Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Interregnum - our roadmap to a new incumbent

Dear Reader

The Bansfield Benefice is now in interregnum. [Interregnum Definition: "An interval between the periods of office of two incumbents in a parish."]

The Bansfield Benefice which consists of the churches of Cowlinge, Denston, Lidgate, Ousden, Stansfield, Stradishall and Wickhambrook went into Interregnum on the 26th December 2017 when Rev'd Brin Singleton moved on to his next post at Haughley with Wetherden and Stowupland.

What does the interregnum mean for us here in the Bansfield benefice? We will continue to have regular services in the benefice and Occasional Offices (baptisms, weddings and funerals). We will lose the midweek service in the benefice and reduce to one Holy Communion service on a Sunday which will be held on rotation throughout the benefice churches at 10am. Services will be taken by visiting clergy resident in the Diocese or by clergy beyond under special license from the Bishop. The same will apply to Occasional Offices.

During interregnum all the services can be found as usual on the website under Services.

For anyone wanting to contact us with regard to a religious matter or Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals please see our contact page for details.

We will all be working hard during interregnum to make it as short as possible but the whole process will probably take between six and twelve months.

On behalf of the Bansfield Benefice. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rector's View - December 2017

Dear Friends

So it’s about… ? Well the Christmas advertising campaigns are upon us again in our journey through Advent searching for that special Christmas gift or preparing for that best Christmas ever. The Cavalier Carver, The Mince Pie Maverick and the Double Dipper entice us to feast with Lidl. An elf racing through the snow to retrieve the misplaced present for Argos. Geoffrey the Giraffe helps Santa for Toys R Us. Kevin the carrot looks for love for ASDA’s Imaginarium Christmas workshop, M&S and Paddington Bear, Debenham’s and Cinderella. All trying to convince us of what they do best.

The Christian story holds that each of us is special, for we each bear God’s likeness. God’s purpose is fullness of life for each of us, that we should be our best ever. And to convince us of this God chose to live with us in one called Jesus God’s Son. You can hear the Church’s campaign at a church near you with help of our more usual cast of angels, shepherds and kings. Last year’s statistics revealed 2016 to be a record year for Christmas attendance at services in cathedrals, the highest figure since records began. A one year rise of 5%, meant that 131, 000 people came to cathedrals to worship last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These figures were echoed across parish services as the church embraced the challenge to do what we do best, tell the story of God’s love. The Christmas campaign is just the beginning, throughout the year Christians put God’s love into practice in providing tidings of comfort and joy to those who most need it, that all should know fullness of life.

A blessed and happy Christmas to you all, be assured of our warm welcome to you should you choose to share the Christmas story with us this year.

Yours in Christ,

Rector at Bansfield

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rector's View - November 2017

Dear Friends

This year’s Remembrance Service will be held Sunday 12th November 10am at St Peter's Ousden, and I hope many of you will be able to join our remembrance, our laying of wreaths, our reading of names, and our two minutes silence. Many of you may be able to recall the story of your own ancestor’s wartime service, whether newly researched or past on within the family from generation to generation. The hope that such remembrance would ensure the preserve of peace is lost to us, conflicts continue the world over and still today those who serve their country in the armed forces will gather to remember colleagues in arms lost in battle. Please give generously to the work of the Royal British Legion at this time that they may fulfill their pledge of lifelong support to the armed forces community and their families.

Our service of All Soul’s will be held Sunday November 5th 3pm at All Saints Wickhambrook, here we remember and give thanks for the lives of our own dear departed. This too will be marked by the reading of names and includes the opportunity to light candles in prayer. Invitations have been given to those to whom we have ministered through this year but the service is open to any who would like to join us and share our commemoration. If you would like to attend then please do give me a call and let me know the names of those you would like to be remembered. We will offer refreshments after in the Benefice Hall.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as may be able to join our season of remembrance, and pray we may yet find the course of peace in the lives of the nations and peace in the lives of our families’ friends and loved ones.:-

Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule; Amen.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rector's View - October 2017

Dear friends,

The power and destruction of this year's hurricane season reminds us to offer thanks for the blessing of our relatively mild weather. And through October we remember to give thanks for the blessing of the seasons in Harvest Thanksgiving. It is a good practice to count our blessings, even in the darkest of circumstance, for in counting the good of our lives we may rise from despair to hope and remember to offer hope to others in their need. By seeking out those things to offer thanks for we re-align our lives turning away from those things which bring harm toward those things which bring good.

