Shorline Benefice

Lockdown Number 3!
At the time of writing, the first week back after the Christmas break, we have just settled back into another lockdown which is intended to finish in February. Having said that, there are already fairly reliable noises in the direction of “that is very optimistic” and “it may well last till March”. This is not what most of us had in mind for 2021. With the vaccination program started, we were looking forward to life returning to some semblance of normal. With more and more variants of the virus showing their ugly heads, the one thing I do know right now is that extreme care is required of all of us for the foreseeable future.

The far-reaching consequences of people falling ill, possibly ending up in already overstretched hospitals and the risk of having to live with long term effects of this serious illness, were behind the decision to suspend coming together to worship in person. While we have done everything we possibly can to make coming to church safe, we don’t think it is safe enough under the current circumstances. Whether worship in church is still suspended when you read this article is difficult to say with certainty, but I consider it likely.

For now, our buildings will be opened once a week for private prayer. When you come in for prayer and/or some peace and quiet, please take notice of the arrangements in place to keep you and everyone else safe. We all know that the rules and requirements change frequently so the most accurate information about church services can be found on the websites listed below and on our weekly news sheet. If you want to receive the news sheet by email, please let me know by email:

Lockdown or no lockdown, preparations for Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 17, are well underway. During Lent, there will be the opportunity to come together online on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm to share images in the form of photos, pictures drawn or painted, poems, readings or prayers using the theme ‘Giving thanks for Enough’. The word ‘enough’ can be used in so many different ways and contexts, that I am looking forward to varied and interesting conversations. Life may not be what we would like it to be but there is still so much to be grateful for, not least because we are not alone in this. The Christmas promise of Emmanuel God with us is not just for Christmas!

If you would like to join, there is no need to sign up in advance, no need to join every Wednesday, just take part when you can and want to. We will be using the Call group online facilities. The details are the same as for online worship so please get in touch if you haven’t got them already. In the meantime, do keep an eye out for each other and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

With prayers and best wishes,
Revd Canon Liesbeth Oosterhof /

Every Wednesday: Online Wednesday Morning Worship (WmW) at 9.30am
Every Sunday from 31 Jan to 21 Feb: Online Benefice Service at 10am

*Assuming lockdown finishes after half-term as planned, please note that on Sunday 28 February there will be a Benefice Service at Chelmondiston at 9.30am and an Online Benefice Service at 10.45am.

St Andrew’s, Chelmondiston

  • Wednesday 03 Feb – 2pm Mothers’ Union Online Service
  • Thursday 04 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 11 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 18 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 25 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Sunday 28 Feb – 9.30am *Benefice Service

St Mary The Virgin, Erwarton

  • Wednesday 03 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Wednesday 10 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Wednesday 17 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Wednesday 24 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer

St Mary’s, Harkstead

  • Thursday 04 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 11 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 18 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Thursday 25 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer

St Mary’s, Shotley

  • Friday 12 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Friday 19 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer
  • Friday 26 Feb – 9am-5pm Private Prayer

Please check the website, news sheets and noticeboards for any changes to

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