HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM YOUR CHURCH
I say from Your Church, because although many people consider the church building to be the church, it is in fact, just what it says it is… a building! Those of us in the know realise that ‘The Church’ is in fact all the people who join together as Christians… we make up the ‘body of Christ’, otherwise known as The Church. You might live in one of our parishes where there are services every week in the church building, or only once a month, but the work of the church continues throughout the week. In fact, Vicars often say that Sunday is one of the easiest days, because they only have to lead church services. The work of visiting people, organising aid for those in need, offering ministry to children in schools and preparing people as they come to be married, or bury their loved ones, or come for baptism… all this and much more, all goes on every day of the week.
We would love to welcome you in to join us at our church services this year, and if it’s your first time, or if you have not been for a long time and are not sure if you will know anyone, or know what to do, rest assured that it won’t matter at all. Many of our services are informal, some with a Celtic style of worship, some more modern and many use the traditional prayer book service; whatever your preferred style, there is a place for you and you are assured of a very warm welcome. Please do get in touch with me or any of the ministers or church wardens in our large group if you are unsure where to go, or if you would like an introduction to one of our congregations.
If you are just thinking about faith, but not yet ready to join in with church services, then you are still welcome to join us at various groups and events throughout the year, for example, why not join our Lent course (during the six weeks before Easter) or a discussion or prayer group which we run from time to time. If you’re interested, do give me a ring, or ask to receive the email which I send out every Thursday, containing news about what is happening in the next week, what’s coming up, services information and more.
Do remember that the church buildings are yours too; most of them are open every day and provide a place of quiet to sit and think, or pray, or remember loved ones.
I look forward to meeting you, and until then, I wish you every blessing for 2023.
NEWS FROM LITCHAM ALL SAINTS CHURCH
I start by wishing you all a warm and very Happy New Year.
I hope you all had a good Christmas and stayed warm and well. Our Advent Evensong at All Saints in November was a great success and plenty of visitors joined us for the evening, the church looked lovely, many thanks to Jeanette’s flower Ladies for ‘greening up’ the church for Advent. We also must thanks the local schoolchildren for the three fabulous trees they erected in Litcham, All Saints, complete with baubles and prayer cards, they looked amazing.
The Services during Christmas week were many and varied throughout the Benefice, more on them next month…
On the 3rd December I went to the Methodist Chapel to see their display of Nativity scenes, all owned by the Methodist ministers Jen and Jacqui. There was a very varied selection from really tiny ones to quite large ones, they were all fascinating to see.
Have you tried Litcham’s new Café and Deli yet, which has opened up where Mike the Butcher used to be. I have been in a few time and been made most welcome by Kit and Rhiannon. You can get pies and quiches, various cold meats, ham and cheeses. There is plenty of seating and can enjoy freshly made rolls and sandwiches, a good choice of cakes and sweet treats and wash it all down with Barista made Coffee or a pot of tea, all to to eat in or take away. I have bumped into meet lots of friends from all over the Benefice in there and enjoyed a good chat over an excellent cup of Coffee. So give a try, you won’t regret it! It should be good for George and the Post Office stores too, who now stocks a wider variety of goods, which include butchery products, so no need to waste your petrol going to a supermarket?
2022 has been a very hard year some of us, with the continuing presence of Covid, rising fuel prices and the increasing cost of living; all sent to try us.
So I’ve chosen a winter prayer this month, I hope you like it.
Dear Lord of Hope,
Be close to me through the Winter months,
When Days are shorter and darker
Let me feel your presence.
When winds blow stronger and colder,
Let Your love warm and comfort me.
Keep me safe in my going out,
And my coming in.
Let me always remember –
I never walk alone.
So until next month stay safe and warm,
Love and god bless, June Love and God Bless June.
Peter Brown came to Norfolk as an Officer in the RAF when he, and Pam his wife, were posted to RAF Marham. That was over 50 years ago. They bought a house, at that time divided into 2 flats, in Weasenham St Peter. Pam was not thrilled but Peter persuaded her they would probably only be there for about 3 years.
Of course, as we all know, it did not work out that way, Peter worked out the rest of his time in the RAF at Marham, Pams only compensation was that she loved their large garden.
