Welcome to The Glaven Valley Benefice

Thoughts from the Rectory

 for December 2021

Rev Richard Lawry


Dear Friends,


There’s a whole lot of giving going on!


Not surprisingly, the notion of “giving” is in my thoughts at the moment.  To misquote the group Guys and Dolls from the 70s, “there’s a whole lot of giving going on” this month!


But I don’t just mean Christmas presents.  For example, there are various charities which our churches will be supporting this Christmas, including St Martin’s Housing Trust, the Bethlehem Rehabilitation Centre, and Crisis at Christmas.  Supporting the poor and marginalised in different ways, locally and overseas, is a vital part of the Church’s mission – all year round, as well as at Christmas.


I’m also very touched at the moment by the giving that’s coming to church, as well as from it.  There’s been a wonderful response to our appeal to raise more money to fix the roof at Wiveton Church (after the 2019 disaster with the falling beam), including the fabulous response to the current Crowdfunding film we’ve launched.  Incidentally, the link to the film is https://crowdfunder.co.uk/save-wiveton-church if you haven’t caught this yet, but would like to see it.  We’re so grateful for the generous response to this.


We’re also looking forward to our seasonal giving in a different sense altogether: the services and events our churches are offering to our communities around Christmas – from our Carol Services around all the 5 churches of the benefice to the spectacular Family Service on Christmas Day at Wiveton.  There are other exciting seasonal happenings too, such as the spectacular “Blazing Porches” at Cley Church.  This latter was a real hit last year, and popular with all ages.  The Lighting-Up for this will be happening at 5.00 on Thursday 16th – do come along and enjoy them over the Christmas period!


And then, of course, there’s the traditional giving of gifts at Christmas.  We give gifts to celebrate, and to give pleasure to friends and loved ones.  And we do so because of the greatest gift of all (I feel another old song coming on!)  But it’s true – God’s gift of himself, in the Incarnation, the baby born in a stable in Bethlehem, is the sign of his all-embracing love for the world and the promise of his everlasting peace.  You’ll all be hugely welcome, when you come along and join us in our celebrations of this most amazing and enduring gift this Christmas.


Wishing you all a profoundly joyful Christmas when it comes!