Mary Magdalene and the women by the cross

Mary Magdalene from Aeon Byte The God AboveMary Magdalene is of high importance in the story of Jesus, not just for the role she played as one of the women by the cross , but throughout all the gospels she appears and is seen with Jesus and the disciples.

This week, after reading the Easter story again and again, I have been wondering even more about Mary Magdalene, who she was, what did she do and do we have a good image and picture of her?

I came across a very interesting website, The Junia Project,with a recent blog, called The Women Who Stood by the Cross, by Gail Wallace. The words below are taken from the blog, which makes excellent reading;

“Some women were watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women had followed and supported him, along with many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him.” (Mark 15:40-41)

We know from all four gospel writers that a number of women were present at the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and that some of those women were also at the burial and the empty tomb. Who are these women who stood near the cross, and what can we learn from their example of discipleship?”

It has long been argued that Mary Magdalene is wrongly portrayed and the emphasis has been on her femininity, rather than in her devotion and support of Jesus in his teaching and throughout his life.

There is a recorded Gospel of St Mary, which was found in Egypt in  1896, and was not included in the canon.

It is widely though that Mary went to France after the crucifixion and from the book Mary Magdalene by Esther de Boer it concludes that many of her relics are at the Benedctine Abbey in Vezeley, France.

Mary Magdalene remains for me a central character, disciple and apostle of Jesus. Worthy of spending some time in research to look at her role from a woman living in Magdala on the shores of the Sea of Galilee to follower of Christ.

Rev’d Sue Martin


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Easter Sunday April 16th 2017

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Quite a story, starting with the triumphal ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the humble donkey. Crowded streets, the place packed with people preparing for the feast of the Passover, Jesus turning over the tables in the temple, the Last Supper in the upstairs room, for fear of being found, the long night in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the capture by the soldiers, Jesus coming before Pontius Pilate, the crowds calling for him to be crucified and the release of Barabbas.

And then the crucifixion.

Saturday, the holy day for the Jews.

And so to today, the good news that Jesus is risen. Alleluia!

This is the good news, the news we all share even today 2000 years after the event and it hasn’t changed, He is risen indeed Alleluia!

Full sermon on Easter page

Rev’d Sue Martin


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In the Wilderness  

  There seem to be many times when we find ourselves in the wilderness, or is it just me!!

Wandering, walking through the country, wondering which direction we should be travelling in, seeking God’s call, trying hard to get on with our lives when all around us is caving slowly in.

The first Sunday in Lent, a time to reflect.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Hurricane Doris and the Sunday before Lent

Looking to the cloud at the Church of the Transfiguration

A lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts

Hurricane Doris was horrendous, lights went out across the country, buses blown off the roads, trees crashed to the ground and homes and gardens strewn around. I hope that there wasn’t too much damage for each of you.

Seeing is believing some people say.

But that is not the whole story is it? Our readings this week are wonderful and give us a real picture of things that we can’t always see. But we have been told!

We can’t see the wind. We can feel it’s effect, every day we know which direction the wind is blowing from, how strong it is and what kind of weather it will bring along the way.

Evidence, readings, disciples, Mt Sinai… read more in the sermon for the Sunday before Lent.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Angela Tilby Thought for the day

Thought for the Day by Angela TilbyPerspective on the Co-Operative Bank by Angela Tilby


Thought for the Day, Radio 4 14.2.17

Trust is a precious social capital as considered by the original founders of the Co-Operative movement.

The gospels tell us that a trust filled life is a potential blessing.

A beautiful perspective on changes in society and how implicitly it effects us all.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Norwich Diocese




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Epiphany 2017

The Visit of the Magi

1st Sunday in Epiphany Jan 8th 2017

The Magi travel from the East and follow the star to Bethlehem. One of the most magical images of the time of the Nativity. We have ttried more and more, to put all the Christmas story into one neat package around Christmas Day.

But in Matthew Ch 2 we know that this event happened after Jesus was born and it is linked to the twlefth day of Christmas or the start of Epiphany, January 6th.

