The letter from the Minister is on the "From the Manse" page

                                 WORSHIP:  the gate of heaven

What happens when we worship?  A cynic might say ‘not much’.  Many others show by voting with their feet that they agree.  By contrast, the experience of those who do worship regularly convinces them that it is the most important thing they ever do.  Put simply, to worship is to bring our whole being into line with the will and purpose of God and to open every part of our being to the impact of God. This is done uniquely through adoration, penitence, acceptance of forgiveness, thanksgiving, intercession and dedication.  It can be learned only by doing. There will always be room for fresh expressions.  But if genuine, all the elements listed will be found in a two-way traffic between God and us. By this means people meet Jesus and grow in faith, as claimed at this year’s Conference.

Whenever we find something good the natural response is to share it with others.  We have sought to widen our appeal by lightening worship.  One way has been to provide tea and cake as we listen or sing.  Other ways have been to shorten the traditional content and follow it by discussion or Bible Study.  This is surely mistaken.  Deep down most people seek an experience of God, though reticent to express it in words.  The initiative lies with God and he has shown us that corporate worship is his supreme way of meeting with us.  Rather than lighten worship we need to deepen it. All of us at times grapple with seemingly insurmountable issues where the only real help lies in the gospel message of life through death.

Worship is an event.  Our Sunday worship, if regular, conveys this to others. Anglican research this year revealed that twice the number of young people compared with ten years ago have responded to the gospel through prayer and visits to churches.  The President of the Methodist Conference has said we haven’t too many churches but too few people in them.  Instead of new approaches, maybe our regular prayers, our example in daily life and the imaginative use of our premises are all that’s needed now for God to add to our number day by day. (Acts 2 v.47). 

(See also Genesis 18 v.17).              

Keith Horton

Your support is helping projects overseas through Traidcraft!

Thanks to the support of those of you who purchase goods either from our Traidcraft stalls here at St John's or at Kettle & Fish, we have been able to make donations to Traidcraft projects helping communities in developing countries.  From the surplus generated through sales, we, as a church, have donated £150 for “Connecting Communities” projects.  These are designed to help poor farmers find ways of diversifying and increasing their incomes so that they are better able to support themselves.

We have spent a further £30 on supporting schools overseas.  This money will help people in poor farming communities to be able to afford to send their children to school, and to ensure that they have the necessary resources while at school.

I hope you will agree that these are extremely worthwhile projects, and I would like to say a big thank you for your support which has enabled St Johns to fund them.  A poster and card will be on display in the Link.

No Traidcraft report would be complete without a reminder to choose Fairtrade products whenever you have the opportunity, and a plug for Traidcraft products specifically!

Firstly, I’d like to draw your attention to a new sales ploy by Sainsbury’s.  They are introducing their own “Fairly Traded” label on products instead of using the internationally accepted Fairtrade endorsement (badge below).  The main concerns about this are that it undermines the importance of the Fairtrade logo and does not provide a reliable indication of just how “fairly traded” the products concerned are.  The Fairtrade Foundation, which created the idea of Fairtrade accreditation and the logo, was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, Global Justice Now, and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (other groups in the UK and internationally have subsequently joined them).  I’m sure you would agree that these are very clear credentials for the reliability of the Foundation.  If you’d like to learn more about the campaign to encourage Sainsbury’s to drop their idea and return to using the Fairtrade logo, please look at the following website:

Image result for fair trade markFairtrade logo:

Finally, new Traidcraft catalogues have just arrived.  There are many new products available, and, of course, plenty of Christmas gift ideas and cards (some with Bible verses).  Please take a catalogue – they will be available after church in the Hall, where you can peruse them at your leisure over a cup of Fairtrade tea or coffee (or take one home where I hope you will do the same!)

Chris Willis

Stour Valley Vineyard Offices and Storehouse is Moving

You might have picked up that there are a few changes taking place at Stour Valley Vineyard. The reason for writing to you today is because they will affect the current Storehouse Foodbank operation.  Your shared concern and much-valued partnership helps us to continue to meet the needs of local individuals and families in crisis, but we are also conscious that we cannot stand still in sustaining and growing our vision of caring for the most vulnerable in our community. So, change is always inevitable. 

