Remembrance Services 2019

This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the beginning of World War Two, and we will commemorate this occasion with Services and Acts of Remembrance in each of our five parishes on Remembrance Sunday.

At all of these services we will remember everyone both military and civilian, who have been wounded either physically or mentally in wars and conflicts, but also those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the hope of a better world.

Join us at one of our services:

Sunday 10th November 2019
8am                     Stoke Church (Traditional Holy Communion)
10am                  Wiston Church (Parish Act of Remembrance)
10:45am           Nayland Church (Parish Remembrance Service – Starts at War Memorial)
10:45am           Polstead Church (Parish Remembrance Service)
10:45am           Stoke Church (Parish Remembrance Service)
10:45am           Leavenheath Church (Parish Remembrance Service)

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Easter Celebrations


The anticipation of all those chocolate Easter eggs can be almost too much! When
the big day finally arrives, these are some sweet ways you can help children
understand why they have received Easter eggs, and explain the Easter story while
enjoying the chocolate too.

An Easter Egg story… for anyone old enough to eat chocolate

Here’s a fun way to connect chocolate Easter eggs with the story of Easter from the
bible.

Sit down together and enjoy peeling the foil wrapping off a hollow chocolate egg.
Hold the egg in your hand.

Jesus’ tomb was a bit like this egg – with the big stone rolled against the tomb
entrance, inside it must have been dark and cramped. It’s as if the darkness makes it
still Good Friday, the day that Jesus died.

But on the first Easter day, Jesus came alive again, and burst out of the tomb. Good
Friday is broken once and for all, and new life is set free.

At this point, feel free to smash the egg and start eating the pieces. While you eat,
keep going with thinking through the story.

But the trouble was, that nobody saw it happen. The soldiers who were guarding the
tomb had fainted in fear, and the next thing we know, Mary arrives at Jesus’ tomb
and finds that it’s empty. The actual moment of the resurrection happened in private.
All that excitement and joy and nobody to share it…

On Easter Sunday we focus on Mary’s story. There in the garden, the resurrection
had already happened, but she was trapped in her own Good Friday – her grief and
sadness kept her in the dark.

If you have another chocolate egg, peel off the wrapping together and hold it in your
hand.

Just like the first egg, it’s like Good Friday is still happening. It still felt like Good
Friday to Mary.

When we read Mary’s story we can tell the exact moment when the resurrection
happened for her – it’s when Jesus calls her name and she recognises him.
Suddenly all her sadness is turned to joy. Mary’s Good Friday is gone once and for
all, the new life is set free in her.

You can smash and eat your second egg now.

Over the next few weeks, churches all over the world read more stories of how
Jesus’ friends discovered that he was alive again: their own Good Fridays turned to
Easter, all in different ways.

If you have lots of chocolate eggs, you could use these stories to help you eat them:-

• Jesus’ closest friends were trapped in a Good Friday because they were
afraid, but Jesus came to them and said: ‘Peace be with you’, and all their
fear disappeared.

• Thomas’s Good Friday was all about doubt, but his doubt turned to new faith
and confidence when he saw Jesus for himself.

• Some friends of Jesus were on a journey when Jesus met them on the road,
and helped them understand what had happened; he stayed with them for
supper and as he broke the bread to share, they recognised him. Their Good
Friday confusion turned to Easter recognition.

• Peter was Jesus’ best friend, but he was stuck in Good Friday because he’d
betrayed Jesus just when he needed his friendship the most. Peter’s Easter
moment came when Jesus gave him three chances to say ‘I love you’ to make
up the three times that he had turned his back.

• Sometimes we can get stuck in Good Friday too – you could use this prayer
(perhaps as you eat a little bit more chocolate) to help you enjoy the new life
of Easter – or pray it for people you know who are having a hard time at the
moment.

Dear Jesus,
Be with us in our Good Fridays,
and lead us into the new life of Easter.
Amen.

Palm Sunday

Cross made out of palm fronds.

This coming Sunday (14th April) is known as Palm Sunday and commemorates Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

On Palm Sunday everyone who comes to our Benefice Service (10am in Nayland) will be given a palm cross of their own to take away with them as a reminder.

Here’s a simple prayer idea which you might like to do at home with your children, while holding the palm cross.

Each point of the cross links to a theme.

Hold the cross in your right hand and then place your left thumb on the left ‘crosspiece’.  Pray for the world, in these or similar words:
Loving God, thank you that your peace reaches into every situation across our world. Be close to those places that need peace this day. Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer.

Place your left thumb on the right of the ‘crosspiece’ and pray for people in need in these or similar words:
Loving God, thank you that your hope reaches into every situation. Be close to those who are ill or sad this day. Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer

Place your left thumb on the base of the ‘crosspiece’: Pray for the community where you live in using these or similar words:
Loving God, thank you that your joy reaches into our homes. Help us to know that you are with us every day. Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer.

Place your thumb on top of the ‘crosspiece’: Pray for those who lead in the church and teach us about Jesus:
Loving God, thank you that your love is shared through your church. Give wisdom to those who help us to know the Good News of Jesus. Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer

Place your thumb in centre of the ‘crosspiece’: Pray for yourself, in these or similar words:
Loving God, thank you for Jesus and the love he showed for me. Help me to follow him more and more each day. Amen.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the church’s year.   To find out more about what is happening in our benefice, click here

Happy New Year – Let’s count our blessings

As you look forward to the year ahead, look back too and say thank you to God for
all the blessings he gave you last year.

These very simple ideas help you do that with young children.

