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



“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is the advice Shakespeare gives in one of his characters in Hamlet.  The outcome is likely to be the loss of both the loan and the friend, he asserts. This surely is a counsel of despair. If another can benefit from the use of a garden tool or a kitchen utensil of ours, we get pleasure in providing it.  But when it comes to lending books, there is good reason to be reticent.  Public libraries everywhere regularly lose books not returned.  To deter borrowers, fines are imposed.

In Australia, Sydney’s library has discovered that books are more likely to be returned if the threat of a fine is removed. Instead, readers are reminded that by keeping hold of a book others are denied the chance to read it. By encouraging community responsibility in this way they have shown that guilt is more powerful motivation than fear. When an amnesty on the imposition of fines was announced, unreturned books went down from a third to a tenth.  Consequently Sydney’s City Council has decided to abandon fines in its nine libraries until 2021.

This has implications for us all.  Whenever we have been wronged, we feel justified in striking back in some way. We readily identify with the Psalmist who when surrounded by those who sought his downfall prayed that burning coals fall on them. The Wisdom writer in the Book of Proverbs challenges this.  If an enemy is hungry or thirsty, give him food or drink was the advice he gave.  In so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head, by which he meant that he will feel guilty for his own wrongdoing. In this way there is no danger of resentment towards the person offended. More significantly, he may even become a friend!  This is the way God deals with us.  Paul wrote,” God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”  Maybe our reluctance to believe the best of others stands in the way of our returning good for evil. No wonder it has been claimed that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting but that it has been found difficult and not tried.

 Look up Psalm 140 v.10. Proverbs 25 vv.21 & 22, Romans 12 v.20

                                                                                    Keith Horton


This December Churches Together in Sudbury and District is hoping to run a 'nativity on tour' around shops in central Sudbury. The event is based on the idea of 'Posada' a tradition from Latin America in which the crib figures of Mary and Joseph travel around the local community receiving hospitality in different places whilst reminding those who offer hospitality of the Nativity story. In Sudbury we plan to encourage children to spot the figures as they move around with the opportunity of winning a knitted sheep. Sheep will be handed out at St Peter's on 23rd December 2017 when we also plan to stage a drama based on the nativity.

If you would like to knit a sheep to be handed out as a prize the pattern is available from Gill Shoe Box Coffee Morning 2017

        Saturday  14th October.  10am - 12.00

 Please come and join us for coffee and cakes, and also help us to fill shoe boxes.. Donations towards the cost of sending the boxes will be welcome

Daphne Harris and the shoe box team.

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.

Toilet Twinning

2.4 billion people don’t have a loo.  Around a third of the world’s population have to use fields, streams, rivers, railway lines, canal banks, roadsides, plastic bags or disease breeding buckets.

Toilet Twinning raises funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a basic toilet and to learn about hygiene – a vital combination that helps end generational poverty.

For £60 we can twin one toilet with a single household latrine in an impoverished community.  We have 6 toilets and are hoping to raise £360 during this year.  We started collecting funds at the Harvest Festival, but if you were not able to give on that occasion and would like to make a donation, please give your donation to any of the stewards.

Believe it or not, we will receive a certificate featuring a photo of our toilet twin, the location of the latrine and even the GPS co-ordinates so you can find your twin online!

Gill Phillips

PS At our Harvest Festival service £314 were donated to this cause.

Storehouse Update

Emma Stewart-Darling writes: ‘We are now working from our new premises at the Vineyard Centre, Tudor Rd, CO10 1NP. Storehouse Drop-ins continue to be busy and getting busier. Compared to last year, we are currently helping over 60% more people. With the changes in the benefits system, we are finding that more people are finding themselves in crisis whilst they are transferred onto the new Universal Credit. This process usually takes around 6 weeks. The UC has been introduced in stages, but is being rolled out to everyone in our area from 18th October, so we suspect that we will have a surge of need leading up to Christmas.

Thank you for your donations. They are making a real difference to people’s lives. We are, quite literally, saving people from total despair and offering them hope and human kindness along with the food.’ Watchers Holiday Club

Very many thanks to all those who helped in any way at all with this Holiday Club.  Emma, our Community Worker suggested that it should take place – she wanted there to be Bible content and for the week to end with a celebration service on the Sunday.

John suggested we try Waste Watchers – a Scripture Union based holiday club programme  for 5- to 11-year-olds. In the course of the week, we would explore the wonder of God's creation and think about how we should be looking after what God has made!

Each day there was a different Bible story introduced by John.  The first day the theme was creation and cress seeds were planted and models made out of junk that had been collected.

The second day the Bible story was turning water into wine so children created wedding outfits from the junk and drank “mocktails” suitably decorated with parasols.  The third Bible story was the giving of sight to the blind man, so children decorated glasses, played with “sludge” and followed a blindfold trail round the church.  The crucifixion was the theme for the fourth day and children made rag crosses and stained glass windows in the shape of a cross.  On the fifth day we turned from sadness to joy and celebrated the resurrection with party hats and trumpets

The Club spent time in the church for the Bible stories and worship led by John, videos, songs and telling jokes.

