March at All Saints


Well what a wert wet wet yet more wet month we have had but glad we have now settled to normal Spring weather which means we get most things most weeks. Thank you all of you who came to a very fun Quiz at the end of January, delighted that both the winner’s prize and wooden spoon stayed in the Village, the first time this has happened for a while.

February’s Church Service was a little different. Just as we started the electricity stopped!! which also I seem to remember effected the whole village. Well what to do as the manual pump on the organ has not worked for years? We came up with a solution….. something a little different with David our organist humming the first few lines to give us start. All went very well all be it a little cold as of course the heating was off too.

Coming up we are putting on a Messy Church on a rainbow theme in the Village Hall on Saturday April 4th 10.30-12.00. Children under the age of 13 are invited to come and join us for a bit of fun. All children need to be accompanied by an adult so it will be nice to gather for all age groups and so allowing a bit of a catch up. Entry is of course free, if you would like anymore details please contact Mary Alderton on 01379 668537.

Easter is just around the corner following on from our Messy Church. We will have short Evening Devotional Service on Holy Tuesday at 6.30pm and then a devotional ½ hr on Good Friday at 2.00pm. On Easter Day we plan to have a family Communion Service at 9.30am with Lynda Mansfield and Rev. Sue Auckland

As I write the church yard is ablaze with Aconites and Snowdrops particularly around the north side. Daffodils are making an appearance before our Meadow Saxifrage making their annual appearance in May/June. June is a very good time to have a wander around the church yard which you will know is managed for its wildflower population. Every year I am surprised by the appearance or even non appearance of various flower species there. Please do feel free to pop up there, many of our wildflower species are in decline and church yards often havens of which All Saints is a very good example. Additionally the church will be open at weekends and Bank Holidays after Easter. Some peeps think that just because the Church gates are closed means that you cannot go in, nothing could be further from the truth, these gates whilst physically together are never closed to those who wish to enter, a gentle push is all it needs.

A big thank you for all those who have had the lights on celebrating or remembering over the recent months it is so lovely to see the church alight. It costs just £5 a night and the money goes straight into our Maintenance Fund from which we draw frequently in the upkeep of this Grade 1 listed 900 year old Church. If you would like the lights on please contact Sue Williams on 07855414941. Payment will be needed before the night if you could please.


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A beautifully decorated Altar for our Crib Christingle
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Crib Christingle Service on 8th December

We had a lovely service on Sunday with a well filled church in good voice singing our favourite carols and enjoying the readings by the youngsters who did really well. Many Mince Pies and Stollen Cake consumed as we caught up, delighted to say that the Mulled wine proved very popular indeed too!! Thank you Tim and Lynda for a lovely service and the team who decorated the Church.

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Christmas Eve Service at All Saints

We will be having a Midnight Eucharist with The Rev Sue Auckland at All Saints starting at 11.20pm. As always a very warm welcome awaits

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The Latest News

Goings on at All Saints

Well wasn’t it nice to be called the Village with Poppies. The youngsters did a great job with the pump after alot of hard work in th Village Hall painting them all. The Church looked wonderful with the Poppy on its Tower, big thanks need to go the the Parish Council and Village Hall who helped us with the finances of it.

Talking of lights, we have had a number of enquiries about having the lights on for special occasions and you will have seen the Church aglow on a number of occasion. I will have to say that seeing it alight as I drive past always brings a smile to my face wondering what event or person we are celebrating and of course appreciating what a good idea it was when we installed the lights way back in 2003. In fact the idea was born during the celebration of the Millenium in 2000 when Rosemary Barham who lived in School Lane, and a leading light on our Church Council organised some mobile lighting and showed us all how lovely a floodlight All Saints could be. If you would like the lights on to celebrate or remember a loved one please contact Sue Williams on 07855414941 or myself on

Now it’s almost got to the stage when we can mention the “C” word. In fact although as I right it’s a touch early when you read this its will definitely

As we have in the past we will be having a Christingle Carol Christmas Celebration with something for all together with festive fare at All Saints, on Sunday 8th December at 4.00pm which I am pretty sure will be preceded by a celebrations round the pump with Carols in the days before. This though is very much still in the planning stage so I will not be stealing the Village Hall Committee’s thunder by saying more. Suffice to say there will be a chance to celebrate the lighting of the tree decorated as always with decorations from around the Village.

Let me close this final edition of All Saint News by wishing you all a very happy Christmas, may yours be a joyous one and in the hope that 2020 is all you could wish for.

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October Mardler

The All Saints Bit

Well the summer has rather come and gone I am afraid as we settle into autumn. A quiet summer with our regular monthly service which alternates between morning Prayer and Communion. We always think that 9.30am is a great time to meet up as it does not really get in the way of the day although the chatting over tea/coffee often lasts longer than the service!

By the time you read this we will have had our Compline Service which happens during the week at 6.30pm. It is above all a short service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day so really does bring it to a close in a truly lovely way. The next one will be at Billingford St Leonards on 12th December. 

Coming up in October we have a Christening when we will welcome Esme Rose together of course with family and friends. Then onto 23rd November when we have the Gary and Simon double act with Simon putting on a talk about the Royal Naval Division in WW1 and Gary will bring in a good number of items with WW1 history to talk about. So very much a date for the diary, as always there will be a Light Supper, Bar and Raffle on offer. Further details will be forthcoming.

Our famous Messy Church will be running in the Village Hall on 12thOct 10.30-1200. As those who have been will tell you this is great fun for the youngsters and a chance for parents to catch up too. The last one earlier in the year was an absolute gas. The theme this time will be Harvest and everything that is made will go up to the Church for our Family Harvest Festival service on 13thOct at 4.30pm. 

