Sunday 7th August 2022

Sunday 7th August 2022

Reflection Gospel of Luke 12: 13-21……

(Adapted from a reflection at Shelton Church 31 Aug 2022 on last weeks Gospel reading)

Jesus told many things to his disciples privately. On this particular day thousands gathered, trampling over each other to get closer to hear Him. Suddenly a man calls out ‘teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance’, (the elder brother would receive a greater amount.) Rabbis usually settled family disputes and Jesus wasn’t going to be drawn into it. Was this person really listening to the teacher or was he there to get what he wanted anyway he could?

So, Jesus said ‘Watch out, take care, be on your guard against all kinds of greed.’

Jesus was a great story teller and parables were a way of getting over ideas to those who would listen using the familiar things like farming, fishing and caring for people. Also, there were hidden truths that the Pharisees probably wouldn’t pick up on and in these stories there was nothing that his enemies could use against him. Those who truly listened would want to know more of his teachings.

The parable that Jesus uses ‘The rich fool’, encapsulates all that has gone on before. Pulling down barns to build bigger ones? Who would have done that? Who sowed the crops in the first place? We don’t know, it’s a story. Why would he store his goods in a barn? His greed was obvious – his grain was his and nobody else’s as were his possessions. He enjoyed his life and convinced himself that he was ok. But that is all he thought about, a life of luxury and ease. It was all soon to end.

His grain and possessions remained in the barns; he wasn’t going to give it away.  God called him a fool – quite a strong word apparently. He was going to lose his life and for what! But we all have to make choices on how we live, what we have, how we use it, how we give care to others.

Years ago, I felt so guilty because I lived in a very lovely house which also had a swimming pool. One day I put this to a priest friend and his reply was ‘be thankful and grateful and enjoy the gifts you have been given’. I’d never seen it like that before. We can enjoy lovely and beautiful possessions and have admiration for those who have created them. It is our attitude to God and our fellow man that is important.

How do we feel about life today? We are constantly bombarded with a rather hedonistic way of life: TV adverts, social media, magazines etc. It’s all there in their advertising: one must have the newest and most expensive I-phone, the most up-to-date car, the bigger the better, whether it’s good for the environment or not. I remember when my children were young that they ‘had’ to have the latest sports gear etc. A particular brand or make. The pressures our children were put under then and now is still worrying.

Come Christmas time… advertising for toys etc., the bigger the better, the must haves. Grownups are thrown into the mix as well with the latest gadget. My mum always got gadgets for Christmas, whether she wanted them or not! The latest ‘game’ for the latest game consul at the time, so it goes on.

There is an advert on TV done by American, I think. It’s a bit tongue in cheek and it’s all about finding a great deal, and she says ‘I think I like it’. She is always dressed up to the nines, a bit like a duchess of the worst sense – but whatever the deal is she must have it. If it wasn’t so awful about desiring everything there was, including an Alpaca, it would be funny.

Our world is greedy. The powerful exploiting those who have little enough. Families on the breadline because their wages are insufficient to survive. We have power over creation; climate change is due to greed because we want what makes us comfortable. Of course, there are many people who do tremendously generous things, and of course they shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush as those who care not.

This parable of the rich fool is relevant today – who will listen?

We will all face our maker, creator God – and because of Jesus, His son, I’m sure He will look at us and say ‘Welcome home’. Amen.

~Jackie Mahony~


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Sunday 31st July 2022

Sunday 31st July 2022

Reflection on the Celtic Evening Prayer Service

I think that this is one of the loveliest Evening prayer services I have ever read, truly beautiful and inspiring.

I chose the reading from Isaiah (Ch4. V5-6), last Sunday, because it reminded me of the incredible pictures and news we had recently of the James Webb space telescope (Image is from Nasa’s James Webb telescope - July 2022). We remind ourselves about the Creator of true heavens who stretches them out. The amazing  pictures of deep space – the size of a grain of sand held at  arms length.  This image is as it appears 4 – 6 billion years ago.

Our creator God, stunning us with beauty, things we just cannot grasp in our own time scales.

Then I think of Psalm 8. “What is man – that you are mindful of him.”

Then I go back to Isaiah 42. V 6 – special to me because I was given a card with this bible reference on when training to be a Christian Listeners Tutor – “I the Lord have called you in righteousness - I will take your hand…….   And We pray that the Holy Spirit will stretch our hearts, and enlarge our minds.”

