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).
The annual Service of Light for All Souls will be held in Shadingfield Church at 3pm on Saturday 31st October.
(Please inform the Rector if you wish to attend so that social distancing can be maintained 01502 - 714786)
Our churches will remain locked for the time being, however, some will be open for private prayer on the days shown below:-
Sotterley - Fridays (11.00am - 12.30pm)
Weston - Tuesdays (11.00am - 12.30pm)
Shadingfield - Wednesdays (11.15am 12.30pm)
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 being distributed by email, if you would like a copy please contact the Rector - email@example.com
October is now known for being ‘Black History Month’ and over the summer we heard a lot about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign with its protests against discrimination on the grounds of skin colour together with the destruction of memorials and statues to individuals from previous centuries whose lifestyles did not live up to our modern way of thinking.
Sadly, when thinking of Black history, slavery and the slave trade are always high on the agenda and it is a subject with much to understand and hopefully learn lessons from. Many countries over the centuries have enslaved and abused their fellow humans; the British, French, Dutch, Romans, Moors, Spanish, Portuguese and Africans to list but a few and it is a shocking fact and one that is, I think brushed ‘under the carpet’ and not fully acknowledged, that slavery is as big a problem today as it ever was; even just going back to the Second World War, both the Nazis and Soviets used slave labour for building and tunnelling projects. And today, thousands, and I mean thousands, are held in servitude in our country, in our county, probably in our town, whether that is by being trafficked for sex work, field work, car washes, nail bars or in homes, it is scandalous. If only as much effort and energy were put into eradicating this evil, as is put into something that occurred two, three hundred years ago, things could be so different.
18 October is now recognised as Anti-Slavery Day and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery, and encourage government, local authorities, companies, charities and individuals to do what they can to address the problem. The Salvation Army provide specialist support for those affected and has a confidential telephone number for reporting suspected victims, with further information on their website (salvationarmy.org.uk/modern-slavery).
I can trace my roots back to slavery and slave ownership; one of my 8 x great grandmothers would have been black and probably a slave. Her granddaughter, however, was a ‘free woman of colour’, to use her own words, but in common practice for people of mixed heritage in the early 19th Century, she also owned her own slaves in Jamaica.
It saddens me, that even now people are judged on the colour of their skin; it is what is inside us all that is important and achievement. But there are many Black people to celebrate; for me, my own 5 x great grandmother, (born, incidentally, on 18 October 1805), she came to England at some point, married a Norfolk born man and raised a large family so there must be many, many descendants of Jane Maria Storey out in the world. The wonderful Mary Seacole, born in the Jamaica just three weeks after Jane Maria in 1805, did great works for the soldiers in the Crimean War but has unfortunately been eclipsed by Florence Nightingale.
Jesus mixed with people of all kinds and did not judge them even when their lifestyles did not match that expected by the Jewish priests and society; the mad, the bad, the Jews and the Gentiles, men and women. He helped them, healed them and gave them hope through believing in a loving God. May we too be Christ-like when interacting with our fellow humans, whatever, wherever or whoever they may be.
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 Deanery Synod will be via Zoom on Thursday 12th November at 7.30pm.
Please contact George Fisher - firstname.lastname@example.org for joining details nearer the time.
The next meeting of the Benefice Council will be on Wednesday 28th October at 7.30pm - venue to be confirmed.
All events postponed until further notice