Each day ended with everyone having a picnic together in the hall.

At least 90 people attended the event and it was agreed it was a good outreach initiative – and could well be repeated.

Gill Phillips

Message from Tony Clarke

Most of you will know that Jennifer has been unwell for the past three years or so.  Six weeks ago she was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital for tests and assessment.  As a result of those tests she is now living at North Court Care Home, 108 Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

If anyone wishes to visit her you are most welcome to do so – just call in as there are no restrictions on visiting hours.  Please ask me if you want more details.

We are most grateful to the members of St John’s for the many enquiries as to Jennifer’s health, and also for the prayers, flowers, cards and offers of transport.

Thank you so much.

Tony Clarke, Hannah and Rachel

Sudbury Memory Walk

Saturday 7th October 12.00 - 16.00, starting outside Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

In Aid of Decaf Sudbury (based at The Bridge Project) and Ansell Memories Cafe Hadleigh. These projects support those living with Dementia and their Carers.

Sudbury Valley Walk. Routes include 1/2 Mile*, 1 Mile, 3 Miles & 5 Miles. Refreshment stops along the routes.

* Please note the 1/2 Mile Route is designed for those living with Dementia - Rest stops along the route will be available

This is a FREE event but donations would be greatly appreciated - Donations can be made by visiting our CROWDFUNDING page .

A group from St Gregory’s Church will be taking part. Come along as an individual or form a group from your own church. To register go to .

Organised by South Suffolk Leisure - Tracey Loynds.

Teas and Tots, and Footprints

As you know, the Church agreed to appoint Emma Smy as a Community Worker to assist us in outreach to the community.  Emma has great ideas for activities that can be run for the different age ranges, but she cannot set up equipment, register attenders, run several activities, deal with refreshments and then clear up and prepare for the next session on her own.  The success of this venture depends on church members supporting Emma on Fridays and Saturday mornings.  It would be ideal if there could be 3 or more volunteers for every session. If you can help, even if only occasionally, please add your name to the rota pinned on the board in the Link.  If you can commit on a regular basis, say twice a month, that would really help with planning.

At the moment the greatest need is for help on Friday mornings from 9.00 to 11.30 when Tea and Tots run.  After half term we are considering repeating the session for this age group from 1.00 to 3.00 – Open House has not attracted many customers at all.  The third session from 3.15 – 5.30 is for primary school children, but parents bring younger siblings with them so it is a mixed bunch.

The Footprints Café is slow to get off the ground but if anyone can help on a Saturday morning from 9.45 to 12.15, we would be glad of help.  If you would like to know more about what is involved, talk to John Boardman, Ann Smythe or Gill Phillips. Please do consider whether you could help at all in this initiative. 

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)

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

St John’s Methodist Church Family Fair – Saturday November 11th

We believe this to be the fiftieth year that we have held such an event and we have decided to return to our original name. 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.

This Fair is our shop window on Sudbury and an essential part of our outreach ministry. Please note this in your diaries and do come and support what is an enjoyable occasion.

Once again we will be looking for helpers to set up, to man the stalls and run the café and to clear away at the end of the day. If you can help in any way, please let Andrew, Julie or Gill know and look out for the usual lists which will go up on the notice board in the link soon.

Additionally, if you know of any potential stall holders please let Andrew Clare know – 01787 372705

Andrew Clare, Julie Rix and Gill Phillips


Good communication can be key to helping somebody to live well with dementia. Here are a few of the words and questions to avoid in conversation.

1. ‘Remember when…?’

While it can be tempting to try and jog the memory of somebody living with dementia, this kind of question is often a reminder of memories lost. This can be a frustrating or painful experience, and there’s also no evidence that training the brain in this way will help somebody hold on to memories. That’s not to say you should avoid talking about the past, but it’s better to lead the conversation and allow the person to join in.

Try this instead:

Instead of posing a question, try leading with ‘I remember when…’ instead. That way the person can search their memory calmly without feeling embarrassed, then join in if they like.

2. ‘I’ve just told you that’

Having to answer the same question several times can be frustrating, but repetition will happen. There is little benefit to passing on your frustration to somebody with dementia, and saying ‘I’ve just told you that’ only reminds the person of their condition.

Try this instead:

Try to be polite and as patient as possible. It’s important for somebody with dementia to feel they’re being listened to and understood.

3. ‘Your brother died 10 years ago’

A person living with dementia may forget about a past bereavement or ask for somebody who has passed away. But reminding them of a loved one’s death can be painful, even causing them to relive the grief they’ve already experienced. How carers should respond to this may vary for different circumstances, but it’s always good to show sensitivity.

Try this instead:

It may be better to come up with another reason for somebody’s absence, while at other times a gentle reminder is appropriate. In the later stages of dementia, trying to remind them that the person has died is unlikely to work and may be best avoided.

