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October Newsletter

24 September 2019

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A Letter from our Rector, Mark:

A busy Autumn:
September saw celebrations - Saxtead pulled work in making scarecrows, in creativity through art, flowers, vehicles and cars, it was made by people working together and enjoying doing so - even when erecting a panoply of gazebos. Huge thanks to all who put in the effort to pull it together and then encourage and we hope enjoyed it.
September also saw Edith being licensed as a Reader and wearing the blue scarf of that office for the first time and we are fortunate to have her gifts of sharing the good news in a lively and interesting way. May God bless her ministry.
October sees the second Harvest Festival - at St Michael’s on 6th October, joined by Saxtead, FramSoc and the Baptist Church and then being invited to the College for lunch (please make sure you sign up the list at the back of St Michael’s by October 1st if you want to share in the lunch. October also sees our Healing Service at St Michael’s on the 20th at 9.30, a time to consider how God longs to know and heal us of all that harms us. Jesus often used touch when healing and there will be the opportunity for anointing and laying on of hands.
This month also sees two adults and three children thinking about their faith and the understanding of God and Church which leads us towards another shared service on Sunday November 3rd when Bishop Mike joins us at 11 to confirm them. It would be really good if as many people as possible come to support the candidates at that special service.
Meanwhile … will our country know what is happening with Brexit? I can’t guess what is going to happen as I write this. May God guide our government and parliament - and all of us. The archbishops have published a prayer to help focus the nations hopes and rekindle shared understanding:
A Prayer for the Nation:
God of hope, in these times of change
Unite our Nation, and guide our leaders with your wisdom. Give us courage to overcome our fears, and help us to build a future in which all may prosper and share.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen
News from All Saints Saxtead
Isn't it amazing how religious and social events can dovetail and indeed reinforce each other? The first sign was the scarecrows, just one or two, then suddenly they appeared from all quarters, so much so that drivers were doing double takes and retracing their steps to see if that poor creature up a telegraph pole was ok. They became a point for discussion as people not usually known for such imaginative frivolity spent hours, even days, designing their creations. It became more than a bit of fun- the first step in a community coming to life and shaking off its usually deadpan exterior. What were they for? Well, the festival obviously. But so quickly did they meld into their surroundings that no one wanted them moved for the judging! Already there is talk of a possible return of the scarecrows next year. As with the art exhibition with its wide range of pieces by people of considerable talent and insight, whose work we are proud to hang on the wall. Most importantly, people who are happy to have a go. Time will tell, but for now there is a new sense of connection and belonging; an openness to fresh ideas and skills. Still the same no holds barred spirit of competition between the different ends of Saxtead (as shown by the traditional Tug of War) but now a chance to try the gentle art of Qi gong or pottery. To diversify into an appreciation of magnets and try your hand at wattle and daub. All of this made possible by a crowd of local volunteers. And today, Sunday, we go full circle as we devote our attention to Harvest Festival, the church suffused with the deep, pageant -like colours of medieval England set against the purest and simplest of backgrounds. A chance to sing, pray and give thanks for the bounty around us and indeed in us , as our children, through their concert this afternoon, add another dimension to the experience. No one can doubt their enjoyment and enthusiasm, however the string ensemble's rendering of Pachelbel's Canon is so poignant and beautifully played that it brings tears to many an eye and an element of gentle spirituality to the event and our hopes for the future. Thank you wholeheartedly to the people of Saxtead for making it a very special place to live and for devoting your time and energy to making the weekend such a success. We think we have raised about £2000. Sue Ward. saxtead_sue@hotmail.com