In the beauty of this Celtic evening prayer - which encompasses everything I think, our hopes, our desires, our hurts and our pain, and our longing to be before God - we can reflect on our own journey, particularly in these new times. We are saddened and sometimes bewildered when we consider our future as a church community. But here, I feel that God is saying to each one of us “I the Lord have called you” - you, me, all of us -  “I will take hold of your hand – I will keep you”.

We can look at the depths of space and be overwhelmed at its magnitude. We can look at our planet, changing not for the good of us and our brothers and sisters around the world. It is wounded because we haven’t cared enough for it.

We can look at war, famine,  flood, fire, greed, selfishness, hatred between nations and can equally be overwhelmed by what is happening in our own country as well.

Back to part of the canticle “Have courage and wait for the Lord. We shall see His goodness.”

We turn to our beloved Creator God again – He gave us life. In love, He made us a little lower than the angels. He became one of us and in his Son He saved us. He has given us all things, and most of all Eternal life. How many billions of years will that be I wonder.

If we let Him - He will take hold of our hands. He will lead us into our future, as individuals, as our Church community, as part of the world community in which we live. He will keep us, and we can hold on to that in these uncertain times.

His peace is ours, and we can rest!       Amen

~Jackie Mahony~

Please see you would like to see a copy of the Celtic Evening Prayer Service


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Sunday 17th July 2022

Sunday 17th July 2022

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1          Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
          Who may live on your holy mountain?

2          The one whose way of life is blameless,
           who does what is righteous,
           who speaks the truth from their heart;
3           whose tongue utters no slander,
           who does no wrong to a neighbour,
           and casts no slur on others;
4           who despises a vile person
           but honours those who fear the Lord;
           who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
           and does not change their mind;
5           who lends money to the poor without interest;
           who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

           Whoever does these things
           will never be shaken.

There are many ways to read the bible. Cover to cover, book by book, chapter by chapter or just sitting with a particular passage that seems to resonate and connect with your experience.

One way of reading, is to do so slowly, thoughtfully, reading the passage again and seeing what phrase or verse stands out, then, staying with that verse or phrase, ask God what he may be saying and then just wait for his response.

This way of praying the bible has a long tradition first established by Benedict of Nursia in the 6th century. It is called Lectio Divina:

Try reading these verses from Psalm 15 in this way:


During the first reading, gently look and listen for a word or phrase that attracts or draws your attention.


During the second reading, ask yourself how or why does this word or phrase has touched your heart, why it is speaking to you at this moment in your life.


As you read the passage for the last time, ask God what he may be asking of you. What is it you may need to consider as a result of what God is saying to you in the word or phrase you noticed?


In the quiet that follows the reading allow God to speak to you and plant this word in your heart.


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Sunday 10th June 2022

Sunday 10th June 2022

At first, I thought that our readings this week were all about obeying the rules and keeping the commandments.

In Luke, the Lawyer comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to get to heaven.

“Keep the commandments” says Jesus “and love your neighbour as yourself”. In Deuteronomy we are told the same thing. But, says God, this commandment is not too hard for you. You will not have to send up to heaven for it or cross the sea. No, says God, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart. So, you don’t have to be a lawyer or have a degree to know God’s will for you.

The Lawyer thought he knew it all. “Who is my neighbour” he asks. Jesus didn’t give a lecture, he told a story, a well-known story but one that we should never forget.

A man is robbed beaten up and left half dead. The first person to pass by is a priest. He knew all the commandments but didn’t think they had anything to do with the heap at the side of the road so he passed by.

The next man to come along was a Levite who was a sort of assistant to the priest. He would have know the commandments but he had more important things to do so he too kept on going.

The final man to arrive was a Samaritan. Samaritans were despised by the Jews and I don’t know if he would have known all the rules and regulations but he certainly knew the most important one. He stopped, he bound up the man’s wounds, he put him on his donkey and took him to an Inn to be cared for. And not just that, he paid the innkeeper and promised to come back.

And said Jesus to the Lawyer “go and do likewise”. And, my friends, that is what he says to us.

Because the most important rule is love, caring for those in need.

Finding someone lying at the side of the road is unlikely, but there are many needs. People are lonely, sad, unwell and hungry. The word of God is in our hearts and the word is love, lets spread it around.

~June Cutting~


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Sunday 3rd July 2022

Sunday 3rd July 2022

Hello Everyone,

On Sunday 3rd July 11.00am at Hempnall Church we gather to celebrate all we have shared together over the past twenty years. Laughing and loving, caring and sharing, praying and praising in all the highs and lows that life brings.