4. ‘What did you do this morning?’

Avoid asking too many open-ended questions, as it could be stressful for a person with dementia if they can’t remember the answer. While it might seem polite to ask somebody about their day, it’s better to focus on what’s happening in the present. It’s also important that people with dementia continue to make personal choices, but defining the options might be a helpful technique.

Try this instead:

Rather than ‘what would you like to drink?’, you could ask ‘do you want tea or coffee?’ or more simply, ‘do you want a cup of tea?’.

5. ‘Do you recognise me?’

It can be distressing when somebody with dementia doesn’t recognise you, but remember that the feeling is mutual. Asking the person if they know who you are can make them feel guilty if they don’t remember, or offended if they do.

Try this instead:

The way you greet somebody with dementia might change depending on the stage of their condition – judge for yourself, but keep it friendly. A warm hello could suffice, or it may help to say your name.

6. ‘Let’s have a cup of tea now, then after that we can go for nice walk and get lunch in that café you like in town.’

Long, complex sentences can be difficult to grasp for somebody with dementia. It’s difficult to process several ideas at once as cognitive abilities slow down, so it’s better to give directions or instructions one step at a time.

Try this instead:

Use short, simple sentences as much as possible. Avoid speaking in loud environments and wait until you have the person’s full attention before you start a conversation.

7. ‘Do you need some help with that, love?’     Words like ‘love’, ‘honey’ and ‘dear’ can be patronising for people living with dementia. This is sometimes referred to as ‘elderspeak’ and can cause older people to feel infantilised.

Try this instead:

Always remember the person behind the dementia, using their name as often as appropriate. This helps keep their dignity intact and aids concentration too.

Extract from Alzheimers Society website

Autumn Synod on Saturday 16 September 2017 at Ipswich.

Synod began with ‘Worship with Holy Communion’ during which our District Chair, Rev. Julian Pursehouse preached on ‘Partners in the Gospel’ which was our theme for the day. He spoke about working together, giving as an example the people from the Ipswich Circuit who had worked together as a team to organise Synod – without them, Synod would not have happened. They used their individual gifts for the use of all. We must do the same in all aspects of our lives.

After the Service, Julian welcomed us all to Synod.

The Superintendent Minister of the Ipswich Circuit, Rev. Derek Grimshaw then welcomed us. He said that John Wesley came to Ipswich simply because he could not find a horse on which to continue his journey anywhere else! Derek thought that Wesley would be pleased to see the work of the Methodist Church in Ipswich today.

After Dispensations, Letters of Greeting and Initial Business (during which we were told that several young people from our District had been to the 3Generate Youth Conference), Julian gave a report on The Methodist Conference 2017. We watched a video showing the highlights of Conference. The emphasis was on the fact that we are an evangelistic community and prayer and reflection on evangelism are needed. We were each given a ‘Five a Day’ card from the President and Vice President of Conference which showed five things we should try to do each day:

Give thanks.

Keep silence.



Read and reflect.

After Julian had completed his report District Appointments and written reports from District Groups were accepted.

Rev. Mike Brooker from the Ely Diocese then spoke about ‘The Gift of Christian Unity’. He said that we are all one in Christ and need to make partnership a reality. This is a big step and we must take it together. We are not talking about full union but freedom of movement between The Church of England and The Methodist Church. Full co-operation is possible. The process ahead calls for discernment, discussion by the General Synod of The Church of England and The Methodist Conference and by consultation. This could possibly be achieved by 2020.

We must remember what really matters locally. We must work together. Above all, we must see where God is going and we must follow. Each person and each place is different and God understands that.

After lunch, we had some discussion based on ‘The Gift of Christian Unity’ before we had a talk about ‘Adventures in Ecumenism’. We are exploring ways in which Churches of two or more denominations can work together in our District by sharing resources and learning and growing together.

After some Outstanding Business and Good News Stories, thanks were expressed to our host Circuit.

We then had Closing Worship led by members of the Ipswich Circuit.

Refreshments were served to us all before we began our journey home after a day which I found moving and which gave me plenty of food for thought.

Isabel Hebden.

Circuit Steward.

The deadline for the November Herald

is Sunday 15th October 


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


Coffee Rota



May Bailey’s team


Re-Unite ladies


Salt Shaker House Group


Flower Committee


Tricia Campbell’s team



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:

Family Fair Cafe – November 11th 2017

It is that time of year again and as last year I will be running the cafe at the Family Fair. Everyone is so good supplying goodies to eat or helping to man the cafe that we are always able to raise an excellent total.

If you could help me out once again I would be most grateful as the cafe could not operate without your help. I will put a chart up in the link as usual so if you are able to donate your time and/or cakes, scones etc, please watch out for this and put your name down.

Many thanks,

Andrew Clare

Saturday October 21
st at 6.30 pm


The first half of the programme will be songs of social conscience.  There will then be an interval for tea, coffee and biscuits.  The second half of the programme will include songs from the shows.

A retiring collection will be made to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s issues


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