To find out more that is happening in the 7 Churches Benefice go to:

All Saints Alight!!

Church Lights.Driving down the A143 you will notice every so often that All Saints Church is alight, and without doubt it looks absolutely fabulous. It’s all about remembrance or celebration so if you have something or someone you would like to remember, or an event to celebrate let us know. We already have la ist of events and celebrations we mark with the lights and would love to light the church more often. It costs just £5 a night and the money goes straight into our Maintenance Fund from which we draw frequently in the upkeep of this Grade 1 listed 900 year old Church. If you would like the lights on please contact Sue Williamson 07855414941or myself on Payment will be needed before the night if you could please.

May I close wishing you all a bountiful harvest and a successful Conkerfest on the 28thSep


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Just a single Poppy at All saints Thorpe Abbotts

Please do feel free to share this lovely photo

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October Mardler

The Summer

Well what a summer we have had, wall to wall sunshine day after day!! Now a couple of years ago we had promise of a BBQ summer which turned into one of the wettest ever! This one however rather crept up on us. I cannot remember seeing the countryside (or my Garden) looking so brown. It seemed like no amount of watering was working. You would think that it would have been a perfect time for tomatoes, sadly I am told that it was far too hot. Apparently they do not like temperatures above 30 deg which rather bizarrely stops the toms from ripening. Happily September and August saw a return to relatively normal temperatures so all things, apart from my beans, have recovered.

The last really hot summer was way back in 1976 with the countryside all about going very crispy. All bar the gardens in Thorpe Abbotts who had access to the pump which in those days still drew water. It had been refurbished a few years before and had benefitted from being rebored as a result of a water table drop due to the number of bore holes servicing the Airfield. Piped water only cam to the village in 1952/3 when each of the houses were provided with a single stand pipe which sat on the verge at the front of the house. I believe these were still in use when the Estate sold off the houses in the 1970/80’s.

Well it seems the autumn is setting fair so far which means that by the time you read this it will be howling down with rain!!!!  Enjoy

Church News

Over the summer we put out a plea for some help with the running of the church and churchyard. Thank you very much indeed to those who have offered their help. As it happens the mowing task has not been onerous as the mower did not have to come out from May through till the end of September!!!! We hope to have a cleanup day later in the year when the clearing of the boundary wall will continue and we will have a go at the ivy on the church which has had a very good summer.

Back in July we were delighted to welcome a visit from the Round Towers Society who included us in their Friday tours. We had over 50 there and it was fascinating to hear the experts tell us all about the church. Mind you with a building over 900 years old there have been many changes, alterations or rebuilds. For instance it is clear that during the 15thCentury there was a major extension to the west and then the building of the tower. The skill lies in being able to spot what and when alterations have happened.

Coming up we have our Harvest Festival on 14thOctober when we will celebrate what a wonderful summer we have had with a family service at 4 o’clock. Following on from this we have our Remembrance Service at 9.30am on Sunday 11thNovember. Finally we have decided to put on a Race Night in November so put the 10thin your diary more details to follow but definitely not one to be missed!



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Holy Week at All Saints and Benefice Churches

Monday 26th March: Reading of St Mark’s Gospel St Peter and St Pauls Brockdish 6.30pm

Tuesday 27th March: Evening Devotional at All Saints Thorpe Abbotts at 6.30pm

Good Friday 30th March: Devotional Half Hours:

St Peter’s and St Pauls Brockdish 11.00am

St Mary’s Redenhall 12.00pm

St Peter’s Needham 1.00pm

St Andrew’s Scole 2.00pm

All Saints Thorpe Abbotts 3.00pm

St Leonard’s Billingford 4.00pm

Easter Day 1st April: Holy Communion at All Saints Thorpe Abbotts at 9.30am




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March Mardler

“Collected for the redemption of the English captives out of Turkish Bondage £9/5/6 December 1670.”

This is a hand-written note on the side of a page in the All Saints record of  management decisions made by the Church Officials known as the Vestry Book. Well what’s this all about I wondered?

Piracy and the taking of slaves had been a fact of life in the Mediterranean for over 300 years, the Mediterranean coastlines were at the mercy of Barbary pirates (corsairs) from the coast of North Africa, based mainly in the ports of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. Their number included not only North Africans but also English and Dutch privateers operating against Spain with the support of the English Government. Their aim was to capture slaves for the Arab slave markets in North Africa.

The Barbary pirates attacked and plundered as far north as the English Channel, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland, with the western coast of England almost being raided at will. It is estimated that along with raids along the coast that between 1677 and 1680 some 160 English ships were captured which would translate into a probable 7,000-9,000 able bodied souls taken into slavery in those years.

The English Government, unlike its Catholic neighbours, was slow to organise or finance the freeing of its nationals by payment of a ransom.  The English Church however did seek funds and the note in our Vestry Book is testament.

After an attack on Algiers by the British and Dutch in 1816 more than 4,000 Christian slaves were liberated and the power of the Barbary pirates was finally broken


Church News

The chestnut tree on the north side of th church yard lost a large bough in the autumn storms which indicated that the tree was deceased. Advice was sought which suggested that its time had come thus it was that a couple of weeks ago armed with chainsaws we it was taken down. It has opened up the church yard wonderfully and now the debate is whether we replace it and if so what with.

Easter will soon be on us. In the meantime of course we are in lent during which we do not have flowers in Church. During this time, lead by Lynda Mansfield, we have a Lent course run as a house group around the village. Probably the most important Christian event of the year Easter is quite early this year being the last weekend of March. We will hold an Easter Service at All Saints at 9.30am on Sunday 1st April, as always a very warm welcome awaits.




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