We have held each other in kindness and compassion when we have been bereft and broken.

We have delighted in each other when we see seeds of new life growing.

Thank you good people.

With my continuing love and blessing

Liz x


Gracious God,

may we treasure the past with thanksgiving,

may we embrace the future with hope,

may we journey ahead with confidence

in your love and power now and always,

through Jesus Christ our Risen Lord.



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Thoughts & Prayers | Sunday 26/06/2022

Thoughts & Prayers | Sunday 26/06/2022

Hello Everyone,

This week we would like you to take a look at our new website

It’s more interactive and easier to navigate your way around.  You will find What’s on, Thoughts and Prayers, Village News and much more. As time goes by more pictures and information will be added. You can also sign-up for email updates via the website so you never miss out on anything.

Let us know what you think.

Many thanks to Frances and David Ferré for all their hard work to get the new website up and running.

Sunday 26th June 2022

9:30am Eucharist at All Saints’ Church, Woodton

11:00am Morning Prayer at St Margaret’s Church, Topcroft

6:00pm Evening Prayer via Zoom – St James the Apostle (see attached Zoom Service Sheet)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 8348 9839

Passcode: 467117




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Sunday 19th June 2022

Sunday 19th June 2022

Hello Everyone,

Here is something to enjoy this weekend.

A Walk through Fritton and Hempnall

On Sunday 19th June we shall be walking with Bishop Alan from Fritton to Hempnall.

Meeting at Fritton Church at 2.00pm and walking to Hempnall church for tea. This will be a gentle walk of about 3 miles which takes us through water meadows and pleasant countryside, following footpaths and quiet roads.

You will be most welcome for tea if you are not walking.


Contact Jill Turner for further information on 01508 499344 or




Around our World Wide neighbourhood in 365 days

Liam Pilgrim, who regularly writes in thoughts and Prayers and is an Authorised Worship Assistant in The Hempnall Group, has set herself a task. She is joining in worship around the Anglican Communion throughout this year having already shred worship with people in Japan, Canada, Mexico and many more places. Read about her reflections on the experience on pages 10-11.

With love



It is our duty and our joy at all times and in all places

to give you thanks and praise, Holy Father, Heavenly King, Almighty and Eternal God.

Today we praise you for the worldwide Anglican Communion,

asking you to strengthen our faith and encourage our works.



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Sunday 12th June 2022

Sunday 12th June 2022

Hello Everyone,

This week the Christian church celebrates the life of God as Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Continually Creating, Living, and Inspiring all creation of which we are a part.



Father, we praise you with all your creatures.

They came forth from your all powerful hand;

they are yours, filled with your presence and

your tender love.


Praise be to you!


Jesus, through you all things were made.

You were formed in the womb of Mary,

you became part of this earth, and you

gazed upon this world with human eyes.

Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory.


Praise be to you!


Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world ward the Father’s love

and accompany creation as it groans in travail.

You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good.


Praise be to you!


Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,

teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe,

for all things speak of you.

Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every

being that you have made.


Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.


With my love



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Sunday 6th June

Sunday 6th June

Hello Everyone,

This weekend we celebrate her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. There are many events happening throughout the Bank Holiday weekend in our villages. On Sunday June 5th there is an opportunity to gather in your village church to give thanks for the queen’s life and service at a special Jubilee Celebration Service. You will be most welcome

Hardwick Church - 9:30am

Bedingham Church -10:00am

Topcroft Church - 11:00am

Hempnall Church -11:00am

Morningthorpe Church -11:15am

With Love



God of Creation
Designer of sameness and diversity,
of time and eternity,
we give you thanks and praise.
Today we especially pray for Queen Elizabeth.
In this year of Jubilee, grant her your gifts of love, joy and peace
as she continues in faithful obedience to you, her God,
and in devoted service to the people of these islands,
and those of the Commonwealth.
Illuminate her path that she may walk in your way,
now and all the days of her life.
This we pray in the name of Jesus.



From Worship Words


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Sunday 29th May 2022

Sunday 29th May 2022

Hello Everyone,

Three good things and three thoughts that came my way this week:

  • A fledgling finch fell into deep water in our garden, it was flapping around trying to get out. We just happened to be there at the right time to rescue and send it on its way. How often have you been struggling with life and someone was there just at the right time to help?
  • I saw my first swallows in Hempnall on Sunday 15th May. These birds weighing 19 grams, (just over half an ounce), feeding on the wing, travelling 200 miles a day at speeds of 34mph, for 6,000 miles arrived at the right time just for me to see. Who has gone to extraordinary lengths to be with you?
  • An elephant thanks a motorist. Who do you need to stop for and who may you need to thank?

