Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent, Carol and Midnight Mass services

For a full listing of services in the Bansfield Benefice for Advent and Christmas please see

This year Midnight Mass will be at All Saints' Wickhambrook starting at 11.30pm.

Toy service - 30 gifts donated to children.

A big thank you to all who donated gifts at our Benefice service in Lidgate.  We are able to send 30 presents to local children in the care of Bury St Edmunds social services. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Toy Service at Lidgate - 8th December at 10am

Every year on a Sunday in early December we hold our Toy Service at one of our services. This used to be a Wickhambrook church event but now this has expanded to be a Bansfield Benefice-wide event. During the service Children's Christmas Gifts are presented by the congregation at the altar for later donation by the benefice to Bury St Edmunds Social Services.

Bury St Edmunds Social Services are always very pleased with the donations we give them and they tell us that it makes such a huge difference to the children in their care who otherwise would receive either none or few gifts at Christmas.

People who can not or do not wish to attend the service but still want to donate presents can arrange to do so by emailing

We ask that the presents are wrapped and have a label on them indicating whether the present is for a boy or girl as well as the age of the child to receive it.

Please think of others less fortunate at this festive time and donate a present.

Rector's View - December 2013

Dear friends,

The disaster of Syria's exodus is turned from exposure on our media by the most destructive Typhoon ever seen, decimating home and livelihood amongst the Philippines.

The natural world coupled with our own capacity for self destruction exposes just how fragile our 21st century comforts and securities really are.

Whilst such destructive force would have been far from the mind of the peoples of 1st century Palestine, the fragility of day to day existence such as these disasters have inflicted on so many was not.

Just as the star of our Christmas story, Rome too was in the ascendancy shining bright upon hard pressed peoples across the known world, as she expounded the hope of improved lifestyles by excellence in organisation transport trade agriculture and civil engineering. Not least to Rome's success was the assurance of peace, subjection to Rome quickly enabled advancement and ownership in the structures of the empires governance.

Joseph and Mary however sheltered in the light of a different star, a star which bought nations beyond even Rome's reach to wonder at a new path for this world's hope. For even as today's civilisation is seen to stand on shaky foundations, the breadbasket of Rome was eventually to fail, and, just as today, inter-national enmity came to caste its long shadow over the bright myths of Roman sureties.

Bethlehem's star spoke of the rise of a Kingdom begun not in technology and consumption but in parent and child. The Holy family's struggle for survival is the same seen in this day by hard pressed people's the world over, fleeing oppression and looking for shelter and daily bread.

The Way of our Christmas story's Daystar is the Way of endurance, for the one subjected to suffering and death on the cross is seen again in those who follow the Way of Christ today. Loving as He loved and not for trade or self-gain gives peoples still in this day their hope for life in all its fullness.

Please remember your gift giving for today's poor as those blessed in God's Kingdom, please give generously for all who seek home and shelter this Christmastide.

May all peoples know the blessing of Righteousness and Peace this Christmas.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rector's View - November 2013

Dear friends,

I remember vividly one of the first primary school assemblies I took, about this time of year. I was drawing oval faces small and large in a great crowd to illustrate the story of Jesus’ ‘sermon on the mount’ his teaching the crowds who gathered to hear his word. What can you see I asked – ‘fireworks’ came the reply and that was the end of my carefully prepared assembly.

November begins with the commemoration of so many people through All Saints', All Souls' and Remembrance. Some such lives burn as bright as fireworks against the darkness of this world’s trials, and others brightly light more personably our own lives by the light of the loves we shared. So the language of our faith story offers encouragement against the lengthening nights, this month closing with the assurance that in crowning our Christ King in our lives, His light will always shine to guide our path in His Way.

My niece at this time is walking the Way, joining the millions of pilgrims who have sought to draw closer to their guiding light, our sovereign Christ, along the Camino, the Way to Santiago de Compostela, shrine of the Apostle St James. Her ‘Twitter’ diary posts are lit by those fellow pilgrims she meets, whether she is able to share conversation with them or not as every tribe and nation meets along the Way is no matter, for her encouragement is that others too share her vision of arrival.

Such truly is the company of our life’s pilgrimage, to be one peoples in crowning our Christ our Saviour joins us to the universal, timeless throng who through the ages follow the Way he taught, that all roads should lead to that Daystar Dawn of God’s Kingdom come. May this month find us all encouraged to know our belonging each to the other all villages and nations, may our fireworks remind us to look for that goodly light, our daystar to lead through our winter’s darkness to that new brightening day of hope, God’s kingdom come.

