Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rector's View - December 2015

Dear friends,

The close of our year is both an anticipation of arrival and a looking back to where we have been. In this we seek to shine light on our lives and discern the path we should take before us for the good.

Amidst the horrors of this year's close, the family of nations too seeks to discern the path to establish stability in justice and peace for all peoples.

The question of Luke's Gospel, who is my neighbour, when put to Jesus the Nazarene too was a question set amidst the upheavals of migrants settling new lands seeking sanctuary. The answer directed toward our individual response to those robbed of their living and hope. The lesson of European history is to uphold this family of nations and call to account any who would inflict harm on their subjects.

Years of failure to address the cry of those subject to hardship and war at the hand of tyrannical rulers has seen a movement of migrants become an exodus. With this mass movement of people again rises that ancient question addressed to the good "Who is my neighbour". The good teacher asked of us to see our neighbour in the one who shows mercy. Through this simple individual action of rescue Jesus' title of Saviour rises as the Daystar across the darkness of the ages to light even our day. May we then find the strength to show the gift of mercy to those whose hope is born in the darkness of night in lands far from home. In this may Luke's gospel of outcast shepherds be seen gathered in awe at God's abiding among us with today's displaced poor, as among that first holy family in their stable shelter.

And may Matthew's gospel, the homage of the wise, offer direction in the quest of our nation's leaders to bear gifts of healing, justice and peace to all peoples as among one family of nations.

Grace and Peace be yours this Christmas.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rector's View - November 2015

Dear friends,

As the days darken leaving summer's brightness behind our thoughts turn toward the year's close and we hear tell stories of trial and hope, applauding the endurance and courage of generations past, and remembering the sacrifice of the fallen for Europe's enduring peace.

Once again though we see Europe in the upheaval of mass migration and are reminded of the migrations of our forebears, and their determination to bring healing to the wound of war in building new homes for peoples displaced and returning, and in building that brotherhood of nations whose strength is founded on seeking peace and justice.

Whilst rightly our Remembrance service marks the sacrifice of the nation, and brings us to silence at the appalling loss of war, this remembrance for many brings to mind the stories of those known more personably as friend and family. Before this national remembrance our church's calendar offers us opportunity to think on the lives of our own friends and family who have died, giving thanks for the good of their lives, for the love they shared by which we grew in knowledge and love of God. All Saints Sunday applauds the heroes of our faith, sainted for the bright light of their lives amidst this world's darkness. All Souls' offers for us the remembrance of those whose light we beheld and knew, whose light nonetheless burned bright in our lives.

On the afternoon of All Saints' Day, Sunday the 1st of November, All Saints' Church Wickhambrook will host an All Souls' service from 3pm, during which candles may be lit in memory of our own dear departed. Those to whom the church has ministered to across Bansfield Benefice have been invited to attend, but all are welcome to bring the names of their own loved ones who have died, to hear them read and to light candles. During the Sunday services before All Saints names may be added to our list of departed as well immediately before the All Souls' 3pm service. After the service we will offer refreshments in our Benefice Hall next to the church. In this may we find encouragement and hope in building this day at your hand and mine God's Kingdom on earth as in heaven.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rector's View - October 2015

Dear friends,

For the gospel reading at the close of the week that marked our Queen's longest reign we heard Jesus ask his followers "Who do you say I am". We remember Peter's answer "You are the Messiah" and Jesus ordering his disciples not to tell anyone. Jesus explained that his reign was not to be an effortless transformation of victory over Rome's occupation, but a reign of self-denial and sufferance subject to the persecution of Roman rule even to the death of the cross. God's Kingdom was illustrated not as the parade of victory but rather as the pursuance of victory through that discipleship of self-sacrifice upon which is built the future Kingdom.

Whilst Victory in Europe bought rejoicing and hope, it also bought resolve to share in rebuilding a Europe divided by war, and fractured by the greatest mass migrations the world had seen. It was not until World Refugee Year that the last of the post war refugee camps in Europe closed in 1960, in the first decade of our Queen's reign. Now in this her sixth decade we are seeing again mass migrations of displaced persons. Once again Britain, and the nations of Europe are being challenged to settle and re-home orphans, young and old, elderly and frail, those mourning the death of loved ones the loss of homes livelihoods and nationhood.

These who say of Europe ‘there is our salvation’ cannot be denied the telling nor will they be deflected from their hope of deliverance, just as with our gospel, Peter and the disciples though ordered not to, told all the more of their hope in Jesus’ Messiahship. If we are to answer today's hope we will need to be prepared to offer such self-sacrifice as Jesus asked of his followers for the building of God's Kingdom.

