Dates for your diary for week beginning December 6th

Day

Date

Time

Event

Location

Wednesday

9th

10.00am

Topical Teas

Zoom; Sally Pascall

Thursday

10th

7.30pm

Rock Solid (for 10-14-year olds)

Zoom; Sarah Price

Saturday

12th

2.15pm for 3pm

Drive-In Christmas Carol Service

Rowley Mile Racecourse car park

 

FORTHCOMING PARISH EVENTS

 

NEWS AND INFORMATION

Live streamed service on Sunday 6th December – this is (hopefully) going to come from St Martins at 11 am. We will be opening at 10.45am rather than the more usual 10.30am, as we need time to set up after Matins. The website address is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2YytHU6o_A    John Pascall

DRIVE-IN CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE  This is now definitely going ahead, thanks to the generosity of our fabulous sponsors!  To be held at the Rowley Mile Racecourse Car Park on Saturday 12th December at 3pm. This is a ticketed event. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/newmarket-drive-in-carol-service-tickets-130565086689 Cathy, Susan, Mark

Christmas services in the Parish of Exning with Landwade  There will be a midnight communion on December 24th starting at 11.30pm and an 11am Family Communion on Christmas Day (both in St Martins). In addition there will be a service at Landwade at 3pm on December 27th. This service will be a 'A Christmas Service of Readings and Music' as we cannot sing carols indoors. PLEASE NOTE: BECAUSE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS THESE THREE SERVICES WILL BE BY TICKET ONLY (SEE BELOW). There will also be a service on Christmas Eve afternoon (final details to follow) in lieu of the traditional Crib and Christingle Service which will be outside in the churchyard; so we hope social distancing will be less of an issue.

Arrangements for ticketed services  Tickets to any of our Christmas services (except that on the afternoon of Christmas Eve) can be obtained from John Pascall on 01638 578372. Please initially book for only one service so that we can maximise the number of people who can attend across the three services – if there are spare tickets available they will be released closer to the time. Thank you.   John Pascall

NEEDED  Sherlock Holmes – to solve the mystery of the wooden duck in wellies that has become a resident in the St Martin's Church porch. Did he walk there or was he carried? All sleuthing welcome.  John Pascall

Freewill Offering Envelopes  All the envelopes for 2021 are now in St Martins Church. If anyone cannot collect them from there, please tell me & I will arrange delivery to your home.  John Pascall

FROM THE DARKNESS CAME LIGHT  These words from a carol indicate ‘the direction of travel’ for us all in the coming days, as we will no doubt echo the familiar cry about the meaning & purpose of Christmas. Yes, it is of course about family, friends, & shopping, & if we didn’t ‘keep the feast’ as we do, we would have had to invent it, but God got there before us, in the very beginning. Love came down at Christmas, the Son of God was born in humble circumstances to reveal the purposes of God in each human being; God the Father of the Old Testament reveals himself to identify with humankind in the Christ-child.                             Advent Sunday, falling on 29th November, really doesn’t help the Advent Candle makers with their graduated 24-day December countdown! but we engage with the restrained season of Advent, when we watch & wait again for the annual remembrance of the birth of the Saviour, mindful of the Four Last Things (Heaven & Hell, Death & Judgement, & in a more modern idiom, Hope, Peace Joy, & Love, which are our SMENN themes for the 4 Wednesday evening services of Advent. Armed as we then might be, we greet with joy His coming amongst us on Christmas eve & morn. We do so, notwithstanding the early anticipation of his birthday, forced upon us not only by the secular & retail Christmas (Covid-19 notwithstanding), but in normal times (& to some extent this year also despite the lockdown) by the needs of the schools in our parishes. Then, as we keep the twelve days of Christmas, we journey through the secular new year, embark upon 2021 with resolve & good intentions, reaching Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (as the Prayer Book has it). Were it not for the Wise Men, who escaped Herod by returning to their own country ‘by another way’, the news of the birth of the King of the Jews may never have been heard, & God’s mission to his World may have irrevocably stalled. In this perspective, Epiphanytide is an apt season to pray for the worldwide mission of the Church, including as it does our own renewal of our covenant with God, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, framed by the Confession of Peter (January 18th) & the Conversion of Paul (January 25th), not to mention the Baptism of Christ at the hands of his cousin John, where God the Father reveals him as his Beloved Son. The 40 days of Christmas comes to an end on February 2nd, Candlemas, known also as The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, & the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary; all are correct, & each title has its own emphasis. Perhaps in our contemporary idiom, the first name is the most helpful, reminding us that we recognise the child as the ‘light to lighten the Gentiles’ & ‘the glory of God’s people, Israel’. The acknowledgment of the light he brings is tempered though with our knowledge that the redemption he brings is won through suffering, the Incarnation is directed to the Passion, as Simeon’s final words move our attention away from the celebration of the birth of the Son of God towards the mysteries of Easter; what Jesus did when he grew up, giving up his life for the sins of the world, & the importance of us making that connection. All of this is what the Church does & is, whether or not we are there to share in it; those who are not able to be with us week-by-week expect us to be ‘doing-our-stuff’ when they want it, & we faithfully try very hard to meet those expectations as the national Church, as is our way. What is so very important is that during these acts of worship, the Church’s ‘shop-window’, we share something of the light which illumines our lives, & shines out from us, & by implication people may then see in us the key to the Faith which draws us back to God’s house week-by-week. Let our prayer be that the new year will be one of thankfulness, for God’s many blessings to us & his call to new & continuing discipleship, & may I, with all my colleagues, wish you, your family & friends a joyful & blessed Christmas.  Mark

