Arrangements for services
Wider activities remain curtailed, but we continue to maintain the many centuries of worship at All Saints with our Sunday services in Church. These continue at 10:15am most Sundays, with the slightly later time of 10:30 on second Sundays, when a service of Holy Communion will be held with a variety of celebrants. We were delighted to welcome Bishop Jonathan for such a service, which gave many of us the feeling, if temporary, of a return to near normal. A way of receiving communion was devised which allowed for safety and comfort of communicants.
The policy of opening the church daily has proven worthwhile, as a number of visitors have been to see the building and view its now celebrated mediaeval and later graffiti.
The work on the tracery and support columns beneath the organ gallery has been completed. We are very pleased with the result and hope that this will be received as an enhancement to the already beautiful building. It has been a most enjoyable and rewarding project and we are very grateful to Richard Timpson for the artistic interpretation and paint research and for joining me as we executed the decoration.
We have been discussing a better lighting scheme for the chancel screen and now the new work. Developments in LED lighting have creted a host of new possibilities for showing historic features and artwork. If anyone would like to help sponsor this we would be very grateful.
Richard Vogt, Churchwarden
At the regular Sunday Service at 10:15am we observe the rules of hygiene and distancing. Sanatiser is available at the Church entrance and this will continue until we are told otherwise.
On Sunday 23rd August The Rt. Revd Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn celebrated our first Holy Communion since lockdown. His sermon touched on the problems of the times, observing social distancing and the absence of singing in Church. We had a good congregation all being made welcome by the Bishop.
The thanks of all of us go to our flower ladies for keeping the Church supplied with lovely garden flowers and to Diana Paterson who continues to clean the Church. Anyone who would like to help Diana with this task would be most welcome. It is not too onerous but it is important that the Church is clean and welcoming. Anyone who can help please give me a ring on 01328 700274 and I will put you in touch with Diana.
On 20th September we celebrate Harvest Festival in the Churchyard.
I finish with this thought for today by Iris Hesselden:-
Life is a challenge and each 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!
Until next month stay safe and well. Love and God Bless, June Bevan
PS Chester now waits at the gate and looks for Jane for his morning walk…
Love and God Bless, June Bevan
I have just had a sobering thought
…not that one is needed at this most sobering of times. It was that I have spent the best part all but two of the past fifty years in full time education in one form or another; sometimes as teacher, but always as learner. I may not have learnt much of any use, but it has given me a very particular feeling when September comes around. It is, of course, the start of the academic year and shapes my attitude to this time of year. As with many things, there are both negative and positive aspects to this experience. Negative as it marks the end of Summer freedom, and positive as the start of new opportunities with the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, and the new, pristine, empty exercise books, which are truly a blank canvas. September can be a true new start with the mistakes, poor marks and unfinished homework just a mere, soon to be forgotten, point in your personal history. I began writing this reflection in the last week of July, when lockdown was incrementally easing, and the light at the end of the tunnel growing ever stronger. It struck me that September this year could be a new start for all of us; an opportunity to look back on our own lockdown experience and discard those things which we neither must keep nor those that we used to do. A time to evaluate our lives and emerge, looking forward with just what we need to fulfil our needs and aspirations. A beautiful thought (to me at least) which was dashed by the announcements at the start of August: the easing of the lockdown restrictions was to be slowed down and possibly even reversed. September was not to be the fresh new start I had envisaged. This posed me a problem. Should I bin the above and rewrite this article from the beginning? Being too idle for this, I looked at this month carefully. Could it still be a time for reflection and a personal new beginning? Dates have been a focus throughout this piece, and the answer came through a date that popped up in my electronic diary. I am writing this on the 2nd August, which my diary tells me is the Feast of the Little Portion, the Chapel which St Francis restored in Assisi, and where he started the Franciscan order. His constant call whenever times were difficult, to his followers was this: “Let us start again, for up until now we have done nothing” So, what does starting again mean in these strangest and difficult times, for each one of us?
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.
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.