Eds and Ips Enews

Our round up of news and forthcoming events from the Diocese of St Eds and Ips. Please use any of these items in your newsletters or on notice boards.

Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Church Near You
“Why is it so difficult to find information about a service local to me? I would love to attend a service but the church site’s last listing was months ago and there is certainly no information for me. I also tried ‘a church near you’ to no avail. How can one attend a service if you cannot find a local church that holds one?!”

This is a genuine email (edited to avoid naming the parish concerned). A Church Near You lists every church in our diocese and many of you already look after your page. It is simple to register and add information about your church building and activities, normal services, special services and events and fundraisers. You can also add your website address if you already have all this information there. Contact Tom Warmington, Diocesan Communications Officer, if you need more encouragement!

Archdeacons’ Visitation Dates
The majority of these have now been uploaded to our website here. Please note, those scheduled for 7 May are subject to change due to the General Election. We will confirm this as soon as possible. Any updates will be made to the webpage.

General Election
Whilst we are not party political, churches can consider the possibility of holding a hustings ahead of the General Election in May. A hustings is a public gathering chaired by an independent person, at which candidates for election answer questions from an audience. Download a Q&A. Please email Kathleen Ben Rabha if your church is holding a hustings so we can help you promote these.

Who is my neighbour: Bishops’ Pastoral Letter
A Pastoral Letter from the House of Bishops has been released this week for this year’s General Election. Read it here and read comments from Bishop David, our Acting Bishop, on the news pages of our website. This will be covered further on Jon Wright’s Sunday Breakfast programme on BBC Radio Suffolk this weekend.

Living Faith in Suffolk
If you are still looking for material for group or individual study during Lent please visit the Living Faith in Suffolk pages of our website. There is a wealth of material, plus NEW Lenten reflections which provide a wonderful opportunity for individual reflections. A new one will appear each week between now and Easter.

Do Lent generously! This is a national campaign and well worth a browse of their website… “What if you could give up chocolate and give the money to your favourite charity? What if you could turn the TV off and spend more time helping your neighbour? What if Lent was a preparation for a lifetime of big-heartedness that reflected God’s amazing generosity? Well, that’s where 40acts – the generosity challenge from Christian charity Stewardship – comes in.” Please consider joining this year.

Washday is spring cleaning for the soul! It is a national church campaign about serving your community during Lent and Holy Week. It’s about responding to human need through loving service, following Christ’s example. Washday is an opportunity to go out and wash anything and everything! It could be cleaning windows for people who would find that difficult, washing a car, washing clothes for homeless people, or washing up mugs in an office. Will you get involved? See http://www.washday.org for details.

Open the Book Training Day
Open the Book is a highly successful national project presenting the Bible in accessible and enjoyable ways in our local schools. The workshop, on Saturday 7 March 10am-3pm at Whitton Church Hall, Ipswich, is suitable for beginners and experts. Email dibarker@keme.co.uk to book. £5 per person or £10 for a team of three or more. To find out more about Open the Book, visit the website.

Security: An important message
Two churches in the diocese have reported break-ins recently. It appears the intruders have gained access to the buildings during the day when the church was open and unbolted a side-door and then returned at night and caused mess and minor damage. It is wonderful that so many of our churches are open during the day, but please ensure that all doors and windows are secured when your church is locked.

Suffolk Show Photography Competition
The Suffolk Show will take place on 27 and 28 May 2015 and, once again, our diocese will have a marquee at the showground featuring a cafe space, entertainment and more. As part of this, we are running a photography competition for amateur photographers of all ages. Download a poster for your church notice board here. Please consider putting the following link in your newsletter: http://www.cofesuffolk.org/go/suffolkshow

· Click to download the latest Learning Together booklet
· Click to read the General Synod reports from the latest meeting
· Click to download February’s East Anglican Magazine

Real Easter Egg Competition
We were overwhelmed with people wanting to win one of three cases of Real Easter Eggs. Congratulations to the following; your eggs are ready to collect from the Diocesan Office and we look forward to hearing how you used the eggs to bless your community…. Mr Charles Croydon, Revd Liz Law, Mrs Linda Cooper. Don’t forget to support the Real Easter Egg campaign. See http://www.realeasteregg.co.uk or buy yours from your local supermarket or the Cathedral shop (from early March) in Bury St Edmunds.

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Every blessing, Tom.

Tom Warmington, Communications Officer
Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
01473 298571

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