Dear Church Family & Friends.  This year it is not possible for the team from St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds to visit participating churches for their annual “Light Up A Life “ Christmas Services in remembrance of loved ones that have died from Cancer over recent years. However, in order that we may continue to celebrate their lives, an on-line service will go live on the 14th December through the St Nicholas Hospice Care website. If you would like to have your loved one remembered & named at this service, please go directly to their website where you will be invited to give the name, date of birth, date of death, upload a photograph & a message, & have that person recorded in a memory book. The cut-off date for submitting names is 7th December. When this service goes live you will representations & prayers by participating churches & an address by the Right Reverend Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich. Peace Be With You.  Max

CHILDRENS SOCIETY BOXES  Due to COVID19 restrictions I will not be collecting and banking monies collected in the boxes this year but personally sending a donation. If anyone would like to do the same, please ask me for the address and bank details and I will share them. I have a few spare boxes and a lot of collection candles that I can let people have if the others are full. Hopefully, we will be back to normal in 20121! 

CHRISTMAS CHEER!  Dear friends, We are calling upon the generosity of the churches and other groups within our town, to help us provide a small gift for each family in receipt of food parcels this Christmas. To fund this we need an estimated £600 (depending upon the number of families we finally are able to support) which works out at approx. £2.50 per person. If you are able to contribute, please pay directly into the Churches Together in Newmarket and District account: Sort Code: 30 95 96  Account Number: 00971439 with the reference Christmas Cheer. Alternatively, by cheque (to Churches Together in Newmarket and District) or with cash, in a sealed envelope clearly marked Christmas Cheer and hand to your minister or contact from your group.  (SARAH PRICE FOR ST MARTIN & ST P&E).  Please can we collect all that we can by 15th November at the latest in order that we can purchase, wrap and maintain precautions regarding our current health situation. Thank you all so much. Rev. Susan Allison curate@allsaintsnewmarket.org on behalf of Churches Together, NIFF and others. “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Newmarket Day Centre  I have received a request from the Day Centre regarding their community folk this Christmas. They realise that there will be more of them who will be on their own this Christmas and wanted to provide a bag of Christmas treats for them. They are asking for small gift donations of treats, i.e. biscuits, chocolate, toiletries, drinks in cans or small bottles anything small that could go to make a parcel for them. They are planning to do all the wrapping etc themselves so need to fill a bag or box. Anything at all would be much appreciated by them. You can either drop items off yourselves at the Day Centre – they are there mid-morning to mid-afternoon sending out ‘Hot Plates’ -or I am happy to sort out collecting items if you find that you can help the staff achieve their goal for this Christmas. Donations accepted up to 17th December. Many thanks in anticipation.  Revd.Cheryl  phone 07801499179