Yours in Christ.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rector's View - August 2015

Dear friends,

Our news these days seems full of foreboding carrying nothing but woes. If we've not come to tough times already we are promised plenty on the way. Well our notion of hard times finds perspective in the plight of so many of this world's poorest peoples, as well those suffering at this time through conflict and disaster.

Our self-observation "how will we cope" becomes our wonder at others strength in their survival "how do they cope". Our faith asks of us love for one another, that through bearing each other's burdens we will know our Lord Jesus come near. Indeed in this He assures all His followers at the close of Matthew's gospel "I am with you always, to the end of the Age" - with us in joy, with us in sorrow, with us in trial.

Another theme for many in these times is travel, whether at home or abroad and I offer for all a prayer after St Patrick, for those facing trial, for those facing journey's, whether for yourselves or for others in their need; a prayer of protection as each day St Patrick would break camp from temporary shelter in his journeying through the land, bearing the good news of God's presence in each and every day, and considering the more permanent shelter surrounding him in all things through Father Son and Holy Spirit. In the strength of this prayer he built a life of good works in sharing the shelter of his faith with others.

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rector's View - July 2015

Dear friends,

I went over to Stansfield Village Hall's film night to watch Paddington Bear. I went filled with images from our news of migrants climbing fences and clambering aboard lorries, floundering in overcrowded boats, overrunning holiday destinations, taxing border controls, and being turned away at sea as well from these shores… I found it most poignant then to be reminded by a children's story as to why this vast flood of humanity were crossing to Europe.

The fictional bear from mythical darkest Peru, had lost his parents and his uncle, his elderly aunt could no longer care for him. His aunt remembered the British Explorer who assured them of the warm welcome that would await them in Britain, and that children looking for a family could simply wait with their case on a station platform wearing a label with a plea of care. The story's premise is based not on any myth, but the scarred wound of our own history, the vast European migrations pre-and post-war, and our own attempts to provide safe keeping to London's children during the Blitz. Today's migrants have no case nor any to send them on their journey with the hopeful plea of labels attached, the only labels they have to wear are those we give them.

Whatever fears we may guard against, we should remember those whose fear is such that they have fled, those whose house, whose livelihood's, whose families have been taken from them, that they, each of them, mother, father, brother, sister, child should risk all they have left, even if only themselves, to look for welcome and opportunity, to build again that which we seek to guard, security home and family.

The test is before us this day in the gospel of Jesus' word Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother Mark 3.35. Our solidarity with Jesus - who is Messiah to the poor, those who mourn, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted Mathew 5.3-12 - is to fulfil the blessing He proclaimed, for these truly belong to His family, and they are God's children.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rector's View - June 2015

Dear friends,

This month our Diocese celebrates the enthronement of our new bishop, bishop Martin. So we share the expectation of the nation as we look to what a new term of service in leadership might bring. Bishop Martin will be encouraging our Diocese in the pledges made before his enthronement that we should look for growth in God just as we see growth in our countryside, in field hedgerow and garden, all witnessing to God's growth through this season. This growth reveals nature's creative energy, which comes to bloom with or without our aid, as with faith, God's call to all peoples, which continues with or without the Church's aid. Of course in our landscape of field and garden as well our landscape of faith, the fields of our hearts, we can encourage and nurture that growth by being alert to need and opportunity. Just as our landscape is managed for growth so is our faith through prayer which enables responsive actions to restore and nurture signs of growth.

Bansfield benefice seeks to open the doors of our churches, houses of prayer, to our villages wherever we can, and Sunday by Sunday villagers can rely on regular service patterns in the call to share our gatherings of prayer. But sometimes we need a little help to enter into the prayer life of our Church, for those who find it hard to still mind and body in focusing toward God, prayer labyrinth's have provided an active route toward such prayers of which the psalmist writes ‘Lord You will show me the path of life, You will fill me with joy in your presence’ that we may find that God centred stillness ‘be still and know that I am God’. I hope you will seek out our labyrinth mown in the grass of the glebe field next to Wickhambrook church, and accept the invitation to walk this path of prayer open to growth in God. I hope you will find encouragement in the years ahead to share such fullness of life as is God's purpose for creation. I hope you will accept opportunity for prayer wherever this may be offered, and share with us our vision for growth in God.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Friday, May 1, 2015

Rector's View - May 2015

Dear friends,

The month of May heralds many new beginnings, not only summer's arrival nor only the early bloom of a new political landscape, but also a new beginning in the pilgrimage of faith. Faith's new beginning is told in the story of Christ's Ascension that His Spirit should descend into the hearts of His followers.