In giving thanks for the produce of the land we remember creation's gift to provide for our need that we may provide for the needs of others. Through good stewardship and accountability we may ensure and protect the blessing of creation. So we value energy sources that have potential to stabilize climate change, we value working practices that make for a safer working environment for those working on the land, we value the food we buy making amends for unsustainable restrictive markets and food waste. All this through counting the good and turning from the bad. So we pray for and offer aid to those rebuilding lives and homes at this time as we offer our Harvest prayer:-

Lord of the harvest,
with joy we have offered thanksgiving for your love in creation
and have shared in the bread and the wine of the kingdom:
by your grace plant within us a reverence for all that you give us
and make us generous and wise stewards of the good things we enjoy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Friday, September 1, 2017

Rector's View - September 2017

Dear friends,

Returning from vacation I thought to check the state of our benefice’s grass cut Labyrinths, one behind All Saints' Church Wickhambrook, the other at All Saints' Stansfield. After three weeks rain and sun to my dismay they seem beyond recovery and I began musing the phrase about not letting the grass growing under your feet. Well it turns out there is a song inviting the lesser known wisdom just to let the grass grow "Let the grass grow under your feet, 'til it grows knee deep. Let the bright day amble along, 'til it ends in sleep. A man's life is very quickly over, make time pass by wandering through the clover … "

This from a 1957 musical "Free as Air" (from the some writing stable that gave us "Salad Days"), among the opening numbers it evokes days of rest and holiday island idyll, indeed letting the grass grow.

Well I may have to accept an end to this year's Labyrinth season, but will look out for opportunity to reinstate them next year. Many of us will be returning from our rest and time away to difficult or challenging circumstance. Perhaps with the onset of mobile devices many felt unable to take a break from daily stresses. I hope your time away has at least helped with perspective, but if you're still looking for inspiration in returning to daily demands and challenges, here's the wisdom of Niebuhr' Serenity prayer to reflect on:-

O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed;
courage to change that which can be changed,
and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Grace and Wisdom to you.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rector's View - August 2017

Dear Friends

I hope August offers you rest and recreation, or at least fond memory of the same. It seems an age past that folk enjoyed sending and receiving postcards, sharing the view, "wishing you were here". August brings fond memories of holidays by the sea, and one treasured holy memory of visiting the shores of Galilee. This was long before the advent of the 'selfie' and so I rely on tourist postcards and Holy Land tourist guide to re-capture the moment, but for that I'm thankful to see more of the view than of me.

Across the generations we take pictures of those important to us whom we have befriended and loved, who helped us and looked after us in our travels. Jesus' followers offer their collected remembrances of his loving words and deeds in the narration of the Gospels, not speaking of self, but only of he whom they came to treasure, to revere and call Holy of God. His followers of this age have just been looking through the photo album of the Gospels, with its word pictures of Jesus' holy days by the sea, the sea of Galilee. Jesus had stepped into a boat, and perhaps having looked along the shore and seen a sower trudging ceaselessly across the fields, he told the story of the sower. Those who heard this story were completely dependent on the success of harvest, their lives had no room for recreation in each day's search for daily bread, perhaps some had only just left the field for the work of the sower to begin.

The path, rocky ground and thorns upon and among which the seed was scattered reminds us that our lives too can fall on hard times, and become diminished in competition with the thorns of this age.
Yet Jesus' story teaches us that God still looks for a harvest from the field of our lives whatever our circumstance. That harvest being that we be among the picture snaps of other's lives as befriended and loved, for the help we offered in looking after their needs helping them to grow in hope.

May this summer see your portrait in your harvest of good works among today's postcards of social media photo pages by those who come to count you for friend for your sure help and support in their need.

Yours in Christ.

Rev'd Brin Singleton
P.S. Do take a look at the The Blackheart Orchestra tour visit to All Saints church 3rd September 7:30pm http://www.bansfieldbenefice.org.uk/events/blackheartorchestra.html
If you’re planning on seeing them, do let me know.
Recently featured in Prog Mag TeamRock + http://teamrock.com/feature/2017-06-29

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rector's View - July 2017

Dear Friends


Last July we were, as today, changing our nations course and pondering the result of an election, what this might mean for Europe, for Britain, for England, for us. And I wrote of the Gospel story of the Gerasene demonic whom Jesus released from his anger and violence that he be in his right mind.

Our prayer from the day of Pentecost – the day of judgement – is that we should have a right judgement in all things, our Christ's call to all God's children being that we should find righteousness with God. So too for our election, pray we, against the fear anger and violence of these times, may find release and rightness of mind, that our purpose in government and responsibilities as citizens may continue to pursue righteousness for all peoples.

July's Gospels see the good news of God's action in the world revealed in the unity of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And we have seen such good shown by Manchester and London's response to the evil of the past months, gathering together in displays of unity support and compassion for the grieving and injured. So may we seek to display our unity in these coming days, working together for the common good of all peoples, one family across the generations creeds and ethnicities of our Great British family.

Yours in Christ.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

P.S. Do take a look at the The Blackheart Orchestra tour visit to All Saints' church in September via our website links. If you're planning on seeing them, do let me know. As to their name, well I'm reminded of the great man in black Johnny Cash singing his observations of this life's trials and struggles "I'd love to wear a rainbow every day, And tell the world that everything's OK, But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black."