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Church News Volume 5, Issue 3 (February 2004)

Dear friends,

We had a very successful and enjoyable Christmas this year, with the usual full programme of services. All were well attended, numbers up. Over 650 people attended carol services around the Benefice. Just over 100 people came to midnight mass in Wickhambrook church and many more to the Christmas Day morning services.

This is something we must rejoice at, for although during the majority of the year people take the church for granted, (that it will be there for the Baptisms, weddings and funerals they will attend or hear about), they still think it important enough to come along at Christmas and give thanks for the Christ Child.

We hope and pray that something of the Christmas message of hope in the Christ Child, might have taken root in the hearts of those who sang the carols and enjoyed themselves in our churches over Christmas.

Of course Christmas is just part of the story of Jesus and the redemption offered to us by God through His Son, and sadly the only part most people will think about for the rest of the year. The child Jesus quickly grew up and became the man who taught people about the Kingdom of God; the man who performed many miracles and showed the glory of God in the world; the man who was sentenced to death for a non existent crime, for speaking the truth; the man who died on the cross for our sins; the man who rose again from the dead and ascended back to His Father in Heaven. There is much more to the story of Jesus than just His birth, wonderful though that was.

If we move no further into the story of Jesus than just His birth we cannot expect to understand what that birth means and the consequences of what God has done for us.

Committing ourselves to come to church more than once or twice a year is the first step along the road to finding out more about Jesus. Realising that we must seek the Lord God if we want to find Him, and call for Him to find that He is near at hand. To find out more about the baby born in the manger, celebrated at Christmas, we have to make some of the effort.

The story of Jesus is found in the Bible, in the New Testament. We can read His words and find out what happened to Him during His time here on earth. We can then decide for ourselves whether the way Jesus taught us to live our lives is one we wish to follow, and find eternal life at journey's end.

There are many opportunities to find out more about the Son of God this coming year. Services week by week in our churches, regular study groups to which new people are welcome to come and enquire about the Faith, seasons and festivals to celebrate in prayer and song, life events to give thanks for and commemorate.

Make this new year the one in which you make the effort to find out about the baby Jesus whom you so much enjoyed worshipping over Christmas.

We begin a new Benefice rota this year. The second and the fourth Sunday of a month will be a Benefice service. We are one body, the Body of Christ in this area, we want to worship and socialise together more regularly. Rather than small numbers in seven churches we can be a larger group worshipping regularly in one church. This is the future for the church, especially in rural areas. The parish unit is still important, but the Benefice is the future, our future, the future of the Christian church in this place. And not just for the Anglican Church. All the denominations need to come together and join forces to worship the Lord as one. So come and join us!

Revd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Sunday 04 March 2018