Higham, Holton St Mary, Raydon, Stratford St Mary

Four churches united by God and his people

  • The Rectory
  • Hadleigh Road
  • Raydon
  • Suffolk
  • IP7 5LH

07947 737789
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 Services in the 4 Marys Benefice 


Please check our Facebook pages for any updates or email if you would 

like to receive occasional updates by email.    

 

Church Services for May 2024

Sunday 5th May:      10am Stratford SM  Holy Communion
Rogation Sunday       Speaker Graham Miles who is
                                   the Lightwave Rural Chaplin
                                   for Suffolk 

                                   3.30pm at St Edmundsbury
                                   Cathedral
                                   Celebration & Thanksgiving
                                   for the Ministry of
                                   Churchwardens

Thursday, 9th May:   Deanery Ascension Service

Ascension Day           

Sunday, 12st May:
    10am Higham Holy Communion 

7th Sunday of Easter  
6.30pm Raydon Choral
                                   Evensong (BCP)

Sunday 19th May:     10am  Holton Parish Communion

Pentecost                   A celebration of Pentecost

Sunday 26th May:     10am  Raydon Holy Communion  
                 
Trinity Sunday             9.30 for 10am: Stratford St
                                    Mary Family Hour
                                         
(in the Parish Room)
 

Church Services for June 2024

Sunday 2nd June:      10am Stratford SM Holy     
1st Sunday after           
Communion   
Trinity                           6.30pm Holton St. Mary
                                     Evening 
Prayer (BCP)            

Thursday, 6th June:    7 for 7.30pm in Stoke-by-Nayland
                                      Archdeacons’ Visitation
                                      with swearing in
                                      of Churchwardens
                                      All welcome!  Do come and
                                      support our churchwardens
                                      as they commit to 
serving 
                                      our churches for another
                                      year.

Sunday, 9th June:         10am Higham Holy
2nd Sunday after Trinity  Communion  
                                        6.30pm Raydon Choral
                                        Evening
                                        Rural Dean Jo Delfgou
                                        officiating

Sunday, 16th June:        10am Holton St. Mary    
3rd Sunday after Trinity    
Holy Communion 


Sunday 23rd June:
         10am  Raydon  Holy
4th Sunday after Trinity     
Communion  
                                          9.30 for 10am: Stratford
                                          St Mary Family Hour
                                          (in the Parish Room)  

Sunday, 30th June:         10am Higham Family 
5th Sunday after Trinity     
Communion
Join us for coffee (or tea) and croissants from
10am followed by a shorter and more informal
communion service. Speaker Thomas Shavu
from Christian Community Mission Programme  

Dates for your Diary

The Rev’d Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Deputy
Priest-in-the-Ordinary to HM the King and
representing the Duchy of Lancaster, Patron of
Stratford St Mary, will be taking the service
on Sunday,
18th August
in Stratford.

Evening supper with talk by Thomas Woodhouse
on Saturday, 
17th August in the Parish Room in 
Stratford – details to follow.

5th Sundays in the Benefice

In 2024 the 5th Sundays fall on 31st March (Easter Day), 30th June, 29th September & 29th December and we will be meeting in our churches around the benefice. Details to follow!

Benefice Churches Open 

All the churches in our benefice are open for visiting every day during daylight hours.


Family Hour in Stratford St Mary at 10am 

This month we will be meeting on 23rd JuneOur usual breakfast of bacon rolls etc will be served from 9.30 am.  Do join us for our informal half-hour service, bible story and kids craft activity. We very much look forward to seeing you.
The Family Hour Team

Advance reminder

Family Hour will be taking the usual summer break in July and August 
and recommence meetings in September. Enjoy the summer!

Benefice Bible Study / House Group 

The House Group will meet this month on Thursday, 27th June at 2.30pm at the home of Mrs Judith Shanks,

 34 Strickmere, Stratford St Mary. 

Next month we will be meeting on 25th July 2024.

We will not be meeting in August but will resume again on the  26th  September.


