Diary of forthcoming events

Dates for your diary for week beginning August 9th









SMENN Bible Study Session – Introduction to the letter to Colossians

Online – see below for link details



PCC MEETING  Monday 7th September 2020. St Martin’s Church (tbc). 7.45pm.

Annual Vestry & Parochial Church Meeting (APCM, aka AGM) is planned for Monday 19th October 7.30pm; again in St Martin’s in case ECCH is not possible.



SMENN BIBLE STUDY SESSION  This Wednesday 12th August at 7pm, as part of our SMENN evening services and activities online, we will be holding a bible study: an introduction to the letter to Colossians. Written by the apostle Paul from prison in Rome (or so it says), Colossians gives us an overview of some of the big questions facing the early church, and reading this letter together should help in accessing other Pauline texts, which can often be challenging. You can join in at https://youtu.be/d93nxC37gyc or on the phone line. If you sign into YouTube with an account, you can use the commenting/chat function to ask questions and talk, or you can watch without an account. It may be helpful to read the letter to the Colossians ahead of time and have a copy with you for the study. Best wishes.  MAX

BIBLE STUDY & TOPICAL TEAS ON ZOOM  Topical Teas will continue throughout August on 12th and 26th August. However, the bible study group will take a break until 2nd September when we will begin looking at the Book of Psalms.  JOHN & SALLY PASCALL

SMENN PROGRESS – AN UPDATE  The Revd John Hardy writes: The next meeting of the Shared Ministry in Exning and North Newmarket (SMENN)  working group will be on Tuesday 29th September at 7 pm, venue to be confirmed.  Hopefully, this will be a face-to-face meeting, in person and not by Zoom, which is not my preferred context for a reflective meeting of this kind.  In attendance will – all being well – the archdeacon of Sudbury, Dr David Jenkins, also Canon Mike Booker, all the way from Hemingford Abbots. Mike, another old boy of Hills Road Sixth Form College and thoroughly committed to church and community life in Cambridgeshire, is the bishop of Ely’s ‘Change Officer with Responsibility for Market Towns’. A bit of background might be helpful here. As a key part of its 2025 strategy, the diocese of Ely has decided  to make a major investment to encourage its market towns, with a view to enabling churches to flourish and be active partners in changing their towns for the better. The first step in this has been to appoint Mike Booker as Bishop's Change Officer, with a brief to work with clergy and congregations to transform both churches and communities in small towns across the diocese. For more, please go to: https://www.elydiocese.org/church-in-action/changing-market-towns/changing-market-towns . Mike works from the life-changing experience, invaluable for us, of bringing together no fewer than 4 benefices and 11 parishes in west Cambridgeshire to form what is now known, quite inspiringly, as the Lordsbridge Team Ministry. The website (lordsbridge.org): ‘Currently, there are thirteen or more worshipping communities in this network: eleven worship in ancient parish churches, one is becoming a Fresh Expression of Church meeting in a village hall, one is a loose community of young people, and there are other opportunities.’ The purpose of our SMENN workshop meeting on 29th September will be to build on the helpful conversation  local clergy enjoyed with Canon Booker and Archdeacon David on 22nd June, and explore the feasibility of now backing a definite proposal for unification of the benefices, prior to an open PCC meeting to be held subsequently (perhaps before the end of 2020). In preparation, PCC members from the three PCCs in Exning and North Newmarket have been invited to complete an ‘Appreciative Inquiry’-type questionnaire, asking in particular:

 •          Based on what your experience of sharing so far, what do you DREAM for when you think  about the future of the benefices? What would the PCC hope for the future mission of their  churches and congregations?

•           How would you like to see the SMENN working group DEVELOP its thinking and planning in the light of what you have discovered and dreamt about?

•           What might you DO to achieve the Dreams listed above in baby steps – small practical steps which ensure that (a) future vision in the parish is shared and owned, and (b) mission, evangelism and outreach are part of your parish’s day to day life?

