Welcome to the e-bulletin for 19th November

The nights are drawing-in and we’ve had plenty of wind and rain, but we anticipate Advent and the joy of Christmas. However we end up celebrating it, we remember the Angel’s message to the shepherds: “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…” (Luke 2:10)

Stir-up Sunday – 22nd November

Time to get started on those Christmas Puddings!
This coming Sunday is also the Feast of Christ the King.
The Heart of Norfolk Group will be gathering on Zoom at 10.30am. Please email heartofnorfolkchurches@gmail.com for a Zoom invitation.

The Order of Service is here.
“Stir-up Sunday” comes from the Book of Common Prayer’s special prayer for the day:
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord,
the wills of thy faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of their good works,
may of thee be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Bible Study on Zoom – The Hard Sayings of Jesus

Fr Christopher continues his Zoom Bible Reflections on Wednesday 25th November at 2pm – all welcome! The passage will be Matthew 26: 1-16.
“for you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”
Please email heartofnorfolkchurches@gmail.com if you would like a Zoom invitation.
 The final date for these studies is 2nd December.


A reminder from the Nextdoor community portal:
As we've entered another lockdown, some of us might be feeling isolated and in need of a helping hand. Nextdoor is a great place to reach out, connect and find support during this hard time.

Whether you need to find someone to deliver essential shopping, pick up a prescription or simply to have a chat when you're feeling lonely, your neighbours on Nextdoor want to help.
To join Nextdoor to volunteer or ask for help, visit here.


Virtual Advent Calendar

Twenty-six different contributors from across the Diocese of Norwich (a shepherd, a teacher, a prison chaplain, for example) offer us something to ponder each day, starting with an image or a poem or some music. Each ‘door’ will leave us all with something rich to turn over prayerfully throughout the day in question.
Sign up to have each day’s offering sent to your email inbox. You’ll also be able to access the calendar via all the diocesan social media channels.


Reminder: Mapping Advent on Zoom

North Elmham are running a study course, based on the “Mapping Advent” resources available from Norwich Diocese.
Mapping Advent invites us to explore Advent’s rich themes through Biblical reflection, art, poetry and music. This is a four-week course, focussing on:

  • Watching and waiting;
  • Preparing a place;
  • The need for change;
  • Saying ‘yes’.

The course will run on Wednesday evenings, 7.30pm, on 25th November, 2nd, 9th and 16th December. Zoom invitations will be issued in the weekly e-bulletin, or email heartofnorfolkchurches@gmail.com
If you haven’t been able to order the course material, there are some copies available at Elmham Rectory.


Zoom Invitations

They look a bit complicated, but if you copy and paste into your online calendar (or even into a Word document or similar), you can easily access the Zoom meeting from that source. Or, better still… save this e-bulletin and follow the link from here!  

Christmas is not cancelled!

I'm sure some of you will have heard media coverage on Tuesday "Christmas isn't cancelled yet". It's our job to get the message out that Christmas is never cancelled, it's just going to look and feel very different. If anything, we need to put more effort into decorating our churches and villages and finding ways of retelling the Christmas story. How about an Advent trail, perhaps featuring the Wise Men (and a star) as they journey towards the stable?
Also, for many people, Christmas ends with late-night TV on 25th December, but for Christians, it’s only just begun. The Church of England has produced a really good resource, Comfort and Joy - nine lessons and carols for Christmas, for use from Christmas Day to 2nd January. For each day there is a verse of a carol, introduction, bible reading, reflection, action and prayer. 
Visit the HON website Christmas page for information about services and other Christmas-related church events and activities. We’ll know more after 2nd December about whether lock-down is lifted and what this means for public worship and other community gatherings in Norfolk.
Meanwhile… The Friends of Bawdeswell Church are still planning to hold a Christmas Wreath Fair on Saturday 12th December at the Barn, Chaucer House (Bawdeswell), 9am till 12:00 noon. Wreaths and other hand-crafted decorations and Christmas goodies will be on sale. Don’t forget -  final date to order Christmas Wreaths and table decorations from Foulsham is Sunday 22nd November (£30).



The Mid-Norfolk Foodbank is appealing for the following:


  • Christmas cakes
  • Christmas puddings (make an extra one on Sunday!)
  • Luxury biscuits and chocolates
  • Mince pies
  • Festive savoury snacks

We’ve also heard that they are appealing for Advent Calendars.
If you would like to make a donation and can’t get to your regular collection point, please bring to Elmham Rectory, 48 Holt Road, NR20 5JQ or email us at heartofnorfolkchurches@gmail.com and we will arrange to collect.


BBC Broadcast Worship

BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship, 8.10am – Liberation in Lockdown.
With our lives impacted by the rules of lockdown, many struggle to find contentment. With tight restrictions prescribed for university students particularly, how are they finding some semblance of normal life?
This live service from Holy Trinity, Platt in Manchester, explores these issues through the lens of faith.
The church lies on the doorstep of the student village, usually a bustling hub of activity, but now the students are isolated in their halls of residence. Recently tensions flared up as temporary fences were erected and subsequently pulled down by students protesting the move.
The Rector, The Revd Dr Paul Mathole and the Youth and Children’s Minister, Sarah Bradley, reflect on their ministry to students as they face rules and restrictions. They explore the hopes and fears felt by those who are looking for solace in these testing times. They reflect on what it means to be content throughout good times and bad as students from the congregation describe the sense of gaining freedom through faith.
BBC 1’s Songs of Praise, Sunday at 1.15pm. Young Chorister of the Year – Girls’ Semi-Final
From Gorton Monastery in Manchester, Katherine Jenkins launches the very first joint Songs of Praise and Radio 2 competition to find the BBC Young Chorister of the Year. Chosen from hundreds of entries, five talented girl choristers hope to impress expert judges John Rutter, Laura Wright and Carl Jackson, and go through to the final.
BBC Radio Norfolk: Sunday Worship
If you would like to join broadcast worship a bit nearer to home, Radio Norfolk’s Sunday service is between 8-8.30am. It can be found on 95.1 FM or 104.4 FM or via BBC Sounds after broadcast. bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08nzm09


Almost… Last Call for contributions to Operation Christmas Child

The deadline for filled shoe-boxes has been changed to 5th December. Contact Celia on 01362 668928 or at c.daniel784@btinternet.com if you would like to support this important initiative, supporting children in desperate need around the world.

Open Churches

Churches in the Heart of Norfolk Group open for individual prayer are:

Bawdeswell All Saints Daily: 9am-5pm
Foxley St Thomas Sunday: 10am-4pm
Guestwick St Peter Sunday: 10am-4pm; Wednesday 9am-4pm
Stibbard All Saints Sunday & Wednesday: 10am-4pm
Wood Norton All Saints   Daily: 9am-5pm
Worthing St Margaret Daily: 9:30am-4:30pm


The Collect for ‘Christ the King’

Eternal Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Readings for Christ the King

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

God the True Shepherd

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Matthew 25:31-end

The Judgement of the Nations

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

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