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 been closed.
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 31st May 2020
So we have the disciples all gathered together, and from Acts 1: 17 we know that there were about 120 of them at this time. They were together, awaiting the promised Holy Spirit. But in what way would it come? How would they know that they had received the power that Jesus had promised them?
And we heard what happened; rushing wind, tongues of fire, new ‘tongues’ or languages. The disciples could be in no doubt that something was happening to them.
Emboldened by the Spirit, Peter stands up in front of the multitude to proclaim the risen Christ.
What are we to make of this episode? Are we to take it as a blueprint for how the Holy Spirit works in us today? What does it mean to see visions, dream dreams, and prophesy? Are we expected to stand up before crowds to talk about the love of God?
I have been at services and events where the Holy Spirit has moved in amazing ways; I’ve seen people apparently fall down as the Holy Spirit has come upon them. But I’ve also seen the way that the Holy spirit has quietly given strength to someone to stand up and read a lesson in church, given people confidence to pray out loud in a prayer meeting.
In the Bible, there are lists of the gifts of the Spirit; wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, administration. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6,
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
God gifts each of us in different ways.
But there is also the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Fruit develops slowly over a period of time. We’ve got apples gradually developing in the Rectory garden, but it will be another couple of months or so before they’re fully developed and ripe for picking.
So it is in our lives. God’s timescale is different from ours. We are constantly growing in our faith, constantly being ripened. I am not the person I was ten years ago, and that person was different from the person twenty years ago. And the person I will be in another ten years…
Some people have the gift to be able to speak in front of thousands; people like Billy Graham, Luis Palau. But it takes as much courage and confidence to speak to our next-door neighbour, our work colleague, or even our family about the things of God.
In one of their ‘vlogs’ +Martin and +Mike discussed Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit.
At one point +Mike quotes Lionel Blue (a British Rabbi), who was asked ‘Where is God?’ Lionel Blue replied, ‘God is where we let God in’.
+ Mike goes on to say, ‘We’re not waiting on the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is waiting on us in order to work with us’.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
The Holy Spirit is waiting on us, in order to work with us. God, through the Holy Spirit, rarely intrudes on our lives; He waits for us to invite Him in.
And what the Holy Spirit does is to enable us to desire to work with God and to give us a right understanding of God.
+Mike says, ’The Holy Spirit enables us to think of God aright, and to desire that God, and therefore to move into working with that God to affect God’s wholly good and wholly right and wholly joyful purposes for us’.
May we be willing to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives so that we can learn to think more deeply about our God and desire to work with Him, to His glory.
Stay safe and God bless
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:-
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 23rd June - 7.30pm at St Peter's Church Holton
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