The Bansfield Benefice is the collective name for the Parishes of Cowlinge, Denston, Lidgate, Ousden, Stansfield, Stradishall and Wickhambrook in the Diocese of St Edmundbury and Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom.
Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal. Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported this appeal. Fifty five completed boxes have been sent to bring joy into the lives of deprived children – our highest total for three years! Well done everyone. Let’s see if we can do even better next year!
Toys donated at the Toy Service at Wickhambrook, at 9.30am on Sunday 4th December, will again be given to children in the care of Bury Social Services. All donations will be gratefully received and really are appreciated. We ask that the presents are wrapped and have a label on them indicating whether the present is for a boy or a girl, as well as the age of the child to receive it.
There will be a candlelit concert given by Kate Witney, Soprano, and Robert Foster, Lute, with supper, at Stansfield Church on Friday 9th December at 7.00pm. Tickets, at £13.50 each, are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
There will be a four course Christmas supper at the Shooting Lodge, Stradishall, on Tuesday 13th December at 7.00pm. Tickets, at £12.50 each, are available by by emailing email@example.com for further details.
The Healing Ministry - My personal involvement with the healing ministry goes back to my ordination. I would like to hear from people as to whether or not they might appreciate the introduction of a regular healing ministry service into the life of the benefice. The service would take place in the context of the Eucharist and there would be the opportunity, for those who wish it, to receive the laying on of hands and anointing with Holy Oil. In addition there would also be prayers for healing and wholeness, a short address or meditation, and perhaps specially chosen readings. One possibility might be to make this a regular Sunday morning service on fifth Sundays.
It is important to understand the nature of Christian healing. It is not an alternative to conventional medicine, but rather works in partnership with it. Christian healing is about being made whole - becoming confident and rounded people, growing in God's image. It is about resolving inner conflicts and fears; taking away guilt and hardness of heart; and bringing us mature peacefulness and strength to accept God's will, whatever that may be. The healing ministry is a Sacrament in which we encounter Christ the healer in a personal, sometimes powerful, way.
Sometimes God does choose to restore people physically. More usually He heals us by enabling us to accept ourselves; to trust Him; to restore our relationship with Him and with others; and to help us relax in His presence - both here and hereafter.
This kind of ministry is now high on the agenda of the Church of England and features prominently in the Common Worship services material. It is, in short, mainstream worship in the Church of England. I am convinced that this kind of ministry has a place in our regular pattern of worship and will enrich our benefice life and the provision of a fuller Christian ministry here.
It is important, however, that people are properly prepared for this ministry and know what to expect and what not to expect. If there is interest in this, I would propose to talk and preach about it further, before it is introduced to the Benefice.
Do, please, feel free to talk with me, or ask any questions which you may have, or let me know your thoughts and observations.
November 13th is Remembrance Sunday, when we remember those who lost their lives in war. The scale of suffering and loss of human life is so great that it is difficult for us to comprehend. We must remember, however, that those numbers are made up of individuals – someone’s father, or husband, or son. We remember them not so as to glorify war but to remember those who gave their all in the cause of peace and in the struggle for a better world, free from discrimination, prejudice and oppression. We honour their memories by continuing to work, in our own day, for a better society. The Benefice joins together for a service at St. Peters Church, Ousden at 10.00am. Then we are invited to gather for the Churches Together united Act of Remembrance at Wickhambrook War Memorial at 12.00 noon.
If you, or someone you know, might be interested in preparing for Confirmation in 2012 please contact me by the end of December. There is no need to make a firm commitment at this stage, but it would be helpful to know who is interested in exploring the possibility.