Cecil says......

.....come and try my summer Churchyard Trail.

Cecil the caterpillar has laid a trail in the churchyard at Brooke and is inviting children and families (and anyone else) to come and explore during the month of August.  You can pick up a trail sheet in the church porch and then make your way through the churchyard looking for clues.  There's a sheet for Key Stage One children, and a more challenging one for Key Stage Two youngsters.  If you fill in your name and contact details you can enter our prize draw.  There will be two lucky winners at the end of the month.

We look forward to welcoming you along.

 

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Strawberries......and Raindrops

The afternoon of 10th July saw an optimistic group gather in Maureen's beautiful garden for a strawberry tea.  Groups of six were gathered around beautifully laid tables, with much excitement as people greeted one another after such a long time of being unable to socialise.  Raffle tickets were on offer, the tea was brewing and bowls of shiny red strawberries were being delivered....when......the heavens opened!  Not to be deterred, the umbrellas were unfolded and all carried on with much laughter and companionable chat.  Strawberries were followed by a selection of delicious home made cakes.  The afternoon raised over £200 for St Peter's funds.

Thank you to all who organised, baked and served.  We hope that everyone has dried out by now.  Well done for making the most of the afternoon despite the English weather.

 

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Pentecost Praise

Pentecost Praise!

Once more, having held our nerve against the grey clouds, we met for an outdoor service on Sunday - to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  Our worship had a party theme, with games, bunting and cake, as we celebrated the birthday of the Church.  Being outside meant that we could leave off our face coverings and it was wonderful to stand at the front of a group of people and see their beaming smiles at last.  We were also able to sing together and thanks must go to our three organists who shared the music making for us.

We heard about the arrival of the Holy Spirit in our Bible reading and remembered this amazing event throughout our worship.  We had the opportunity to reflect on the place of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and to re-commit ourselves to the Spirit-led work of sharing God's love in our communities.

After our worship we were able, for the first time in a year, to socialise with one another, catching up on news, drinking coffee and delighting in being together again.

More outdoor services are planned during June.

 

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Songs of Praise

Having defied the weather we were able to hold our Outdoor Songs of Praise service on Sunday evening.  Nearly thirty people gathered - safely socially distanced - in the churchyard at Brooke and we sang our hearts out.  Our theme was "praising God" and each of the chosen hymns, in its own way, did just that.  The birds joined in and our local churchyard pheasant even helped out with the prayers.

Look out for more outdoor services in the coming weeks....

.....and for our next Songs of Praise.

 

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Songs of Praise

We have all missed singing together as part of our worship.  On Sunday 2nd May, weather permitting, we will be able to join our voices in praise once more at an outdoor service. 

We will gather in the Churchyard at Brooke at 6.30pm to share in "Songs of Praise" with hymns chosen by congregation members.  Social Distancing will remian in place, so we will not be able to socialise yet, but we can worship together. 

See the events notice for further details.  

We look forward to seeing your there - and do invite your friends.

 

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HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Brooke Benefice joins the Nation in mourning the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Services this week will include prayers for the Prince and for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family as their grieve.

You will have heard  and seen the many tributes, both formal and personal, to the Prince which have shown the huge influence that he has had on the life of our Nation and others across the world and the impact and inspiriation that he has been in individual lives.

We will continue our participation in the week of mourning, ringing the bell at Brooke in line with other national times of ringing.  There will be opportunties for private prayer at Brooke on Wednesday from 10am to 4pm and at Seething on Thursday from 10am to 4pm.

We will hold a Service of Commemoration for the Duke, in line with many other parish churches across the country, on the evening before his funeral.  This will be at 6pm on Friday 16th April at St Peter's Church, Brooke.  People will be able to attend in person, with social distancing in place, but the service will also be live on Zoom.  You can find the links and Order of Service elsewhere on this web-site.

God of our lives,
we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,
for the love he shared among us,
and for his devotion to duty.
We entrust him now to your love and mercy,
through our Redeemer Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

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Murder, Mystery and Merryweather

Our social event for April is an evening of amateur sleuthing as we join our local detective in tracking down the dastardly killer.  You can join in on Zoom from 7.30pm on Saturday 24th April as we work together to find out "who done it".  

If you like all things detective related, you can take on the challenge of our themed quiz with questions about professional and amateur detectives from books, film and television.  A wonderful opportunity to test your knowledge.

We look forward to your company - as we go sleuthing together.

 

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Alleluia

Happy 

Easter!

Sending best wishes to all.

 

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Holy Week

How different Holy Week 2021 will be from last year.  Although we tried hard to worship and pray together we could only rely on using the same material and committing to the same times.  Not long after Easter Zoom came along for us and revolutionised our lives.  It means that, although we cannot be physically together most of the time, we will be able to keep Holy Week 2021 together, in the spirit of our Benefice vision.

We have been able to organise a service for each day and you will find details of them in the events section of this web-site.  As the week goes on you will be able to download and print off the Orders of Service, so that you can take a full part in what is going on.

For two of our services those who wish to will  be able to come to church in person.  Social distancing and face coverings will remain in place and we will still be unable to sing as a congregation, but it will be lovely to see each other none-the-less.  See the separate articles for further details and booking arrangements.

As we move cautiously to the first step of the Government road map on Monday, hopefully we will  be able to begin to feel less isolated and shut in.  Whilst we take full advantage of our new freedom, it will be good too to take time to walk with Jesus on the way of the cross in the coming days.

WIth blessings for a holy week.

 

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National Day of Reflection

Next Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the lockdown in which we have all been living to some extent ever since.  In that year vast numbers of people have died, some from Covid 19 itself and others for many different reasons.  For each of those people there have been numerous others who have been bereaved.  To add to their grief and sense of loss many people have not been able to attend funerals, or to arrange the funeral that they would have liked and many have also been deprived of the opportunity to meet afterwards to share their sadness....and all those amazing memories and funny stories.

Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Church of England have worked together to create a National Day of Reflection to mark that first anniversary in a way that honours all those who have died or been bereaved.  Nationally a minutes silence will be kept at 12 noon and church bells will be chimed.  Throughout the day there will be other ways for people to pause and remember the dead, whilst supporting the bereaved.

In the Benefice we will share in a service of reflection, both on-line and in person, remembering those who have had funerals in this benefice in the last year and those who have been bereaved, as well as joining in with that national moment of silence.  There will be the opportunity to light a candle and the church at Brooke will be open for private prayer.  Further details of the service are in the events section of this web-site.

As we look towards the promised day when we can go out freely and meet one another again, we pause to remember those who are gone before us and those who mourn their passing.  May they rest in peace.

 

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Lent 2021

We stand on the brink of this year's Lent.  Given the current lockdown restrictions we have planned for our events and services to take place on-line.  Lent is traditionally a time to really focus on God at the centre of our lives.  We may do this by "giving up" distractions, by taking up a new discipline of prayer or by making a new attempt to live out our faith in service to others.

There will be several opportunities to do this together this Lent.  You may like to make a committment to join in with Morning Prayer on Thursdays at 10am, or with Compline on Tuesdays at 8.45pm as a prayer discipline.  Alternatively, you may like to take part in our "Poems to Ponder" study group.  Download each week's poem from the web-site (or sign up for our weekly e-newsletter by contacting Lynn at chapman.lynn@btinternet.com).  Spend time with it over the week and then come along on a Tuesday evening at 7,30pm to share your thoughts, and to hear what other people think.

St Peter's Church at Brooke remains open for private prayer on Wednesdays and Sundays, so do go there if you are missing the opportunity to pray in church.  We hope very much to be able to get back to worshipping in person (for those who want to) before too much longer.

 

 

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