Over the past year, we've been praying, fasting and seeking a way to lower our costs, as well as to increase our space to allow for further expansion! A tall order, but, as you know, God can do anything. 

The answer to prayer has been a new building, which we are calling the Vineyard Centre. So, we will be moving into new offices, and a new Storehouse and midweek meeting space. It is situated in the old vocational building, belonging to the Ormiston Sudbury Academy (formerly Sudbury  Upper School). Our weekend services will remain at the Delphi Centre for the time being. 

After the building refit is complete, Storehouse Foodbank will be running Drop-ins and receiving food  deliveries there from Friday 25 August. The last drop in at the Christopher Centre will be Tuesday 22 August.  Thank you once again for your support of this important compassion ministry. 

Our new address:  Vineyard Centre, Tudor Road, Sudbury, C010 1NW 

Meanwhile, we are excited about our new relationship with Ormiston Sudbury Academy and ask,  humbly, that you'd support us with your prayers as we continue to extend the Kingdom of God  together in our area. 

Every blessing   

Emma Stewart-Darling  Pastor, Storehouse Team Leader  


50th Anniversary

Last month marked the 50th anniversary of my reception as a member of St John’s.  Quite an achievement, I think you will agree – of course, there are people who have been members of the Methodist Church for longer than 50 years, but not so many who have enjoyed unbroken membership of the same church.  Do let me know if you beat or equal this record!

I was baptised at St John’s in September 1946 being the third child of a “mixed” marriage – Dad was an Anglican and Mother a Methodist.  Apparently, Dad was recorded as saying that any sons of the union would be Anglicans, whilst daughters could be Methodists!  A non-starter really, after three daughters were born and no sons.

I did, however, attend Sunday School at St Andrew’s in Great Cornard from an early age, and only graduated to St John’s Sunday School when I was old enough to ride my bike to Sudbury and back on a Sunday afternoon.  Confirmation into the Anglican communion was unavailable at the appropriate time, owing to the indisposition of the Vicar at St Andrew’s.

It was not until Rev Bill Horton arrived in Sudbury that I was approached to become a member at the ripe old age of nearly 21.  I cannot remember the exact date of the service for Reception of New Members but it was about a week before my 21st birthday.  Alan and Valerie Barnard, the children of Walter and Molly, were received at the same service.

I had a particular fondness for Bill and Audrey Horton and it was a great delight that Bill officiated at my marriage to Andrew in 1974.  On a sadder note, it was Bill who offered me spiritual support and comfort during Andrew’s illness and after his death.  It was fitting that, owing to the indisposition of Rev Marion Bright, Bill conducted a wonderful memorial service for Andrew in 2008.

I have seen the comings and goings of many ministers, and many changes over the years, but I am happy to call St John’s my spiritual home.

                                                            Christine Wicks



By donating £60 to twin your toilet, you help those in desperate poverty to have access to a proper latrine, clean water and the information they need to be healthy. 

Your smallest room becomes the proud owner of a certificate, complete with a colour photo of its twin and GPS coordinates so you can look up your twin on Google Maps.

  • 2.4 billion people don’t have somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the toilet. (WHO/Unicef)
  • The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual attack as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night.
  • Almost 1,000 children die every day from preventable diseases linked to dirty water and unsafe toilets. (UN)
  • 663 million people live without safe water. (Unicef)
  • Children worldwide miss 443 million school days each year because of dirty water and poor sanitation. (UN)
  • Every year, women and girls spend 97 billion hours finding a place to go. (World Bank)

At the Church Council meeting it was  agreed to give financial Harvest donations to this initiative with the aim of twinning all our 6 toilets.  The church would also support Storehouse with any food gifts.

SHCT Bike Ride on 9th September

The Bike Ride for the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust will be held on Saturday 9th September this year. Local organisers will be Brian and Clare Mortimer. We would be grateful for your help and support for both St John’s and SHCT.

Clare Mortimer


The Harvest Supper will be on Saturday September 23rd. The entertainment will be provided by the Music Makers.  Donations of flowers to decorate the church will be gratefully received on the morning of Saturday September 23rd.  These will be distributed to members of the congregation as usual.

