We are all so sorry that we could not have the Easter Lilies this year due to the world pandemic of coronavirus. The saddest part was the closing of all churches meaning Palm Sunday and all the Easter services were cancelled. If it is all over by Christmas perhaps we can have flowers in memory of loved ones then. I had also planned a coffee morning here at Bevan Cottage for the Jubilee Hall. So maybe Christmas or New Year. I finish with this lovely poem: Footprints One night a man had a dream he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. for each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him he looked back at the footprints in the sand, he noticed that many times along the path of his life, there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life, that really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. Lord you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there was only one set of footprints I don’t understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me, the Lord replied; “My son, my precious child, I love you and would never leave you. during your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you. I found this very helpful. Stay safe and well.
Love and God Bless, June Bevan
Something for your New Year Diary
It is an unfortunate fact of life that during our life’s journey we will at some point experience the grief of losing someone close to us. Bereavement is a journey which is likely to affect us in many ways and will differ from person to person.
Over a period of six weeks, beginning on Tuesday 9th January 2020, a course will start in Litcham Methodist Chapel at 2pm. Each session will include a video and will last for about 90 minutes during which there will be an opportunity for discussion and chat. Not every one will want to speak, which is fine. Coffee or tea will be served and you will be made very welcome.
If you are interested in attending please contact Mike or Petrice Scoging by phone on 702388 or the Reverend Philip Butcher.
YOUR RECTOR WRITES……
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
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicar: Reverend Julia Hemp
The Vicarage, 4 Lodge Farm Meadows, Gressenhall, NR20 4TN
Phone 01362 861380 or email: email@example.com
Clergy: Revd Miriam Fife
Phone: 01328 700765 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.