Church Warden Retires after 44 Years

After 44 years of caring for the 12th Century Church of St Mary in Wissington (Wiston), Gerald Knox has decided it is time to ‘pass on his stave of office’ to the next generation.

TGerald Knox Retiremento mark this amazing achievement, The Revd Mark Woodrow, Priest in Charge, presented Gerald with a special Long Service Award on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop, The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, in recognition of his dedication and loyalty.

The Bishop also agreed that Gerald, should be granted the honorary title of Warden Emeritus.

Gerald isn’t retiring completely from church life, he has agreed to remain as treasurer – a position he has faithfully fulfilled for a mere 30 years!

“Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)


Easter and Holy Week Services

Come and join us as at one of our special services, as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

All are welcome to worship with us.  We look forward to welcoming you.

Sunday 9th April 2017 – Palm Sunday
8am               Polstead                        Holy Communion
10am            Leavenheath               Morning Prayer
10am            Nayland                         Cafe Church
10am            Wissington                  Holy Communion
6.30pm        Stoke by Nayland    Holy Communion

Thursday 13th April 2017 – Maundy Thursday
10am              Nayland                        Holy Communion with Foot Washing

Friday 14th April 2017 – Good Friday
10am-3pm   Nayland                        Meditation at the Foot of the Cross

Saturday 15th April 2017 – Easter Eve
7pm                  Wissington                 Easter Vigil and First Holy Communion of Easter

Sunday 16th April 2017 – Easter Day
8am                  Nayland                        Holy Communion
10am               Stoke by Nayland    Easter Celebration (see below)
6.30pm           Leavenheath VH     Easter Evening Praise
6.30pm           Polstead                       Holy Communion

A Spirituality for Every Day: The Sermon on the Mount


Thursday 16 March 2017 10.00am – 4.00pm

The Edmund Room, St Edmundsbury Cathedral

A day led by Bishop Mike

Bishop Mike writes: “One of the greatest gifts of Jesus to us is his Sermon on the Mount – but some of the ways we interpret it can seem like bad news in terms of how high the bar is set or what we are required to do. This day looks at Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount and how it is wonderfully wise teaching, enabling our spiritual transformation, a transformation rooted in the action of actually following Jesus and his teaching in ways which enable us to begin to take on something of his character. The Sermon on the Mount is not about a new and sterner legalism but pointers to what life can become for devoted disciples and apprentices of Jesus. There will be three talks during the course of the day with plenty of room for silence and reflection.”

This event is free and drinks will be provided.

This is part of the ongoing Diocesan prayer and spirituality initiatives aiming to encourage the priority of prayerfulness at the heart of all we do.

To register please go to Enquiries to Caroline Redman at or phone 01359 269335.


New Service Pattern begins on Sunday 5th February 2017


In consultation with the Benefice Ministry Team and PCC’s it has been agreed to introduce a revised monthly service pattern in the Benefice, initially on a six month trial basis, beginning on Sunday 5th February 2017.

The principal changes are:

Introduction of 3 standard service times across the benefice:  8am, 10am and 6.30pm.

  • There will be an 8am Holy Communion Service in one of the churches in the Benefice every week.
  • The joint Benefice service will move from the 4th Sunday to the 3rd Sunday.
  • There will be a 10am Holy Communion Service in one of the churches in the Benefice on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Sundays (and on some 3rd Sundays).
  • Introduction of a Thursday Morning Mid-Week Holy Communion in one of the churches in the Benefice every week (begins 9th March).

Where can I celebrate Holy Communion each week?

Week 1          
8am                  St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland
10am               St Mary’s, Polstead 
10am                St Mary’s, Wissington (Wiston)

Week 2          
8am                  St Mary’s, Polstead
10am               St Mary’s, Wissington (Wiston)
6.30pm           St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland
10am               St James’, Nayland

Week 3          
8am                  St James’, Nayland
10am               St Matthew’s, Nayland

Week 4          
8am                  St Matthew’s, Leavenheath
10am               St James’, Nayland
10am               St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland

Week 5          
8am                  St Mary’s, Wissington (Wiston)
10am               St Mary’s, Polstead

Please note:

(1)  In addition to the services above, some 3rd Sunday (Joint Benefice) and 5th Sundays (Joint Deanery) services will also be Holy Communion Services.

(2)  Additional mid-week Holy Communion Services will take place on Principal Festivals (as announced)

What other services take place in the Benefice each week?

