Church of England Diocese of St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich Barsham with Shipmeadow

December Newsletter

7 Dec 2020, midnight

A new church year is about to begin; many of us will not be sorry to see the old year finished, with its upheavals, pandemics and political battles. It has certainly been a year to remember, or to quickly forget, depending on your viewpoint.

At Barsham, however, we can celebrate the fact that the driveway has been resurfaced. No more bone-shaking potholes! It looks magnificent, thanks to the efforts of Colin and Malcolm, who have made arrangements and liaised with the contractors. Thanks to all of you who generously donated money to the project.

Advent brings much to look forward to: our most joyful church season, Christmas, will soon be upon us, and the Carol Service will take place on December 20, led by Rev’d Canon John Fellows. The raffles for the Christmas Cake (once again provided by Jean Cooksley) and the Christmas Hamper, organised by Diana, will be eagerly anticipated, and it is hoped that a Christmas sales table will go ahead too. Please contact Diana with items for the hamper.

Rev’d Malcolm Griffin will take our Christmas Day service, at the earlier time of 10am, to lead us into our own family celebrations of Christ’s birth.

The appointment of a Priest-in-Charge for the Bungay Benefice draws closer, as advertisements have been placed in “The Church Times” and the PCC awaits candidates for the interviews on December 9. Applicants will be shown around the parishes of Mettingham, Barsham and Bungay, after which they will be interviewed at Bungay Rectory. Bridget and Colin will be our parish representatives on the interview board, and our Patron will also be present. Bernadette Suckling has recently decided to pass on the role of patron to her daughter Dominique Bacon. We welcome Dominique and look forward to her future involvement in the life of Barsham Church. Huge thanks are due to Bernadette who has been a superb Patron and has been so supportive and active in the church for many years.

A note from Margaret Harris:

Very early on a bright sunny morning the Mustard Seed van duly arrived to pick up our 95 Love Boxes (including 62 from Barsham Church). The driver was really thrilled to see the result of our efforts, especially as nationally the numbers are sadly, but understandably, well down this year; indeed they only expect to send one lorry across to Moldova, instead of the usual three. Covid has changed many things, one thing being the fact that the local organisers were asked to check the contents of each box, and although this meant extra work it was fascinating for me to see how very generous and imaginative you had all been. A heartfelt thank you from me, and on behalf of the children. MH.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen:

Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

(C.S.Lewis, British writer and lay theologian, 1898-1963)

October <span style="font-size: 1rem;">collections amounted to </span>£946.

Food Bank donations numbered 176 in October. Please continue to donate, especially as the cold months begin, lock down takes its toll and Christmas approaches, increasing the hardships faced by many families.


When you call in to drop off your food bank donations, or to offer private prayers, please take a few moments to look at the poppy displays and the name cards of our local casualties in the Great War lined up along the south wall. These will remain in place until Advent, to give you all a chance to see them and pause for thought. The sacrifice made by those young men puts our present trials and tribulations into perspective, and humbles us. Let us all remember them.

“When we enter into periods of silence, we start to see things with greater clarity.

We come to know ourselves, and come in touch with that deepest part of ourselves.

That is our soul.”

(Father Christopher Jamison, Worth Abbey.)

On Armistice Day a small group gathered at the Barsham War Memorial for a short service and the laying of wreaths in memory of local men and American airmen killed in WW1 and WW2. Neville Smith and Zane Blanchard read the names and Margaret Taylor provided a recording of the Last Post, silence and Reveille made by her music students at Sir John Leman High School, Beccles.


Bernadette and Sarah Jane have stitched a series of beautiful tapestries illustrating “The Creation”, and these are now displayed on the North wall of the Lady Chapel, adding colour and interest. Thank you both for your skill and hard work.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” Genesis 1:3

Church correspondent: Cheryl Coutts 01502 714655/[email protected]