Time to take the decorations down, that is if they have survived this long! Most people have already taken down the decorations, tidied up the house, started thinking about the New Year, have a resolution or two set for at least the next month, if not the year ahead.

I find myself taking out the tree, on Jan6th, with needles shedding all over the floor and on any unsuspecting person or animal, many of the decorations have already reached the floor by this stage and sometimes I look admiringly on people who take out Christmas as soon as possible.

But we can’t really do that, can we? Christmas is here to stay, Jesus is born to us all. We can’t just say,’ Oh, that was nice’,  and move on to the sales and shops and carry on as if nothing has happened.

We carry with us that spirit and love, whether it remains within us or stays for a brief time, like a Christmas tree needle, left on the jumper for a short while only.

The Collect for today;

Creator of the heavens, who led the Magi by a star,

So worship the Christ child, guide and sustain us

That we may find our journey’s end

In Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev’d Sue Martin

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Christmas Eve

Mary & Joseph. Image from BBC Nativity

Christmas Eve has arrived! I had a message this morning that, ‘You’re never too grown up to stop looking at the skies for Father Christmas’. Quite right.

A wonderful time for families across the world, waiting, hoping, sharing, getting ready.

Maybe this year you’ve gone overboard on the presents, maybe like me you have been too the supermarket one too many times and just been amazed at the size of the  laden shopping trolleys and maybe today we can all stop, take a break and wait….

Wait for the Light of the World to come among us, to heal and to teach, to be with us and for us.

Even if it’s only for a few minutes lets release all the worries and the fears, they will still be there in two days time.

Christmas is the most special time in the year, a time to enjoy, and a time to know that God is with us, the Word made man.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The famous journey to Bethlehem must have started about this day. Mary and Joseph travelling alone to be registered.

Our vision of Bethlehem is of the city outlined against the starry night sky.

Today many people are trapped behind the huge walls in Bethlehem that have surrounded them, and from which they are not able to get out, apart from through the guarded roadside posts Palestinians.  Both Christian and Muslim have little access to making a livelihood for themselves.

I met Mahmoud in Manger Square, and still have the embroidered phone case which his wife had made and which he was selling. He refused to take money from me as we had talked and talked! He used to work in Jerusalem as a builder but now finds no work at all trapped in Bethlehem.

Mahmoud in Bethlehem

This is still the place where we will find the Christ child, in the places where people struggle and lifes torments are most acute and long lasting.

O Little Town of Bethlehem., how still we see thee lie,

Above the deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stard go by.

Yet in the dark streets shineth, the everlasting light,

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Shine on in our hearts so we can see the way to help and support those living in Bethlehem today.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Advent 4 – Mary and Angel Gabriel

Love, openness and forgiveness

 Image courtesy of BBC Nativity 2010

2 Samuel 7:1 – 11, Luke 1: 26-38

What vision of Mary do you have in your mind?

What kind of picture of this young mother do you have?

Is it that serene and graceful woman, often shown much later in life that Mary actually was, gazing with love and awe at baby Jesus?

Or is it of a good looking young girl, with lots of dark hair, and full of character, wondering how, where and why she has been given this enormous and immensely special task?

Whichever way you think of Mary, maybe you can see her face in images from around the world of young people who are given responsibility above their age?

If you have chance to watch reports from Channel 4 of Aleppo you will see a young teenage boy distraught with grief who then turns to help an older woman who has lost her daughter. Harrowing, especially at this time of Christmas, when all should be well.

I keep in mind the sight of the Mary who trusted in God so much and went through a huge struggle in her world.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, be born in us tonight.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Light up a Life!

lual-candles-at-the-minster-in-kings-lynnLight up a Life services with the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House are being held this week.

Over a hundred people joined us on Sunday 4th December, at King’s Lynn Minster and lit candles which were placed on the altar. Carols were sung and people had chance to reflect and join together over a cup of tea and a mince pie.

On Monday December 5th, a service was held at the Sandringham Visitor’s Centre and more than a hundred people listened, prayed and lit candles too. Tea and mince pies again on offer and a well needed chance to meet and chat!

When we lose someone we love.… a chance to read the address

Rev’d Sue Martin

Chaplain to the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House

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