rest of the seedlings will be given to local institutions to provide a long term investment and income for the future. So to all those who took part in the Lent appeal, another big thank you from us and from Thomas for giving him the ability to continue this work – and much more.