August begins with the sombre remembrance of the outbreak of the First World War. At that time churches became centres of prayer and many held prayer vigils throughout each day of the war. Churches today, especially the first week of August, are encouraged again to open their doors, as most in our benefice are, that parishioners can prayerfully mark the great sacrifice of that wartime generation. For those answering the call to arms 'Scripture Gift Mission' published 'active service' pocket gospels to offer strength and comfort in time of dire need, forty three million items of scripture were printed over the course of the war. We will issue replica gospels at our 11am morning worship at Stradishall 3rd August, and use the hymns at the back of the St John gospels that accompanied services in the field. We hope all who receive these gospels will not only mark the great sacrifice of our forebears, but also mark how we can best serve our fellows in this day.
The story of our Diocese began in those War years and to mark our first 100 years of building faith and serving communities in Suffolk we held a theatrical Songs of Praise at the Ipswich Regent theatre. Those who were fortunate to be there enjoyed a multi-media journey through the century, with plenty of song, prayer and worship. 'Being there', to share encouragement and good news, is just what we hope to offer our villages. We have been enjoying the realisation of 'the Lord adding to our number those whom he is calling' not only in Baptisms and Weddings, but also in our Sunday Worship. With thanks to the re-commissioning of our Elders we are now able to offer our villages one service on the same Sunday and time each month. And already we see more people in worship than our joint benefice services attract, so if you're looking to share prayer and fellowship do come along, join our worship and say hello, we would love to see you.
Yours in Christ
Rev'd Brin Singleton