Rootham family and Hillsong song
Posted: Thu, 2 Apr, 2020 (8 hours ago) by Alan
While cooped up together the Rootham family from ASM have created a video of a new song from Hillsong for us. It should bring a smile to your face and, if you take the words on board, encourage you.
As people say, "Enjoy."
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NIV Audio Bible with narration by David Suchet
Posted: Thu, 2 Apr, 2020 (10 hours ago) by Alan
I don’t normally plug stuff, but Hodder are offering the “NIV Audio Bible read by David Suchet” until Monday April 6th only for your Android device or iPhone/iPad (not for any Windows machines, it appears though). If you go to
you will find a link for downloading it from Apple’s App Store or Google Play (for Android devices). When you install it, you can download all the audio files. I don’t have an Apple device, but on an Android device there is an icon at the top right which looks like a speaker. Tapping on that gives you the option to “Install all audio”. If you use that option, you will be able to hear David Suchet reading whichever verses you want to hear even when you have no internet connect. Do be aware though that the total size of all those files is 1.54GB so you will need that amount of spare space on your device and, if you don’t have fibre broadband, it will take a while to download.
On the Android version (at least on my phone), starting the reading at whatever point you want is a bit strange. You have to find the starting verse first then double-tap on it and then say whether you want to “Play from here” (with no end set) or “Play verse” to play just that verse. Once underway though, a “pause button” appears in the bottom navigation bar, which allows you to pause (and then restart) the playing.
Happy to try and help if anyone gets stuck.
Alan (contact details on "Who's Who" page)
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Joint worship on Sunday 29th March at 9.45 for 10.00
Posted: Wed, 1 Apr, 2020 (1 day ago) by Mark
AUDIO RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD OR LISTENING TO DIRECTLY FROM THE "FEATURED RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD" SECTION OF THE HOME PAGE. THE SERVICE SHEET AND THE TEXT OF THE READING ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE RESOURCES SECTION OF THE HOME PAGE OF THIS WEB SITE. If reading this on a mobile phone, please tap the picture of Andrea first then tap on the link above.
I hope this week has not be an anxious time for you amid all the changes to our way of life and that you have been able to feel something of the presence of God, nonetheless.
After last week’s trial of streaming worship using Zoom, we are giving another go! It was great to see so many of you last Sunday, and thank you for all the encouraging comments after the service. It was great that so many of you found it a real blessing to see each other’s faces through the power of technology overcoming our physical separation.
Use this link for our worship this week and every week from now on: https://zoom.us/j/224497494. Or from your Zoom App, click “Join a Meeting” and then enter the Meeting ID of 224 497 494.
If you have not got the technology for Zoom (i.e. no Laptop or Smart Phone) you can still join us. Phone 0330 088 5830, 0131 460 1196 or 0203 481 5237 and enter the Meeting Id via your keypad when prompted. Obviously you won’t see us, but you will be able us this to follow the worship. If you tried the app last week but didn’t hear anything, that’s because you need to use select “Call via Device Audio” via the headphones icon at the bottom left hand side of the app screen when you connect to the service. If you don’t not only won’t we hear you, but you won’t hear us either.
Our worship begins at 10:00am although we will start gathering from 9:45 onwards. This week our worship will be led by Andrea and we will be joined by Ven. Ian Bentley, Archdeacon of Lynn, who will give our talk on the Bible Reading: John 11:1-45. There are some activity sheets to go with this bible reading are available at here for home printing. If you like craft try looking here: https://ministry-to-children.com/lazarus-raised-crafts/ for some fun crafts to make.
On Friday or Saturday I will email out a service booklet for those of you who don’t like following words on a screen.
I would also be grateful if you can forward this email to friends, neighbours and members of your congregation. I am painfully aware that our distribution list does not yet have everyone’s emails on it. So please help by passing this on. The act of worship, like all our ‘normal’ worship is open to all and we don’t want anyone to miss out because we haven’t got their email on our system and of course that means that others in our communities or wider who want to join are very welcome.
