The North Samford Benefice

We have an update from Don Mehen of the North Samford Benefice

Sproughton with Burstall, Copdock with Washbrook and Belstead & Bentley with Tattingstone

For parish queries please contact:

Rev Annette Shannon

The Rectory, Glebe Close, Sproughton IP8 3BQ / 01473 807674

Benefice Administrator Hayley Purnell / 07904 972116

As our churches began to re-open for services back in April, I had a conversation with one of the congregations about life during the past year.

“It was OK at first but then it became tedious,” he said. We’ve shared very varied experiences during the pandemic, ranging from stressful over-working to boring inactivity and social isolation. Most of us have stayed physically healthy but many have suffered mental health problems. Loved ones lost, health impaired, bankruptcies and job losses complete the gloomy view.

In contrast, there have been wonderful examples of courage, creativity, discovery, innovation and persistence, often little recognised, in paid jobs that just have to go on and in voluntary work to help the vulnerable and unfortunate. At some time though, many have reached the adult equivalent of when, as children taken to the seaside, we asked, “Are we nearly there yet?”. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be complaints about games that won’t download but the problem may be the same: lots of time but little to show for its passing. As Macbeth put it:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time.

It helps to have things to look forward to. June is the month when we may look forward to the pandemic restrictions being lifted, at least for a time. June takes its name from the queen of the Roman gods, Juno. The Christian church has its own calendar running parallel to our calendar months. This year, the first Sunday of June is also the first Sunday of what the church calls the Trinity Season.

Why Trinity? Trinity is a way to try to describe the character of God by recognising God as three Persons in One. You won’t find it in the Bible. In the early centuries of its history, guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church perceived how the Bible points to the idea of Trinity. It is useful to us as an aid to seeing how the death of just one man and his rising from the dead can avert the consequences of our continuing sinful actions, thoughts and feelings. We know we can depend on Jesus to save us from our sins because He is within the Trinity. Thus, Jesus is the man who is God, but God is also Father, Jesus’ Father, and Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

Confused? Me too, but the Trinity is a paradox beyond human power to resolve. What matters is not that we have a little extra insight into the character of God by thinking of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but that we appreciate how these three Persons form the Trinity. Binding the Three Persons together as One is love.

In the difficulties of the coming months, we will, no doubt, experience much selfishness and sin. However, we will also see people all over the world acting in amazingly generous ways: healthcare workers tirelessly caring for their patients, strangers donating food and finances to people they don’t even know.

These beautiful acts of generosity inspire us as they reflect God’s wonderful love and overflowing kindness towards us. To keep our generosity flowing we can keep in mind that we can be God’s forgiven, adopted sons and daughters, bound together with the Trinity in love.

As St John puts it: “God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16)

With my prayers for us all, Don Mehen


Hannah Foden & Mark Peak – Copdock


Grace Walklett – Bentley David Hawes – Tattingstone Matthew Page – Copdock

Celtic Evening Prayer Service: Every Wednesday at 7.30pm on Facebook-Raul Arkaia


Please note the following service pattern is liable to last-minute changes. There may be additional services. Please check the Benefice Facebook page for updates. Thank you for your patience while we settle into our new service patterns following the restrictions. If you need to check any of the services, please contact your churchwarden who will be happy to assist you.

Churches may be open for limited periods during the day/week for private prayer subject to hygiene regulations. Please contact churchwardens for up-to-date information.

Please submit church letters and copy for the July edition to Hayley Purnell by June 4:

Shotley and Erwarton WI

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