Last updated: 22 April 2021
Like many of you, last Saturday I watched the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. I marvelled at the splendour of the military and the precision with which the procession was carried out. The music was beautiful and hearing the lone bag piper playing as the coffin was lowered was incredibly moving. However, the most emotional sight of the day came when I saw the photographs of the Queen sat alone in the chapel. Physically distanced from her loved ones it seemed to sum up how many people have felt over the last year: isolated and bereaved.
We may all have felt isolated and bereaved at different points during the last twelve months, indeed at different points in our lives, we may still feel that way. Being isolated and bereaved can be incredibly tiring and during this time I am reminded again and again of Matthew 11.28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ There are many things that can make us feel weary and we often carry burdens that go unseen by others; but God is always there to walk alongside us, to give us rest. Whatever burdens you are carrying at the moment, whatever is making you feel weary, please know that you are in my prayers and that you are not alone.
9am St Peter’s Church
9.15am St Mary’s Church – Contemporary Worship
Our sung worship is offered by our worship band. The service is more informal than the 11am service, using fewer written prayers. Booking is not required.
11am St Mary’s Church – Traditional Worship
Accompanied by the church organ and, when permitted, with sung worship led by the robed choir, this service is more formal than the 9.15am service. Booking is not required.
Online Worship led by St Peter’s Church
We are holding our worship online, via Zoom. Our music will be led by members of St Peter’s music group. To join the online service, please CLICK HERE. Meeting ID: 830 8993 3568; Passcode: 791188.
Afternoon/evening worship at St Mary’s Church
Online Worship led by St Mary’s Church
Our interactive worship on Zoom includes sung worship, Bible reading, prayer, a talk and after-service chat. To Join us live on Zoom at 5pm, please use this link CLICK HERE. Alternatively, dial in by phone to 0203 481 5237 or 0203 481 5240, Meeting ID: 845 2177 1167.
Join us online every day at 9.30am for around 20 minutes of live Daily Prayer. More details HERE.
We pray for the elections of churchwardens, Deanery Synod, PCC and DCC representatives. Could you serve our churches in one of these ways? And could you think of someone that you could encourage to consider it too? We have produced an information leaflet and nomination form leaflet HERE.
At St Mary’s Annual District Church Meeting, Dorothy Haile was elected as churchwarden, Shelagh Wallace was elected as PCC representative, Ann Howard and Paul Cook were elected as DCC representatives. This left several positions unfilled. Following the meeting, Brian Jones has been nominated as churchwarden and Dan Pipe has been nominated for DCC representative. There have been no nominations for deanery synod representatives.
At St Peter’s Annual District Church Meeting, Stuart Lowe was elected as churchwarden and David Ayrton was elected as district warden. Carol Nurcombe and Lucy Sykes were elected as DCC representatives. Philip Lloyd-Jones was elected as deanery synod representative. This left two positions on PCC unfilled. Following the meeting, Duncan MacInnes has been nominated for PCC representative.
We hope to fill vacant positions at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 25 April.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place in a service at St Mary’s Church on 25 April 2021 at 6:30pm. Everyone is invited. Those whose names are on the electoral roll of the parish are entitled to vote. To comply with Covid-19 restrictions, the business will be brief.
The agenda and reports for the meeting can be read HERE
Electoral roll revision
The annual revision of the church electoral roll has now been completed. The list of names of those on the roll can be read HERE .
Commitment to racial equality
It was shocking to learn of the experience of some people from minority ethnic backgrounds in the Church of England in the BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday. At its March meeting, our own Parochial Church Council committed our churches and parish to promote better equality and inclusion. We recognise that people from minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in our churches, especially in leadership roles. Let’s do all we can together to make our churches places of welcome and opportunity for everyone.
Mothers’ names in marriage registers
It’s good that from 4 May, brides and grooms can each list up to four parents’ names for inclusion in the marriage registers. Until now, the law has only made it possible for father’s names to be included.
We regret to advise you of the death of Judith Cawthorne, who was a much-loved member of the congregation of St Mary’s Church. Our prayers are with her husband Gordon.
Barbara and Peter Unwin leaving
Stuart Lowe and David Ayrton, churchwardens at St Peter’s Church, write:
Barbara and Peter Unwin will be moving to Northumberland very shortly to live near their daughters. They don’t yet have an exact moving date, but it won’t be long. Our thanks, of course, go to them for all they have contributed to the life of St Peter’s church over the years in so many practical ways, especially to Barbara in her time spent as our treasurer and churchwarden, and the support Peter has given her.
If you would like to contribute to a gift for them, and / or write a few words for their card, please get in touch with Stuart Lowe by email (email@example.com) or by phone (01284 755655 or mobile 07881 626670).
