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, (
Grief Encounter (
and Winston’s Wish (, are all charities which offer        support to bereaved children.
• SANDS ( is for anyone coping with the death of a baby,
including siblings.
• At A Loss ( 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)

Merchant Navy Day 2018

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!

We again this year flew the Red Ensign at Stoke and in Nayland

Back to School

If September brings some kind of new beginning for your family, such as a child starting nursery, school or moving up a class, it can be helpful to know that God is always with us wherever we go.

The start of a new term is an opportunity to ask for God’s blessing on the places we will go and the people we will meet.

Here’s a simple way to do this:

• Look in your child’s school bag. Often there is a name tag built in. You can usually take the paper slip out of the tag.

• Write on the back of the paper slip a simple prayer for your child, for example, ‘Dear God, please bless (child’s name) at (nursery/school) this year’, or similar words.

• Replace the card in its holder, and nobody will know the prayer is there except you, your child and God.

• If the bag doesn’t already have a tag, you can use a keyring (one of those with a plastic frame and a paper insert) and attach it to the zip.

Parents: if you take a bag or briefcase to work (or even if you just have a handbag or sports bag) why not make yourself a blessing label too?

Plan for each day: Starting a new morning regime can be stressful but planning ahead for the next day is a great way to reduce morning panics and get the day off to a smooth start.

So the night before, try doing a few things ahead of time. Helping your child pack their bag and laying out their outfit or school uniform can help. Make their packed lunch the night before too, if they’ll have one.

Saying a simple prayer each night at bedtime can help children relax and know God will be with them through everything they’ll do the next day. Ask your child if there are any special things happening, whether there is anything they’re excited about. If they have any worries or think there might be problems to tackle the next day, let them know they can hand their worries to God, because Jesus promised that everyone who has problems can come to him, and he’ll find a way to lighten the burden.

You might then like to pray with your child about those things, to say thank you for everything that’s going well, and ask for God’s help with the challenges. The following prayer is an example, but simply talking to God like a friend is often the easiest way to pray!

Loving God, thank you for all my friends, and my teachers/carers.
Thank you that I have the chance to learn new things every day.
Please bless everyone at school/nursery, and please bless me too.
Help me to know that all day long, whether I’m having fun
or whether I’m feeling upset, you’re there for me.

Make a memory: If your child recently had a first day at school or nursery or playgroup, keep the photo of them that day as a reminder, and of how special the moment is. You could take one at the same time each year, and create an album – pick a background that won’t change, so you can see how they’ve grown!


Article taken from with permission.

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.

The Ordination of Deacons and Priests in our Diocese

Please join with all in our Diocese in praying for those who are to be Ordained as Priests and Deacons this weekend, and for the communities that they are to serve.

It will be for them a life changing moment, committing their whole being to the service of God and to stand up and speak out against all that is wrong in this world, pointing to the saving Grace that we have all received from Jesus Christ.

In short our Deacons and Priests are real life “Super Hero’s”


To be ordained Priest by The Right Revd. Martin Seeley, The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich on 30th June 2018

Name Benefice
Mike BIRT The benefice of Woolpit with Drinkstone
Elke  CATTERMOLE The benefice of Lavenham with Preston
Donna GIBBS The South West Ipswich Team Ministry
Johanna MABEY The benefice of Alde Sandlings
Ernest OKEKE The benefice of Elmswell
Nic STUCHFIELD The benefice of Saxmundham with Kelsale-cum-Carlton
Lynda SEBBAGE The benefice of the Stour Valley
Matt SELMAN The benefice of Bury St Edmunds All Saints with St John the Evangelist and St George and The Lark Valley Benefice
Paul TYLER The benefice of Lavenham with Preston


To be ordained Deacon by The Right Revd. Martin Seeley, The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich on 30th June 2018

Name Benefice
Rebecca ARTISS The benefice of Four Rivers
Adam BARCLAY The benefice of Stanton, Barningham, Coney Weston, Market Weston, Hopton with Hepworth, Hinderclay and Thelnetham
David BUTCHER Mildenhall Team Ministry
Andrew BUTTRESS The benefice of Ipswich St Matthew, Triangle and All Saints
Lawrence CAREY The benefice of Ipswich St Matthew, Triangle and All Saints
Dennis  COBURN The benefice of Brandon
Cat CONNOLLY The benefice of Ipswich St Thomas
Mark CRESSWELL The Carlford benefice
Phil CUDMORE The benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke
Mervyn DYE The South West Ipswich Team Ministry
Benjamin EDWARDS The benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke
Eric FALLA The benefice of Whitton with Thurleston and Akenham
Jane HELD The Blyth Valley Team benefice
Bill HERBERT The benefice of Woodbridge St John and Bredfield
Sarah  JENKINS The benefice of Nacton and Levington with Bucklesham and Foxhall with Kirton and Falkenham, and the benefice of Waldringfield, Hemley and Newbourne
Gary JONES The benefice of Kesgrave
Claire KIDDY The benefice of Beccles St Michael and St Luke
Jeremy LIND The benefice of Newmarket St Mary with Exning St Agnes
Faith MARSDEN The benefice of Acton with Great Waldingfield
Kathleen MARTIN Mid-Loes benefice
David MULRENAN The benefice of Four Rivers
Kay PALMER The South West Ipswich Team Ministry
Christine  PINDER The benefice of Martlesham with Brightwell
Jay PRICE The benefice of Pakenham with Norton and Tostock

To be ordained Distinctive Deacon by The Right Revd. Martin Seeley, The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich on 30th June 2018

Name Benefice
Cheryl BELDING The benefice of Newmarket St Mary with Exning St Agnes


As you pray for those who are to be ordained, remember to include prayers for yourself, asking God where he is calling you.   


Grave Talk

It’s not easy to think about your own funeral.

Talking about death, dying and funerals raises big questions that we need to face at some point, but it’s sometimes hard to talk to family and friends.

So why not join Revd Mark for coffee on Tuesday 17th July at 2.30pm at the Vicarage (St James’ Vicarage, Bear Street, Nayland CO6 4LA), where we can all talk about these big questions in a safe and friendly space

Shrinking the Footprint – Becoming an Eco Church

 The Church of England’s national environmental programme exists to enable the whole Church to address – in faith, practice and mission – the issue of climate change.    The Church is committed to a carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020.

“Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Meanwhile, to love our neighbour – particularly, in this case, our neighbour whom we may never meet but who lives daily with the profound threat posed by this moral crisis – is at the core of what it is to follow Jesus Christ.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

As part of our own local commitment to using our churches to promote a more sustainable future for all, we are beginning to look closer on what we and congregations can do to make a positive difference in our day to day lives, e.g. switching our electricity to ‘Green’ and Renewable Tariffs, reducing our dependency on plastic and harmful chemicals, encouraging bio-diversity in our churchyards and when possible to share transport and encourage those who are able to walk or cycle to church.

Even small changes, replicated across our parishes, benefice, diocese and beyond can have a large cumulative effect and we would love for everyone to be involved.

For ideas and the latest environmental news download the latest e-news here

Do keep an eye out for more information and activities from our own benefice, especially as we are also aiming to achieve an “Eco Church” award (initially at Bronze or Silver but ultimately at Gold level) for all five of our churches in the benefice over the coming months.   Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved.