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).
Corona Virus Precautions
Please note that all our Church Services are suspended until further notice, and sadly all our Church Buildings have limited opening.
On a more positive note a Benefice YouTube Channel has been established and you will find worship, songs and readings there together with other items of general interest. Please go to:-
The weekly Pew Sheet is being distributed by email, if you would like a copy please contact the Rector - email@example.com
Sunday 5th July 2020
For the next few weeks some of our Elders will be reflecting on the lockdown and their faith. This week it’s Jacqui Harrison ... My lockdown started on 16th March. Trump decided I could no longer begin my holiday in Colorado and having spent the weekend at a family birthday celebration in London, early isolation seemed sensible. The following months were a mixture of solitude, joy and wonder at God’s beautifully peaceful countryside and abject fear of going to a supermarket. I will never forget the worry of the first drive delivering baby equipment for our new-born grandson (who I could only see through the kitchen window) and feeling even other cars on the road were too close. How could I, a person who loved the physical contact of a hug be so accepting of social distancing? I still haven’t grasped that one. ‘Zoom’ and YouTube became the new ‘hugs’ and a way of joining and experiencing all forms of social contact and worship. From my talented nephew posting collections of Christian music he composed together alongside modern worship songs, to Revd. Phil and his guitar, the UK Blessing song and the orchestra of All Souls Church, London, there was suddenly a wealth of ‘feel-good’ Christian music to unite communities in lockdown. Without needing to leave the safety of my home I could access any form of worship – the dilemma was which to choose on a Sunday morning. I could now join friends and family in the same service wherever they lived and there was a reassuring comfort in that. I even had a call from the Soul Church in Norwich asking if I was ok. I had been there once at Christmas with our grandson to see their performance. The lady said they had a list of thousands to call. I thoroughly enjoyed the free time to indulge myself in whatever links I could find to the Christian Faith. But – was there a bigger message that I failed to see? As I sat in the comfort and safety of my home praying for others who were ill, or dying, or locked down in small flats with children, separated from loved ones because they worked for the NHS, what was I missing? I believe I got stuck in ‘my world’. The Government told me to ‘keep safe’, ‘stay home’ and ‘protect the NHS’ but was that God’s message to me? During lockdown I did the Basics Course on Zoom. I did Alpha for a second time (the updated version of Nicky Gumbel’s videos was better) I continued with a weekly Bible Study and felt a sense of relief that the church authorities had closed the building so no need to worry about sanitising that (although the roof could still collapse without repair). I worried whether I had used my time diligently enough in sorting the garden, decorating and exercising. And then the ‘penny dropped’. I’d had all this time to focus on God’s word and kept it to myself. Was that right?. How many people in the local community had I contacted to share this with? And as we were asked to open our churches, I realised what I had missed – sharing the gospel, sharing the good news, sharing the wonderful music that I had enjoyed (it might not have been to everyone’s taste but that’s not the point), and demonstrably sharing God’s love. So my prayer, as we emerge from our bunkers, is for the courage and confidence to be more out-going in sharing what gives me inner joy and strength in the hope that others will also benefit from knowing God.
If you have a ‘Lockdown Reflection’ that you’d like to share, please let me know. Due to the lateness of guidance coming out from the Government, we didn’t receive Bishops Advice until Tuesday. It was therefore decided to move the Benefice Council to Tuesday 21st July. At this meeting we will discuss opening for public worship, the when, where and how.
We are having virtual coffee mornings via "ZOOM" whilst covid 19 restrictions are on place.
Please contact Reverend Miller for joining details :-
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 either of the Safeguarding Trainers:-
Mrs Ann Hastings-Payne on 01502 711621 or Mr George Fisher on
You may also refer to the Diocesan web link shown below:-
Date of next meeting will be announced when government restrictions allow public gatherings once more.
The Benefice Council - next meeting at Shadingfield Village Hall.
Tuesday 21st April 2020 at 7.00pm
DATE UNDER REVIEW
All events postponed until further notice