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 the June 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
The Benefice Welcomes the Revd Claire Kiddy
I am delighted to announce that Revd Claire Kiddy will be joining our Benefice as Associate Priest from July this year. ‘Bishop Mike and Archdeacon Jeanette are pleased to announce that the Reverend Claire Kiddy Assistant Curate in Beccles will be seconded to Hundred River and Wainford Benefice with particular responsibility for Brampton, Stoven, Redisham and Westhall. Claire will be licensed as Assistant Curate to be known as Associate Priest and will be licensed at Westhall Church on July 5th (final arrangements subject to covid rules pertaining at the time.)
We look forward to welcoming Claire and pray for her ministry with us.
Reflection for Trinity 2
There has been a lot of discussion around the England football team on whether they should ‘take the knee’ at the beginning of a match, to say that black lives matter.
For the team themselves, this gesture is to highlight the racism that still exists in and around football – the abuse given to individual players; the racist chanting that comes from the terraces; online racist and abusive comments.
It is a sad indictment of our culture that the way someone looks, in this case skin colour, still informs our interaction with them and our valuing of them.
When Israel decided that they needed a king, they chose someone because of how he looked. Saul is described as ‘an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites—a head taller than any of the others.’
When Samuel was called by God to anoint the king of His choosing, Samuel fell into the same mindset:
When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." 1 Samuel 16: 6
But God responded, saying to Samuel:
"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16: 7
So when God sent His only Son:
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Isaiah 53:2-3 (ANIV)
He was/is not the blue-eyed blonde as depicted in many works of art and stained-glass windows. What is important to God is who a person is, what is in their heart, not what they look like. God is colour-, gender-, race-, ethnicity- blind. Psalm 139 speaks to all of us, whether male or female, straight or LGBTQ, whatever our skin colour, rich or poor … the list goes on.
When we kneel to pray, take the knee before God, He sees into our hearts and how they have responded to His love.
Tribute to Prince Philip
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:-
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.
Exciting changes ahead!
Some folk love change and the opportunities it brings. Others are less enthusiastic. So let me tell you about a couple of changes in the near future which from my archdeacon’s perspective I think are really positive and exciting, enabling the churches to be even more active and involved in their local communities.The first involves the Revd Claire Kiddy, who has been the curate in the Beccles benefice for the past few years. The bishop has ‘signed her off’ from her curacy – meaning she has officially ‘fledged’ from that first phase of ordained ministry. This offers a great opportunity for her to try something new. So the plan is that Claire will be seconded to the Hundred River and Wainford benefice for an initial period of 6-12 months, though this may be extended. Claire will minister alongside the Revd Phil Miller, who remains the Rector and will retain oversight of the whole benefice. She will be licensed to the benefice as a self supporting Assistant Curate (to be known as Associate Priest) in Hundred River and Wainford with specific responsibility for the parishes of Brampton, Stoven, Redisham and Westhall on 5th July. The intention is that she gains even more experience and has a sense of leadership in those four parishes, leaving Phil freer to focus his energies on the other parishes and develop ministry and mission there. Claire will work with the four parishes to explore new types of service, to help people to grow in their faith and get involved, and to build relationships with the local communities. I see this as a real opportunity for growth and encourage you to welcome Claire and work with her as together you develop plans and ideas. This is a new venture – so please pray for the benefice, for Phil and for Claire in the coming weeks and months.The second bit of change relates to the Bungay benefice and surrounding areas. You are probably aware of another exciting appointment – the Revd Josh Bailey – as half time priest in charge of the Bungay benefice and half time Pioneer Leader of the Lightwave Rural Hub. At the time of writing Josh is due to be be licensed on 28th June in Bungay and this will again be a new venture: a shared post, part supported by the funding the Lightwave project has received from national grants. Josh will do the usual work of a parish priest in Bungay, Mettingham and Barsham with Shipmeadow, offering regular pastoral care and worship, but will also have a real focus on reaching out to those who are not necessarily connected with the churches, and in particular the younger generations. In time, once he has settled, he will work closely with Leon Collyer and the Saints benefice to encourage small groups to gather for prayer and worship and to help them to engage in their local communities. This again offers a real opportunity to grow the churches and to bring new life and hope to the area. Please pray for and welcome Josh and his family if you see them around. They will be living in the rectory in Bungay.I hope this year to be able to visit the churches a little more often than has been possible in the last few months, but want to thank you all for the way you have offered care to those in need in your congregations and communities during the covid pandemic: a truly amazing witness to the love of Christ.With prayers,
Ven Jeanette Gosney
Archdeacon of Suffolk
The Rural Coffee Van will be at Sotterley Chapel from 10.30am on Thursday 1st July
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 07884 584106
You may also refer to the Diocesan web link shown below:-
The next Deanery Synod will be on Thursday 15th July 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