The Gazes are moving

Thanks Dear Friends

I have loved being Team Rector in the Tas Valley (Tasburgh, Tharston, Newton Flotman, Swainsthorpe, Saxlingham Nethergate and Shotesham) for over 15 years.  However, I am writing because I believe that God is calling me to a new kind of ministry. I have recently been offered and accepted a post in Suffolk as the new Dean of Rural Mission Consultancy as part of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and in partnership with the charity Rural Ministries. It's a 2 year post on Bishops Staff focussed on helping congregations and individuals to listen to how God is at work in the countryside and finding ways for this to flourish. Chris, Matthew, Katie and I will therefore be moving as a family to a little village called Playford just outside Ipswich in October.

Dawn and I have already been talking and praying together about how we can use the months between now and then to help the churches to prepare for being short staffed for a bit as well as their continuing life as communities of disciples growing in Gods love. The main focus of my time in the next months will be on equipping the people who will carry forward the ministry and mission in these villages - which means all of you! I am sorry I couldnt contact all of you in person before sending this email - but I will be in touch asap. (In the mean time if you’d like a priority visit to discuss how this may affect you, please give me a ring.) I am grateful that it is likely that my role will be replaced by the diocese as so many people give generously towards paying for our clergy - but this is likely to take several months and it may be that the job is reshaped by the Diocese in some way.

It has been such a privilege to get to know many of you, share your joys and your sorrows and all the ups and downs of village life. Chris, Matthew, Katie and I will always treasure the friendship and love you have given to our whole family. We hope as many of you as possible will come to our farewell service on 29th October at 10.30am at Newton Flotman Church and to the "bring-and-share"celebration lunch afterwards at a venue tbc from 12 noon.

With my love and prayers


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Heave ho me hearties!

Join the landlubbers for a heap of piratey fun at our activity day - Make your own, treasure chests, parrots, maps and ships.  Meet our pirate captains.  Hoist the Jolly Roger.  Discover treasure in the bible. Scrub the decks and climb the rigging. Pirate picnic lunch with rations from the galley and in the afternoon a Treasure Hunt. Voluntary donation of £3 per child to cover costs. Max of £6 per family. Landlubbers is for children of primary school age (5-11) - but a parent and toddler group “Ship-mates” will run alongside from 10-12 and little ones are welcome to stay for lunch and the treasure hunt with their parents.  Booking form available from school or downloadable from the bottom of the page.

Thu, 27 Jul, 2017, 10am - 3pm
@ Preston Primary School, Henry Preston Road, Tasburgh


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Walk and Lunch with the Bishop

Spend part of your day with Bishop Alan as he walks our benefice and pray with him.

You can join the Bishop's progress at Tasburgh Church at 10am, Newton Flotman Church at 12 noon or Saxlingham Church at 2pm.  It's fine to just turn up for any leg of the walk - but helpful (if you know in advance) to let Sally and Dawn know you're coming:  If you want to book in just for lunch with the bishop, please ring  ANDY COX 01508 471334 BY MONDAY MORNING 19th JUNE

The route is

10am Tasburgh Church
10.15-10.45 - Tasburgh House of Prayer
Tasburgh Village Hall
back on Saxlingham Lane to
Rainthorpe Hall to
Flordon Road
12 noon Newton Flotman Church (Stopping here - book in for community lunch or eat your picnic)
1pm back over A140 and along Cargate Lane
to Elmers Lane & Pitts Hill
2pm Saxlingham School
Saxlingham Church
Village Hall
through Redwings Horse Sanctuary
across A140
through Tasburgh hill fort to
3pm - Tasburgh Church

Any queries about the route, please contact Dawn 498924


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Why replace the stolen lead on a church roof with more lead?

Since the theft of lead from the church roof at Newton Flotman, any people have been asking why we cant replace our stolen lead with another alternative roof covering which would be less liable to theft. It is a very good question and those who were working on solutions for the PCC investigated this very carefully. However we found three reasons why this is not the best option for Newton Flotman Church:

If we change anything about a church building, we have to get a “faculty” as well as planning permission. For this we need the support of heritage bodies. Historic England oppose replacement of lead on roofs with an alternative unless it can be shown that security measures, such as a roof alarm are unlikely to prevent further attacks. This is not the case for Newton Flotman and so getting permissions for a substitute would be a prolonged process with no guarantee of success.
If Historic England can be persuaded to agree to a replacement they strongly prefer terne coated stainless steel. This is noisy when it rains which could spoil services including weddings and funerals.
Alternatives such as terne coated stainless steel are very expensive, particularly as we would have to replace the lead on all 3 roofs to prevent future theft.
Replacing the lead that has been damaged/stolen and fitting a roof alarm means that the roof can be repaired without a major faculty and planning request and although expensive, is more cost effective than any other option.

If you would like more technical or financial details or wish to volunteer to help please ring the Rectory on 470762 
Please give generously to the church’s appeal. The urgent structural repairs (largely but not only the roof)  will cost £103,000 including the lead replacement and installing a roof alarm. We are also raising funds to make the building more useable by the whole community and therefore sustainable for the long term. Click on the downloable leaflet at the bottom of the home page  which gives details of how to give both for repairs and development work.


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"Thy Kingdom Come"

Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbours come to know Jesus Christ.

Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days across the world. In the Tas Valley we hope that every congregation and cell member will take part.

Start the week by coming to the Ascension Day service at the Cathedral. Tasburgh Church open for prayer every day with special prayer stations and resources to take away for all ages and different styles of prayer

Come to Special Events at  Tasburgh Church listed below and/or  Morning and Night Prayer every day. Local events are on this website and in the downloadable leaflet below.  Make an appointment with Sally (470762) or Dawn (498924) to talk and pray about anything you like.  

To access more resources or make a commitment to pray, go to

Fri 26th Prayer Shawl Ministry 10am
Sat 27th May Film Showing: “The War Room” 7-9pm
Sun 28th Rogation Service at Tharston Church 11am followed by Prayer Walk and Picnic at Tasburgh Church
6.30pm Evensong @ Tasburgh Church
Mon 29th 7-9.30 - Youth Prayer Night
Tue 30th “Open Hands” Workshop: 7.30-9
Wed 31st Crafting & Prayer 10am -12
Listening for God’s Guidance: Lectio Divina 7.30-9
Thur 1st June “Messy Prayer” Drop in with children 10-12
Prayer for Alpha 7.30-9pm
Fri 2nd Prayer Shawl Ministry 10-12
Sat 3rd Seeking God's Guidance for the Tas Valley - Lectio Divina 7.30pm


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