As mentioned above, harvest gifts this year can be a financial donation to “Toilet Twinning”, or you may prefer to bring an item of tinned or packet food that can be used by Storehouse.

Gill Phillips

Home Communion.

 If you are unable to attend church due to illness or disability and wish to receive home communion, then will you please phone me on 01787 372738 to request a home visit. Similarly if you are preparing to go into hospital or a hospice, and would like a visit from a Chaplain or wish to attend the Chapel Service at the hospital or hospice, or wish to receive Communion on the ward, please phone me so that I can pass on your request. 

John Boardman

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Please support the Macmillan Coffee Morning to be held here on Saturday September 30th from 10.00 – 12.00. Catch up with friends this autumn & raise money for Macmillan.                        Ann Boardman

Letter from Sudbury Community Depot

Sudbury Community Depot

c/o The Christopher Centre

Gainsborough Street



CO10 2EU                                                             Telephone 07462 108 708

We are writing to let you know about an exciting new project in Sudbury that we are starting, a way of sharing resources in our community with those who might benefit from them most. We’ll be open on Mondays and Thursdays, 10am – 12pm as well as responsive to need in between these times.

By supporting our neighbours, we can help to build our community’s resilience through giving people a hand up at a time when they need it. It could be someone moving house, moving back into a home, welcoming a new family member, or someone currently unable to afford the essentials that we all need - clothing, household and personal items.

Also, by reusing items, we can help to relieve the pressure that our community puts on our environment and on our local waste and recycling services.

We are looking to raise £4,000 to cover our first year’s running costs – we have already been given a small number of donations but need to ask for the generosity of groups and individuals, such as yourselves, in our community in order to fulfil our commitment so that we can offer ongoing support to members of our community. We are extremely appreciative of any financial help that you can give us. Please make cheques payable to ‘The Christopher Centre’.

We are also planning some fundraising events – we will share the details with you and look forward to meeting you at these.

And if you’re keen to volunteer with us, we’d love you to be part of our Sudbury Community Depot team. We’ve added a furniture strand to our project, so offers of occasional transport would be great!

Yours sincerely,

Joanne Main

Cally Boardman

Teresa Bishop

St John’s Methodist Church Family Fair –

Saturday November 11th 2017

This is possibly the 50th Anniversary of this event.  Part of the reason for the change of name is that many craft fairs are held at this venue every month of the year and we are trying to differentiate between them and us and show that we are doing something slightly different, catering for a wider age group and thus attracting customers who might not normally come in.

There will be our usual variety of stalls of various crafts, jams & chutneys, cakes, Traidcraft, books & records etc. Refreshments, lunches  and cream teas served and children's activities. Free entry or donations. Please note the date in your diary and plan to come, help or spend!

Garden Party

Despite the continuous rain that fell, the Church Garden Party was a great success.  Over 40 brave souls ventured out to lnglebrook and fully participated in the events, at the same time keeping dry and everyone enjoyed themselves. Together with donations received, the magnificent  sum of £767.55 was raised thus enabling us to claim from our sponsor (Barclays Bank) a further sum of  £750. Hence a grand total of £1517.55 was realised for church funds. A big thankyou to all who supported the event in any way.

The Martlands

A taste of Greece

On July 22nd about thirty St. John’s folk met in the Church Hall for a sumptuous Greek feast. This was the brainchild of Jan Turner and what a wonderful evening we had.

Our “ Taste of Greece” began with flatbreads, tahini and tzatziki dips, followed by kleftico lamb, moussaka, meatballs in tomato sauce, stuffed vine leaves, stuffed peppers and a Greek salad.

The meal was rounded off with baklava, honey cake and pistachio ice cream. The food was all home made and was delicious.

We all know what an excellent cook and hostess Jan is but she really excelled herself with this banquet. She had obviously been planning for weeks and cooking for hours. Jan was ably assisted and supported by Sue Rampling and Andrew Clare.  Julie Rix had created beautiful floral centre pieces for the tables.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Jan and her team for an unforgettable evening of food and fellowship.