•           What are you now wanting to DO as a result of the SMENN trial to date?

•           What can your PCC bring as a distinctive gift to a United Benefice - a unique contribution to life in the two benefices as a whole?

•           Are you ready to ‘TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP’  and dare to welcome life within a united   benefice of Exning and North Newmarket?

If you, the reader, have a view on any of these questions, please have word with any member of your local PCC, or with one of the clergy. It will not go unheeded.  Thank you very much.  JOHN HARDY



1. St Martin's, St Mary's. Regular services at the two mother churches continue at the usual times (11 am St Martin’s, 9.45 am St Mary’s), always subject to advice from Bishop Martin and the House of Bishops, which is regularly updated. Worship is restricted: social distancing needs to be kept, hands will need to be sanitised, Holy Communion will be administered in one kind only, and please do not expect any singing until further notice.

2. Evensong at St Mary's. Evensong re-commences in the choir, 6.30 pm.

3. St Mary’s: Wednesday morning communion resumes Wednesday, 22 July (St Mary Magdalene’s day), 10 am. Sunday 8am and Monday evening Communion services will not resume unto further notice.

4: After due consideration, Exning PCC has decided not to re-open St Philip and Etheldreda's on 2 August, due to continuing concerns around the whole issue of social distancing. The situation will be reviewed towards the end of August. The clergy and wardens would ask parishioners to bear with us. Given the 'demographic' of P & E's regular congregation, we reluctantly concluded that this was the safest option at the moment, and therefore in everyone's best interests, going forward: 'make haste slowly' is the watchword. JOHN HARDY

FR MAX  will be licensed as priest-in-charge of Haverhill St Mary the Virgin with Withersfield St Mary the Virgin on Monday 14 September, Holy Cross Day. We wish him, Charlotte and baby Cynthia, Godspeed and all the very best

GOODBYE  I am planning to attend the service at St Martin's on Sunday 16th August, which gives us chance to say goodbye to you all. My last Sunday in the benefices will be Sunday 30th August at St Mary's.  MAX DRINKWATER

PROBLEMS RECEIVING WEN  The problems in receiving an electronic WEN appear to be increasing; no longer restricted only to btinternet users.  I continue to look for a resolution, but this may be a few weeks as my time is limited.  CATHY

ADDITIONAL PRAYER LIST  In addition to existing mechanisms for the listing of people who need our prayers in the WEN, there is now a monthly sheet on a clipboard at the back of church which can refreshed at any time, but which is begun afresh at the month-end to ensure it is up-to-date. This is for anybody coming into church to make use of, and for those leading the intercessions to refer to….. there are three boxes/categories: Health & Well-being, The Faithful Departed, Thanksgivings for… Please do avail yourselves of its availability. Love and prayers.  MARK

PILGRIMAGE AGAIN!  Some of you will have gathered by now that the plan for Iona in October 2021 is not now going to be possible after all; I am very sorry about this. I would however like you to keep those dates in mind as I research the easier and cheaper option of taking you to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the Northumberland coast. Another date option there might be post-Easter, and I await Marygate House’s re-opening before I can progress it all, but if we stick with October 11-15th 2021 for Lindisfarne, we could set an annual rhythm as I now have September 30th-October 8th 2022 now provisionally booked at Bishops House, Iona.  I will set out more details in due course, but for now please would you earmark your diaries!  In the meantime, I am looking into some possibilities of daytrips more locally, as I have done before  as my sort of ‘stock-in-trade’, and will report progress on these ideas too. Any thoughts you might have as to preferred destinations will be gratefully received. Every blessing.  MARK


‘Language is more than just a means of communication, it is also a medium of expression. Human speech is not just a utilitarian instrument that serves to communicate facts, and should do so in the most simple and efficient manner. It is also the means of expressing the workings of our mind in a way that involves our whole personality’.

