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.

Leavenheath’s Christmas Fair raises important funds


A hardworking team of fundraisers came together to raise £1,220 yesterday (19th November) which will be used by St Matthew’s Church to support life and mission to the parish of Leavenheath.


With some amazing Crafts, Christmas Gifts, and visits from Father Christmas and Elsa from Frozen, it was easy for us all the get into the festive mood.


Thank you to all who organised the Fair, and a big thank you to all who supported it.

Women’s Fellowship Group Supports Toilet Twinning

Toilet Twinning

The Revd Mark Woodrow was today invited to speak with the Women’s Fellowship Group at Polstead Church, where he told them of his faith journey and his time in India and in Malawi.

The Fellowship Group like to make donations to support different organisations and live out their faith by helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in other parts of the world.

Today they chose a project that The Revd Mark has supported for a number of years (and to which the 5 churches in the benefice have also been supporting) and they generously made a donation of £55 to Tear Fund’s ‘Toilet Twinning‘ campaign.

The money will be used to “provide clean water, basic sanitation, and hygiene education. This vital combination works together to prevent the spread of disease. Children are healthier, and able to go to school; parents are well enough to work their land and grow enough food to feed their family. With better health, and more ability to earn a living, men and women discover the potential that lies within them to bring transformation.

Family by family, community by community, nation by nation, Tearfund are flushing away poverty. ”

Find out more about this lifesaving work at:


Advent Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2017


Tuesday 28th November 2017 to Thursday 7th December 2017

Travel with The Revd Mark Woodrow to the Holy Land and let the Bible come alive as me meet the people and see the places of the gospel stories.

The Holy Land is unique in offering so many highlights and contrasts in such a compact area.   On our journey, we will visit places of pilgrimage and also meet the local Christian community, offering them our encouragement as we hear of the challenges they face.

Our pilgrimage is planned for late November, when the weather should be cooler and the sites quieter and ideal for touring.  Visits will include Jericho, Nazareth and Capernaum, with free time for relaxation and reflection.   We will walk along the Via Dolorosa, have the opportunity to float on the Dead Sea and ascend the Mount of Masada by cable car and sail on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus & Peter

A highlight will be the opportunity of celebrating Advent Sunday with Christians in St Georges Cathedral in Jerusalem, having visited the site of Jesus’ Nativity in Bethlehem the previous day.

We are confident that this comprehensive, full-board pilgrimage will not only be enjoyable, but also a spiritually enriching experience.


For more information or to book please see the attached documents or speak with The Revd Mark Woodrow on 01206 262150.

Pilgrimage Dates – Tuesday 28th November 2017 to Thursday 7th December 2017

Pilgrimage Brochure:         2017-holy-land-pilgrimage
Pilgrimage Book Form:     2017-booking-form

Saints Alive! it’s Messy Church for All Saints Day

messychurch-logoMessy Church – Sunday 30th October
4-6pm at Village Hall, Stoke by Nayland

Following on from slaying all the giants last month we’re back!

Come and join with other families, children, parents and grandparents as this month our theme is SAINTS ALIVE!  

Why not bring your friends and neighbours and get messy with activities, crafts and family friendly worship followed by tea.

#AllAreWelcome #MessyChurch