🎶Beginners Ukulele Course 🎵

♫ If anyone out there is interested in taking up a musical hobby then perhaps you might like to join my new Ukulele beginners course and become part of Village Green Ukulele Group. No experience necessary – just come along and have a go – I have few spare Ukes to get you started, but they’re not that expensive anyway. We have a lot of fun and play all sorts of music that is chosen by the band. The course will start on the 21st June and will be at Beeston Village Hall from 7 – 9pm (with a tea break!) at just £4 a night (including your tea and biscuits!). Current Covid rules will apply. Julia Bloomfield
Please call 01328 701178 to book your place! ♫

JUBILEE HALL TRUST

Vacancies

Due to recent resignations we have vacancies on the Jubilee Hall Trust for two new members.  This is an exciting time for the hall as we now have approved plans for it’s long overdue refurbishment so if you want to help us restore and improve Litcham’s only public meeting place then please let me know.

Call 01328 701178 or email me at juliamileham@gmail.com

Easyfundraising

Don’t forget to help us fundraise for the hall, when you shop on line by joining “EasyFundraising”.  It’s free and already has topped up the fund we are putting aside for the halls’s refurbishment.  Sign up and choose Litcham Jubille Hall CIO as your chosen charity.

Julia Bloomfield, Secretary

Litcham Common

Litcham Common Conservation Group
The next conservation task will take place on Saturday 8th May, starting at 10am and meeting in the car park.  All being well we will be installing some new benches for the use of people visiting the common, just in time for the sunny summer months ahead!  Contact Tim Angell on 01328 700045 if you would like to join us.

Gressenhall Museum “More in Commons” exhibition
“More In Commons” is a temporary exhibition at Gressenhall Museum scheduled to open on 17tth May 2021; it will celebrate Norfolk’s Commons, including Litcham Common.  Pop along to the exhibition in the museum’s Collections Gallery to explore the wildlife, history, communities and future of Norfolk’s common land.

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

I write just a couple of hours after the sad announcement of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  In view of his recent health issues, a few weeks ago we were circulated with instructions as to how churches should react to the news if and when it came.  Having the benefit of a church in the village centre with several of us living very near by, we were able to fulfil the instructions very quickly, with regard to the flying of the Union Flag at half-mast, tolling of a bell and the provision of votive lights with a framed photograph of the Duke.  The Church of England prays for Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family at every service, but the loss of Prince Philip and its impact upon Her Majesty and their Family will be realised by all without official bidding.
Richard Vogt, Churchwarden, Litcham All Saints

Retirement

Retirement

After much thought and a lot of prayer I am retiring from my post as full-time Team Vicar in the Benefice of Launditch and Upper Nar.  
Our Benefice of 17 parishes currently has the benefit of two full time paid priests but the parishes barely contribute enough to cover the cost of one of us.  We have been extremely fortunate to have had a second post subsidised by the Diocese but the Diocese is running a large deficit and with the huge negative impact of the pandemic on income this situation can no longer continue.
You may have read that the Diocese needs to lose 10% of clergy posts which it hopes to do without redundancies and our Deanery (group of local Benefices) has been asked to lose a post.  Having studied the overall situation and staffing levels in our neighbouring Benefices I have decided that my post is the obvious one to go and retirement will allow me the opportunity for a much needed change in pace and direction.
I will therefore be retiring on the 31st May and will move out of The Vicarage in Gressenhall.  My last service will be on the 30th May.  I will hopefully be licensed to The Benefice at some stage in the not too distant future but in a voluntary and therefore much reduced capacity.  For now my main priority, licensed or not, will be to support Reverend Miriam our acting Team Rector who is doing an amazing job running the Benefice whilst we seek to appoint a new Team Rector.
I have loved being your Team Vicar and there are a great many things I will miss when I retire but I am very much looking forward to laying down some of the heavy burdens of ministry and exploring a new and exciting chapter in my life.  It is my hope and intention that this new chapter will include some form of ministry within these parishes that I have grown to love.

Reverend Julia

RESUMPTION OF CHURCH SERVICES

Although worship in churches has not actually been prohibited during the current period of Covid restrictions, we decided to discontinue our services due to the growing infection rate.  Now we are seeing a rapid decrease in infection and the majority of our regular worshippers have had at least their first vaccine, I am delighted to say that we will be having a service of Holy Communion at 9am on Easter Morning.  We will be following the arrangements previously made for safe worship and we will receive communion by taking the Bread only.  Easter is one of those feasts when all communicating members of the Church of England are required to take communion and we very much hope that all who have been unable to attend a live service will celebrate with us.  Please note the earlier time of this service, which will give plenty of time after for opening Easter eggs, champagne breakfasts or a good walk.  For those who cannot make it for any reason, the clergy are able to offer a House Communion and may be contacted via the details in the “Who’s Who” at the front of this magazine.
Services on the Sunday following Easter will probably have to remain on line but, if all goes to plan, the lifting of general restrictions will allow us to start our regular Sunday services at 10:15 from April 18th, from when we may even be allowed to sing again.

The flintwork repairs described in the last edition commenced on time, but completion was delayed pending warmer weather and further drying out, as lime mortar does not set at low temperatures.
The PCC will be considering a list of other repairs deemed urgent by the Architect at the last inspection; as always, funds permitting.

The display of wild crocus in the churchyard was particularly good this year, helped by a spell of warm weather, and they are now spreading to other areas including the Church Street frontage.  A welcome sign of spring, and harbinger of hope for a summer of much needed greater freedom.

Richard Vogt, Churchwarden, Litcham All Saints

Litcham Common

Good news
Litcham Common has seen an increase in visitors in recent months and we are fortunate to have this wonderful open space to enjoy.  The common and the ponies are looked after by volunteers and although grants are received from Natural England and Litcham Parish Council, for which we are very grateful, money is tight.  We are therefore very pleased that Breckland Council has recently awarded us two grants of roughly £600 each, one of which will cover the cost of urgent repairs to the stock proof fencing, while the other will purchase materials for some new benches.  Mike Oldfield has kindly offered to construct the benches, which will be installed by the conservation group.  The grants have come from money provided by the developers of the new bungalows behind Litcham Post Office, out of what is known as a “Section 106 fund” to be used for the benefit of the local community.

Respect the common
Although visitors are welcome, the increase in numbers has raised some issues which we need to keep on top of.
Please be mindful of the fact that Litcham Common is a designated Local Nature Reserve and County Wildlife site and must be respected as such, especially as we enter the nesting season.  In particular, dogs should be kept under close control at all times and please do not drop any litter at all, or leave dog poo bags lying around.  Bins are provided in the car park, but even better, dispose of your litter at home.

Parking on the common
Byelaws prohibit any unauthorised vehicles from driving over or parking on the common, including the road verges.  Please only use the car park provided.  We are grateful for Litcham School’s cooperation in getting this message across to parents from outside the area who have been parking on the verges at school drop-off and pick-up times.
We occasionally receive comments from people who say that because it is a common they can do what they like on it!  This is definitely not the case and a full copy of the Litcham Common Byelaws can be found on the internet at: http://www.litcham.org/pdfs/byelaws.pdf 
Please enjoy Litcham Common, but respect it too!

Conservation Group
The next conservation task will take place on Saturday 10th April, meeting at 10am in the car park.  As always, new volunteers will be welcome to join us.  Contact Tim Angell on 01328 700045 for more information.
Tim Angell, Litcham Common Management Committee