Maureen Hearn.

Greek Evening

A pleasant way to raise a little money for Andrew and Julie towards the Family Fair!

There are several people I must thank.  The beautiful flowers, brought by Jane on Sunday morning, they were much appreciated.  The evening would not have been a success without the help and support of Sue, Andrew, Iris, Tony and Julie for the delightful flower arrangements;  Gill for the advertising and support.  We have had this idea in the 'pipeline' for several years and it finally came to fruition!!  The speed at which the tables and room were cleared was a 'joy to behold'.  Thank you everyone.

                                                                                                                  Jan Turner

July Messy Church - Paul's Shipwreck

Paul's shipwreck was the Bible story for this Sunday.   A lively theme recreated in different crafts and activities.   Donning your life jacket then scrambling out of a real boat (loaned by Richard),holding tight to a rope and pulling yourself to shore  - all timed.   Rain sticks and wave twirlers were made to be part of the mini drama that would take place in the Church service.   In the art line a wall frieze was being made of the sinking ship and the people swimming for their lives, surrounded by flotsam and jetsam.   Your whole hand covered in paint created boating pictures.   There were pictures to colour.   Sandwiches were made into boats being decorated with edible sails.   The service was lively and full of enthusiasm from the children wanting to take part as the different characters.   The real life size boat was centre stage with the crew aboard.   Rains shakers and wave sticks played their part.   A crust of bread was provided when Paul said they needed to eat to keep up their strength.   He assured them God would keep them safe and get them to shore safely.   The story unfolded, and with  prayers and songs to well known rhythms, the service was concluded.   A simple meal together with carers and helpers completed the afternoon.


                                                                                                                                                                      Jane Sainsbury

The Church Day Out

On August 12th 2017 fifteen members of St. John's congregation attended a Quiet Day at Clare Priory.

The theme of the day was "What's in a name?". Following the opening Act of Worship Rev John Boardman led us into session 1, “The names of God". We read Psalm 8 which begins "LORD, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the World". We learned that in Hebrew there are different names for God or the Lord including Adonai or YHWH, more frequently written Yahweh.

We also read Charles Wesley's hymn "Come O thou traveller unknown", one line of which reads "Tell me thy name and tell me now". I recommend that folk read through the twelve verses of this hymn and see how Wesley concludes "Thy nature and thy name is love".

After a short break Rev Ruth Ridge led session 2, "The names of Jesus" where we discussed the "I am" Jesus sayings. There were several Prayer stations set up in the Parish Room and the Cellarers Room with meditations on the Bread of Life, the True Vine, the Way, the Truth and the Life etc.

Following lunch we were given the opportunity to express our thoughts by painting, printing or clay or by walking around the Priory grounds meditating or quietly talking over what we had learned. 

Our day finished with Holy Communion in the beautiful Priory Chapel. Our final hymn was "Jesus is the name we honour " the same hymn with which we started the day.

This truly was a day of spiritual and social refreshment and I would like to thank John and Ruth for all their hard work in preparing and leading this wonderful time of fellowship.

Maureen Hearn

Another day, another lesson.

A lawyer, who had a wife and 12 children, needed to move because his rental agreement was terminated by the owner who wanted to reoccupy the home. But he was having a lot of difficulty finding a new house. When he said, he had 12 children, no one would rent a home to him because they felt that the children would destroy the place. He couldn't say he had no children, because he couldn't lie. We all know lawyers cannot and do not lie.

So, he sent his wife for a walk to the cemetery with 11 of their kids. He took the remaining one with him to see rental homes with the real estate agent. He loved one of the homes and the price was right -- the agent asked: "How many children do you have? He answered: "Twelve." The agent asked, "Where are the others?" The lawyer, with his best courtroom sad look answered “They're in the cemetery with their mother."

MORAL: It's not necessary to lie, one only has to choose the right words….

Circuit News:

We have appointed Adrian Romano as our new Circuit Administrator. He will be working 10 hours per week:

Tuesday 10:00a.m. - 1:00p.m. and 2:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.

Thursday 10:00a.m. - 1:00p.m. and 2:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.

These hours may be flexed when we require him to work at other times.