Finally, can I ask you for forbearance, not least when things are not perfect or quite ‘as you would like it’. Please remember that an item of the service that you are finding a barrier to worship is almost certainly the one thing that is blessing someone else. If you don’t know the song, just listen to others worshipping or take that as an opportunity to have a biscuit (having switched your mike off of course so we don’t hear you crunching). We are a diverse benefice. Our worship from now on will reflect that.
Looking forward to seeing you again on Sunday.
With every blessing,
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Update on continuing to worship, caring, praying, pastoral support and being par
Posted: Fri, 20 Mar, 2020 (2 weeks ago) by Mark
I hope this email finds you all well and flourishing despite all that has happened this week. It is surreal to think quite how quickly things have changed, but as we believe in a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) we are finding new ways of expressing the same truths of the gospel and what it means to be the church.
In their letter on Tuesday (how long ago that seems), the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, said “As the challenge of the coronavirus grips the world, and as the Government asks every individual and every organisation to rethink its life, we are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve all people in a new way. Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold. But this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop. Far from it. We need to look at new ways of serving everyone.”
So as we come towards the end of this week – here are some of the ways we are starting to find new ways of serving while still staying the same,
- We will be continuing to have acts of worship on Sunday. As we are not able to worship in our buildings we will worship online. Details below.
- We will be continuing to care for each other and our communities, in conjunction with parish councils and members of our villages. Details below.
- We will be continuing to pray each day in and for our villages. Details below.
- We will be continuing to offer pastoral support at pivotal moments in lives. Details below.
- We will be continuing to be the universal church, connected to the church in the nation and around the world. Details below.
1. Sunday Worship
As you know, we are not able to use our buildings for worship (so please don’t turn up), but we have been investigating ways of meeting together online. At present we are still trying things out but it seems the most effective way of doing this will be using a provider called Zoom. So this Sunday we are having a try out with a time of worship, bible study and prayer at 10:00am, which this Sunday will be hosted by me. I hope you will be able to join me by clicking on this link (https://zoom.us/j/400008490). You will have to download a small app onto your PC, laptop, tablet or phone, but you will then be able to join me and other members of the parish churches of our benefice in worship.
This is very much a try-out – so it will almost certainly be clunky and not as smooth as normal, but as we carry on things will get smoother and we will develop things further.
I realise that up until last week this might not have been your thing – mine neither – but it the easiest way to ensure that we can continue to meet up together as it says at Hebrews 10:25 “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We do also recognise that not everyone is online or wants to join in this way. So next week we will be producing a simple liturgy that can be used at home and which we will make as available as we can on paper and online and which will be used alongside the online Sunday Act of Worship.
2. Caring for each other and our communities
The staff team together will be keeping in touch with you and holding you in prayer and support. We are looking at ways of working with parish councils, the foodbank and others to ensure that no-one is left alone or vulnerable. We are trying to find ways we can easily stay in touch with you and help practically while at the same time we have to stay in as much as possible and avoid contact. However please do stay in contact with us also. The Church Office will still be open on 01362 858873 and at email@example.com, Mondays to Fridays 9:15 to 12:15 (although it will no longer be open by foot or car). Also my phone number 01362 882260 will always be answered.
Unfortunately we are going to have to plan for the possibility that some or many of us are self-isolating or get Covid-19, possibly badly, so we are trying to ensure that everything we do will be done in a way that ensures the care can carry on no matter what. We still have the “Cure of Souls” for these lovely villages of ours and the virus does not stop that.
I know that you are already caring for each other and for your neighbours, we just want to ensure that no-one is left behind. We will let you know more as soon as some of our plans are a little more filled out.