Whichever political parties have won power their followers will be beginning the descent from the heights of campaign promises to begin the work of their realisation.

Just so in the story of Christ's risen life, His Ascension and His sending of that power from on high, the Holy Spirit, enlivens in His followers the reality of Christ's new beginning. A new beginning in the hearts of all who witness to His love in the world today. For Christ's followers their witness, through the Spirit's advocacy, is seen after the Way of Christ, both as a journey in faith and the realisation of God's Kingdom at hand. Our testimony is to that which has been seen and heard through countless generations from the Acts of the Apostles, the Acts of the early Church, to the Acts of the Church today. The campaign promises of faith, the values of God's Kingdom will not be buried nor forgotten because they are that very reality whom the tomb could not contain, Jesus risen, seen afresh in every generation in those who in Christ proclaim the blessings of God's Kingdom.

Hear again the manifesto of faith, the Acts of our discipleship:-

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Mat 5:3-10 NLT

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Day Services

Please join us for Easter Day services at

Wickhambrook - Dawn Eucharist at 6.00am
Ousden - Holy communion at 9.30am
Stradishall - Holy communion at 11.00am

The Wickhambrook Dawn Eucharist is followed by an Easter breakfast at the Rectory.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rector's View - April 2015

Dear friends,

Whilst news of war and threat continues and we seem locked into its endless cycle of destruction and loss, it is something of a miracle to hear of the restoration of Iraq's Mesopotamian Marshes. Saddam's ruthless destruction had engineered the loss of 93% of the 7,700 square miles of marshes on account of dissidents taking refuge in this once primitive Eden.

So how could any man offer hope of new life here between the Tigris and Euphrates now made desert by dread willed drainage schemes, and suffering from instability in ongoing power brokering as this fractured country seems set against hope or new beginning.

Amongst those returning to their homeland Azzam Alwash, an engineer in the States, used his expertise to co-ordinate and deploy resources in breaching the drainage canals, and managing the re-flooding of desert. His vision to re-instate this Eden has been rewarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots activists, but he himself acclaims his reward to be some years away, when he can bring his children to see this first Iraqi national park not only providing sanctuary and security for wildlife but also for its peoples and nation.

What a miraculous vision for those who pray daily God's Kingdom come on earth as in heaven at your hand and at mine, we can be the change we want to see.

Easter celebrates new life begun in the vision and sacrifice of the one man Jesus, who through his self-sacrifice bought hope in love and knowledge of God the world over. His life, though seen to have been bought to an end on the cross, was begun again as the tomb's walls holding back the waters of life were breached and news of His rising again poured over a peoples parched of hope. In encounter after encounter, even to this day, Jesus meets us to answer our thirst and fills us with new life.

No matter how lost, or dark our despair, in Jesus we all can begin again, in Him is new life begun.

Alleluia Christ is risen.

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lent Events 2015

This Lent why not join the Bansfield Benefice and Churches Together for our events?  During Lent we will be meeting in the Bansfield Benefice Hall for:-
  • Lent Lunches (Tuesdays at 1pm)
  • Lent Group (Tuesdays at 2pm)
Also please see http://www.bansfieldbenefice.org.uk/services/ for Lent and Easter Services throughout the Benefice.

Rector's View - March 2015

Dear friends,

One of my favourite festivals (they're all my favourite) celebrates the close of our Church's wondering and delight in the infancy stories of Jesus. Not only does the Nativity story tie together Jesus' origin, Son of God, son of man, but weaves our wondering of God into the delight of new birth. The favoured festival – Candlemas, "The Presentation of Christ in the Temple", sets the scene of many families today celebrating new arrivals. Mother father and baby meet the family of faith, those who congregate in God's name, deliverance hope and praise are spoken for all their futures.

For our congregations celebrating this last look back at Jesus' nativity, of course there are candles – Candlemas – but too there is that looking forward to Jesus' return to the Temple. That day too our congregation processes along with the drama of these biblical stories, this time not with candles but with our palm crosses as we rehearse the praises of the crowd greeting Jesus' entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

When look back on the journey of our lives from infancy to adulthood, we can wonder at our purpose and expectancy in life. The rhythm of the Church's story of God's living among us reminds us there are times of preparation times of celebration, times of waiting times of trial, times of turning and new beginnings. Faced alone we flounder and fall, faced in company of friend, family even the family of faith, we find strength to stand even to grow, to look for hope and joy in deliverance.

