Reflections Blog

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One day at a time

As children go back to school it seems all eyes are set towards Christmas. On entering a shop on 10th September what did I see? Rows of Christmas cards! Leaflets have already come in the post advertising special ideas for Christmas services, catalogues have arrives for those Christmas presents you always knew you wanted to buy and pubs have started advertising Christmas dinners! Why is it we always seem to look to the future while living in the present? Can't we just slow down a little and take "one day at a time, sweet Jesus" to quote a certain country and western female singer from yersteryear.


The words of the Lord's Prayer say "give us today our daily bread", and I remember a lecturer telling us the original words used in the Greek New Testament can be translated "Give us bread, enough for today", food for the present yes, but no great store for tomorrow, please. We are reminded of the story of Moses and the Manna, that almost miraculous substance that appeared each day in the desert when the people of God were travelling to their promised land. Instructions were given to gather just enough for the day, and folk found that if they gathered more, then the surplus went bad and was good for nothing. Except for the Manna that appeared on the day before the Sabbath, then folk could gather two days worth and somehow it stayed fresh.


At the end of this month comes "Bible Sunday" and the collect - the special prayer prayed at all the services - will ask God to help us to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Holy Scriptures. I think we should take the Lord's Prayer as an example of how we should read the Bible, and pray that we may read "just enough" for today, ... each day, ... each day, ... each day. I remember when I was a small child sitting with my parents as they read their daily portion of the Bible, just enough for that day. Too much and it would seem indigestible and the extra would seem to be of no use, too little would have us wanting to hear more. Just enough for today was the right amount.


All of us are guilty of storing up goods as we look to the future, and we would find it very difficult if each day we had to go and buy all we needed, just for that day. And yet the idea of looking to Christmas in September still seems a little indigestible to me. Let's mark harvest, bonfire night, buy our poppies and advent candles first, before we start buying for Christmas, surely that seems only right. But that's probably enough for today. "One day at a time sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking of you", my lovely parishioners, and have a happy October.

Reverend Ann




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New Beginnings

It seems odd but this ninth month of the year always seems like a good time to make a new beginning, a fresh start, almost like a new year. It probably dates back to the time when harvests had been gathered in by now and the work had been done which would hopefully keep folk alive throughout the coming winter. And to the history of the school year always starting in September.It's also a time when we look forward to the beginning of spring as we plant those lovely daffodils.

Each new year brings with it hopes and dreams, promises and resolutions. Thie time last year I had finished my Sabbatical and had resolved not to work so hard! Well, we all break resolutions! All of us that is, except God. For God promises to be with us, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of plenty and in times of need, at the beginning of each year and at each harvest.

What hopes and dreams, promises and resolutions will you be making this year?

Happy autumnal beginnings and harvests - Reverend Ann

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Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June

11am to 4pm

Come and see and do:

  • Display of the many vestments worn by Reverend Ann and fellow priests in the church.
  • Display of metal work, artefacts and linen with explanations.
  • Parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials some dating from before the beginning of World War One.
  • Find out about The Men on our War Memorial.
  • Add a stitch to our new St Ippolyts Church banner.
  • Discovery trail available for children.

Coffee and tea available both days

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Well What d'ya know?

This was a question I was asked every week by dear old John when I worked on a fuchsia nursery. John had been the foreman there for years and knew all there was about growing fuchsias, and how the nursery ran, and after his retirement I took his job, but he still came in once a week, and his ‘Good Morning’ to me was always ‘Well, what d’ya know?’, of course he really knew the answer – not a lot, as I was forever discovering some of his knowledge day by day as I worked there.

This month St Ippolyts Church and St Mary’s Church Great Wymondley will give you the opportunity to have a look at that question, ‘Well what d’ya know’, about the church, about God and about some of our ancestors here in our villages that went off to war 100 years ago.

On 21st and 22nd June from 11am -4pm we will be holding a Discovery Weekend, when we will have old registers on display dating from before the beginning of World War One, we are hoping to discover the baptism records of the men who died in WW1. Also we shall be displaying the many vestments worn by Revd Ann and fellow priests in the church, and the silver and brass will be on display with explanations to help you answer ‘Well what d’ya know?’.

Also at St Ippolyts we will be asking everyone who comes into the Discovery Day exhibition to add a stitch to our new St Ippolyts Church banner, so come along and discover for yourself the wonderful design by Victoria Webster, showing the cherry blossoms, the horses and our saint Hippolytus and the church.

At St Mary’s Little Wymondley the church will be open especially on Sunday 22nd in the afternoon for ‘Tea and Tours’. Refreshments will be available with members of the church who will willingly show you round our dear church and tell something of its history.

The churches in our Benefice are always open every day for you to come in. Our Discovery Weekend may be just the opportunity you have waited for to help answer that question from dear old John.

I hope to see you there.

Confirmation – Confirmation ‘classes’ or ‘groups’ are a way of learning more about the Christian Faith. The service of Confirmation is when you confirm with your own mouth the promises made on your behalf by your Godparents at your Christening . It is never too late to be Christened or Confirmed, so if you are thinking ‘I’d like to know more’ then please contact Revd Ann 0146245752 and together we will explore the question ‘Well,what d’ya know’, not about fuchsias or nurseries this time, but about Jesus. For it is Jesus to whom we are Christ-likened when we are Christened, and it is Jesus who gives us an example to follow so we can grow into good Christian folk. Together we can discover many things about God, ourselves and our world and our church.