Peter became very involved with the two churches in Weasenham, Churchwarden and Licensed Lay Reader. Pam also devoted much time to the care of St Peters.
Weasenham owes much to the Browns, they have been deeply involved in the village affairs, the Ladies Group, Art club, the Pantomime group, holding Fetes in their garden annually for many years.
Peter was always there visiting those with problems, offering a helping hand to any that were in need. The White House had a constantly open door to all.
HE WILL BE VERY SADLY MISSED. MAY HE REST IN PEACE AND RISE IN GLORY.
REMEBERING JONATHAN BOSTON
We are grateful to Jonathan’s numerous friends and family who made contributions which enabled The Friends of All Saints Church to purchase the seat and to those anonymous donors who h
Churchyard Burials and Memorials
Burial or the interment of cremated remains in a churchyard is a right open to all who have resided within the parish concerned. Burial in a churchyard is subject to the rules set out in the Churchyard Regulations 2016; this can be found in the Litcham Church porch or on the internet. This is a document with the authority of national law.
The regulations stress the principal of Christian burial with its emphasis on the expectation of the afterlife, rather than dwelling in detail upon the life of the deceased. They also make it clear that this is an essential difference between church burials and those in municipal cemeteries.
Although many of us find great interest in exploring older graveyards with many colourful inscriptions on the stones, the current regulations have turned their back upon such things and only permit simple stones of a limited range of materials and design, with simple inscriptions recording the name and dates of the deceased and a short message from the bereaved family. Phrases from scripture are permitted, but not other verses and most pictorial emblems are also not permitted.
Permission to erect a memorial is delegated to the rector or vicar (the incumbent) of the parish, provided that it complies with the regulations. It is normal to wait at least six months before commissioning the memorial, but the loss of a loved one can still be keenly felt and the incumbent can be put in a stressful position if demands are made that they cannot accede to within the rules. The family should therefore check that their requirements are within the regulations and ask their funeral director or mason to do the same. If an agreement cannot be achieved the proposal has to be the subject of a Faculty Application to the Diocesan Chancellor. This is a legal process incurring the inevitable delay and red tape.
Apart from disagreements about the design of memorials, there can be friction over the way in which they are subsequently decorated. The regulations are clear about what can be put on a grave. One vase against the headstone or sunk into the ground is permitted. Bulbs may be planted. There can be no other items placed upon the grave. This is partly for practical reasons when mowing grass, which is why kerbs and chippings are no longer allowed. It is also because people’s tastes in tributes varies widely and one person’s tribute can upset another tending a nearby grave. Lanterns, lights, ornaments, balloons etc. are all ruled out, as are plastic flowers and wreaths. Given that churchyards are invariably sanctuaries for wild life, distracting lights and plastic toxins are clearly harmful. Although a grave can be a focal point for grieving, the Christian teaching is that the deceased is not there.
Churches and their churchyards are regularly inspected by the Archdeacon during his quaintly named ‘Visitation.’ The incumbent and churchwardens are held responsible for upholding the regulations. We have all seen coverage in the press of how heated matters can get when the rules are invoked and no one wants to cause upset over such a sensitive issue. We always try to discuss any difficulties with the family concerned, rather than remove unsuitable items without warning, but there are times when this is not effective. The clergy and wardens therefore ask that all those tending graves in any of our churchyards be mindful of the rules and avoid the risk of disagreement.
Litcham All Saints, Churchwardens
If anyone collects stamps from their Christmas cards and is looking for a worthy cause. I shall be sending a parcel to Embrace the charity that supports hospitals and schools in Palestine.
Please drop them into your local church.
Clergy: Revd Miriam Fife (acting Team Rector)
Phone: 01328 700765 or email: email@example.com
Mr J. O. Birkbeck, Litcham Hall, Lexham Rd.
Mr R. C. Vogt, The Cottage, Pound Lane
Mrs. Karen Moore, Point House, Back Street.
Telephone 01328 700313
Fees are payable to visiting clergy only for the Sunday Eucharist (Holy Communion)
and where appropriate for officiating at Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals.