The Herald


Have you read the Health and Safety risk assessments in the Link.  These will make you aware how to use the Church buildings safely.  We on the property committee have attempted to cover all eventualities.

But how often do you read the small print when asked to tick a box?  In the Nov 28 link page of the Sunday notices, it suggested we could use the Beatitudes instead of one of the creeds.  I thought I quite liked that idea -  (How blest are they that know their need of God)  Need any more be said?  Then I thought what about Luke 10:27 -  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and love your neighbour as yourself.

Looking through the creeds - The Apostles creed, the Nicene creed and the Athanasian Creed, it would seem there was a need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.  But they sometimes feel a bit like reciting times tables back in primary school.

Also at that service we had a Communion service from Kenya which started with questions followed by positive statements.  Is the Father with us? He is..Is Christ among us? He is… Is the Spirit here?  He is.  Amen I said.  It was refreshingly uplifting statements of hope and the service ended with  “All our problems we send to the cross”.

But when you read about the creeds and how they came about and look at St Paul’s letters he quite often had to strongly advise on behaviour and correct thoughts of those he thought were straying down the wrong path.

So do you always read the small print before you tick the box?

                                                                                                                                                     Richard Stanford

The Methodist Church and Politics 

 The Methodist Church seeks to make its voice heard on issues of social concern and justice.

Why does the Methodist Church think that politics is important?

The Methodist Church has long associations with political life. John Wesley was much concerned with the poor and marginalised in 18th Century Britain, many of whom were excluded from participation in the established Church as well suffering from economic deprivation.

Many of the early trade unionists, including the Tolpuddle Martyrs, were members of Methodist churches. The Methodist Parliamentary Fellowship has met for many years and holds an annual Parliamentary Methodist Covenant service in the chapel at the Palace of Westminster.

The Methodist Church has stated that 'the commitment of individual Christians to work for social and political change should be recognised as a fully legitimate form of Christian discipleship'. In a society where self interest, acquisitiveness and individual happiness are often seen as the over-riding interests, the Church, and Christians within it, are called to witness meanings, values and purposes beyond ourselves, whilst recognising our own self-interest and hypocrisy.

People sometimes argue that involvement in political life involves getting our hands dirty, so is something Christians should avoid. But we believe in a God who is present in everything, including political institutions; a God who is heard throughout the Bible calling for justice for the widows, orphans and aliens who were oppressed by the powers of the day; and a God who seeks to transform relationship with and between people. If politics is about how we choose to live together and to treat one another, there is surely a place for discerning the activity of God in politics.


Recipe for Home

Take one person
a couple or family
a handful of pets
and place in a house.

Call it temporary.


Add a few  children
mix with neighbours
until good friends
pour into one big garden
over long hot summers.


Sprinkle talcum powder
over creaky floorboards
lower voice for thin walls
and in the tiny bathroom
do not swing a cat


Fill each room with talk
trickle sunshine through doors
leave to cool upstairs
and freeze in winter. Allow
any tears to drain away.


Leave for sixty years -
when the house is done
choose your best memories
and share liberally 
with your nearest and dearest.


From the museum of East Anglian Life – provided by Julie Rix






                                                                  The healing power of nature

                                                                           Amy's story


I was 16 years old and struggling with my mental health. It continued to get worse over the next five to six years, but through the whole time, I had one thing I could rely on, one thing that I always knew would never let me down: nature. No matter how sad, angry or let down I felt, nature was always there for me.

I remember sitting outside on numerous occasions just listening to birdsong, feeling the wind whip around me and smelling the sweet, rich smell of damp earth. I didn’t realise it at the time, but these moments would ultimately result in me working for the RSPB.

I first started working here looking at the health benefits of nature for people, and the importance of people feeling connected to and a part of nature. It’s a fascinating area and learning how important nature is for us was eye-opening – and highlighted yet another reason why we need to save nature. By taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch you’ll not only be giving yourself some time out to connect with nature, you’ll be playing a vital role in monitoring the health of the UK’s wildlife.


Nature's benefits

There’s a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that getting outside and connecting with nature is good for us. Here are just a few of the wide-ranging health benefits of nature:

·         Reduction in high blood pressure

·         Reduction of stress levels

·         Improved immune system functioning

·         Reduction in allergy symptoms

·         Support for the digestive system

·         Improved levels of wellbeing

·         Reduced feelings of loneliness.

Taken from the RSPB website with their permission.


A consultation on the report on marriage and relationships

On January 30th a group from St. John’s met at Northumberland Avenue with people from around the Circuit todiscuss “ God in love unite us - a consultation on the report on marriage and relationships.”

 Four years ago conversations began around the subject of same sex marriage and the potential revision of our theological understanding of marriage.

 We watched a short film which introduced the members of a Task group commissioned to produce this report following feedback from the original talks.

 Rev. Ruth Ridge and Rev. Rita Carr began the meeting  by posing the following questions for discussion :

What encourages you about the report?

What worries you?

How can the Church make provision for differing views?

Does anything in this report “strike at the roots of Christianity“ in your view?

 We split into small groups and discussed these questions within our own guidelines of listening with respect to everyone who perhaps had different ideas but most importantly to be grounded in love and grace in our speaking, listening and thinking.

 Most of the discussion was focused on same sex marriage and although we were not asked to vote it was very clear, when we joined together to give feedback that people held widely differing views on both sides of the discussion.

 Feelings and comments will be fed back to Synods and when Synod meets in April it will be asked to vote whether it approves, disapproves or approves with amendments to each of the resolutions listed in the original report. Another report will then be produced on the results of the voting, which will go to the Methodist Conference for the final decision.

 We are asked to pray especially for :

o   Those who will meet, debate and vote in Synods

o   The conference members who will make the final decision

o   All who will be affected by the outcome

o   Those who will rejoice and those who will be saddened

o   All of those who will minister to people affected by the decision

 Finally please pray for the unity of Christ’s Church.


Maureen Hearn. 



THE MEAD SINGERS will be holding their




at Bradfield Combust Methodist Church, Chapel Road, Stanningfield IP30 0LL ….


on Monday 6th April 2020 at 7:30pm.


This will be a programme of music for Holy Week with a retiring collection and refreshments.  We look forward to welcoming you!


Dear Daphne Harris,

Thank you so much for taking part in the 2019 Family & Elderly Shoebox Appeal. We really do appreciate it.  Our final total was 37,400 shoeboxes which we were very happy with considering the changes we made to the appeal last year.

 We have also published the Shoebox Delivery Diary on our website alongside many photos of your shoeboxes being delivered in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria. We hope they will encourage you that your shoeboxes were valued and appreciated by those that received them.

We were particularly pleased that we were able to send extra funds and resources out to our project managers in Eastern Europe thanks to the increase in the shoebox donation. Many people not only benefited from your shoebox but also received wood to see them through the winter, food parcels and necessary house repairs to keep them warm, fed and safe.

We would love to be able to achieve 40,000 shoeboxes this year so if you are able to encourage friends, family or any contacts you have in schools, churches, organisations or businesses to join in, that would be great. Registration for this year's appeal is now open.

Many thanks for all your support and we really hope that you partner with us again this year in order to rebuild as many communities and lives in Eastern Europe as we possibly can.

Kindest Regards

Lisa Hector
General Manager - Link to Hope


School children in Sudbury and the surrounding district will soon be discovering about the life and impact of Jesus Christ.

 The LIFE Exhibition, which travels the length and breadth of the country, is coming to Suffolk Road Church, Sudbury, from 9th to 16th March 2020.

 Created by national Christian organisation COUNTIES, the exhibition is being organised locally by a group of local churches, together with local charity “Number 72” (The Family and Community Network).

 The exhibition involves a multi-media experience, including DVD and music clips, with something for all-ages. Visitors use android tablet technology to move through the exhibits.

 Children in Keys Stage 2 from local primary schools are being invited to visit the exhibition during the week.

 On the Thursday and Friday evenings, it will be open to other children’s groups being run in the local area.

 On Saturday 14th it will be open to the general public.

 National LIFE Exhibition Co-ordinator, Kevin Baldwin, said…

“The purpose of the exhibition is to give people an opportunity to think for themselves about who Jesus really is. No single person has ever done more to influence the course of history, and to affect so many people’s lives, and yet there is still so much misunderstanding around his life, death and resurrection. Many people see Jesus as an inspirational figure, and we want to help people consider the meaning of Christ’s miracles and teaching, and the impact of his death and resurrection, not just 2,000 years ago, but still today. The idea is to take a look at what we know about Jesus, and let people make up their own mind. The children that have visited the exhibition in previous venues have really enjoyed the experience, which includes its own ‘LIFE Café’ serving free refreshments.”

Admission and refreshments are free.

 Volunteers will be needed to staff a session, to help shepherd children from bus to the church [a very short distance] or to help with refreshments. If you can help,  contact Rob McNeish on 01787 310610 (Email ). Training will be provided in respect of sessions.

For more details or to make a booking please contact Rob McNeish or Sarah Fernandez at Number 72, on 01787 310610 (Email

Coffee Rota

Volunteers to join the Coffee Rota are needed urgently. If no more volunteers are forthcoming, it may be necessary to reduce the number of Sundays when coffee is served to possibly only twice a month.

 Please let John Harris have your name if you would be prepared to help from time to time 


Coffee Rota




Tricia’s team


Jan and Daphne


Clare’s team


Paul and Jane


Salt Shaker House Group




Tricia’s team


Clare’s team


Paul and Jane


Jan and Daphne




Weekly Notices

If you are organising an event, an activity or an appeal, please let Beverly Richardson know so that it can be advertised in good time through the weekly notices.  Information can be emailed to

The deadline for the April Herald is Sunday 15th March 2020


Any articles for the Herald would be most welcome

  Please email any contribution to either Tricia Campbell  - or Gill Phillips - gillian.phillips  - or leave it in the tray in the Link.



Church Contacts:-

Minister                       Rev Ruth Ridge                07447091182

Senior Steward           Sue Rampling                   01787 377441

Lettings Secretary       Andrew Clare                    01787 372705

Church Office                                                       01787 373185

Church email address:


Church website: