Benefice Of East Bergholt & Brantham

We caught up with the lovely Revd Canon Mark Haworth from the Claydon Benefice.

Rev Steph

01206 392646 /

Rambling Rector

Life after Lockdown? It still seems a distant dream. By the time you read this, you will probably have had your first pint in the pub garden, entertained some of the neighbours to lunch on the patio, hoping they admire your new BBQ equipment and the table you nearly didn’t get because there was such a demand for them. You may even have had a haircut!

Other than being able to regularly worship in church and visit people, the haircut is what I am really looking forward to. I am not used to hair flapping in my face. The family have been making pointed remarks about plaits for the Dearly Beloved.

No problems getting back to dressing properly here at the Rectory. With people knocking at the door at all times of the day, one must be decent. I vividly remember shortly after we had moved in when the Dearly Beloved found himself locked out very early one morning after letting the dog out, and had to resort to ringing the bell to get in. Fortunately, his pyjamas qualified as decent.

I do hope that the habit of keeping an eye open for the neighbours is ingrained deeply enough to last the return to ‘normal’. People have been wonderful to one another. It would be good if we continued to take regular walks and be observant – rather than having a mobile phone clamped to one ear. I have enjoyed hearing the woodpecker tapping away in the valley and have had some splendidly enlightening conversations on the bridleway in the evenings (socially distanced of course). A grateful heart is a wonderful blessing too, to be able to summon up five things to say thank you for (or more of course) at the end of the day,

I have learned something about Zoom during lockdown, it has been rather good not having to sit in a freezing building while a meeting drags on a bit. During one of the courses I attended, I was horrified when someone, mistakenly thinking she was on mute, expressed her opinion that the (highly qualified and well-known) speaker was talking a load of rubbish. The speaker coped admirably by inviting her to engage in conversation at the end of the session. She didn’t of course. Manners maketh the man, so the saying goes. The woman too!

We are also looking forward to some weddings. It has been so difficult for the couples who postponed last year and then found that the third lockdown enforced further changes. Marriage registration has undergone change too.

We have to return our old registers because the RON (Registration Online) comes into effect from May 4. The supposedly definitive, helpful training provided by the chief registration boffins left clergy around the country utterly baffled even once they had managed to get into the website which alone required tenacity, a different browser to any you have ever heard of, and endless patience as the slides presented were rubbish. “Could do much better’ would have been the report card at the end of term.

It is not a good thing when marriage registration can be classed as one of the Sacred Mysteries. The result is that dioceses are offering their own training after Easter. It isn’t clear to me that the new system is any better or more efficient than the old one, but I am willing to be convinced.

One thing never changes and that is God’s love which he shares with us and asks us to share with others.

The love of the risen Lord be with you.

Rev Steph

May 2021

This schedule is dependent on government guidelines at the time. If all else fails, our services can be found on YouTube: Constable Country Churches

Sunday 2: Easter 5
Benefice Communion Service, B

4pm Family@Church, EB

Wednesday 5
BCP Communion, EB

Sunday 9: Easter 6
Benefice Communion Service, EB

Thursday 13: Ascension Day

9.30am BCP Communion, EB

Sunday 16: Easter 7
Informal Service, B

Sunday 23: Pentecost
Benefice Communion Service, EB

Sunday 30: Trinity Sunday
Benefice Communion Service, B

For updates visit:
Facebook: stmaryseastbergholt / St Michael’s Church, Brantham

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