Blessing stars
Write on the back of star-shaped gift tags (why not use cut up Christmas Cards!) to remind you of some of the blessings of last year – family, friends, health, time together – then hang them somewhere visible;  perhaps even create a mini ‘tree’ to hang them on by collecting twigs and standing them up in a plant pot.

Thank you for food
Even if you don’t normally ‘say grace’ before a meal, why not try this simple prayer at
a mealtime:
For this food, and for each other,
and for every gift and blessing,
we thank you, God. Amen.

Make a blessings table mat
This is a great activity to do with a small child while they wait for the meal to start.
• Decorate a piece of A4 card or paper with things that remind you of the good things in your family’s life.
• If you want to keep it for more than one meal, you’ll need to laminate it.
• Your child can use it as a table mat for the special meal – a reminder to everyone of all the things to be thankful for.

Decorate a blessings jar
• Take an old jam jar or other container, and make sure it’s nice and clean.
• Decorate the outside with pictures, photos, hand-prints, stickers – everything
that reminds you of the good things in your family’s life.
• If you use PVA glue you can add an extra layer of glue at the end to act as a varnish.
• Put the decorated jar somewhere you’ll see it throughout the year, and keep some sticky notes and a pen close by.
• Whenever something good happens, jot it down and put the sticky note in the jar.
• If you’re having a tough day, or feeling down, or simply at the end of the year, get the papers out of the jar and read through them to remind you of the good things.

Love, loss and remembering

Child looking at candle

Love, loss and remembering

Autumn has traditionally been a time when Christians explore the big questions about life and death. Watching the leaves fall and the nights draw in is an opportunity for all ages to think about love and loss and remember in special ways.

Children ask questions about death for all kinds of reasons. It may come from seeing a local war memorial, or closer to home with the death of a pet. Or maybe your child has lost a great-grandparent, grandparent, a family friend, a teacher, a neighbour, an aunt or uncle.

For some children, the impact of loss has huge consequences, especially if it’s the death of a parent or a sibling. However and whenever those questions come, there are good ways to remember those we see no longer with family at home:

• Light a candle on important days and say a prayer. “Loving God, thank you    for_________ and help us to remember them well. ” This is a simple prayer to say together.
• Gather some items that remind you of that person – letters they wrote, photos of them, items of clothing – and keep them in a nice box. Children can add
things to the box.
• Taking part in charities connected to the person who died; Race for Life is a family friendly event that can honour people who died from cancer, for example.
• Children can help taking care of a gravesite – pulling weeds, choosing flowers or
other items to bring at special times, washing a memorial stone, etc.

The church also has ways of remembering those we love who have died. This happens at the start of November, at All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. A week later, at Remembrance Sunday, we remember those who died in wars, and pray for peace.

At All Saints’ Day (November 1st), we remember those Christians who have died, who we don’t know personally. A “saint” is someone whose life shows us how to follow Jesus.

There are all kinds of saints – teachers, artists, scientists, social reformers, troublemakers, writers, and many more. Is there a saint who shares your child’s name? Their birthday? Think of well-known saints, like St George for example, and discover together who they were and what they did.

On All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), the church remembers all those we know who have died.

In our Benefice we hold a special service on All Saints’ Sunday, this year it will be on Sunday 4th November 2018 at 4pm in St Mary’s Church, Stoke by Nayland, and all are invited to add any names they would like read out to a list which can be found at the back of all five of our churches in the weeks beforehand – we can hear the names that mean something to us and light a candle to remember them.

We also hold special Remembrance Sunday Services on Sunday 11th November 2018 details of these services can be found here.  Why not join us and with your child we can remember along with the whole church family.

If your child is struggling with a bereavement, there are resources available:-
• Child Bereavement UK, (https://childbereavementuk.org/forfamilies/support/)
Grief Encounter (https://www.griefencounter.org.uk)
and Winston’s Wish (https://www.winstonswish.org.uk), are all charities which offer        support to bereaved children.
• SANDS (https://www.sands.org.uk) is for anyone coping with the death of a baby,
including siblings.
• At A Loss (http://www.ataloss.org/find-support/search) can help you find the right
services for bereavement in your area.
• Your child’s GP may also be able to offer help and support.

Remembrance Services 2018

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One.

Together with members of the Nayland Branch of the Royal British Legion we have been working on a series of events to commemorate this occasion, leading up to our Benefice Act of Remembrance on the 11th November itself when we remember all those, both military and civilian, who were wounded both physically and mentally, or gave their lives in the hope of a better world.

Join us at one of our services:

Thursday 8th November 2018
11am                  Caley Green, Nayland – Setting up a Field of Remembrance with
children  from Nayland Primary School planting crosses to remember the fallen.

Saturday 10th November 2018
10am-Noon    Nayland Church Hall, Bear Street – Poppy Appeal Coffee Morning

Sunday 11th November 2017
8am                     Stoke Church (Traditional Holy Communion)
10:45am           Nayland Church (Benefice Remembrance Service – Starts at Memorial)
1pm                     Polstead Church (short service remembering fallen from the village)
2pm                     Stoke Church (short service remembering fallen from the village)
3pm                     Leavenheath Church (short service remembering fallen from the village)
4pm                     Wiston Church (short service remembering fallen from the village)

Important Public Meeting – The Future of St Matthew’s church

You are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss the future, including the possible closure, of St Matthew’s church, Leavenheath with the Archdeacon of Sudbury and the Diocesan Pastoral Secretary.

The meeting will be held on Thursday 30th August 2018 at 7pm in St Matthew’s church, Leavenheath.