Your servant in Christ,

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Monday, October 21, 2013

World Development News Letter | No.5

This is the fifth World development News letter from the Diocese for 2013 and can be found at the following link.
Occasional News Letter (No.5)

More information about World Development can be found at the Diocesean website

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Samaritan's Purse - Love in a box

Collecting for Christmas 2013
Deadline for submission 4th November

Operation Christmas Child is the world's largest children's Christmas project, bringing joy into the lives of underprivileged children since 1990. Last year, nearly 1.2 million shoeboxes were packed with gifts and goodies and sent from the UK to children who need them most in some of the toughest parts of the world, including Haiti. In most cases the shoebox will be the only Christmas present that child will receive.

Our Benefice is again supporting the Shoebox Appeal - it is an excellent way in which we, as Christians, can make a real difference to the lives of very underprivileged children. As we approach Christmas, we give thanks to God for the greatest gift - the gift of His only Son to our world and to us individually. Supporting the Shoebox appeal is a very practical way of giving thanks to God for the gift of unconditional and unending love in Christ, by passing on some of that love to a child who is a lot less fortunate than us.

Please consider supporting the Shoebox Appeal. Information leaflets, containing full details, are to be found at the back of all the churches. Please then pass your completed Shoebox to a Churchwarden for passing on to the co-ordinator. The deadline for handing in the completed Shoeboxes is the 4th November, as they need to be taken to a collection point at the beginning of November.

If you want to know more about Operation Christmas Child then please visit

If you require details about how to pack the shoebox please visit their How to pack your shoebox page.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rector's View - October 2013

Dear friends,

Our Sunday themes celebrate the treasure of God’s Love in scripture in Bible Sunday 27th October, the last Sunday counted after Trinity Sunday. Following our 22 week scriptural pilgrimage our year turns through thanksgiving for God’s bountiful provision in Harvest, to reflect on the revelation of God’s love in our lives. November sees us treasuring the light of our life within God’s perfect light. We commemorate all who lit our lives with their love, and we remember the sacrifice of those who sought to defend against the darkness of conflict and war. All this we offer to God’s transforming love that we may be light in our generation for our families and friends as for our nation and our world. As this year’s end witnesses the mass displacement of the Syrian peoples, refugees from such horrific violation of the innocent, there is all the more poignancy in Novembers’ remembrance of those whose lives were given to the defence of the innocent. The daily cry of all who suffer too echoes with our own daily prayer ‘lead us not to the time of trial but deliver us from the evil’.

The Sunday of All Saints falls on the 3rd November where in our morning Eucharists we give thanks for the heroes of faith, and this year you are invited to commemorate your own dear departed, by a more personable thanksgiving for those who blessed our lives in their living, at our 3pm service that afternoon at Wickhambrook. Lists will be at the back of our benefice churches toward the end of October for you to write those names, as you would like them read, to be remembered during our worship. When these names are read, everyone will have an opportunity to light candles should they wish, and we will be able to meet together afterward in the Hall over afternoon tea. Everyone is welcome to this service especially those to whom we have ministered in bereavement through this last year. So may we be encouraged, whatever trial is witnessed in this our day, that our earthly pilgrimage ever be supported by this fellowship, saints in heaven and on earth, of love and prayer.

Your servant in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rector's View - September 2013

Dear friends,

September brings us time of thanksgiving, and this year among our Harvest theme will be thanksgiving for our new born, whether our own nearest and dearest or our nation’s new born royal. Just as Harvest brings us opportunity to give thanks for all God provides through the purpose of His creation, Baptism gives us opportunity to enliven our thanks in promising ourselves to the purpose of God’s re-creative love in our lives. Whether our promise to trust to His love is made by our own witness as adults or as infants by the witness of our family in parents and godparents, we pledge ourselves to the hope of the Heavenly family through Father Son and Holy Spirit. Whether new in birth or Spiritual birth, this new beginning enlivens hope for ourselves, our families and where royal birth our nation and kingdom.

The Hope of God’s Kingdom is a natural reflection of this pledge to the best of our hopes, that in this day at your hand and mind should be seen that Heavenly Kingdom on Earth. Yes, ever the truth of this earthly life is to fall short, to turn from the Way, to break our promise…

The latest ‘thing’ – a home copier which takes for its ‘ink’ a feed of plastic coil and for its print out delivers any object you care to scan or input. Now any broken item can be reproduced as new in this latest ‘affordable’ gadget, promising an endless supply of new parts even according your imagination and inventiveness new unique ‘things’.