May Prayer pointers for the Benefice 

We pray for all those who are ill, in pain or in any way unwell, for those personally known to us and also for: Nicky Bull, Steve Meech, James Stock, Daphne Horrex, Amanda Berry and Penny Watkins.

We pray for the continuing recovery of the Princess of Wales and HM The King, for the Queen, the Prince of Wales and for their family. Grant to them and to all who are affected by illness, your healing and wholeness, faith, hope, and the knowledge of your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We remember all those who have died, among them Ernest Eagle and Rev’d Terry Wells. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. And we pray for all who are nearing the end of the earthly journey and those who watch and wait with them. We hold those who mourn in our prayers. May they be held in God’s love and comforted in their grief.

On Sunday, 19th May we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of God’s Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.

 

A Pentecost Sonnet by Macolm Guite

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire, air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation. Whose mother tongue is Love in every nation.


June Prayer pointers for the Benefice

  

We pray for all those who are ill, in pain or in any
way unwell, for 
those personally known to us and
also for: Nicky Bull, Steve Meech, James Stock, 

Daphne Horrex,  Amanda Berry, Penny Watkins 

and Jonathan Dewey. 

We pray for the continuing recovery of HM the
 King and of the 
Princess of Wales. 

Grant to them and to all who are affected by

 illness, your healing and wholeness, faith, hope, 

and the knowledge of your love, through
Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

We remember all those who have died. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. And we pray for all who are nearing the end of the earthly journey and those who watch and wait with them. We hold those who mourn in our prayers. May they be held in God’s love and comforted in their grief. 

 

A Prayer for Peace - Saint Francis of Assisi 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

 where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

 it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.


Benefice Churches Open

 All the beautiful churches in our benefice are open for visiting every day during daylight hours.


SUNDAY SERVICES 

What kind of services?

The 10 a.m. service is usually Common Worship Holy Communion, but we sometimes have baptisms or other events during that service. Every other month the service in Stratford St. Mary is a Morning Praise service.

The evening service in the Benefice may be Choral Evensong, a said Book of Common Prayer Evening Prayer with a short sermon or a contemporary reflective Sacred Space. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (October-March) or 6.30 p.m. (April-September) services rotate around the parishes.  In principle, the pattern is as follows (but please note that the schedule may vary - especially in December - depending on special events, so please check individual dates):

1st Sunday    10am Stratford St Mary (SSM) 

2nd Sunday   10am Higham

3rd Sunday    10am Holton St Mary

4th Sunday  10am Raydon + SSM Family Hour with refreshments and activities for children in the Parish Room (green building in the middle of the village).  


Donation of new hymn books

Boxing Day 1903. My maternal Great-Grandparents married here in St. Mary’s Church, Raydon. They settled down in the village and welcomed three daughters, the third of whom was my Grandma. They moved to Polsted where three sons and another daughter were born. Two of my Grandma’s brothers went on to farm locally and all but my Grandma settled in Kersey, Polsted and Stoke-by-Nayland. My Grandma married an area rep for Dewhurst’s butchers so they moved a few times, eventually settling in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire where my Mum and her older brother, my Uncle Gerry grew up.

Both had piano lessons and played to a high standard. Then my Uncle discovered the church organ. There was no going back and he became a church organist, not chickening out of playing the pedals as I do but doing a proper job. He played for many years including when the family moved to Little Clacton in the early 60s. Gerry always supported my music making particularly when I started playing the organ at my parent’s church at the age of 15. He also made sure I had a piano when I left home as I studied for my music degree. Fast forward to 2017 and John and I find ourselves living in Raydon. I’d come back to my roots and have the privilege of being a part of the Benefice Music Team.

After many years of poor health, he went on to play for the congregation in Heaven and I was determined to do something in his memory. Manette, Ali, Martin and I had discussed the possibility of new hymn books to include Ancient and Modern  hymns and worship songs and so it went on the wish list at the PCC meeting. That then gave me the idea to donate a set in his memory to the church where it all began 120 years ago and here we are today as they are dedicated. I know he would have approved!

Trudi Bishop



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