Diary of forthcoming events




Sunday 31st May: Confirmation Service; St Martin’s, 10am – Joint Benefice Service

Saturday 13th June: Exning Duck Races on the village stream & in the churchyard

Saturday 11th July: Concert by Kirbye Voices; St Martin, evening times tbc


LIZ’S FUNERAL  Dear Colleagues, I must now inform you that, having consulted with her son and daughter, and Philip Fuller of Southgates, I have this morning decided, regretfully, that Liz Hardy's funeral service will not take place as planned, i.e. at St Mary's Newmarket on Friday 3 April. Instead, there will, on 3 April, be a graveside service for the immediate family only at the woodland burial site that Liz had chosen a couple years back. And what was to have been Liz's funeral service at St Mary's on the same day, 3 April, will now happen as a memorial service/thanksgiving for her life (followed by a wake or gathering) at a later date, yet to be confirmed.  A notice to this effect will appear in the Newmarket Journal next week. Meanwhile, I would respectfully ask you to heed the 'immediate family only' restriction on attendance at the burial. (Liz's son is a senior NHS key worker in Newcastle hospitals, which makes that particularly relevant.) Please remember Sarah (Liz's daughter) and Tim (her son) in your prayers, and the wider family. I know I can count on your understanding at this time of challenge, when health considerations are paramount. Kind regards, JOHN HARDY

A pastoral letter to clergy from the archbishops of Canterbury and York. Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential items and to take daily exercise.

Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own. A notice explaining this should be put on the church door (please find template attached). We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.

We must also do all that we can to provide resources and support for those who are isolated, fearful and vulnerable. But we have to do this from our homes.  A number of national online resources (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online)

including  weekly streamed services and daily audio, as well as additional worship provision on the BBC are there to help us, and more are on their way. Please do all that you can to point people to this content. It is also imperative that as the Church of Jesus Christ, called to offer hope and light in the darkness of this world’s ills, we maintain a praying presence for our community, though from today onwards this must happen from our hearts and from our homes.

Our Church buildings are closed but the Church must continue to support and encourage our communities making use of telephones and other forms of technology to keep in touch with people and ensure pastoral care is maintained, and as shepherds of Christ’s flock we are committed to making this happen. In summary, these are the guidelines we must follow:

1. Our church buildings are closed for public worship and for private prayer.

 2. Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible.

 3. There can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice.

 4. Funerals can only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.

 5. Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digital-labs/labs-learning-blog/beginners-guide-going-live-your-service-or . 

6. Foodbanks should continue where possible under strict guidelines and may have to move to be delivery points not places where people gather. If you can do consider making a financial contribution to your nearest foodbank.

 These are unprecedented times. We are all having to get used to being the Church differently. It is not easy. However, our belonging to Christ has never been measured by the number of people in church on a Sunday morning (though we long for the day when this way of knowing Christ can return) but by the service we offer to others. Therefore, and despite these very harrowing restrictions, please do all that you can to minister to your people safely, especially to the sick, the vulnerable and the poor. With our thanks to you all for you are bearing at this extraordinary time. We know that God is with us and we pray with you that in the midst of all this pain and sorrow we can remain focussed on the One who gives us hope. JUSTIN CANTUAR; SENTAMU EBOR

The Revd John Hardy


SONGS OF PRAISE  Sadly we will not be able to hold our monthly services for a while and I know this time of worship and fellowship will be greatly missed by those who regularly attend, especially those who live alone with limited mobility and no internet access.  During this time of social distancing it would be good if we in the S of P team can keep them in our thoughts and in our prayers.  PAM MORTER

CANCELLATION OF EASTER STORY & EGG HUNT  Easter Sunday at St Martins.  It is with great regret that, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we need to cancel the Easter Story and Egg Hunt.  Thank you to all those who offered eggs, agreed to be stewards, to make coffee and plant the garden.  Hopefully, next year, we will return to our usual routine for the children.  JENNY KING

ANNUAL PAROCIAL CHURCH MEETING & MEETING TO APPOINT CHURCH WARDENS.  These have been postponed. We have received instruction that the revised date of the meetings must be by 31st October. Meanwhile all current post-holders (including deanery synod representatives) will remain in place. I will keep all of the charity voting forms that have already been cast, and will add another two weeks to vote when the churches resume the normal service pattern.  JOHN PASCALL

VOICE MEETING  In case there is any doubt the next Voice Meeting (scheduled for May 6th) has been cancelled.  JOHN PASCALL

ST MARTIN CHURCH CLOCK  Works on the clock are now completed. The winding mechanism is now by small electric motors. After nearly 14 years of climbing up to the level of the window under the clock face twice a week I am redundant. That said, from being the clock winder/minder I am now just the minder, which means the only time I have to climb again is for any minor adjustments Like putting on the hour and returning it to GMT. Regards, ALAN BALCOMB