How about you?


Prayer of Gratitude

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life.

You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined.

You have surrounded me with people who always look out for me.

You have given me family and friends

who bless me every day with kind words and actions.


With Love



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Sunday 22nd May 2022

Sunday 22nd May 2022


Hello Everyone,

A great time was had by all who joined in traveling around the countryside of the Hempnall Group in a splendid vintage bus. It was a joy to see Michael Kingston again who uncovered some of the amazing hidden gems in our villages. The bus negotiated the bends and curves of our country lane with its owner and driver Patrick with great precision.

The bus has been and gone so why not take a walk using the guide books “Let’s Walk”, “Let’s Walk Again”, Let’s Walk Further”. Or enjoy our historic buildings and villages in “The Parishes of the Hempnall Group”. All guide books are available in or churches which are always open.

This Sundays services May 22nd

9.30am Morning Prayer in the Celtic Tradition Hempnall Church

11.00am Eucharist Topcroft Church

6pm Evening Prayer via zoom

Celebrating Creation

Meeting ID: 838 8348 9839

Passcode: 467117

As summer approaches, let’s value and celebrate all that is around us.

With love



Creator God,

you made the goodness of the land,

the riches of the sea and the rhythm of the seasons;

as we thank you for your gracious providing

may we cherish and respect this planet and its peoples,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Creation Care Prayers, The Church of England


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Sunday 15th May 2022

Sunday 15th May 2022

Hello Everyone,

Last Sunday 24 humans, 12 dogs, 2 horses and 1 tortoise - of indeterminate age - gathered in Shelton Church in celebration of all God’s creatures and in particular our animal friends.

This week we are wandering around the Hempnall Group in style. A chance to meet Michael Kingston again as his Vintage Bus takes in the highways and byways of our wonderful villages.

See below for times and places.

Michael’s vintage Bus Sunday 15th May

Starting at…….

10.00am              Start at Hempnall Mill Centre for Coffee

10.30am              Board bus and proceed to Woodton

10.45am              Arrive at Woodton Village Hall

11.30am              Continue to Topcroft via Bedingham church

11.45am              Arrive at Topcroft church

Bring your own picnic lunch

1.00pm                Move on to Hardwick

1.30pm                Proceed to Fritton Common via Shelton and Morningthorpe Churches

1.50pm                Arrive at Common

2.20pm                Leave for Hempnall Mill Centre for tea.

Wherever we are as we travel:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

With love



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Sunday 8th May 2022

Sunday 8th May 2022

Hello Everyone,

Our animal friends are really important to us; they are part of our family.  In celebration of all they offer we gather to thank them and bless them on Sunday 8th May 11.00am at Shelton Church

Four legged, two legged, those that fly or crawl, all are welcome.


An opportunity to see Michael and Maggie Kingston who are planning a short walk (1hr) around Ladybelt Country Park, Hethersett Road, Ketteringham, NR14 8JB on Thursday May 12th at 10.30am

Followed by lunch at The Orangery at Ketteringham Hall, Church Road Ketteringham, NR18 9RS at 12.30pm

There will be a chance to explore the grounds of the hall, either before or after lunch. Some may only want to join us for lunch - look on the website for the menu.

If you would like lunch please let Michael and Maggie know of any dietary requirements, by phone or text, so they can book the tables by Monday 9th May Tel: 07546276977

or let Frances know in the office.

Come for lunch and if you are able the walk as well.


Michaels vintage Bus Sunday 15th May

Starting at……..

10.00am              Start at Hempnall Mill Centre for Coffee

10.30am              Board bus and proceed to Woodton

10.45 am            Arrive at Woodton Village Hall

11.30 am            Continue to Topcroft via Bedingham church

11.45am              Arrive at Topcroft church

Bring your own picnic lunch

1.00pm                 Move on to Hardwick

1.30pm                Proceed to Fritton Common via Shelton and Morningthorpe Churches

1.50pm                 Arrive at Common

2.20pm                Leave for Hempnall Mill Centre for tea.


With love


Prayer of Blessing for our animal Friends

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures.

You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air, and animals on the land.

You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters.

We ask you to bless our fellow creatures, friends and companions...

By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan.

May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.


