Welcome to the website for All Saints Church, Hemblington. We do not know who built our church or when. What we worship in each week is a beautiful and simple building. The clear glass windows allow the light to flood the building. We gaze out at the rolling fields that surround the churchyard. This delightful building is very much part of the environment as the environment is part of the church.
This is a church that takes the visitor far away from the rush of a busy world. The round tower reminds us of the long history of Christian worship on this site. Within it one of the country's largest wall paintings of St Christopher greets the visitor. The uncluttered interior, medieval bench ends and magnificent font all tell stories of faith and worship throughout the centuries.
You are now in the third month ‘without Paul’ and in interregnum. I find that very churchy word quite objectionable, for it means ‘between reigns’. The idea that a priest reigns or rules over the people might have been acceptable once, but isn’t any more. In the 21st century. The Church is composed of people and priests working together, so the ideal priest is probably one who encourages and enables folk to fulfil their own potential rather than one who lords it over them and tells them what to do.
Many people are unable to understand why there should be an interregnum at all. In all other walks of life, when someone moves on, their position is filled immediately so that the smooth running of the company can continue. Why doesn’t that happen in the church?
There are a number of reasons. One is that priests like Paul are greatly loved, so there is a certain amount of grief at his departure. It’s like a little death. A few months breathing space gives people time to mourn before starting again with a new priest. It also gives folk an opportunity to begin to develop their own skills. During an interregnum everyone mucks in together and sometimes unexpected talents are discovered. And an interregnum gives space for the parishes to settle and begin to look forward to a new era.
You may think that’s all very well, but what about the spiritual life of the church? Who is going to see to that? And what about the pastoral care in the villages? In my experience, church people are much more spiritual than perhaps they realise. You may find you have a gift for leading prayer, a gift you were unaware of because you’ve never done it before. Or maybe you have a musical gift and can form a choir or start a music group to help out in church services. Church folk are perfectly capable of caring for each other and for their neighbours, and usually enjoy an opportunity to help out with visiting the sick or offering Home Communion.
All in all, an interregnum is to be enjoyed! It brings people together and it incorporates the excitement of seeking out a new vicar. So I wish you joy in your interregnum, fun in the waiting time and the best possible new vicar when the interregnum ends.
With love and prayers,
Revd. Canon Janice Scott
Our Village Harvest Supper will be on Saturday 4th October starting at 6.30 pm at Heathlands in Blofield Heath. Tickets will be £5 for adults and £2.50 for those under 12 yrs. After the meal there will be music by the local woodwind group ‘Wind in the Willows’. The proceeds from the supper will be split between Save the Children (to help the humanitarian need to children in the Middle East) and the development project at Hemblington Church. Do join us, everyone is invited. Please call 715163 for tickets.
As most of you are aware, we are currently busy fundraising for a project at Hemblington Church to add a toilet, to provide level access into the building and to provide new kitchen and storage facilities at the back of the church. We have had some minor setbacks which have slightly delayed the project and increased the costs. For example, we have discovered that some of the church electric wiring needs replacing. But we now have all the quotations in and the final costs are just under £80,000.
We have already raised over half of these funds from individual donations and fund raising events. We are currently in the process of applying for grants, many of which we could not approach until we had the costs finalised or who require the applicant to have raised over half of the funds themselves. We are confident that we will soon raise the required funds and envisage starting the building work early next year. By the middle of next year we will have a toilet available for adults and children who visit our church for services and events.
There is more detail about this project available on a display board at the back of the church. If you require further information or wish to make a donation to the fund then please contact Catherine on 270360 or Sue on 211629.
During the period that our benefice seeks to appoint a new priest (the interregnum) you are invited to use this prayer seeking God’s guidance:
God Our Father
You have welcomed each one of us in Jesus Christ and called us to be his body at Hemblington and in this benefice.
Send us your Holy Spirit, at this time of uncertainty and change, to fill us with vision, energy and faithfulness in prayer that we may be true to our calling to bring new life to our community.
Guide with your heavenly wisdom those who are to choose a new priest for this benefice, that the one whom we receive may be a wise and gentle shepherd of your people, ready to serve us with joy, to build us up in faith, and to lead us by example in living obedience to your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We will be holding another Make and Mardle on Tuesday 21st October from 10 am to 12 noon at Hemblington Church. There will be craft activities, knitting and chat with coffee and cake. Everyone is welcome.
Prayer is the underlying need during this period when we are without a Rector. It is unlikely that we will have a new rector in place until the New Year. We all need the wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit to help us through this period. We have therefore made available various times of prayer during the week.
Tuesdays 9 am Morning Prayer at Blofield
Thursdays 9 am Morning Prayer at Hemblington
Fridays 5 pm Prayer with short Bible refection at Blofield
These are designed to make it possible for as many people as possible to attend one or more of these times every week. We hope everyone linked with Blofield, Hemblington and North Burlingham will respond. It began last month and will continue until further notice – probably until we know we have a new Rector. Prayer is where God enters our hearts and draws us close to him and each other as we seek his will. There will be no pressure to pray in a particular way – we all pray differently.
This is video shows our beautiful church on a lovely summers day in June. Music by the Octagon Singers of Norwich.
Friends of Hemblington Church now has a Facebook page where it is planned to display lots of pictures and details of events taking place at the church.