CHURCH MATTERS

We start this round-up with a summary of the Rougham Churches Annual Report for 2023

On 12 May, we held our Annual Meeting to review all that has happened in the life of our churches in 2023. Here is a summary of the full report.

Peter Rutt, PCC Secretary – Our revitalised and invigorated team of lay people worked with visiting clergy to maintain the pattern of services, and we were very grateful to them for providing cover for the services. Revd Sarah was ordained at the end of June and worked hard at the ‘Family@Church’ services. Ann Ciorra took over Safeguarding and the Churchwardens worked hard to overcome the backlog of maintenance issues. The ‘Pantry in the Porch’ was a success and the PCC worked incredibly hard to build upon the successes of 2022.

Revd Julia Lall, Rector – This APCM marks a year since I found myself, somewhat unexpectedly, applying to become your Rector, and I can only comment on the last three months of the year. The annual meeting is always an opportunity to look back with hearts full of gratitude for what God has done for, in and through us, and to step out in faith as we seek to shape a new vision and future for our churches. This year, inspired and guided by him, we will work together to discern our priorities for the next 18 months, tackle head-on our financial difficulties, and grow in faithful stewardship. Let us tell a new story of joy and hope as we encourage others to walk with us the way of service and love. It is my privilege and pleasure to thank everyone for keeping things going during the vacancy, and I look forward to working with you in the year ahead.

Revd Sarah Lock, Curate – Following my ordination on 1 July, it has been a privilege to work in the benefice as a Deacon. In many ways it did not feel much different to prior to ordination, but in others, it felt that there had been a significant shift – which really surprised me. I would like to express my thanks to all of you for your encouragement and kindness to me as I try to find my feet in the role of Curate among you. I can honestly say, that the more I do, the humbler I feel about my ability to do it, but the more I also know that God has called me to this position and will equip me for it. So, thank you one and all and may God continue to bless us as a church family and local community.

Revd Graham Rendle, Priest with Permission to officiate – In January I stepped back from duty as my hip was hindering my ability to get about. A highlight of the year was the Deaconing of Sarah Lock who has matured into her role, and the installation of the Revd. Julia Lall later in the year. I hope that now I have a new hip I will be able to continue to serve this Benefice.

Ros Pitcher, Choir – I am so grateful to our choir members! They have faithfully led our worship week in, week out, come rain, shine, freezing cold, boiling hot. They have been brilliant. They have supported the services in each of the churches and enriched liturgy. We are able to present new hymns and really set the tone of the worship, encouraging fuller participation from the congregation. Thank you to all members – you are wonderful!

House groups – Beyton meets on Tuesday afternoons, Hessett on Thursday evenings, and Rougham on Tuesday afternoons. The groups offer refreshments, time to chat, pray and explore the Bible, and offer friendship, practical help and pastoral support to one another.

Food for Thought, Hessett – This group continues to meet about every four to six weeks and it is a place where small steps of faith can begin or be reignited in people who attend. Themes are chosen by the members and discussed openly together with the happy acceptance that our Christian perspective will also be shared. The group is very supportive of each other, and new beginnings are occurring.

Fundraising, Social and outreach Committee – We have raised £2,936.91 this year through Coffee Mornings/sale of coffee, cake and home baking; Hire of Vestry; stall at Beyton Fair; Sale of Books and the Beyton Church Christmas Fair. Well done to everyone who was involved for their hard work and enthusiasm.

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Your help is needed, please! We need to appoint a Benefice Treasurer. This is a voluntary role.

We need mannequins and clothing rails for our Wedding Festival. Do you have a wedding dress to display? Could you donate some cakes for the refreshment stall? Help to make this event a success by bringing your family and friends along!

Contact Rev Julia rector.roughambenefice@gmail.com

News from the Parishes: (Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals)

In Loving memory: Brian Coley, Rougham