Sunday, January 29, 2012

Funds Raised for the Children's Society - £629

Over the Christmas and Season of Light period which includes Chirstingle the Bansfield Benefice is proud to report that we have raised £629 for the Children's Society:

Stansfield Carol service - £259
Christingle service - £70
Children Society boxes - £300

Many thanks to all those who contributed.

World Development Newsletter January 2012


Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 27 February – 11March 2012. The new Church Action Guide is now available free from the Fairtrade Foundation as well as lots of other materials and resources.

Take a Step for Fairtrade by organising a Big Brew event in your church. The theme this year is “Help Families to Flourish”. All you need for holding an event is available from Traidcraft, including a free resource pack, church worship resources, school resources, etc. If you phone 0845 330 8900 to order this (item code 59400) you should be able to get it without a postage charge.

Please do let me know if you are planning a Big Brew event. Or better still send me a report with photos after the event!


If you are looking for a Lent course, there are many to choose from, but choosing one with a global perspective will give a new dimension to your study. One such has been produced by USPG on the theme of 40 Days of Peace. The aim of this course is to inspire congregations to consider what it takes to find peace in their own lives – and to become peace-makers in the world. The study course can be downloaded from

Or if you want some ideas for personal action during Lent join the Tearfund carbon fast for daily actions and prayers (


The World Mission Group has been busy producing a series of new / updated information leaflets. The topics are: world development; Kagera link; fairtrade & trade justice; the Millennium Development Goals; & Five Marks of Mission. All of them can be downloaded from the Diocesan web site Or free copies are available from me. The complete set comes in an attractive A5 folder. If there are any opportunities when you can use copies of these do please let me know – we want them to be used!


Being better informed in our prayers for the world is something we should all strive towards. There is an absolutely brilliant resource designed to help with this which is produced weekly by Christian Concern for One World ( You can have it emailed directly to you each week by contacting It provides all the links you need to understand key global issues. I highly recommend it.


Finally, watch this space for events in Suffolk this year.
A special focus on the issue of Water is planned for early summer. A growing global issue – with floods and droughts – lack of running water & sanitation for many – potential for conflict over scarce resources.

In July & August Suffolk is host to Olympic Teams from Rwanda, Azerbaijan and Brazil (gymnastics). The Bishop of Kigali will be here to support the Rwandan team and events are being planned.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christingle Service - St Margaret's Cowlinge - 4.00pm (15th Jan 2012)

Local children and their families will be taking part in The Children's Society's Christingle service at St Margaret's Cowlinge - 4.00pm (15th Jan 2012) . Money raised will help runaways and children forced from home to have somewhere safe to go and someone sound to turn to. If you would like to join in this magical candle-lit church service or want more information please contact the Rector.

The Christingle service aims to raise £100 for The Children's Society. We will be joining 5,000 other churches and schools across the country to raise £1million to help the charity continue its good work.

At the service, children will make a Christingle - an orange bearing a candle, red ribbon and decorated with sweets. The highlight of the service is when all the Christingle candles are lit, shining light into darkness.

Each year The Children's Society helps over 50,000 children and young people through its 90 projects across the UK. It helps children at risk on the streets; children in trouble with the law; young refugees; children with disabilities. Please help us support the work of the charity by attending our service. You can be sure of a warm welcome. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rector's View - January 2012

Dear friends,

New Year's Day falls on a Sunday in 2012. This gives us a fairly rare opportunity to celebrate the occasion in a church service; details of all Church Services in the Benefice are to be found above under Services. The 1st January is also celebrated in the Church's Calendar as the feast of the Naming of Jesus - a name which means "God saves".

As we begin a New Year, we may be thinking of new beginnings - hoping that our heartfelt resolutions will last well into the New Year! We might also be thinking about the purpose of our lives. That might sound deep - but we all need to have purpose in our lives. In the midst of all our uncertainties, hopes and fears over what this new year may bring, it is reassuring to know that our lives, and our world, are part of God's much bigger purposes - "this" is not all there is!

We are reminded, on the 1st January, that God's purposes are seen supremely in Jesus - in the weakness and vulnerability of a baby, but yet a baby who saves the world from sin and death! A baby who grew to be a man. Through this man God saves us from our weakness and selfishness, our pride, the damage we inflict on ourselves and others. In this man there is the promise of a real new beginning, for us and for our world.

Please join us at church to celebrate and give thanks for the meaning and purpose in our lives; for the love and acceptance that surrounds us, and to God who loves and cares for us, just as we are, more than any human being could. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

May God bless you and grant to you, and to all whom you love, a truly happy and blessed New Year.

With every blessing.


Rev'd Stephen Abbott