PERSIMMON HOMES PUBLIC CONSULTATION 31st MARCH – CANCELLED  Please see the attached poster from Persimmon detailing ways of looking and commenting online.  Please take the time to do this if you can as this may be the only chance we get to express our views as there is no guarantee at this stage that they will be carrying out a face-to-face public consultation in the future.  CATHY WHITAKER

SUFFOLK CHURCHES CYCLE RIDE  is scheduled for Saturday September 12th. Would any of you be available to sit in St Martin’s church (as part of a rota) that day? I know this is ages away, but I need to tell the organisers before 31st March whether the church will be open for the event. Incidentally you can be sponsored for sitting in the church as an alternative to cycling! Thank you.  JOHN PASCALL

FOODBANK UPDATE  The new voucher system is beginning to show dividends with increased use of the foodbank. We are hoping to broaden access across the area through schools and churches. What we need at present: Small jars of instant coffee, Toilet rolls, Cook in sauces, Pot noodles and similar easy to prepare instant meals, Brown sauce, Tinned rice puddings, Long life milk (not flavoured or milk substitutes).  We currently do not need: Soups, Sugar (we had a very large donation), Baked beans, Pulses, Pasta, Breakfast cereals. Many thanks for your continuing support - you may like to know that last year the foodbank provided nearly 700 food handouts, and the need is increasing unfortunately.  TONY WHITE


World Day of Prayer Commitments

Dear all,

Part of this year’s World Day of Prayer was to make a commitment. In giving these to God through prayer we become empowered by His grace to continue to work towards those goals. So please pray for:

Our churches:

For unity, for sharing,

To listen well to God and to one another and our communities that we can be aware of the needs of those we encounter and share God’s love with them and how we can fulfil their needs, in body, mind or spirit..

For ourselves to be more giving and forgiving. To be humble, healed and to dare to try.

To be bold in sharing God’s word.

To welcome all – cherishing what we hold in common and not what separates us.

To continue to support the clubs, other than church ones.

To prioritise our time and skills.

For our communities:

For those addicted in any form.

For the lost and lonely, the poor and the homeless.

Pray for God to wipe County Lines away, protecting the vulnerable caught up in this and release for the captives.

For peace and understanding for all.

Against the busyness of our society.

For those with mental illness or with learning difficulties that the support they need is available to them.                               REVD SUSAN ALLISON

LANDWADE EVENSONGS 2020  Dear Colleagues, A 'heads-up' regarding the preachers for summer evensongs, 3pm, at Landwade chapel of ease:

April 26: The Ven. James Ridge, Chaplain General/Head of Faith Services, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

May 31 (Whitsun): Revd Canon Sandie Barton, priest-in-charge of the Lark and Lee benefice. nr Mildenhall

June 28: Revd David Everett, retired parish priest, formerly an incumbent in the east riding of Yorkshire, now living in Mildenhall

July 26: Revd Canon Mark Oakley, dean of chapel, St John's College, Cambridge

August 30: Mr Phillip Allison, licensed reader, Exning with Landwade

September 27 (Harvest Sunday): Mr David Ball, licensed reader from the Lark and Lee benefice.


PEN-PORTRAIT OF THE VENERABLE JAMES RIDGE, LANDWADE PREACHER 26th APRIL  “James born in Kent, spending his formative years in the Medway Towns and subsequently in Gravesend. University took him to Exeter (with a year abroad in Rennes, Brittany) and it was there that he discerned, more or less simultaneously, a vocation to Priesthood and a calling to Prison Ministry. After three years working as a lay assistant in Parishes in NW London and back in Kent he went to do a Theology degree and ministerial training at Westcott House, Cambridge. He spent four wonderful years as a Curate in the Halstead Area Team Ministry before briefly being Priest-in-charge of St. Peter’s Bocking, on the edge of Braintree. The calling to Prison Ministry was persistent and James went to be Anglican Chaplain and subsequently Managing Chaplain of HMP Chelmsford, a Victorian Category B local prison serving Essex and East London. After seven years there he went to HMP Wayland, a large Category C training prison in Norfolk, which primarily works with prisoners serving a number of years, lifers and those on indeterminate sentences. After two years there he became Chaplain General and Archdeacon to Prisons in October 2018. Based in London he oversees Chaplaincy in 121 prisons in England and Wales co-ordinating the ministry of approximately 1200 Chaplains. He spends much of his time travelling around the country visiting prisons and Chaplaincy teams and is acquainted with every single traffic cone on the M6! He is married to Ruth, a Methodist Minister, and they have one son, Joshua, who is 8.”  JOHN HARDY