Baptism too is a celebration of our repair, that whatever is broken, in God’s love can be made whole, however far from the path we have strayed we may turn again to the Way of God’s love in Christ.

Baptism is a celebration of our being re-born in God’s love, no matter how often we fall we are assured we may rise anew to our part in Christ’s risen body, even in Him to perform new unique works.

May we rejoice in our hope, ever to look for the good in all things, and may we this Harvest time freely give of our thanks for our life, our health our food, by the harvest of our lives, that all things new be seen on earth, as in heaven Revelation 21:5.

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rector's View - July 2013

Dear friends,

Are you one to find encouragement in all things or do you, as I, often lament as to how we may prevail? Among my favourite prayers, this of the Breton fisherman, more a statement of the obvious than a prayer ‘Lord, the sea is so big, my boat so small!’ If we are daunted at the task ahead, we in faith are to be sure God knows of our need. Christians used to be known as followers of the Way, the Way of Christ. And we follow His pattern, step by step, and celebrate His company in the lives of those around us. We may wonder at our young Queen’s resolve at her coronation to offer such steadfast service to her peoples and nation as we have witnessed these past sixty years. Of any who have achieved great things in life we may wonder at their perseverance.

Just as the Breton fisherman, awed at the task ahead, the first step is our pattern to meet the challenge, that is to step into the boat, and after the Way of Christ we may know God’s answer to our prayer is to assure us of the great company we keep each and every step along the Way of life’s pilgrimage. For the call of those of faith is ever to look for the good in all things and celebrate the same.

Many of you will be anticipating with joy journeys of Holy days, to arrive at whatever holiday destination you anticipate of course first is to set out. I hope you all will find blessing in your recreation, and return refreshed, and renewed, as in life’s pilgrimage we journey on.

For all, at home or abroad, another favourite prayer after the journeyman St Patrick. A prayer of protection, at each day’s break of camp in his journeying through the land, A prayer of hope that he may ever know God’s presence in Christ’s company in the bond of the anointing Spirit, each step to look for the good in all things.

In the strength of this prayer may we find the encouragement we need and offer hope to those we meet this day.

Christ be with you: Christ within you; Christ before you: Christ behind you;
Christ on your right: Christ on your left; Christ above you: Christ beneath you;
Christ around you: now and ever.
Bind unto yourself the name, the strong name of the Trinity;
by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation; Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise the Lord of your salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rector's View - June 2013

Dear friends,

In June May’s Ascension story provides the opening for that Great Day of the Church’s Gospel, the Day of Pentecost. The new beginning of Christ’s resurrection is seen in all who follow the Way of Christ, as His Spirit is poured out upon the priesthood of all believers.

What a dramatic beginning to this new Gospel, the pages of our lives. The beginnings of our own faith may too have drama, often they are less defined, begun in some conversation past which offered us hope and acceptance. Among the first of my calls as your new Rector was to our Primary School to lead their morning worship, and as the children filled the assembly hall the music and lyric of Bruno Mars proclaimed Your Amazing! Just the way you are. The Way God purposes for each of us is that we too, each and every one of us, are amazing for we are made of God’s image, Jesus revealed that love assuring those he meets that they are loved simply for whom they are, and revealing to us the Way we may better be whom God purposes us to be, through the Way of God’s love, the Way of Christ.

The Great Sunday of the Church, our own assembly time, counts the fifty days of Pentecost for a time of great blessing, for here we recount the stories of Resurrection Ascension and on the Fiftieth day the story of the Holy Spirit, the gifting of the Church with the abiding presence of our Father God in the name of he who revealed God’s love to the world, Jesus.

I have caught up with many stories as I begin to tread the Way of Christ along with you, and I look forward to hearing many more as we continue along the Way. We face many challenges, there are many trials in life, but by the assurance of Pentecost we are to know we may have strength to endure and more, see amidst this life the blessing of God’s love.

Just as we are, may God’s amazing love fill our hearts in the Spirit’s blessing.

May our going in the Way of Christ bring light and peace to our lives. Alleluia!

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rector's View - May 2013

Dear friends,

In May the Church celebrates the curious story of the Ascension, a story of ending and beginning as our Christ rises to the heavens at the close of the Gospels. And the good news of His risen life begins in the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of the Early Church and the Revelation to John.

