John’s Un


ed Reform





1 Cowper Street, Ipswic h IP4 5JD Web Address: www.stjohnsurcipswich.org.uk








Rev Dav





s & Filled Vacancy Jul






Tel:01473 724961 (Currently not available) secretary@stjohnsurcipswich.org.uk www.stjohnsurcipswich.org.uk
God i n the Midd le On a day trip not so long ago, we headed towards the Broads. We stopped off in a li ttle village in that indistinct area that coul d have been either Suffolk or Norfolk. I’m not sure if the village was on the map we just happened upon it after missing a turn-off and deciding to take the next turn on the right and try to get back in the right direction. I can’t even remember the name of the place. It consisted of perhaps a dozen houses, a really nice little pub (where we had lunch) and a rather imposing church built in the 13th century. The church was a l ovely building with the sun streaming through the stained-glass windows. I guess it could easily seat 120 i n the body of the church plus the choir. Th ese day s (ac cording to the information handout) it only has a service once a month or so wit h half a dozen peopl e present. But back in the Middl e Ages it was full on Sundays and Holy Days with the mainly farm workers (serfs/peasants?) coming in from the surrounding area, and the gentry slightly separated. Pews were introduced in the 15th Century and the gentry always had their own (i.e. they paid for them and no one else could sit there). Even on other days of the week there was a daily service (perhaps morning and evening?) with an attendance of 10-20 peop le. It appears that while t he chancel (where the altar is) ‘belonged to the Lord’, the nave and the tower belonged to the people of the parish. Manor courts were often held in the nave, and tenants came there to pay their rent, or scot. It is likely that a free meal was given to those
who paid their scot, hence our term, ‘sc ot free’. The church was of solid c onstruction and was built to be defended i n times o f t roub le (i.e. many of the windows only wen t in 2 o r 3 hundred years later in less troubled times). School was held in the church porc h. The church’s role went far beyond religio n; i t was the centre of the village life and of all the people. The building was multi-use i n a way many modern people would find strange if not objectionable. Nowadays, only tourists come b y those like us who get lost and those with a guide book in their hand ‘Medieval Churches of East Anglia’ and the like. Life has moved on, so the church an d Christianity has turn ou t to be peripheral to the vast majority. I t has beco me a ‘lifestyle choice’ for one’s l eisure time. As tourists we might go into an ancient building and light a candle or mumble a prayer for a sick loved one, but for the vast majority, faith, let alone church, is no longer a t the cen tre of our daily routine. I must admit a grudging admiration for the people of the Medieval period. Though the time was full of superstition, it was also full of faith. People expected t o t ake time to pray and expected other to be praying for them. People expected to sing and others to sing on their behalf. Both high and low, wealthy and poor would attend and participate i n t he d aily liturgy of worship and life. They would have found it hard to opt out, whereas most of us
find it hard to opt in. Today faith is a lifestyle choice, then faith was life. I don’t want to turn the clock back 6 00 or 700 years. Cold buildings, a life expectancy of 45 or so, ignorance, a rigid class system, and dominating clergy are among som e of the things we can be thankful we no longer have. But I wonder if in the progress of our society, from the medieval through the reformation and enlightenment up to today’s post- modern society, we have lost the knowledge that God is part of each and every moment. That we have compartmentalized our lives into sacred and secular and feel we can opt into God from ‘real’ (i.e. secular) life every now and then if time permits. That even professing and active Christians find a slot for God on a Sunday only 2 or 3 times a month and not allow the spirit of Christ to “dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph 3:17). In our society it isn’t easy in each mo ment of our day to acknowledge the presence of the Lord, but I wonder if we are even half successful, our lives, our friends and family, our churc h, and our society will never b e the same again. David Church Secretary’s Notes First, I would like t o say farewell and go od luck to Tony and Mary as they m ove up north to be nearer their daughter. Tony and Mary have played an important part in the li fe o f S t Johns and we will certainly miss them. ‘We do hope we can keep in touch and you will pay us a visit if you happen to be in Ipswich at any time. Thanks for aii you’ve done.’ The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations take place at the start of June, but with all the other events we are involved in, it wasn’t felt that that we could organise a suitable event at St Johns. There will be plenty of coverage on TV and many street parties so I’m sure you