Have fun discovering much in June

Revd Ann

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Christian Aid Week 11th - 17th May 2014

This year the theme for Christian Aid Week is 'War tears lives apart. Love can help piece them back together.'

Today millions of people are caught up in conflict in many parts of the world and money raised during Christian Aid Week will go towards helping them. Please be generous in your support for this very worthwhile cause.

If you are able to help with our envelope collection please contact Barbara Thomas. For contact details please see Pax or use our contact us form.

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Spring has Sprung

Isn’t it amazing how a few days of sunshine cheer everyone up, and how even after all that rain the ground seems to have recovered and the gardens are ready for planting. There is an old gardening saying, you may know it, ‘fog in March frost in May’ so watch out for the second week in May, as we had a couple of foggy days in March, and be prepared to look after your tender plants.

Spring has sprung in the church too, for later this month the churches will burst into flower as they are decorated to celebrate the season of Easter. We remember how the disciples changed from being upset on Good Friday to rejoicing that Jesus had risen from the dead just a few days later and had appeared to them, personally.

Many of us can recall moments in our lives that seem like ‘a Good Friday moment’ when all seems lost and against us, it’s at times like these that we take comfort and indeed excitement from the whole Easter story. Winter turns into spring, Lent turns into Easter, each needs the other however hard and impossible that seems sometimes.

I think of my Granddad’s Grandfather clock, if the clock was allowed to chime every quarter hour, it meant the clock had to be wound up every single day, if however you let it just chime the hours then you could have a few days off from winding it up, the spring would last a little longer. In this day and age with all the digital clocks and watches that never need winding, we perhaps have lost the association with spring and energy and the passage of time.

Lent provides us with days when we can look forward to Easter and days when we can wind ourselves up for the most Holy week of the Christian calendar. Every year I invite you to come along on this pilgrimage with me as we follow our Lord’s last days and come to that wonderful day of resurrection. How about joining me this year? Enter into this passage of time that the church through the centuries has kept special, and let the words ‘were you there when they crucified my Lord’ touch your very heart and the words of Mary Magdalene ‘I have seen the Lord’ energise you to go and tell others about this whole Easter experience that springs forth from the liturgy of the church.

Last year early on Easter Day I stood outside my back door and turned up Radio 4 really loud, with no apologies to my near neighbours, for early on Easter Day Radio 4 plays the verse of ‘Jesus Christ is Risen today, Alleluia!’ How about joining me with that too and let all of St Ippolyts and Great and Little Wymondley hear that Spring has sprung.

For we are an Easter People and Alleluia! is our song.

Enjoy all those Easter Eggs too.

With love

Revd Ann

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Seven Years in St Ippolyts

On February 19th Revd Ann has been Vicar at St Ippolyts Church for seven years. Doesn't time fly!!

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What do people do in church?

So what exactly do people do in church? Young Isabel asked me the other day. I wonder what your answer would have been? To say our prayers, sing hymns and songs, hear the Bible read, think about God? It set me thinking too, so what exactly do we do in church, when we come on our own during the week or with others at a service of worship on a Sunday or weekday.

Of course ‘what do we do in church?’ doesn’t just mean what we do inside the church building, its more about how we connect what we do in our services with the way we live out our lives. For at various times in our day we may say our prayers, sing songs and read the Bible and think on God, on the bus or train to work, in the comfort of our home, on our own or with friends. But to paraphrase what one of the saints said ‘faith without action really doesn’t exist’ for if you have faith it will cause you to act whenever you see injustices in the world, or hungry people needing food, or as we have seen so much lately, victims of recent floods and storms needing support and help.

One of the ways of keeping up to date with what we do in church is to attend our Annual meetings. Like any other organisation local churches have their annual meetings once a year, naturally, and March and April are usually the months they are held.

This year at St Ippolyts we will be trying something new, now there’s a novelty!!

On Sunday 16th March we will be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting within the 9.30am service. You are welcome to come along, as always. As you come into church you will be given a report of all that we did in 2013 and a copy of the church’s accounts showing how much money came into and was paid out of our bank accounts. Before the service actually begins we will hold the first of our annual meetings where our Churchwardens are elected, anyone who lives in the parish can come along and vote. We will then have the first part of the service, say our prayers, sing hymns and hear the Bible read. In place of the sermon I will give ‘The Vicar’s report’ we shall also have a report from our electoral roll officer and from our treasurer, and there will be time for a few questions directly arising from these reports. After singing what is called the Offertory hymn we will think about what we can offer to the churchin our time and talents, and so we shall elect people to be members of the Parochial Church Council and the Deanery Synod, and as we are aware all that we do in church must be honest and true we appoint our Safeguarding officer and our independent auditor. All these people will need our prayers so next in the service we shall pray for them, as well as for our church, our community and the world.

The rest of the service will follow the normal pattern as we turn to the altar for Communion, beginning by sharing the peace with each other and after receiving communion and a blessing we will finish the service with one more hymn/song. I hope you will stay afterwards for refreshments and a time to chat and get to know one another more.

I am really pleased Isabel asked me the question, and if there are ever any questions you would like to ask me then please do not hesitate to ask, who knows it may give me inspiration for another blog!!

Enjoy your pancakes and have a good Lent. With love Revd Ann

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