THE HUNDRED RIVER AND WAINFORD BENEFICE is a group of nine Church of England parishes in the north Suffolk countryside, between Beccles and Halesworth. Each parish has its own church building and its own pattern of services and activities. However, we share a common identity as open, inclusive Christians offering a welcome to anyone, whatever their background, who wishes to travel with us.
The Hundred River is a real river that enters the sea near Kessingland. Divided into numerous streams, it meanders through our parishes, sometimes full and roaring, nowadays more often muddy and dried-up. Wainford is a memory of an ancient ford, by which horse-drawn wagons ("wains") once used to cross the Hundred River.
The nine historic parishes within our group are Weston (St Peter), which includes Ellough, Ringsfield (All Saints), Ilketshall St Andrew, Sotterley (St Margaret), which includes Willingham, Shadingfield (St John the Baptist), Redisham (St Peter), Stoven (St Margaret), Brampton (St Peter), and Westhall (St Andrew).
You will find details of our May services for our Benefice in the downloads section below.
Do please contact the Rector if you have particular pastoral needs
Some churches will be open for private prayer only on the days shown below:-
Sotterley - daily during daylight hours
Weston - daily from 9.00am until dusk
Ilketshall St Andrew - Wednesdays (10.00am - Noon)
Shadingfield - daily during daylight hours.
Redisham - daily from 9.00am until dusk
Ringsfield - daily from 9.00am until dusk
Westhall - closed for roof repairs
The Benefice YouTube Channel continues and you will find worship, songs and readings there together with other items of general interest. Please go to:-
The weekly Pew Sheet is available for download below
Remembering HRH Prince Philip
Senior Clergy from the Church of England in Suffolk sent their most sincere condolences to the Queen and the Royal Family following the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Bishop Martin paid tribute to Prince Philip on behalf of the Diocese’s 630,000 residents and more than 450 parishes.
Bishop Martin said: “Prince Philip has been the most remarkable consort to Her Majesty, making the role his own through his distinctive style, intelligence and wit. He has been the Queen’s constant strength and guide through over seven decades of public service".
Bishop Martin added: “Philip was baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church and he was officially received into the Church of England in 1947. He represented us with the utmost dignity and he was a stalwart ambassador for our country.”
Prince Philip carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements since 1952 which by any measure is a phenomenal achievement.
He has made lasting contributions in a number of fields, including as founder of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, President of the World Wildlife Fund and Chancellor of Cambridge University.
The Very Revd Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury said, “The people of Suffolk grieve the death of Prince Philip, a man of remarkable gifts whose life, forged in the fire of childhood adversity, combined constant support and focus on unity and resilience in the royal family with tireless public service and an advocacy for causes which showed him to be ahead of his time. His down to earth wit and self-deprecating sense of humour, in evidence during his visit to St Edmundsbury with Her Majesty to distribute the Maundy money in 2009, endeared him to the public in Suffolk, Great Britain and throughout the Commonwealth”.
As a mark of respect flags on all churches are being flown at half-mast. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family as we keep them very much in our prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Here is a hymn tribute to Prince Philp prepared by Jason Busby of the Blyth Valley Team and recorded at St Andrew's Church Wissett. Please follow the link below:-
REFLECTION FOR EASTER 5
As many of you will know, we have a quince and an apple tree in the Rectory garden.
In previous years we’ve had a glut of quinces and cooking apples. So there were Saturdays of making quince jelly and quince brandy, apple pies, and apple crumbles. Apples and quinces were shared with neighbours and friends.
Last year the trees were pruned, and dead wood cut out. And now new buds are bursting into life, along with the promise of another bumper harvest.
Jesus describes the Father as the gardener, cutting away the unproductive branches and pruning the fruitful so that they may be even more productive.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
And He has the eye of a master gardener, knowing exactly what to cut out, where to prune and how far to prune back to.
Many churches and individuals, as they plan for life after lockdown, are taking this as an opportunity to review what they are doing and looking for signs of new growth. It’s a chance to not go back to the ‘old normal’ but to look forward to a ‘new normal’.
As we look forward, Jesus reminds us that He is the essential, He is the centre of our lives and our worship.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
You are the Vine,
We are the branches,
Keep us abiding in You.
Then we’ll grow in Your love,
Then we’ll go in Your name,
That the world will surely know
That You have power to heal and to save.
Martin and Colleen Allwood
We have received this message from Martin Allwood our former Curate :-
"We just wanted to let you know that we are moving again. I have been offered, and have accepted, a post in the Diocese of Brechin (Dundee) in the Scottish Episcopal Church as priest in charge and transitional minister of two charges – Carnoustie and Monifieth. Our last Sunday here will be the 20th June and we are expecting to move the following week, with licensing (or whatever it is up there) around the 10th July. It’s been a long process with an initial chat with the Bishop in November and the interview in January. However, with both nations then sitting in lockdowns and Scotland in particular having their buildings closed, we had to wait until just after Easter to go up."
Our Diocese has recently released a video describing some of the community work being carried out throughout Suffolk. Please follow the link below to view.
The monthly coffee mornings are suspended until we can safely meet again
The Parishes within the Benefice have adopted the House of Bishops' "Promoting a Safer Church" document, and have signed onto a Safeguarding Policy Statement.
Should you have any concerns regarding Safeguarding issues, please refer to:-
The Reverend Philip Miller on 01502 714786, or
Mrs Ann Hastings-Payne on 01502 711621 or Mr George Fisher on
You may also refer to the Diocesan web link shown below:-
The next Deanery Synod will be on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 7.30pm.
The venue or Zoom joining details will be published nearer the time.
Date of next meeting to be advised
All events postponed until further notice