3. Praying in and for our villages
Prayers have been said Monday to Saturday in each of our villages for a few years now (Hockering, Yaxham, Welborne, East Tuddenham, North Tuddenham, Mattishall) and we will be continuing this pattern, with some changes because of the circumstances. One member of the staff team will be in each parish church using the existing pattern (of Monday-Hockering, Tuesday-Yaxham etc) to act as a hub for our prayer, but with a changed time of 9am, and we invite you to join them in prayer at home (just like Sunday worship you won’t be able to join them in the church itself). We are finalising a simple form of daily prayer that we will be using together and will get out to you as effectively as we can. If the Live-streaming works on Sunday I hope we will be able to do it like that as well. We realise that not everyone will wish to join in even a simplified form of morning prayer but please do stop at 9am and pray – using the Lord’s Prayer or a simple Arrow prayer. There is a real power when we all get together to pray even if we are not all in the same place. It is the Holy Spirit of God who truly connects us (Colossians 2:5).
I fully agree with the Archbishops in their letter I referenced earlier when they say “Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead. Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day. We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people.” I believe that there is a power in prayer and particularly when the people of God come together, so I hope that as many of you as possible will add to your schedule the coming together at 9am knowing that you are not alone but praying with many others in our villages.
This is particularly important in such uncertain times. We know that people are afraid, or acting out of character or fear (toilet-roll hording anyone). Our villages, country and world needs our prayer and the action of the God who revealed his love to us in Jesus.
4. Pastoral Support at Pivotal Times
The Church of England has a historic ministry at times of birth, marriage and death. This is continuing, again in different ways. We will continue to baptise and bless children, conduct weddings and funerals – but at the same time minimising the numbers of people who will come together as a result. If you want to know the detail you can find it out on the Church of England’s central Covid-19 webpage and we will put more details up on the website, but it will mean things are different. For baptisms, blessings and weddings many are choosing to wait, but of course for those who lose loved ones that is not an option. Please pray for those families and also the funeral directors and others who are no longer able to be as flexible as they once were in helping families and friends in their time of grief.
5. Being part of the national and universal Church.
Although I am not sure there has ever been a time before when public worship has been suspended across the country, other Christians have always had to meet privately or in scattered ones and twos (such as in North Korea) – so in one sense we are being brought together as a worldwide church in a way that our usual pattern of worship obscures.
However I would like to invite you to two things that show that greater unity in our nation as well on this Sunday, Mothering Sunday, which has been set apart as a day of Prayer and Action by all the churches in this country.
First – The Archbishop of Canterbury invites you to join with him in worship. He is being broadcast at 8am on local Radio stations, 8:10am on Radio 4 and online at 9am through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland).
Second – He invites you to light a candle at your windows at 7:00pm “we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.”
Some final words
Please remember that although all public worship is suspended, the office is closed to visitors (but open otherwise), all meetings and events are suspended (unless they can be done online), we are very much still here, active and at work.
I recognise that this email will not get to everyone – so I would be grateful if you know of someone near you who is not on email please do stay in touch with them, so I have attached to this email a copy of it in letter form – please print it off and drop it through their door. Help us to find ways of encouraging them, praying with them, supporting them and being with them over these coming weeks. Also please feel free to forward this email to anyone who think may not be on our mailing list (yet).
In their letter the Archbishops go on to say “This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly a church for all, or just the church for ourselves? We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world.”
This is our intent here in Mattishall and Tudd Valley – to truly be a church for all despite of the challenges that our situation now gives us. Please do hold each other up in prayer and mutual encouragement.
And I look forward to you being with me on Sunday at 10:00am (https://zoom.us/j/400008490).
With every blessing, continuing prayers and love,
Rector: Mattishall and Tudd Valley Benefice
Benefice Office, Church Rooms, Dereham Road, Mattishall,
Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 3QA.
Phone: 01362 882260
Office: 01362 858873
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No services in our churches within the benefices for the time being
Posted: Wed, 18 Mar, 2020 (2 weeks ago) by Mark
In the light of Boris Johnson’s statement Monday night, the Archbishops of York and Canterbury have ordered all public acts of worship to be suspended with immediate effect (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/archbishops-call-church-england-become-radically-different-public-worship).
This means that THERE WILL BE NO SERVICES AT ANY OF OUR CHURCHES WITHIN THE BENEFICE with immediate effect (Tuesday 14:00).