MESSAGE FROM REVD HARDY  Just to bring you up to date with the outcome of the SMENN working group meeting on Tuesday 29 September (Feast of Michaelmas), I need to let you know that the discussion indicated a present need - before we go any further down the road towards benefice unification - for further reflection at St Mary's (both at PCC and at congregational level) on the whole subject of women's priestly ministry, given that, as things stand, a future incumbent of a united benefice (or team ministry) made up of our respective parishes might very well be female. This possibility is a matter of genuine concern to a number of congregants at St Mary's (although not necessarily a majority), and must, therefore, be given proper weight and consideration, according to the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (2014) and their Five Guiding Principles of the Mutual Flourishing of Ministries within the Church of England. As the archdeacon of Sudbury remarked at the meeting, there is now a formal process to be gone through (by St Mary's, and in particular by St Mary's PCC); further details of which will be publicised in due course. I can tell you now that the substantive discussions about this crucial issue won't take place at St Mary's until after Christmas, and I do not expect any decision to be made until March or April 2021. However, even if the formalities of the 'marriage' of our benefices (to keep the archdeacon's favourite image) are now on 'hold' until further notice, that is no reason to discontinue our very successful, informal 'engagement', which has seen all sorts of good things happen, to the wider benefit of our common life around the SMENN parishes over last couple years (and more), as was explicitly made clear in the various positive responses I received to the 'Appreciative Enquiry' questionnaire which I circulated to PCC members some three months back. I hope and pray, therefore, that we will be able to carry on collaborating and enjoying each other's company as long as possible, whatever decision St Mary's congregation and her PCC may reach after mature deliberation around the following question: does my/our theological conviction lead us to seek the priestly (or episcopal) ministry of men and women equally, or of men only? Undeniably, though, the extent to which that will be the case 'going forward' (as they say) will, in part, depend on which way St Mary's decides to answer, the question. And that applies whether or not my successor as incumbent and/or priest-in-charge is a woman (but especially if she is a woman) - whenever that time may come (and I must point out I'm not planning to leave Newmarket/Exning anytime soon). In other words, this is a decision with implications for our life together in the parishes of North Newmarket and Exning. But I fully recognise that it is one that must be taken properly and formally, on grounds of conscience - the consciences of those individuals within our church community who cannot accept, on theological grounds, the priestly ministry of women: they are owed that courtesy. I realise that, depending on your point of view, this communication will come as a bit of a shock - to some, though to others of you it will not seem so surprising. Be that as it may, and speaking as 'head of the household', I'm sure that it's better for our family members to be absolutely open and honest about their scruples at this stage, in order to clear the ground for progressing the amalgamation plan, rather than jeopardise it when we are far advanced in working out the details. We can't agree the finer workings of our ongoing relationship as benefices before we've agreed the principles on which it is to be based. Yours sincerely,  John Hardy

OFFERINGS TO THE CHURCH VIA STANDING ORDER . Here are the details if you would like to set up a regular payment through your bank to the parish. If you wish to gift aid your payments, please let me know & I will send a gift aid statement to you if you haven’t already done one.

Account Number: 44358318

Sort Code: 60-15-47

Account Name: Exning PCC

Please put your name as reference

Cathy

NEWS  Mark is delighted to share here the recent news, carried in last week’s diocesan eNews, that the Bishop has appointed him is to be the Diocesan Environment Advisor in addition to his current parochial and other duties, in succession to Canon Sandie Barton, recently retired, who was also in our deanery of Mildenhall. Stewardship of God’s Creation is the 5th Mark of Mission for the Church, and I will be pleased to be convening the Diocesan Environment Group, and helping plan strategies and policies with the Ministry & Mission team in the diocese, such that for our churches, church schools, parsonage houses, and our homes, we aim for net zero carbon footprint in line with government targets, and so many other aspects of our common home, from church heating, recycling encouragement to swift boxes. This all chimes in well here where we are well down the eco-road, but still with more to do; living within earshot of Exning’s busy bottle-bank seems an ironic coincidence! This brings together my former career as a district officer in the Forestry Commission, and my time working for the Church, not least having served on this diocese for the last 7 years, knowing Suffolk and its people at first hand. It transpires that Suffolk CC are particularly forward in their thinking in this area too, in which no doubt Sizewell looms large, and the impact of the A14 corridor to Felixstowe, now Britain’s busiest port in terms of freight handled, and the growth issues along it. God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good; let us each play our part in sustaining the life of this planet, our common home.  Mark

 

ECO-CHURCH 

Environmental Issues: The UN has revealed that 14 of the 20 goals set in 2010 to halt the accelerating decline of nature have not been met and is urging governments, businesses and individuals to accelerate habitat and biodiversity restoration. According to the body’s fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook report, just 2% of the world’s terrestrial habitat which is degraded and would benefit from restoration is currently receiving such attention. This is in spite of the fact that more than one million species are classified as ‘at risk’ of extinction, and that the risks of nature loss to society, the economy and efforts to halt climate change have been quantified. The report outlines, in detail, eight major transitions away from “business-as-usual” models which the UN believes must be made if the world is to align with its forthcoming ‘Paris-style’ agreement on preventing Earth’s sixth mass extinction. https://www.edie.net/news/7/UN---Business-as-usual--must-be-transformed-to-prevent-collapse-of-nature/

Prayer for Creation for November: . Father, we thank you for your great gifts of wisdom and ingenuity. Help us to place them wholly at your service in the quest for technologies to protect the world that you created, and all the creatures that live in it. Amen