won’t miss out! On July 16th the Synod Big Day out is being held at the Suffolk Show Ground. It would be good to have a large representation from St Johns as we have in the past. Also stewards are needed for the car parks, stalls and to help guide people to the various events. Please see Mary or myself if you can volunteer. Hope to see you there. Of course our big day is fast approaching July 24 th! This is the induction and ordination service for our new minister, Adam Earle. We do need as many as possible to help out on that day. I have left a list in the entrance lobby for people to sign up for the various tasks. Please add your name. I f there is any task, however small, (or big!), that you would like to do, please let me know. This service will b e live streamed from St Johns hopefully a chance to test out our new aud io v isual equipment and the operators! Adam will be leading the ser vice at Castle Hill the week before, which will be live streamed to St Johns. Adrian
TREASURERS REPORT You are thanked for Offerings in April totalling £2,021.39 and for donations t o th e May Communion Fund of £13.65 for Christian Aid. We made a claim under our Insu rance Policy for Loss of Income arising fro m the Covid 19 Pandemic. We are pleased to be able to report that we have now been able to negotiate a final settlement figure of £6,179.62 of wh ich we received an interim payment of £3,800 last year and final payment now banked of £2,379.6 2. This does greatly help our finances. As alway s, grateful thanks for all your fin ancial support. Mary A and Richard W
might also look at 1 KIngs 19:1-15a, the story of Elijah’s enco unter with God on Mount Horeb. Both these passages, and Psalms 42 and 43 which are also lectionary readings, have great relevance for our present time. So this will not be an hour of academ ic study but a sharing of our in sights and understanding as we relate these passages to our present experiences of the world today. All are welcome to join, to listen and to c ontribute, as we share fellowship together and encourage each other to grow in faith. When logging on th e meeting ID is 889 953 65 42. If y ou have no internet you can use your phone by dialling 02034815240 or 01304601196 and when prompted enter the number 88 9 953 6542 Elaine T
In early May Link to Hope reported this: In May Pastor Ion from Borzieni Moldova had the bright idea of a trampoline for the refugee children to play on.’ It has been a t r e m e n d o u s success and it at least lets the children be children for a short time and think abou t something else. Much closer to h ome Hazel H’ s niece Judith and husband Michael are now o nly 5 weeks away from a Ukrainian family of Gran and Grandad, daughter and two young children joining them in their h ome in Shropshire. The family, currently in Germ any, are in touch and are very excited about coming. Despite the youngest being on the m um’s passport the visa for her has been held up. Please pray for the safety of her husband who has been conscripted.
Te a and Cuppa at Felixst owe The weather was certainly very kind to us when we ventured to Felixstowe on the 18th May. A group of us met at the Pier before walking northwards towards the Spa. Some ventured beyond this and met the Willow Family in the lovely Spa Gardens. After our walk we met at Felixstowe URC where there was a delicious cuppa and cake waiting for us. Thanks were expressed to our friends at Felixstowe and it would be great if another such visit could be arranged some other time.
Christian Aid (CA) 2022 Thank you to Brian and Lesley for allowing us to use their Community Coffee m orning to raise funds for Christian Aid. There was a lovely atmosphere and £170 raised. Our CA envelopes have been passed to David and Jane Cook, our Christian Aid Treasurers, wh o inform me £454.85 was received and, as £230 was Gift Aided, a further £57.50 can be claimed. This brings our total to £682.35. Than k You to all who donated to this cause.
Val V Aren’t St John’s a generous bunch !! Ed.
J une Bi ble Study Our June Bible Study will be held on Tuesday morning Ju ne 14th via Zoo m. The lectionary Gospel reading for the following Sunday o n which we will base our study is Luke 8:26-39, the story of Jesus healing the demon -possessed man . We

"Each day is a new beginning.

I know

that the only way to live my life is to

try to do what is right,

to take the

long view,

to give of my best in all

that the day brings,

and to put my

trust in God … I draw strength from

the message of hope in the Ch



Her Majesty Quee

n Elizabeth II

in her C

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oadcast, 2002.

St Joh n’s
Sue Lidd ell Pen tec ost & Co mm union
Rev Joh n Cook
Peter Dawso n
Sara Pells
Rev David R ees Com muni on
Telepho ne sound onl y ve rsion s of Servic es 01473 938542 Opt ion 1; or go t o website and click on Sou nd Servic e
After Service Coffee Rota
05/06/22 Mary A and Pauli ne 12/06/22 Sh eila and Andrew 19/06/22 Mol lie and Ric hard 26/06/22
Jill B and Je nny
Gwen and Ji ll L 10/07/22 Mar garet N and Pauli ne
Thought for the Day
To ge t in to uch an d se n d co ntributi o ns to Advance pl ease use the emai l: adva nce@s tjo hnsurcipswi ch.org.uk Please not e the deadl in e for the Ju ly Adva nce is 25 th Ju n e
Please offer your help via Adrian to support the URC in the running of this event.
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