This waiting time of lengthening days (lenten) do think of joining those who congregate in God's name to share in our story of hope, and share with us your story.

  • 1st Sundays each month 9:30am Ousden, 11am Stradishall
  • 2nd Sundays each month 9:30 Lidgate, 11am Denston
  • 3rd Sundays each month 9:30 Stansfield, 11am Cowlinge
  • 4th Sundays each month 10, Family Worship Wickhambrook.
  • 5th Sundays 10am, ‘Sung Matins’ see Bansfield Benefice website for service details:-

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Rector's View - February 2015

Dear friends,

We have been offered powerful reminder of the strength we may find in that fraternity equality and liberty which bonds individuals together from disparate backgrounds to lift them from despair to hope, a greater ideal that no terror can conquer. Such was the hope that bought nations together in post-war vision to work for that union of ideals and shared values which rises above our destructive self-interests.

Often in our individual pursuits and passions we forget the value of our common belonging, that greater strength we find when serving a common ideal of shared values, and shared challenges, that all should have opportunity to live free from fear's oppression, held equal in fraternal belonging each to the other in sisterhood and brotherhood.

The Good News told in our Churches through February begins with the Presentation of the infant Christ in the Temple offering new hope to God's people, and ends with our own presentation as Ash Wednesday offers our own new beginning through the season of Lent (the original self-improvement course).

I hope I too may better present our Church to our villages over the next few months, that we may again hear the call of our common belonging each to the other, all of us God's children. The Church's role in offering company healing and hope in life is so often crowded out or forgotten amidst today's new-age market place of spiritualities. Your Church is not only here for the Sunday Worship, but also here to offer face to face God's free grace, wherever that may be asked of us.

The spiritual marketplace too often can be seen to exploit our need, our fear, our weakness only to diminish us. Yet our Church seeks to offer freely of God's grace to all who may call on us.

Blessing healing and prayer, is offered freely, blessings of homes or individuals, healing, company or spiritual counsel, just a call away, we are here to share both celebration and trial, that we may reconcile all life's challenges and live in hope, in that fullness of life which God purposes for all His children.

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Brin Singleton

  • Your Rector welcomes calls for Home Communion, Home & Hospital Visiting, Healing & Prayer, Baptisms, Weddings & Bereavement Support.
  • Your Church Family welcomes Questions of faith & Questioning faith, Community & Family support & Celebration.
  • Your Parish Church welcomes your Prayer, Worship, & Friendship.
  • Our Offering to Our Village Communities:- the Spirit's fellowship through God's love in Christ.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Christingle service Wickhambrook church Feb 1st at 3pm

The Bansfield Benefice is holding its annual Christingle service at Wickhambrook All Saints' on Sunday the 1st of February at 3pm.  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.  We are supporting the Children's Society.

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.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Rector's View - January 2015

Dear friends,

New Year's Resolutions are by some keenly entered into, a new beginning, a fresh page, a chance to set goals on life. The Christian Faith, having celebrated God's new beginning in us in the story of Christ's birth, offers in January's stories of the visit of the Magi – Epiphany (God's light in Jesus shown to the World in the worship of the Wise Men), and Jesus' Baptism (God's Holy Spirit seen descending on Jesus as He rises from the waters of His Baptism), opportunity for the celebration of faith's new beginning in Baptism. In Baptism we are given that new start our New Year's resolutions speak of, though by our Baptism Christians may turn a new page in life each day of the year, every time we determine to correct, reform, or set things right in our lives God begins again in us as is the promise of our Baptism.

Indeed every Sunday in our Act of Worship, we by our confession of our failings before God, are given the assurance, as that of any loving parent when faced with their child's sorry plea, of our Heavenly Father's merciful embrace and in the company of His Son we are shown the path we may take toward fullness of life.

As many as have shared our Christmas story and more are most welcome to accompany us through our celebration of fullness of life in God's name Sunday by Sunday through this coming year. Don't keep the promise of a new start only for New Year's Day, remember God's New Year in us begins every time we come before Him, this grace is not just for Christmas or New Year but for life, fullness of life in Christ's life giving Spirit.

Happy New Year!

Rev'd Brin Singleton

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