The corporate ritual of the weekly said service of Holy Communion according to the Book Common Prayer (BCP) embodies a language of worship that does indeed do just that. Its unchangingness, with the most modest of seasonal variants, has led over the last 400 years to us being ‘people of the book’, as much the Prayer Book as the Bible. The former is an ordering language of its time with an unmistakeable power; it is Shakespearean in its prose and prowess. It is a book of ritual, of practices and performances used to transform the activities of life; ritual being the social act, basic to humanity, the means by which we draw our lives together into a mutual practice.

This is of course the reason for our national affinity with BCP Evensong, whether live and choral in a cathedral, or on Radio Three, or at Landwade Evensongs, not forgetting Mattins at St Martin’s, 9.45am on a first Sunday, or monthly 11.15am at St Agnes and the weekly 8am Holy Communion at St Mary’s Newmarket, all of which are at least in good heart, and points of growth in each case.

Most of us have inherited those unbelievably small-print prayer books, often with the 776 Hymns Ancient & Modern at the back, and perhaps a coin pouch on the cover (for your florin!), and our theology is embodied in the repetition of the words, which are a constant source of internal revision as we celebrate week by week. Its tone is perhaps overly penitential, but we are none the worse for that. The inclusion of the weekly collects and readings, the 150 psalms, alongside all the liturgical services then deemed helpful if not always immediately necessary is both comprehensive and a master stroke.

At a recent funeral I was asked to employ the words of the General Thanksgiving, the power of whose words always takes me back to my childhood chorister days when it often formed a part of the prayers at Mattins (or Matins) …BCP Morning Prayer…..‘We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life, but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and the hope of glory…… How much do those words evoke in us a right response to God?

I once had the privilege of singing the BCP Litany at a friend’s ordination to the priesthood in Manchester Cathedral and he celebrated his first mass the next day using the BCP rite, and it is all a powerful reminder of its contemporariness as well as its beauty and evocation.

If any of this has struck a chord with you, then please feel free to come along and let the corporate words seep again into your soul at Holy Communion, Matins or Evensong in whichever church, and run them alongside our CW (Common Worship) services, whose immediacy and relevance give us the mixed economy which is our Anglican joy.  MARK


PROBLEMS RECEIVING WEN  The problems in receiving an electronic WEN appear to be increasing; no longer restricted only to btinternet users.  I continue to look for a resolution, but this may be a few weeks as my time is limited.  CATHY

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


PROBLEMS RECEIVING WEN  The problems in receiving an electronic WEN appear to be increasing; no longer restricted only to btinternet users.  I continue to look for a resolution, but this may be a few weeks as my time is limited.  CATHY

A NOTICE FROM TONY WHITE: NEWMARKET FOODBANK  Thankfully we are doing pretty well for donations at present - but there are some shortages: Small jars instant coffee; Small packs of 'normal' tea; Small packs of sugar; Small washing powder; Custard; Tinned rice pudding; Pot noodles and similar; Ketchup and brown sauce.  We now have plenty of milk, including whole milk, for the time being. We also have plenty of pasta, baked beans. Thank you for your continued support. TONY WHITE

ST MARTIN’S BELLS  Good news our bell repairs are now complete, and all is ready to ring again. But as yet we have no idea when this will be, Things like social spacing and hands on ropes have to be sorted and agreed before we can ring again. Direction for this will be given by the Central Council of Church Bellringers when guidelines are issued by the government. We just have to wait and see.  ALAN BALCOMB

LANDWADE EVENSONGS 2020  Dear Colleagues, A 'heads-up' regarding the preachers for summer evensongs, 3pm, at Landwade chapel of ease:

August 30: Mr Phillip Allison, licensed reader, Exning with Landwade

September 27 (Harvest Sunday): Mr David Ball, licensed reader from the Lark and Lee benefice.


ECO-CHURCH  We get our church office paper from The Green Stationery Company, a small family run business based in Bath.  They provide good quality white & coloured paper at a decent price.  I received a message from them today & thought I’d share it with you – many businesses will suffer because of the pandemic.  Let’s hope this one survives.

