Over the Christmas period our church was much in use. Two of the most memorable events were the Schools’ Carol Service and the Christingle. It was so good to see and hear the church full of happy children. The Family Carol Service and Nativity followed on Sunday 23rd. Jeanette Mitchell organised the Nativity Tableau with Heather and the children. The children’s’ costumes were very imaginative and colourful. Afterwards we enjoyed mulled wine and other refreshments.
Midnight Mass was well attended, as was the Christmas Day Service, a reminder of what Christmas is really all about. On 30th December being a “Fifth Sunday” we had the customary united service. This is always at one of the seventeen churches in the benefice. On this occasion it was the turn of Litcham. We had the “Benefice Choir” which always enhances the atmosphere. Again, we finished with refreshments.
Our next fundraiser is the Snowdrop Walk at Lexham Hall on Sunday 10th February between 11am and 4pm. We will be serving soup, cakes and sausage rolls. Please look out for my letters and the advertisement in this magazine. Looking well ahead, another date for your diary is Saturday 29th June 2019 in the church. Pam Jackman is organising a concert with the West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra – watch this space for more information.
We are all most grateful to Anthony Wilson who has kindly said he will once more take up the office of Church Treasurer for All Saints. To end with a small prayer by Iris Hesselden, taken from a lovely little book I was given for Christmas:
Life is a challenge and each and every day a new adventure.
Who knows what lies around the corner?
Step out bravely and catch the sunshine on the way,
Never look back – except in forgiving
Always look forward – life is for living.
So, until next month, Love and God Bless, June Bevan
The Drop In is held at the Jubilee Hall on Tuesdays in term time.
We are changing our opening times to 10am – 12 noon
The Drop In is for everyone, from all our villages.
- Caring for someone with dementia?
- Lonely or feeling isolated?
- At home with young children?
- New to the area?
- Looking for information about debt?
- Like to knit?
- Just would like coffee, cake and a chat.
Come and join us, we are a friendly bunch
£1 includes coffee, refills and cake.
Heather 700071, ring if you would like to know more.
YOUR RECTOR WRITES…
While out for lunch recently I noticed a family in the next table. The adults were all in happy conversation while a little girl was on the end of the table completely absorbed in her iPad. It seemed a bit sad to me. I hope she grows up able to engage happily with others face to face.
There is no problem with happily engaging with others face to face at the Litcham Drop-In on Tuesday mornings. Conversation ranges from the seriously intellectual to the ridiculous and hilarious. There is lots of laughter. I think it’s truly a taste of heaven, because some of the images of heaven in the bible include people eating and drinking together. Certainly there will be much laughter, at one point in the bible the disciples are laughing and talking so much they are accused of being drunk!
Well there is no alcohol in Tuesday mornings but plenty of tea, coffee and refills, cake and croissants. The Drop-In is for anyone who would like to ‘drop in’. Young and old and there are toys for little ones, anxious, depressed, happy, lonely, whatever you are feeling there is a welcome for you. We are a drop off point for the Food Bank, we have contacts for people worrying about debt and we are also hoping to get knitting for charities. We have generously been given wool and needles.
We would love to see you on a Tuesday morning term time between 10am and 12noon. If you are shy about dropping in and would like one of us to pick you up and bring you on the first occasion give me on 01328 700071
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
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
The Annual Church Meeting will take place on Tuesday 9th April at 6:30pm in All Saints Church.
For full details please see the noticeboard in the church porch.
THANKING JUNE BEVAN
This year’s first Sunday Lexham Snowdrop Walk, sadly all but washed out by the only serious rain for weeks, marked the last year of June Bevan’s management of the catering for the event, before she hands on the baton to others. Over many years, June has raised thousands of pounds for Litcham Church by her tireless efforts. Many other causes have benefitted as well. No one else has applied themselves more vigorously and it is impossible to express enough gratitude for all that June has done. This is not to say that she is retiring completely and she already has the next event or two in hand. Thank you, June, you deserve a medal!
Churchwardens and Members of All Saints PCC
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.
LEADING YOUR CHURCH INTO GROWTH
This course is being run on Tuesday evenings beginning on 29th January at 7pm at the Methodist Church in Litcham. The course includes a DVD and opportunities to discuss ideas. It is encouraging and realistic. It is open to anyone who would like to come.Please let me know if you would like to join us so that I know numbers.
Heather 01328 700071
I run a little singing group which sings at our service on the Fifth Sunday of the month.
Our next service will be on Mothering Sunday at Gt Dunham on 31st March. If you would enjoy singing, let me know, you would be welcome to join us. We have just three rehearsals.
Heather 01328 700071
CHURCH ELECTORAL ROLE
The Church Electoral Roll is the foundation of the whole structure of synodical government in the Church and contains the names and addresses of everyone who can vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.
Preparation of a new Electoral Roll
Every six years each parish is required to prepare a new electoral roll. Over the next few weeks our Electoral Roll Officer, Linda Turner will be contacting everybody on the electoral roll of Litcham All Saints’ Church with a form that needs to be filled in and returned to:
Linda Turner, Malin, Butt Lane, Litcham PE32 2NY. Your name will then be included on the new electoral roll.
All members on the current roll need to apply to be included – inclusion is not automatic. New people can also apply during this period. A person applies by completing an application enrolment form.
Once the roll is complete a copy is displayed on or near the main door of the parish church, for at least 14 days before the APCM which for All Saints’, Litcham is on Tuesday 9th April. During this time corrections may be made to the entries on the roll; for example how a name is spelt or amending the details of an address. No names can be added or removed during this period, this can only happen after the APCM.
Who can be on the electoral roll?
To be included on the electoral roll a person needs to have been baptised, be at least 16 years old and either:
- Live in the parish and be a member of the Church of England or a Church in communion with the Church of England
- Not resident in the parish but be a member of the Church of England (or a Church with which the Church of England is in communion) and has regularly attended worship in the parish during the six months prior to enrolment
- A member in good standing of a Church which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and be prepared to declare themselves a member of the Church of England, having regularly attended worship during the six months prior to enrolment.
Karen Moore, PCC Secretary, All Saints Church, Litcham
Rector of the Upper Nar and Launditch Group of Parishes
The Reverend Canon HEATHER BUTCHER
The Rectory, Pound Lane, Litcham, PE32 2QR
Telephone : 01328 700 – 071 – email email@example.com
Vicar: Reverend Julia Hemp
The Vicarage, 4 Lodge Farm Meadows, Gressenhall, NR20 4TN
Phone 01362 861380 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clergy: Revd Miriam Fife
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.