Brett Valley Benefice
(Bildeston w Wattisham, Lindsey, Whatfield and Semer, Nedging and Naughton).
Pastoral Letter – July 2021 from Revd Elke Cattermole
“I name you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy” Matthew 28v19
Naming a person or anything can be an easy or difficult task to do. The decision to change our Benefice name incorporating all the parishes had to go through different processes before being agreed by our Diocesan Bishop, ‘Bishop Martin Seeley’.
We name our children, pets, horses, and inanimate object such as our houses, boats, and other items important to us. The reason for the name given often has a special meaning for us, a family member or friend.
Through July a few of our churches will be celebrating what we call their ‘Patronal Festival’, a special church service that reminds us of why a specific church was named after a specific saint, ‘St Peter’ (Lindsey), ‘St Mary Magdalene’ (Bildeston), ‘St Margaret of Antioch’ (Whatfield), ‘St Mary’ (Nedging and Naughton).
All our churches were built many hundred of years ago and were dedicated to God. Later it became common practice to dedicate a Christian place of worship to one or more saint. So in the next few weeks we will be reflecting what was important why a specific church was called a specific name.
Patronal Church Festivals are a time for the churches to reflect on what is important for us and our local community. The church building is important as a place of worship, prayer and for ‘Baptism, Wedding and Funeral Services’, a place I feel that was made by people, dedicated to God, but for the use of the people. Where joy for the future can be celebrated through baptism and weddings, a place for mourning and reflection as well as hope for the future at the time of death, loss and sadness.
These buildings are for today and the future to be used by the local communities they are situated in and for many who may visit it. They are also made up of people who pray for the people who are part of the different communities, those who live or visit the villages and those who are part of the church.
You are all welcome to our services and we pray as we start to open more fully in late July we can rejoice and share more things in our churches for the whole community. Please continue to share and celebrate with us in whatever form to the honour of God.
God Bless you all.