St. Mary's Church, Woodbridge
"We are here for the glory of God; to be the body of Christ, broken and restored to reflect the Gospel in our lives."
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Children at Harvest
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Harvest Festival

On 2nd October, in temperatures approaching 30C, the traditional Autumn scene which is ‘harvest time’ seemed far away, but it was that season once again when we give thanks for our land and all it produces for us as food. As always, the ladies had excelled with their stunning decorations of flowers, greenery and fruits which further enhanced the beauty of the glorious building which is St. Mary’s, the Parish Church of Woodbridge.

Today’s 1000 service was centred round our children and their families as all age groups gathered with their gifts. Offerings of cans, bottles and packets of food were sent this year to our friends at Woodbridge Salvation Army for their work among the destitute who do not enjoy a daily meal. The demand upon the Salvation Army’s resources of food has increased dramatically this year.

Children and young people led the service with readings, prayers and a thought provoking presentation in which they were asked to think for one minute about their favourite foods. Chips seemed very popular! We were then reminded that in that short space of time, 14 people will have died in the world, many of them children and some because of lack of food and water. What a wonderful way to make this statistic real to the children.

Following the service, the traditional bring-and-share harvest lunch was enjoyed in the Abbey School Hall. Our grateful thanks go to all who contributed to, and attended, these celebrations.

Revd. Paul Hambling

Return of a much-loved Priest

October continued the theme of celebration when we welcomed back to St. Mary’s our former Curate, Revd. Paul G. Hambling, on Sunday, 9th.

It was exactly a year ago that Paul preached his farewell sermon to us here before moving to South London to become Vicar of his own parish. How good it was to have him with us once more: to listen to his strong, clear voice as he spoke the familiar words of the Eucharist; to see his presence at the altar where his ministry began; to be drawn into his address with its familiar humour and great depth of warmth and sincerity. And how well he coped with an unrehearsed mishap when a heavy nose bleed forced him to stand down from presiding (the Rector proved an adequate emergency stand-in!). But it was a joy that he recovered sufficiently to deliver his meaningful and relevant address. At coffee, it was as if Paul had never been away, and it is obvious that St. Mary’s and Woodbridge still hold a special place in his heart.

It was lovely to see you Paul, please come again soon!