Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Dean announced

The Revd Canon Dr Frances Ward has been named as the new Dean of St Edmundsbury. Currently a Residentiary Canon and Canon Theologian at Bradford Cathedral, Frances is responsible for liturgy and worship, and for developing engagement with the Muslim communities in the multi cultural city. She is currently writing about the Church of England and Islam.

Previously she was a vicar in Manchester Diocese, at the other Bury in Lancashire, and she has done various jobs in parishes and as an educator since she was ordained in 1989. This includes teaching for the United Reformed Church at the Northern College in Manchester.

"Suffolk holds real attractions for me," says new Dean. "As a child I sailed the estuaries of Suffolk and North Essex, and will relish rediscovering this beautiful part of Britain, and serving the town of Bury St Edmunds and the diocese as Dean. The diocese and cathedral will celebrate their centenary in 2014, and already all sorts of ideas are shaping to make that a year to remember," she says.

"I am delighted that we are welcoming a person of real spiritual depth with an ability to relate well to all the communities the Church serves," says the Bishop of St Edmundsbury, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock. "This is an exciting time for the Cathedral, and I very much look forward to this next phase of ministry."

Frances is married to Peter, who is a Consultant Paediatrician, and they have four children, Matilda (23), Jonty (21), Theo (18) and Hugh (12) and a dog called Phoebe. She will move in late summer, to take up the position Saturday 16th October.

Canon Ward replaces the Very Revd Neil Collings who retired as Dean in August 2009 due to ill health.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ascension Day - 13th may

One of the festivals of the Christian year which does not receive as much attention as it should is Ascension Day. This year Ascension Day falls on Thursday 13th May. We will be celebrating the festival with a Eucharist for the whole Benefice at 7.30pm at St. Mary's, Lidgate. If you are able to, why not come along?

Why is Ascension Day important? The disciples had spent three years with Jesus, watching, listening and learning. They had seen him crucified and then wondrously resurrected. They had enjoyed those unpredictable encounters with him during the forty days after his Resurrection. But now, Jesus is mysteriously taken from them. This was a different sort of experience, save perhaps for those three friends who had witnessed the transfiguration. St. Luke depicts the disciples as being open-mouthed, speechless, staring up into the sky, wonder-full.

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Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library Exhibition

In celebration of its 400th anniversary in 2010, the Library is opening a very special exhibition to the public in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace. The exhibition runs from 17 May - 23 July 2010.

For further details see

Debates on legislation to enable women to be bishops

The Church of England has published the 142-page report of the Revision Committee that has been considering in detail the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England. Also published is an amended version of the draft, eleven clause Measure and associated draft Amending Canon.

For further information please see

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cherish your churchyard

Thousands of growing churches are preparing to celebrate Cherishing Churchyards Week this June as part of the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity. The event will run (Friday June 18 to Sunday June 27).

For more information please see

Sunday, May 9, 2010

John receives a long service certificate

Today at the benefice service at All Saints' church Stansfield, John Dennis received a certificate from Stephen, the Rector signed by the two Bishops and the Rural Dean celebrating his 40 plus years of service.

To read me please see

Christian Aid Week 9-15th May

Today see the official start of Christian Aid week. Why not go to

and see how you can donate to this important worthy cause?

Please help make a difference.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Archdeacon's Visitation Service

The Archdeacon's Visitation Service for the Clare Deanery will be held at the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds at 7.30pm on Thursday the 6th May. This is the service when all churchwardens are sworn in officially into their posts for the coming year. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

John Dennis Steps Down After 40 Years As A Churchwarden

John Dennis has retired after serving as a churchwarden at All Saints' church in Stansfield for more than 40 years.

For the full story please see

Christian Aid Week 9-15th May

Please remember Christian Aid Week starts on the 9th May.

Here in the Bansfield Benefice and the Churches Together organization we are meeting at the Methodist church in Wickhambrook on Thursday 6th May at 7pm for a Bring and Buy followed by the United Christian Aid Service at 7.30pm. Please help support this important mission.

Also see

Monday, May 3, 2010

Denston Festival Weekend (29-30 May)

To raise funds for St. Nicholas, Denston, and Denston's Village Hall.

Saturday, May 29, 2.30-4.30pm
On Denston's village green:
Stalls, Dog Show, Vintage cars and fire engine, Surprise Events.

Saturday, May 29, 3-6.15pm
Denston Hall Gardens open (£3), teas available.

Saturday, May 29, 7pm
In St Nicholas' Church , 'Here's A How-De-Do!', an evening of music and laughter with international G&S star Richard Suart. Tickets for the Concert and Reception (delicious food and wines) are £27.50 from Rosemary Macaire, Denston Hall, CB8 8PW.

Sunday, May 30, 11am
Festival Matins, taken by the Rev'd Bob Torrens; soloist Richard Suart.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Church of England plays a vital role in the life of the nation

The Church of England plays a vital role in the life of the nation, proclaiming the Christian gospel in words and actions and providing services of Christian worship and praise.

For more information please see