Aren't we lucky to live in such lovely villages as Aldringham and Thorpeness? I think so, and I don't mean just in geographical terms; I mean with the people we live near and next to. With schemes like Good Neighbours and interest groups like the Thorpeness and Aldringham Heritage Group, Bill Crow's art lectures, and much more we seem to be able to provide a rich abundance of social activities which many villages must envy. At St. Andrews Church we hope you count us in as a group of people who like to join in with village activities and also provide some activities for you to come and join in with. We are very grateful to people like David James and Kerry at The Dolphin Inn who on so many occasions have raised funds for us, for Trudie Willis of Priors Oak who opens her amazing garden for us to name but two.
But what can we at St. Andrews offer you? Our church doors are always open to you, whether you choose to come in and just sit in a little bit of cool quiet calm, or walk in our peaceful churchyard, or even come searching out flora and fauna, and as many people do, paying respects to loved ones buried there. We love being a part of your lives; weddings, baptisms and of course funerals, but hopefully we are there for more than that. We have a mixture of traditional and more modern services at our main 11.00am worship on Sundays, and there are also Holy Communion services every Wednesday morning at 9.30am in the vestry if you like to worship in a more intimate environment. For those people who are not able to come to church through illness or infirmity we can offer a home visit.
One thing we have done in the past and hope to do more of in the future is to stage musical events. Next year we are hoping for a visit from the Amici Choir - they love singing in our church as the acoustics are so good. We also had a visit this summer from a singing group called Seraphim, who make 'pilgrimages' to local churches and just sing for the pure love of it. They were quite impressed and have asked to come back again.
Any of you who have visited us in the last few weeks will have noticed we have been doing a spot of decorating. The front doors have been repainted green, the porch has been refreshed with white and the vestry, which had a new kitchen fitted in the summer (complete with oven and dishwasher) has also been painted inside and out, and if I say so myself, it's all looking very smart.
Having recently acquired more burial space we have just planted a (very small at the moment) yew hedge around what will soon become our new cremation area. Over 200 small yew trees have been planted, with the help of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB volunteers group, in a large oval which will, when it has had time to grow, be trimmed into a cradle shape. After a service of consecration, which we hope our new Bishop will officiate at this summer, we will then have a special place for the internment of ashes. We also plan to combine this with a seating area for people to come and use as a place of peace, somewhere that they can come and simply be. We have already planted some fruit and nut trees donated by Suffolk AONB Coast and Heaths group as part of their 'Scattered Orchard' project and we have a few other things in the pipeline which are very much at an early stage of development, but we will update you when things are more definite.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our Advent and Christmas services this winter not forgetting the outside services of Carols Around the Tree at the Meare, Thorpeness, and also on Mill Hill Aldringham in December.
Do feel free to come and see us at St. Andrew's, anytime
YOU WILL BE MADE MOST WELCOME.