Welcome to The Glaven Valley Benefice

Thoughts from the Rectory

 for October 2021

Rev Richard Lawry

Dear Friends,

Recent weeks have been rather clouded by the death of some much-loved friends here. Two in particular have had special links with our churches.

At the end of August, Robin Combe died. Robin was known to so many people in this area, through so many different connections. He was a lovely man and a marvellous character, and an expert in various fields (metaphorically and literally!). He contributed so much to the Glaven Valley area, not least through the Bayfield Estate, and the Hall where he and Kim lived for many years. He was Churchwarden at Glandford Church for many decades, and an absolute pillar of the church family there, and the benefice more widely. Glandford will not be the same without him.

Then on 11th September, the day after Robin’s funeral, Jim Woodhouse died. Jim’s death was not quite as sudden as Robin’s, but a shock nonetheless. Like Robin in Glandford, Jim’s presence in Wiveton was very substantial, and hugely valued. He was likewise another real gentleman (and “gentle man”), with a wide variety of interests and expertise. Jim was also, until earlier this year, churchwarden at Wiveton, where Jim and Sarah have done such amazing work together over the years. Their contribution to the life of the church has been enormous, and they have left a great legacy in many ways.

Robin and Jim were both people who always made time for others, who were very well informed, deeply committed to their causes, and also great fun! They will be very much missed and remembered with great fondness.

Others known to many here have also died in recent weeks, including Sue Brunson, Peter Suckling, Shirley Lord and Amanda Holden. It’s been a poignant time…

Some of us attended a Deanery Service in Cromer in September. One of the hymns was “How shall I sing that majesty”.  It’s a fantastic hymn with a wonderful tune (Coe Fen). It’s partly a vision of heaven and of the greatness of God’s love.  It includes the following lines:

“How great a being, Lord, is thine, which doth all beings keep!

…. thy time is now and evermore, thy place is everywhere.”

I found myself thinking about those mentioned above as we sang that hymn. God’s love is limitless, in this world and the next. We give thanks for Robin and Jim, and many more. We know that they live on, and that the love they shared with us is finding new expression in the joy of heaven.

Thank God for them and all those we love.

God bless,