Donations and good wishes may be dropped in to 88 Barons Road. If you prefer, your donation can be sent by internet banking to Doctor Stuart Lowe. 20-16-12. 90358916. Please use the reference “Your name” UNWIN, e.g. LOWE UNWIN.
New treasurer for St Peter’s Church
St Peter’s is looking for a new treasurer because Barbara Unwin is standing down before moving shortly to Northumberland. This is an important role, so please pray that God will provide someone. The role itself could be split to make it more manageable. If you think you may be able to help, please prayerfully consider this. If you would like to know more, or feel you can help, please contact the wardens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Stuart Lowe and David Ayrton.
A proportion of the money given to our churches is set aside to support agencies for the relief of suffering and the promotion of the gospel. Each month each church focusses on a different mission partner.
In April, St Mary’s Church focusses on Bury Town Pastors. Town Pastors are Christian volunteers from local churches who are out in the town centre of Bury St Edmunds on Friday and Saturday nights, being a positive influence on the streets and providing help and support to vulnerable people. In addition, there is the Prayer Team who pray while the Town Pastors are walking the streets; some people pray at the Bury Town Pastors’ base in the town centre and others pray at home. Town Pastors have been patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds since May 2008 and are well known for their bottled water, foil blankets and Freddos! Read more here.
In April, Aid to the Balkans (A2B) is the mission focus for St Peter’s Church. A2B started as a spontaneous reaction to the news that Albanian refugees were coming back from Kosovo in 1999 because of the war. They had nothing but what they could carry and they were returning to a country that had just been released from Communism and was itself very poor. Over the years A2B has grown and changed… (to continue reading, please CLICK HERE).
20’s & 30’s Home Group
After the success of the 20’s & 30’s Lent Course we will now be forming a new Home Group. The group will meet fortnightly on Tuesdays 7:30-9pm. Please contact Laura Pope for more information and the zoom link.
Men’s Bible Study Discussion Breakfast
Saturday 24 April at 8:15am online. If you would like to join in, please email Edward Coningsby and he will send you a link to join.
Parish Prayer Meeting
Our parish prayer meeting is held on zoom on the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm. Join members of the parish online to pray by clicking HERE.
St Peter’s Vision Prayer Meeting
Join members of St Peter’s online to pray each Tuesday, from 12 noon. Please click here to join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 862 8219 6969. Passcode: 296440. Contact David Ayrton for more information.
The Hub virtual community cafe
Wednesdays 11am – 12noon. There’s quite a buzz growing at the Cafe. Drop in for a chat anytime between 11am and 12noon. You’d be very welcome and we’d love to see you. To join us on Zoom, please click here. Meeting ID: 863 4659 0909 Passcode: 301004.
For details, please see our rotas page.
Support your church
We encourage everyone to continue to make their financial gifts to our churches if possible in order to secure the future of our work.
We understand that some are going through financial uncertainty as a result of lost jobs, and that this may affect their giving too. It is even more important that those who can give are able to do so.
Many of you give through the Parish Giving Scheme, and now it’s easier than ever to join. Simply call PGS on 0333 002 1271. The sign up process normally takes around 15 minutes. You will need to have the following information to hand:
- Personal bank account details
- The name of the church you wish to donate to (BURY ST EDMUNDS: ST MARY or BURY ST EDMUNDS: ST PETER’S DISTRICT CHURCH)
- Confirm if you want to increase their gift in line with inflation each year
- Confirm if you are eligible for Gift Aid
- The PGS code for your church (330633312 for St Mary’s; 330633313 for St Peter’s)
- Donors will receive written confirmation (by email or post) of their Direct Debit, including details of the church they are supporting, the amount of their gift and the date of their first donation. If you sign up, or want to know more about the way the Parish Giving Scheme works, please contact Stephen Mills email@example.com (St Mary’s) or Barbara Unwin firstname.lastname@example.org (St Peter’s).We’d love everyone to move to regular giving through the PGS. But if you give through the envelope scheme or on the collection plate, please either save up your donations and make them later or make them now as follows:
- St Mary’s – put your gift in an envelope through the door of our Gift Aid Secretary, Stephen Mills, at 39 Crown Street (opposite the church main door).
- St Peter’s – St Peter’s – post your cheques payable to St Peters Church to Barbara Unwin, at 11B Mill Road, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3NN or put your gift in an envelope through Barbara’s door. If you prefer to use a debit or credit card on line then contact Barbara Unwin at email@example.com. Barbara will then explain how the card reader can work and will send you a link via email.
What you can and can’t do during the Coronavirus emergency
Lots of people tell us that they are unsure what the latest rules are. The best place for accurate information is the Government’s website. Follow this link to find out what you can and can’t do.