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3rd Sunday of Easter | Sunday 1st May 2022

3rd Sunday of Easter | Sunday 1st May 2022


Hello Everyone,

As a result of everyone’s incredible generosity £860 was raised at the coffee morning on Saturday 23rd April at Hempnall Mill Centre.

Thanks to all who contributed by making delicious cakes, helping on the day, donating wonderful raffle prizes or coming along to support the event.

Sunday 1st May

Group Service

Woodton Church 10.00am

Afternoon Walk

Saxlingham Nethergate Church Car Park at 2pm

A 4.5 mile walk around quiet lanes and footpaths in Saxlingham Nethergate followed by tea and cakes.  Please let Daphne/John know if you will be joining the walk so we don’t leave without you. Tel 01508 494318 or 07801329419.

Family Praise

4pm in Hempnall Church

Bacon Butties are Back!

At The Chequers, Mill Road, Hempnall, Wednesday 4th May 9.30am to 12 noon

Eat in or take away, vegetarian options available!

More walking!

Walking in New Testament Sandals

Saturday 21st May 2022 10am – 3pm at Saxlingham Nethergate Primary School

An opportunity to discover new insights into New Testaments times in a fun way as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus and make a visit to the Early Church in Rome.

Open to everyone, no previous knowledge needed.

With love


Pilgrim’s Prayer by Nineveh Murray

Dear God,
We ask your blessing as we travel today in spirit;
Guide our minds as we learn of those who came before us, traversing the pilgrim way.
Give us a hunger to seek your face in paths through fields,
along roads trod by many seeking the blessing of your presence.
Nurture our fellowship
And help us to see each other as a brother or sister
Sharing the journey to your blessed kingdom.


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2nd Sunday of Easter | 24th April 2022

2nd Sunday of Easter | 24th April 2022









Hello Everyone,

I hope you have all had a good Easter.

Good Friday in Hempnall saw a great gathering of people if all ages. Each made a cross then placed somewhere where there was a sign of life. Here are two crosses amidst the bright faces of dandelions. This was followed by hunting for 200 Easter eggs. Great fun was had by all.

Please note the service this Sunday 24th April, is at Bedingham Church at 10.00am

On this first Sunday after Easter Jackie Mahony will be commissioned as an Authorised Worship Assistant Jackie is well known to us, as is her valued contribution to the life of our Group of Parishes. It is wonderful that Jackie wants to take this step of faith and commitment. Jackie will join Tim Francis, June Cutting and Liam Pilgrim. We are very fortunate to have such people, willing to give of themselves and lead us in worship. Please pray for them.

Easter Evening Prayer

A gentle evening service lasting about 30 minutes via zoom

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 838 8348 9839

Passcode: 467117

Coffee Morning in aid of Ukraine

Come and enjoy coffee, cake and chat to support Ukrainian refugees

The Hempnall Mill Centre Saturday 23rd April 9.30am-12.00pm

There will also be a raffle.


You will be pleased to know the Group contributed £472.90 to the Disasters Emergency Committee last month. Thank you all for your generosity.


With love



God our Father, Lord of all the world,

through your Son you have called us into the fellowship

of your universal Church:

hear our prayer for your faithful people

that in their vocation and ministry

each may be an instrument of your love,

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


                               ~Church of England~


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Easter Sunday 17th April 2022

Easter Sunday 17th April 2022


Hello Everyone,

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, many people in the Group and around the world gathered to remember Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem waving branches. This Sunday we celebrate Easter, the empty tomb and Jesus risen life.

Between these two events is Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

This year the week leading up to Jesus’ death is lived in the shadow of the war in Ukraine and other conflicts that have slipped from the news headlines. Others are living with Covid and its consequences, many are worried about how they will cope with increasing pressures of different kinds.

On these days you are invited to join with those for whom the words of Jesus from the cross ring true, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  We do so in the knowledge that ours is an Easter faith that brings hope and assurance to the darkest places of our world today. Easter says, darkness, death, hatred and evil do not have the last word.   

May we all know the love, hope and joy of Easter in our hearts for

Alleluia, Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed, Alleluia.

With love



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Palm Sunday 10th April 2022

Palm Sunday 10th April 2022




Hello Everyone,

Easter is approaching, but before we get there is the journey to the cross. It all begins with:

Palm Sunday

10th April 10.00am Starting at The Mill Centre singing and walking with palm branches to Hempnall Church where we listen to the story of Jesus last days as witnessed by those around him

Palm Sunday Evening

This week we listen to the story of Mary, Jesus mother.


