The Parishes of St.Andrews, Northwold, All Saints, Wretton with Stoke Ferry & Christ Church, Whittington

Reader: Keith MacLeod, 4 Rubens Way, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 9LB, telephone 01366 386103, email:

The Interregnum

We will miss Nigel, but need to press on, keeping our Worship and Christian celebration going in as joyful and meaningful way as we can.   We will be assisted by Canon David Kightley, Rural Dean of the Feltwell Deanery in arranging for Priests and Readers to conduct our services. There will be an immediate variation to some of our service patterns as a result, which we hope will be seen as positive, not retrograde, steps which should enliven and enrich our worship, while we wait for more permanent arrangement to be put in place.   This is a time when we can all experiment, if we wish, with new forms of worship and music and those of us who are organising during this period are open to all suggestions and ideas. Please speak to me, as the only Reader at present licensed to the benefice, or to your Church Wardens or members of your PCCs or to David.
We wish all the best to Nigel in his new ministry. Our loss is Leicestershire's very real gain.

Keith MacLeod (Reader)

Parish Priest's Annual Report 2002-2003

model that has dominated the Church of England is that of ministers as Shepherds of the flock. When I searched my Bible, I could only find 23 references to shepherds in the New Testament. Most refer exclusively to Jesus as the Good Shepherd and only 3 Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2 and Jude 12 refer to ministers as shepherds. Even then the model is of shared responsibility cf. Acts 20. However the New Testament uses the phrases "one another" or "together" in reference to ministry more times that I could count. The message is clear, Christian ministry is something that all Christians share. I echo St. Paul's words, "I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another." (Romans 15:14) The truth that the ministry of the Church is something we share has been a foundation of my ministry here. The awareness of this truth has been something that I have been encouraging in these congregations since I arrived here. I am pleased to say that I now see so many people who are beginning, consciously or unconsciously, to act on this truth.
There is still a long way to go for our church and for each of us. This is a huge change in the way we see ourselves as Christians and in the way we understand our place within the life of the Church. There is no denying that there will be problems ahead. But we have started on the right road and we have the right Guide in the Holy Spirit. It therefore isn't just a semantic game for me to describe our future as exciting and challenging. That is merely an accurate description of the future that God offers to each of us. "I am convinced, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to minister here."
Thank you, it has been a pleasure to minister with you here and I wish you every blessing for the future.


2003 is going to be a year of change. I am going to Kegworth to become a team rector of a group of rural parishes in north Leicestershire. From the perspective of myself I am sad to be leaving you. I am happy here and feel very much part of this little bit of Norfolk. So it will be a wrench to leave. I know that many of you have told me that you are sad to see me go. So thank you to all of you who have worked with me for Christ here in Northwold, Stoke Ferry, Whittington or Wretton; in ours schools, church and village communities.
Excitement and the challenge of new possibilities lay ahead for me but what of here? Well saying that there are "challenges" ahead can just be semantics for watch out, there are problems coming. There will be problems during the interregnum that result from not having your own priest. This is partly a problem that the Church of England has bequeathed to all its parishes. This is the problem of clergy dominance of church life and ministry that has produced a situation where the priest is seen as the church, the one who ministers and the keen support the priest in
his ministry. The problem is exemplified by the phrase, "Going into the Church;" used for someone about to be ordained. It is an unhealthy situation for the Church and one to which the Church of England as a whole is steadily waking up. I am not the Church; we are the Church.
The challenging but hopefully exciting future that awaits all of us is to rediscover the fact that we are a priesthood of all believers. That all of us are called to be ambassador's for Christ. I, as an ordained minister, have offered leadership, encouragement and theological expertise which will now be provided by other ministers. Less access to such a resource is not ideal but it should not be crippling. Each of you, as a consequence of your baptism, have God's Holy Spirit living within you. God has provided all that each of us need.
Another illustration. The ministerial

Church Rotas

Christ Church - cleaning & flowers
Mrs S Warner and Mrs J Elsey

All Saints' - cleaning & flowers
Mrs. E. Russell and Mrs. P. Willis

St. Andrew's - cleaning rota:
May 2nd Mr/Mrs K. Cundy,
Mrs C. Sharp
May 9th Miss J. Luckman,
Mrs T. Arthur-Hay
May 16th Mrs. J. Bunyan
May 23rd Mr & Mrs. J. Booty
May 30th Mrs. M. Maynard
Mrs. J. Harris
June 6th Mrs. S. Waller
Mrs. R. Nichols

St. Andrew's - Sidemen:
May 4th Mrs Akers,
Mrs Parkinson
May 11th Mrs Elliott,
(A.N. Other)
May 18th Mr Chilvers
Mrs Bunyan
June 1st Miss Robinson
Mrs Gains
June 8th Dr Norris
Mrs Norris
June 22nd Mrs Sharp
Mrs MacMullen

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