“We all know humanity has been putting immense pressure on the environment from unsustainable activity. The result in the last few months, has been floods, fires, locust devastation and now the arrival of a lethal virus. We need to change our business and economic behaviour. The Green Stationery Company has been working for 30 years putting the environment first and profits and growth second. Please support us by continuing to place your online orders. With best wishes for the future and please keep safe.”

A ROCHA is the Christian organisation that we supported last year.  This is a message from them.

“We hope and pray that you and your families are keeping safe and well during these challenging times. Around the world, A Rocha teams are being impacted, as are each of you. The importance of biodiversity conservation, and related issues such as access to clean water, is clearer than ever. A Rocha is feeling the effects in various ways: from suspended fieldwork and reduced guest income, to confinements, funding questions and temporary staff dismissals. Uncertainties over the duration and ultimate scale of the crisis make it difficult to plan and many are seeing unforeseen knock-on effects. In Peru, community members are unable to look after the tree saplings planted as part of the reforestation programme. In India, staff are confined to the centre where they are living and working together. And at Karioi in New Zealand, the team is unable to carry out their usual predator control work. We join them in praying that all the work done to date will be enough to keep the returning Grey Faced Petrels or Oi safe as they find their lifelong mate and breed. Through it all, we are thankful for the resilience of the teams and that we are part of a family that cares for and supports each other. Please pray for the immediate and long-term impacts on all the A Rocha projects and for the safety of the staff and volunteers”


A Rocha UK CEO, Andy Atkins, comments on the critical window of opportunity to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic  No sane person would have wished Covid-19 on the world. But among the glimpses of a silver lining that have been observed as a side effect of major industrial countries ‘locking down’, has been the sharp fall in greenhouse gas emissions, more space for nature, and cleaner air for people and nature to breathe as air pollution has fallen. Even these small comforts however are in danger of being lost if governments and people do not move very fast to ‘build back better’. The world is at a moment of acute risk and opportunity. In mid-June the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report in which it suggested that we have only about 6 months to ensure that economic recovery funds are invested in a green recovery –  and avoid them being invested in fossil fuel and carbon-intensive industries instead. If the latter happens, says the EIA, there is little possibility of avoiding runaway climate change. We must reduce global carbon emissions steeply this decade to do so; but investment decisions taken in the next few months will lock us into energy production and consumption patterns for decades to come. So, with governments planning to commit an estimated $9 trillion (£7.18tn) to rebooting economies in the months ahead, there is the earth to play for. The British government has made some encouraging announcements, but its actions so far – including negotiating bale-out loans to fossil fuel companies and airlines – have not inspired confidence. Yet the wider benefits of going green are multiple. Take job creation. Analysis by the IEA suggests that investing in green industries, such as retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, or rolling out wind and solar power plants, would create far more jobs than the same investment in old high carbon sectors. Civil society is responding at all levels. On 1 June, 200 business leaders including those from such diverse companies as Aviva insurance, the Church of England Pensions Board, Burger King and Yorkshire Water, sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the government to invest in a low carbon recovery. Then on 14th June, leaders of 56 charities from the Climate Coalition, including A Rocha UK, released an open letter to the government calling for a green and fair recovery. Environment and health campaign groups have joined forces to launch the Build Back Better campaign for individuals. And a coalition of Christian charities and denominations, chaired by A Rocha UK, announced the Climate Sunday initiative for churches. What is now needed is widespread backing by the public at large and leaders of all sectors, including the Church. It is difficult for any individual, organisation, government, or country to focus productively on too many things at once.  But amidst the disorientation, grief and national trauma of the current pandemic, we must also grasp the intensely urgent opportunity to rescue our future – for people and nature. Two important opportunities to do so are approaching: 1: On 30 June the Climate Coalition is organising The Time Is Now virtual lobby for climate, nature and people. https://arocha.org.uk/the-time-is-now/  2: Register your interest in your church participating in the unique Climate Sunday initiative, which is to begin in September. www.climatesunday.org