Important Information about Church Services

[Updated – 24th March 2020 – Closure of Church Buildings]

This afternoon (17th March 2020), the Archbishops of York and Canterbury announced that all acts of public worship across the Church of England are to be suspended until further notice.

Whilst this is an unprecedented action, it is rooted with the love and compassion for our neighbours at its heart , at a time when the whole world is coming to terms with how to live differently in the face of the Coronavirus, the Church have made the difficult choice to protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities by setting aside our need to worship together – remembering that whatever we do, we already know that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)
Whilst this decision will mean that all public services in the 5 churches in our benefice are suspended until further notice, our churches will continue to remain open during the day for anyone to come in and pray. (as of 24th March 2020 – we are following updated government guidelines, therefore all churches will be closed).
On behalf of the whole community, Revd Mark, together with our retired priests, Revd Val and Revd John,  will continue to meet and prayer and celebrate the Eucharist together.  If you want to join with us in prayer from your own homes then we will be beginning this coming Sunday at 10am.
It is important to remind ourselves that this is not a suspension of Church, but rather a moment at which we will explore different and creative ways of being the Body of Christ.    As a benefice and a community we will continue to offer pray and pastoral support to everyone who would benefit from it by telephone and email, and if you are feeling lonely, or isolated, or just a little down, then please do not hesitate to contact Revd Mark who will be happy to talk or pray with you, or to arrange for another member of our Pastoral Team to speak with you.
Over the weeks and months ahead, we will be experimenting with different ways of keeping our communication with one another ongoing; different ways we can pray together; different ways in which we can care for each other.  We will provide details of services and resources online and will provide prayer and other materials for you to keep.  Please do also listen to services which are available on the national radio stations, as well as from the Church of England on Alexa and Google Aps.
For now we will continue to be the Body of Christ, and to be Christ to those whom we live alongside.
We will continue to pray, for our leaders and health care workers, for our families and neighbours, for our local businesses and employers.  Please do also pray for your priests and ministers.  For prayer ideas click here
Please do what you can for your neighbours, check in on the elderly or housebound (but remember to keep your distance if people are isolating).  Do shop local if you can and support our village shops and butchers.
Finally please do contact Revd Mark if you are ill, so that we can pray specifically for you, and offer practical help if we can.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

Suspension of ALL Church Coffee Mornings, Afternoon Teas, Community Lunches, and Messy Church

 

SUSPENSION OF ALL CHURCH COFFEE MORNINGS, AFTERNOON TEAS, COMMUNITY LUNCHES, AND MESSY CHURCH.

We have made the decision to suspend all church activities where refreshments play a significant part. This is based on advice we have received from the Church of England (based on NHS and Public Health England) to help minimise the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

This also means that we will not be serving refreshments before/after our regular Sunday Services.

We are sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause.

We hope that all events will recommence as soon as possible, but only once we are advised that it is safe to do so.

New – Children and Kid’s “Swap Shop”

As a way of helping families make their money go further, and to help reduce our environmental impact, we are delighted to introduce our very first Children and Tots Swap Shop.

On the first Wednesday in December (4th) we will be hosting a Swap Shop in St James’ Church in Nayland from 10am to Noon (alongside our well established Coffee, Cake and Conversation).

It is an ideal opportunity to bring along any clean, good quality clothing, toys’ or baby equipment that you no longer use and allow others to take them away and give them a second life. Hopefully you can also then find something larger or more age appropriate for your child(ren) to take away with you.

As it is happening in the first week of December, hopefully it will be a great chance to recycle last years Christmas Jumper or Party Dress which they have outgrown, without having to spend a fortune buying a new one this year.

This event is FREE (Donations Welcome) and EVERYONE is invited, so feel free to share.

As an added Bonus you can also enjoy some wonderful homemade cakes together with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

It is hoped that if this first Swap Shop is popular we will make it a regular monthly event.

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)

Merchant Navy Day 2019

Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September has honoured the brave men and women who kept our ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK’s imports, including half the food we eat, plenty of the fuel we burn and virtually all the products and goods we take for granted!

This year the Red Ensign will be flown at Stoke, Nayland and Polstead.

For more information about Merchant Navy Day, visit https://www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day/

Nayland Fete 2019 – A Massive THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Church Fete at Nayland Village Hall.

There was a wonderful community atmosphere as people from across the village (and further afield) enjoyed the side stalls, children’s and adults fun races, the Beer and Pimms Tents, the wonderful local sausages and burgers, the music and so much more.

All of this couldn’t have happened with a lot of hard work from a fantastic committee and team of volunteers, as well as the financial support of our local business sponsors.

All the profits from the event will be used to maintain and enhance the physical building of St James Church, to preserve it for future generations of villagers, as well as helping us to develop it into a valuable community space, as well as an important and much valued place of worship.

Nayland Church Fete 2019

This coming Bank Holiday Monday (27th May) sees the return of our Annual Nayland Church Fete on the Recreation Ground behind the Village Hall (CO6 4JH) .

There is so much going on this year that we have extended the opening times from 1pm to 4pm just so that you have the chance to see and do everything!

In addition to the Classic Car Display, the £150 Top Prize Raffle, the ever popular Children’s and Adult’s Sports and Tug-O-War,  NEW THIS YEAR we are introducing  “Have a Go Archery” with White Dragon Archery, that is on top of all of the stalls listed below!

STALLS
Plants
Cakes
Books
Toys
Glass and China
Kitchen and Picnic
Vintage
Pictures & Soft Furnishings
Gifts
Bric a Brac
Jewellery & Handbags
Good Condition Ladies Clothes
Garden Tools/DIY
Bottle Tombola
China Smash

IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REFRESHMENT
Cakes and biscuits
Ice Creams
Strawberries and Cream Teas
Hot Dogs & Burgers
Beer Tent
Pimms Tent

Last year over £14,000 was raised again which was used towards the improvements to St James’ Church, providing a new servery and accessible bathroom.  More work is planned in the coming years to make the church an accessible asset for the whole community.

Admission
Adults – £3
Concessions – £2
Children – Free

Ample Free Parking (follow local signs)

We look forward to seeing you all there – but thank you in advance to everyone, visitors, sponsors, volunteers who make this event happen.

 

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