Meeting ID: 844 8005 0005

Passcode: 429043

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week

We follow the steps of Jesus through the eyes of those who were closest to him.

A quiet evening service 6pm via zoom

Meeting ID: 860 9337 7396

Passcode: 965048

Maundy Thursday

Bedingham Church at 6pm

We remember the last meal Jesus shared with his friends and then, like them wait and watch, with him in the garden.

An informal communion service followed by “The Watch”, the service will finish at 7.30pm

Good Friday

15th April

For All the Family | Remembering the Cross of Jesus, with an Easter Egg Hunt in the churchyard afterwards

10.00 am Topcroft Church

10.40 am Fritton Church

11.20 am Hempnall Church

You are most to come to one or all of them, all the more eggs!

The Way of the Cross

We remember the last hours of Jesus’s life

2pm via zoom

Meeting ID: 834 1854 2986

Passcode: 018965

At the Foot of the Cross

Looking back over the day’s events in the quiet of the evening

6.00 pm Bedingham Church


You know anyone who would like to receive Easter Communion at home that cannot get to church please let Frances in the Office know.

With love



O God,

our loving creator

renew in us a sense of

connectedness with each other

sharpen our sense of responsibility

to those both far and near and

teach us to care more tenderly

for our shared global home.


~ Susanna Gunner~


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Sunday Email

Sunday Email







Hello Everyone,

It’s been lovely to enjoy the warmth of the sun this week and see everything bursting into life.

Get outside in Lent this week directs our attention to water, without which of course, nothing would grow.

Don’t forget the clocks go forward on Sunday.

Waste is the topic for our Lenten evening this week with Susanna Gunner

Thursday 24th March 7.00pm via zoom.

Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 822 6211 6244

Passcode: 842527

Sunday Evenings in Lent

Sunday 27th March at 6pm via zoom

A gentle evening service this week reflecting on Julian of Norwich

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 844 8005 0005

Passcode: 429043

There is still chance to give to Disasters Emergency Committee for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, we can help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.

Ways to give

Donations can be given:

  • Cash collections in church will be given to the appeal this Sunday
  • Cheques made payable to Hempnall Group of Churches marked Ukraine
  • BACS

Account Name: Hempnall Group of Churches

Account No.: 00346438

Sort Code: 12 09 25

Please use the reference ‘Ukraine’

With love



Christ our reconciler, 

where your children are divided 

you are also torn and your heart is broken 

by the world's agony: 

stretch your wounded hands 

in blessing over your people, 

drawing them to yourself 

and back to one another 

in love. 


~Susanne Gunner~


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Thought for the Week - Sunday 20th March 2022

Thought for the Week - Sunday 20th March 2022

Throughout Lent we follow Jesus on his urgent mission to deliver his message to as many as possible before the events awaiting him in Jerusalem.  We learn from Luke 13.1 that a group of pilgrims, whilst preparing their sacrifices in the temple, had been massacred by Roman troops acting on Pilate’s orders, in keeping with his irrational judgments.  It’s a story that resonates with us today as we see and read of the atrocities in Ukraine, asking in despair ‘Why?’

Luke then recounts Jesus’s words of warning that a failure to repent puts us all at risk of a punishing death.  Whilst of course today we’ve moved on from seeing death as a sort of divine retribution, what Luke then writes (13.6-9) can perhaps help us see through the horrors in Ukraine to something far greater and more eternal than the lethal tantrums of a tyrant even more deranged than Pilate.

In Jesus’s parable the lifeless fig-tree is threatened with the axe.  But, with a little organic help, it comes back to life and fruits for another year.  Might this image help raise our spirits?  Might it help us to celebrate the cheering stories emerging from the conflict?  Might it help reassure us that there’ll still be life beyond the current nightmare?

For example…. The 11-year-old boy walking alone for 700 miles out of Ukraine with only a plastic bag for his phone and his mother’s phone number on his wrist…. And the father escaping the country with his family, then saying goodbye at the border and going back to fight…. And the 7-year-old girl in a bomb shelter defiantly singing a patriotic song and going viral on social media…. And throughout, the inspiring presence, defiance and words of President Zelensky.

As has always been true, and will be forever, the human spirit is indomitable and will eventually prevail.  The resilience of God’s people faced with evil, their determination never to yield, their capacity to fight for survival and believe in a future:  together these qualities far outweigh any individual’s warped purposes.  Following the supreme example of Jesus Christ’s own sacrifice, humanity is eternal and will overcome any attempt to destroy it.

~Michael Pennington~


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