Also all meetings will be cancelled and all APCMs postponed until further notice. The Church Office will be open for emails and phone calls but no one will be able to walk in, so the door will be locked.
We will be putting into place pastoral arrangements to support people at home and are looking into ways of making our worship visible even if not public. We will let you know more as soon as we know more.
Please continue to pray for our difficult situation as a nation and world in these unprecedented times.
With every blessing and prayers,
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Thought for the Month - March
Posted: Sun, 23 Feb, 2020 (1 month ago) by Tom
Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so people have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20
Are you willing to step into a relationship with the Maker of the Universe, or do you want to play it safe? For those wishing to see the divine revelation, it is evident in the world, in our interactions with others and in the depths of our very being. Even though Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not have the Bible, they still knew God by the relationship called faith. That faith was an unshakable trust in goodness.
Faith goes hand-in-hand with revelation. It is not always obvious which comes first. On occasion it seems that God reveals more of himself in response to our stepping out in faith. Then we can build on that infant trust as God reveals more of himself to us - if we will let him.
Either way, it is meant to be an ongoing dialogue of divine disclosure and human response - an ever deeper divine disclosure and an ever deeper human response - just like any human love affair. People who are incapable of vulnerability thus cannot get very far on the journey of faith. They usually substitute either an atheistic denial or a casual indifference.
For to love is to become vulnerable, but what is the alternative? It is to build higher and higher walls around ourselves in a vain effort to be safe from hurt.
For Christians, the dialogue with and self-disclosure of God is summed up and encapsulated in Jesus. While present throughout all creation from the beginning of time - as “Christ” (Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:3-14) - Jesus makes the universal and cosmic message both personal and lovable and thus more easily healing.
It is important to see that Jesus was not born fully mature: “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). He fully entered into the human journey. Many want to imagine that Jesus lying in the manger knew everything from the beginning (which would make his faith a mere caricature and he would not be the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” as stated in Hebrews 12:2). At Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan, we witness Jesus’ dawning realization of who he is: God’s “beloved Son.” Throughout his life on earth, Jesus continued to discover his own ways of embodying God’s likeness through his ministry of teaching and healing, his non-violent resistance to religious and political power and his death on the cross.
But even at the end we see Jesus doubting God’s presence, just as we all do at various times: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46). I believe that prayer and plea was heartfelt and sincere.
Simply put, God reveals himself to us through what unfolds in our life, along with every visible thing around us. These ordinary revelations are there to be heeded and used as a bridge to mature faith. God respects each one of us as individuals. Jesus calls us separately to follow him and it is for us to respond, or reject him. The choice is ours.
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Thought for the month - December 2019
Posted: Thu, 28 Nov, 2019 (4 months ago) by Mark
Christmas lends itself to actions or rituals which by annual repetition become things of delight and deepened memory: oranges in stockings; Christmas pudding; watching (or studiously avoiding) the Queen’s speech; singing carols. For me it is also things like the prayer which begins “Stir up O Lord…” and most of all hearing the beginning verses of John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the word…” (commonly known as the prologue).
If we were basing our school nativity plays on the prologue, they would be short and unpopular with parents. There are few parts to play - there is no mention of angels, Joseph and Mary, shepherds or Magi, but despite this it cuts through to the meaning of Christmas and why we remember the birth of this poor provincial Jewish boy every year for over two thousand years after the event.
Christmas is important, because God entered into his creation. Christmas is important, because in this often dark world eternal light shines. Christmas is important, because it gives us hope that we may truly become God’s children.
In a way - because we don’t have the individual characters of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, Magi or angels to draw our mind’s-eye – the prologue leaves us focusing on Jesus and at the same time the wider perspective. If Luke and Matthew’s gospels are a portrait, John’s is a landscape.
The Christian pastor, teacher, preacher and scholar John Stott said “We must be global Christians with a global vision, because our God is a global God.” This is what the prologue of John’s gospel reminds us. Christmas is about a global God, who became local for the globe to be saved. And if we call ourselves God’s children, then we are required to share this global vision. Our Christmas vision must be so much wider than oranges, puddings, Christmas traditions and even carols.
