The Claydon Benefice

For enquiries please contact:

The Revd Canon Mark Haworth:
07932 160 009 / [email protected]

Or visit our website: www.claydonchurches.com

This month, Anji Dawkins from Henley Church writes:

I am writing this on a very cold, wet May day. Yet on local walks, we have seen the cracked earth on the footpaths, confirming that in April we had only seven percent of expected rainfall. I have heard that the Rural Chaplain, Graham Miles, whose job it is to support farmers is getting three or four calls a day from desperate members of that community.

Living as we do in a rural area, we need to give a big, appreciative shout-out to farmers whose job is to care for the environment and put food on our tables. As someone fortunate enough to have a vegetable garden, I know how hard the past months have been. We have had lots of exercise putting seedlings in and out of the house when the frosts have come but you can’t do that with a field. We have watered regularly but’s not possible to water a field for half an hour after supper.

Last week I was watering the onions and I realised that I was using a method like one we saw on our last trip to Kagera. The earth was so cracked that I was able to use a can to pour water directly onto the roots of each individual onion. In Kagera, Thomas who visited Henley in 2018, is training farmers in drip irrigation. They have a rather more efficient method than mine. Pipes with small holes every few inches are laid on the field and are linked up to a rainwater tank so there is a constant drip on each plant.

We saw some thriving vegetable plots. The picture shows this in action at a secondary school where students are taught to care for their lunchtime vegetables. Perhaps there is a message in this for us all. Drip feeding a little love, care and compassion to our neighbours produces a thriving community. Let’s do it and let’s thank God for farmers all over the world who are caring for the land and feeding their people in the midst of this climate crisis.

May we all sing together at harvest:

All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord, for all his love
’.

News

We are delighted to announce that The Revd Canon Mark Haworth has been appointed as Interim Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of Claydon (comprising the parishes of Claydon & Barham, Great Blakenham and Henley). Mark was licensed on May 24 and looks forward to being involved in our Benefice and churches. A celebration service for our wider congregations and communities will be held at Barham Church on June 30 at 7pm.

Together, we are all looking forward to the lifting of restrictions. From June 27, Henley and Great Blakenham Churches will be open for worship as well as Barham Church.

Bluebell Walk

Many visitors came to enjoy Great Blakenham’s ancient woodland bluebell walk last month. The bluebells were out in abundance. Thank you to all who joined us.

Barham Hall Band Concert

With a fantastic response as soon as the tickets went on sale, all 480 tickets were sold way before the early discount period expired.

Barham Church Bells

The new and refurbished bells are now installed and were rung by a team of guest ringers on Sunday 25 April and then blessed by the Bishop of Dunwich. Sadly, the training for our local team of bellringers had to be halted when the pandemic struck and has yet to be restarted so they cannot yet be rung regularly. However, we do hope to have them ringing out on the evening of Saturday 3 July before the band strikes up at 7pm in Barham Hall.

At the end of April, Bishop Mike arrived at Barham Church armed with his own fluffy duster having been sponsored by a member of the congregation to do a session on the cleaning rota as part of the Buy a Bishop initiative for the Lent appeal for our twin diocese of Kagera in Tanzania.

Services

Zoom services take place at 9.30am on the first, third and fifth Sundays. To join us, please email Wendy Hooper at [email protected] There is a Service of Holy Communion at Barham Church on Wednesdays at 10am, and on the first, second and fourth Sundays at 10am, and at 8am on the third and fifth Sundays. Please book with Jonathan Dedman: 01473 830890 / jo- [email protected]

Great Blakenham Church is open for private prayer from 10am-noon on Saturdays, and Henley Church from 2-4pm on Sundays.

There will be a Morning Prayer Service at Henley Church on Sunday 13 June at 9.30am. To book please contact: [email protected]

Social distancing is observed; everyone attending a service is required to wear a face covering.

FUTURE EVENTS

Barham Church: Thanksgiving Service – Sunday 27 June at 3pm; Barham Hall Picnic Concert – Saturday 3 July; BBQ – Sunday 18 July; J-Team Holiday Club – 11-13 August; Fete & Harvest Festival – 11-12 September.

Great Blakenham Church: Zoom Quiz – Friday 25 June at 7.15pm (contact: [email protected]); Doggy Day at Gt Blakenham Parish Room – Saturday 31 July; Patronal Festival – Sunday 15 August.

Henley Church: Patronal Festival – 26-27 June. As part of those celebrations, Henley Church is hosting a concert by The Abbot Consort of Voices at 7.30pm on Saturday 26 June.

A PRAYER FOR OUR FARMING COMMUNITY

Loving God we pray for the farming community as they continue to work hard to bring us food. Bless them as they sow crops and care for livestock. Surround them with your love so they may know they are cared for and valued. Help us to be thankful for the food they produce and not to waste it. Amen.

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