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Valentines’ dinner, Bible drama, party for volunteers

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes a romantic Valentines’ dinner, a Candlemas party for volunteers and an Open the Book project.


With the start of the Spring school term the “Open The Book” team in Sawtry Cambridgeshire is back in full swing reports Roy Dunn.

Members of St Benedict’s Catholic Community, together with members of the local Anglican and Methodist churches, offer primary school children an opportunity to hear Bible stories from the `Lion Storyteller Bible’.

Each Bible story is acted out in a 10-minute play with all the costumes and props being made by the team.

Performances take place fortnightly during term time at Sawtry Junior Academy and children are encouraged to take part as much as possible.

Pictured above is the group after performing ‘Jonah the Groaner’ which is of course the story of Jonah and the Whale. Left to right are Su Merton, Joan Meiklejohn, Dorothy Dunn, Andre Bradley, Tony Stefanelli, Roy Dunn and Martin Baker.


Thirteen couples enjoyed a romantic evening (pictured right) on St Valentine’s Day at Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda parish, Newmarket reports Rita Harben.

While most couples came from Newmarket, there were guests welcomed from Cambourne, Mildenhall and Stowmarket.  There were couples married 50 years, some planning it soon and every age in-between.

The event was prepared and hosted by a team of Newmarket parishioners who have been enjoying the marriage enrichment course, Cana Welcome.  Making use of the excellent facilities at Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda, they worked together to prepare a really fine meal with thoughtful touches celebrating marriage, which is ‘the most beautiful thing God has created,’ according to Pope Francis.

Cana is a mission of Chemin Neuf Community: https://www.chemin-neuf.org.uk/en/home


A Candlemas Day party for parish volunteers was held at Our Lady of the Annunciation, King’s Lynn, on Sunday February 2, reports Pauline McSherry.

A few words of welcome and gratitude from Canon Peter and our party began. Our Canon, with his assistant Priest Fr Gordon and Deacons John, Shaun and Martin ministered to their guests with the aplomb of five-star waiters. Very soon a glass was in my hand and most tempting and tasty morsels were served. It was good to come together, to chat, to laugh, reminisce with old friends and make new friends.

I was overjoyed to meet charming young ladies from Lithuania. At the Advent service in Holy Family they sang like angels. Strangers then, no longer strangers. I am always happy to meet up with past pupils. It really was a grand party. I came home with my “Party Bag” exhilarated and happy, a bit tired too.

Well, 65 years or more of volunteering and I and a few others can be forgiven for feeling a little bit weary. It is good to be in a parish that appreciates the role of the laity and a privilege to offer one’s services to the church. Our heartfelt thanks to Canon Peter and his merry ministers for a memorable celebration. Just one more thought. Is there a patron saint for volunteers? My choice is St Joseph, always there to give a helping hand. St Joseph, Patron of Volunteers. Pray for us.

Pictured right are Deacons John, Martin and Shaun doing the party washing-up.

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