Week 1          
10am               ‘First Sunday’ – Leavenheath Village Hall
10am               Morning Prayer – St Mary’s, Wissington (Wiston) 
6.30pm           Evensong – St James’, Nayland

Week 2          
10am               Morning Prayer – St Matthew’s, Leavenheath
10am               Cafe Church – St James’, Nayland

Week 3          
10am                Joint Benefice Service – Rotates around the Benefice
.                            (February in Stoke, March in Nayland, April in Stoke, May in Wissington)
6.30pm            ‘Evening Praise’ – Leavenheath Village Hall
6.30pm            Compline – St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland

Week 4          
10am               Morning Prayer – St Mary’s, Polstead
10am               Morning Prayer – St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland
4pm                  Messy Church – St Mary’s, Stoke by Nayland
.                           (see notices for venue as this does sometimes change)
6.30pm           Evensong – St Mary’s, Wissington (Wiston)

Week 5          
10.30am         Joint Deanery Service in another church in out wider deanery
.                            (April – Hintlesham)
6.30pm             Evensong – St Mary’s, Polstead

Notices will be put up in churches with details of all services in that particular church.

Details of all services for the coming month, including non-Eucharistic services, can always be found here

For more information please contact The Revd Mark Woodrow (Priest in Charge)

Carols on the Green in Stoke by Nayland

The Village of Stoke by Nayland began its Christmas Celebrations in earnest this evening, as they gathered around the Christmas Tree to sing carols accompanied by the Boxted Methodist Silver Band.

Boxted Silver Band

Boxted Methodist Silver Band

Christmas Tree and Band

Christmas Tree and Band

Massed Choir!

Massed Choir!

A great time was had by all, helped in no short part by the generous provision of Minced Pies and Mulled Wine by The Crown Inn.

A collection was taken which will support the work of the Band and also their chosen charity Action for Children.


Christmas Services and Celebrations


Come and join us as at one of our special services, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

All are welcome to worship with us.  We look forward to welcoming you.

Saturday 17th  December 2016
6.00pm      Stoke by Nayland       Carols On the Green (with the Boxted Silver Band)           

Sunday 18th December 2016 
3pm              Polstead                         Carol Service (followed at 4.30pm by Carols in the V. Hall)
6.30pm       Nayland                          Nine Lessons and Carols
6.30pm       Leavenheath                Carols by Candlelight

Wednesday 21st December 2016 
7.30 pm       Nayland                        Carols at the Christmas Tree (with the Boxted Silver Band)

Saturday 24th December (Christmas Eve)     
3pm              Stoke by Nayland        Crib Service                                                                                   3.45pm       Leavenheath                  Christingle Service
4.30pm       Nayland                             Christingle Service
5.00pm       Polstead                            Christingle Service
6.30pm        Stoke by Nayland        Carols by Candlelight
11.30pm     Stoke by Nayland        Midnight Mass (First Eucharist of Christmas)

Sunday 25th December (Christmas Day)
8.00am        Leavenheath                   Holy Communion
9.30am        Wiston                                Family Eucharist
9.30am        Polstead                             Family Eucharist
11.00 am   Stoke by Nayland          Family Eucharist
11.00 am   Nayland                               Family Eucharist



Funeral of the late Marjorie Pratt

The funeral of long term Polstead resident, Marjorie Pratt, took place on Wednesday 23rd November in St Mary’s Church Polstead.

Alongside her family and friends who had come to say their final farewells and to commend her into God’s safe keeping, we were joined by an unusual visitor – a wonderfully turned out Suffolk Punch who had also lead the funeral cortege up to the church.

Horse Arriving at Church Gates

Horse Arriving at Church Gates

It was then agreed that the horse would join us inside the church, where it must be said it behaved impeccably:

Horse inside Church

Horse inside Church

Before leading the coffin out of the church, where Marjorie was laid to rest in the churchyard.

Horse leaving Church

Horse leaving Church

We continue to pray for Marjorie, and for her family whom we thank  for allowing us to share these photographs.

In loving memory of
Marjorie Constance Pratt



In dulci jubilo (in sweet rejoicing) at Wiston Church

Marenzio Singers at Wiston Church

Marenzio Singers at Wiston Church

Last night in a packed Wiston Church,  we were entertained to a delightful selection of seasonal music, both sacred and secular,  from across the centuries by the wonderful Marenzio Singers.

The evening was organised by the Friends of Wiston Church (Registered Charity No. 1158565) .

Thank you to all who attended, those who prepared refreshements, and of course the Marenzio Singers themselves.

A wonderful Evening Praise with Noel & Tricia Richards

Noel & Tricia Richards

We were delighted to welcome songwriters, Noel and Tricia Richards, to a specially extended “Evening Praise” in Leavenheath last night.

They spent time telling a gathered congregation of over 60 people, about their life, their ministry and the part that music has played in proclaiming Christ as King.

Noel & Tricia Richards 2

“Loved every moment” (P.E.)

“…lovely evening and great to see so many people there” (H.S.)

Thank you to everyone who made the evening such a success.