Isabel Hebden.

Circuit Steward.


Social Activities

Jane Brooker used to organise regular social events at which we could enjoy meeting, and sometimes eating, with each other.  This is a valuable part of church life.  Is there anyone who would feel able to arrange possibly one activity every quarter such as a quiz, a coffee morning/evening, a musical evening, a scrabble evening  etc?  If you feel you could do this, please talk to one of the stewards.  If you feel you could only do it once, still let us know as perhaps several people could arrange an evening each.

Gill Phillips

Christmas Cards:

Looking for Christmas cards with a difference this year? Churches Together in Sudbury and District will be selling cards featuring the two winning pictures from the 2016 Advent Art Trail. The cards will be £5 for a pack of 10 and money raised after expenses will be donated to the work of Future Vision who share the Christian story in our local schools. Cards will be available in local churches, through your Churches Together reps and at the 'cards for good causes' shop in the library (TBC)

Tree and woodland bodies agree principles for Charter for Trees, Woods and People

Today, at a time when England may have tipped into deforestation with more trees being cut down than planted for the first time in 40 years, it is essential we act now as a nation to protect the future of trees and woods for people for generations to come.

From community woods across the UK, street trees in our cities, timber in our houses, to many ancient trees and woods with historical and cultural connections, trees and woods play an important part in our lives, but more woods are under threat than ever before.

Whereas the historic Charter of the Forest in 1217 was signed by the King to grant rights to his subjects, the new Tree Charter will draw its strength from people power, with signatures from hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK

The coalition of environmental, social and industry bodies has published what it calls the charter's ten key principles, based on consultation with the public.

The main themes and aims of the charter will be:

  • Nature - thriving habitats for diverse species
  • Planting for the future
  • Arts & Heritage - celebrating the cultural impacts of trees
  • Utility & Livelihoods - a thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK
  • Better Protection for important trees and woods
  • Planning - enhancing new developments with trees
  • Health & Wellbeing - understanding and using the natural health benefits of trees
  • Access to trees for everyone
  • Coping with Threats to woods and trees through good management
  • Environment - strengthening landscapes with woods and trees.

Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight said: "Today, our nation’s woods and trees are facing unprecedented pressures from development, pests and diseases and climate change. They risk being neglected, undervalued and forgotten.

"Now is the time to create a new Tree Charter, which recognises the importance of trees in our society, celebrates their enormous contribution to our lives, and acts now so that future generations can benefit from them too."

The final Charter is intended to "provide guidance and inspiration" for policy and practice, while laying out the responsibilities to, and benefits from, woods and trees for Government, businesses, communities and individuals.

It will be officially launched on 6 November 2017, the 800th anniversary of the historic 1217 Charter of the Forest, signed by Henry III and granting commoners access to royal lands.

If you would like to sign this charter, please add your signature to the sheet in the Link and I will send it on to the Tree Charter Team.

Gill Phillips

Dementia Friend Training

There is free training for this at various local locations or alternatively, there is an online video one can  watch to become a Dementia Friend.  The website is  You can then receive your FREE Little Book of Friendship - full of more helpful tips and ideas - and your Dementia Friend badge.

Sponsored Canoe Trip

I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the wonderful experience of paddling along the beautiful Stour from Wissington to Stratford St. Mary on 17th. August, and many thanks to the expert guidance of Richard S. who kept us on the straight and narrow (literally), there were some challenging stretches!  Also thanks to those who sponsored me. The end result will be quadrupled by the E.U., and all going to Christian Aid.

Jane Martland

The deadline for the October Herald

is Sunday 16th September 


Please email any contribution to either Tricia Campbell  - or Gill Phillips - gillian.phillips  - or leave it in the tray in the Link.


Coffee Rota



Tricia Campbell’s team


Flower Committee


Jan and Daphne


Welcome stewards



May Bailey’s team


Re-Unite ladies

Church Contacts:-

Minister                       Rev John Boardman        01787 372738

Senior Steward           Sue Rampling                   01787 377441

Lettings Secretary       Andrew Clare                    01787 372705

Church Office                                                       01787 373185

Church website:

Church email address:


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