That’s why in the New Year, beginning with the feast of Epiphany (which we are celebrating this year on the 5th January) we will be spending some time together looking at the place of a global vision for our Christian faith here and now.
We will be picking up the theme of inclusion which is at the heart of the visit of the gentile (and pagan) Magi to Bethlehem. We will explore the global scope of the Gospel “God so loved the world” and the centrality of the cross “Christ died once for all”. The gospel is always crossing boundaries, so we follow the call of Paul over to Macedonia and Paul’s deliberate argument that his mission to all is just a reflection of God’s zeal for all.
We then start to unpick the nature of partnership in the gospel – by focusing on the importance of body-thinking – we are one body across the world and we need each other, followed by a reflection on the privilege of being in partnership with others engaged in mission. Lastly we look forward and up to that greater unity which is in our future and the ultimate goal of all mission – when heaven and earth will be joined together in God.
So my prayer this Christmas is that all your Christmas traditions may be suffused and indwelt with God’s global vision of love and salvation for his world.
Happy Christmas and a flourishing New Year.
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Thought for the month - November 2019
Posted: Fri, 22 Nov, 2019 (4 months ago) by Mel
November brings us into a season of remembering. Firstly, we have Bonfire Night, where we recall the Gunpowder Plot, when in 1605 there was a failed assassination attempt against King James I and Parliament. More importantly, we have Remembrance Sunday when we remember those who gave their lives in service to their country in the two World Wars and conflicts and wars since 1945. At All Saints Mattishall on Sunday 24th November at 4.00pm we also have a Memorial Service, where people from around the Benefice can come and remember loved ones they have lost.
Memory is very important. It is good to remember. In my voluntary work with those living with dementia, I see the impact of failing memory on the lives of those affected and their families. Sometimes though, failing to remember can be helpful. As a family we have had a very stressful, difficult year. Whilst there are things which have happened which I will always treasure in my memory, there have been some things which I would gladly forget. However, their significance will undoubtedly not allow me to do so.
How different it is with God. No matter what we have said, or thought or done, if we bring our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness, he promises “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12) And in Hebrews 8:12 the writer recalls the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” We have an amazing compassionate God who sent his Son to die in order that our sins may be forgiven, and we might have eternal life. We are sometimes told to forgive and forget - how hard that is. But if we come to God, we can be assured of forgiveness and know that our sins will be remembered no more. God does not forget our sins, he chooses not to remember them. He does not treat us as our sins deserve and he sets us free to experience a new life. Hallelujah!
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Video of All Saints, Mattishall, from the air.
Posted: Mon, 28 Oct, 2019 (5 months ago) by Alan
One of the dads, James Peach, from Who Let The Dads Out? at ASM has very kindly done us a video of ASM using his drone. Do have a look at the video using the link below so you can see ASM in a way you've never seen it before. Yes, there is a lot of lead on our roof and yes, we do now have it protected.
Our thanks go to James for doing this. It is much appreciated.
See the video here.
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Thought for the month - October 2019
Posted: Mon, 14 Oct, 2019 (6 months ago) by Joyce
I’m sure you will agree what a wonderful summer we’ve had! It’s been a pleasure to be outside, gardening or just relaxing. The farmers have safely gathered in the harvest crops for which I am sure they are thankful.
We live in such a lovely county, I’m amazed at the beauty we have around us. Our God created such a fantastic world, we have so much to thank Him for.
I do hope we remember to thank Him for the good things we have and don’t just pray to Him with a list of requests.
He is always there for us and we can always talk to Him in prayer, He will hear us and He will answer us, it will be in His time and it may be a ‘yes’, it may be ‘no’ or it may be a ‘wait’. He always knows what is best for us.
Prayer isn’t difficult, you just need to talk to Him as you would your best friend. If you would like prayer for anything, or would like to pray with someone, do please contact somebody in any of our churches and they will be only too pleased to be with you, I am sure.
May we continue to appreciate the beauty around us and the different seasons we encounter.
And may we all feel God’s blessing with us at all times.
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