As Ascension falls two days after my Installation to the benefice, this seems a fitting episode on which to reflect at this beginning of a new episode of shared Ministry and Ministry amongst the villages of Bansfield Benefice. I hope our thanksgiving for our new beginning together will be an expression of such hopeful enthusiasm as captured through the telling of the day of Ascension.

Each Gospel has its own expression of this Hope filled account. John has Jesus speak enigmatically of ‘Where I am going..’, matching Matthew’s curio ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age.’ Mark has Jesus ‘taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God’, leaving it to Luke to offer us the scene of Ascension ‘While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven’.

Well I’ve not seen any movie show an instructive account of this scene. The Millenium film title ‘Jesus’ has the viewer ascend above the clouds with Jesus looking down on the disciples. But our eye just can’t be convinced and all we picture is a camera carried in a juddering helicopter as its rotor blades batter the caste, trying to keep their eyes open against the wind, rising into the heights. We’re not convinced.

It’s almost like Peter trying to walk over the water to his Christ, or wanting to make three tents to give substance to the Transfiguration, or Mary Magdalene’s holding onto the resurrected form of Christ, to give substance is to change the account.

But our reality is among the substance of our day to day endings and beginnings, how do we convey the revelation of new beginning in this story’s end. Cultures the world over convey hope at the ending of a goodly life by the assurance of being ‘taken up into heaven’. How much more so do we attest to the heavenly realm for one who spoke of His coming from heaven. And here is then the gospel truth, just as for Elijah, for Enoch, just as was spoken of Abraham, Moses and Isaiah, so for Jesus the Christ, Son of the most high God. The Ascension pictures Jesus’ true nature, as angels announced his birth, as God’s Word is heard at his Baptism, as he is joined by Moses and Elijah at his Transfiguration.

Luke’s account of Jesus’ earthly life reveals the promise of His risen life through the Ascension, outward sign of inner spiritual grace. So it is, we who live His risen life, walk this world in hopeful enthusiasm through knowledge of He who is with us to the end of the age.

‘Alleluia, Christ is risen – He is risen indeed Alleluia!’

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Announcement of the appointment of the new Rector for the Bansfield Benefice

The following letter from the Rural Dean was read out this morning at All Saints' Stansfield.

The Diocese is pleased to announce the appointment, by the Bishop (upon the recommendation of the patron and parish representatives, subject to the appropriate statutory checks and references), as Rector to Bansfield Benefice, the Rev. Brin Singleton, currently Rural Dean of Samford Deanery, and Incumbent in the parishes of Capel St Mary with Little and Great Wenham.

Brin writes:

I am very much looking forward to joining Bansfield benefice. In 2013 Marion and I will be celebrating 30 years of marriage, we have three children, our daughter is married and living in Bath, our eldest son is setting up his own home in Ipswich, and our youngest son having special needs will join us along with my mother at Wickhambrook vicarage, as well our household of dogs and cats. In
terms of my ministry I am a millennium babe, that is to say ordained in 2000 and priested in 2001.

I served my four year curacy in Soham, Ely Diocese and served these past nine years in my first incumbency in Capel St Mary, Little and Great Wenham.

I also served the Samford Deanery as Rural Dean since 2010 and benefited from sharing ministry to our deanery with Elders Readers, Self Supporting Ministers, Parochial Church Officers and Congregations.

My interests include DIY music, bell ringing, camping and the great outdoors.

I, and my family look forward to our new pilgrimage in ministry with you all.

The Rural Dean writes

A date for Licensing and Induction will be set by the Bishop and Archdeacon, and as soon as this is known it will be announced.

The Benefice and Deanery look forward to welcoming this experienced and highly respected priest into our fellowship.

Rev. Canon Ian Finn (Rural Dean of Clare)

Further information can be found at

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Christingle Service for the Children's Society

Please do come and join us for our annual Benefice CHRISTINGLE SERVICE with a collection for the Children’s Society.

Bring yourselves, children and grandchildren.  There will be lots of fun both with making the christingles from oranges, candles, dried fruit and sweets as well as music, activities and songs.

When and Where...

On Sunday 27th January at 3pm. All Saints Church, Wickhambrook
Led by the Elevenses from St Mary's church Haverhill with Father Ian Finn.

Do come and enjoy making your Christingle and singing songs.
If you have a collection box, please bring it to the service.

See you on Sunday 27th at 3pm.