Welcome to the Barrow Benefice. We are a rural benefice made up of five parishes – All Saints’, Barrow; St Giles, Risby; St Nicholas, Little Saxham; St Andrew’s, Great Saxham, and St Mary’s, Denham. The Benefice is part of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
Our churches are welcoming and friendly. Each week all ages gather for worship in churches across the benefice. If you are seeking to join one of the churches in the benefice or wanting to find out about a baptism or wedding, you will find helpful information on this site.
I am delighted to have been recently licenced as the interim priest-in-charge of the Barrow benefice, and I am looking forward to meeting you all! Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is doing its best to stop this, but I have been touring the benefice on a virtual basis, using the various technological systems that are available, such as Zoom and Facetime – even the trusty telephone. It’s not quite the same as meeting you over a cup of coffee face to face, but it’s the next best thing.
Perhaps like me, many of you are tuning into the online services that are running – there seems to be plenty to choose from and I do recommend this. Bishop Martin takes Morning Prayer at 0830 every morning and you can follow the service by downloading the App ‘Daily Prayer’ that is provided by The Church of England. Other clergy take it in turns to lead a Said Eucharist at 1200 noon and Evening Prayer at 5.00pm during the week. On Sundays the Cathedral host the Sunday Eucharist at 1000. Just visit this link for the services and further up to date information: m.facebook.com/stedscathedral
Even though I am unable to get out and about to meet people in our parishes, I sense a very friendly, warm and welcoming community and I’m heartened by how you are supporting each other during this difficult time – shopping, running errands, praying, staying in touch, are just a few of the wonderful ways people are helping one another. It’s immensely important to take care of each other in loving service – this is very much how Jesus taught his disciples, and how, I pray we continue when the virus has passed. I think we can sum this up in the words of St John: ‘… if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.’
We don’t know how long this virus will last. We don’t know how long we will be asked to stay at home. We don’t know when ‘normality’ will return, or indeed if it will ever return – in fact, what is normality? – but what we do know is that God is with us and it is often in the darkness, when we think things cannot get worse, or the isolation cannot get more lonely, it’s then that we see the bright light of Christ shining before us and we realise we are not alone. God is with us.
I pray we will all be delivered safely through this pandemic and whatever shape our lives take in the future, we will come out stronger, more loving and more appreciative of each other and the world in which we inhabit.
Meanwhile, please do contact me if you need to talk or have something that you wish to share with me.
With every blessing,
The Rev’d Lynda
A prayer for this time
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In light of the Government guidance the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice therefore all Churches have to remain closed.
Barrow Benefice is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own benefice safeguarding officer, Nicola Grieves whose phone number is 07515 721172. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact Nicola or if you have immediate concerns contact the police and your local authority Children or Adult Services.