Thoughts and reflections

Category: pastoral Page 1 of 6

So long as we…

Above all else in this time of social distancing, isolation and world wide pandemic a little prayer to remind us of life in this world.

So long as we enjoy the light of day

May we greet one another with love.

So long as we enjoy the light of the day

May we pray for one another,

Zuni prayer taken from A Child’s Book of Prayer, compiled by Tessa Strickland, Barefoot Books

Rev’d Sue Martin

St Michael & Michaelmass

St Michael is an Archangel and the guardian angel of autumn. He also looks after the element of fire. He helps the farmers with their harvesting. He is the angel of courage and strength. He helps people to reap rich rewards for their labours earlier in the year and to celebrate their achievements.

He is often portrayed on churches and in paintings in his red clothing and killing the great dragon as we have heard in Revelations. His function also is to be the leader of the heavenly armies and drive rebel angels from heaven.

Michaelmass is held on September 29th and is a celebration around the equinox of our changing times, the end of the summer and the start of the autumn.

We held our service at All Saint’s Church Ashwicken on Saturday 30th September. It was a beautiful evening and we started the service outside at the West End as the sun was setting.

A time for reflection and a time to contemplate on St Michael, angels and heaven.

The sermon and prayers can also be seen on Faith Goes Walkabout.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Diocese of Norwich


Come, walk with me…

m_finsburyparkislington.jpg  This has been an amazing two weeks in  the UK, a referendum that has seen us  exiting Europe, unbelievable and now  unstoppable. There is so much to say  that I am lost for words and maybe this  isn’t the place to express what I feel in  deep sadness and concern.

And so… recently I was working in  London, just off Southwark Bridge and  had a couple of spare hours to myself, an experience that seldom happens. In my sermon for July 3rd I express what actually happened to me on that day. My intention was to go for a wander in London and a nice coffee somewhere.
What actually happened was not quite as expected, and I found myself in the chapel at Southwark cathedral.

For way of a change to the usual address style, the sermon was delivered by two people, see Sermons 2016.

It is a reflection of how life can change sometimes and take you into places that help you, if you listen in the first place.

Come, walk with me…

Rev’d Sue Martin

Kalpana in Nepal

Kalpana in NepalWe have been supporting Kalpana and her family in Nepal for five years now. She is the oldest girl in her family and they live in the countryside and mountains of Nepal.

We were delighted to receive these photos of her with her brothers and sisters, looking so happy and a real family.

We send money to Kalpana’s uncle, Bhim Bahadur Sunawar to help give Kalpana an education. Although recently, the money has been needed just to help with their housing and shelter after the earthquakes.

I journeyed to Nepal in 2010 on the Everest Base Camp Trek. I suffered badly from Altitude sickness 2 days from the base camp at 14,000ft and Bhim was the guide who walked me down the mountains on our own over 4 days.

The link on the photo will take you to the blog.

If we can help in some way to support Kalpana and her family we know this goes directly to making her life better.

We send money, books and clothes and hope one day to visit again with a Books Go Walkabout project.

Revd Sue Martin

Kalpana in Nepal2

Queen Elizabeth at 90

Image 2A weekend of celebrations to mark our Queen’s 90th birthday.
We wish her a very Happy Birthday.

Great Britain has seen major changes in her time, the Commonwealth countries many of which have become independent still have links with the Queen, the Church of England has seen many changes and different archbishops, her own personal life has been fraught at times with difficulties, but has shone through as a family.

As an individual she has great character and remains at the head of all of that at 90.

I looked at her coronation speech and in it she says,

‘I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.’ Taken from the Queen’s Coronation Speech June 2nd 1953

That was 63 years ago. That is some life commitment to your work! No wonder Prince Harry suggests she should take a day off!

A time to share and to celebrate the life and work of Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Rev’d Sue Martin Faith GoesWalkabout

The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was first image1-41.jpg  published in 1678. It is undoubtedly a book that many of heard of and refer to, but I wonder how many have actually read the book?

With that thought in mind, I decided I really must get on and read it. If my reading list had not included A Pilgrim’s Progress, during my ordination training, then now was the time to amend that.

I am enjoying the book immensely, the lessons to be learnt along the way, the characters of dubious intentions, along with characters who just complete the journey as far as they are able, and then fall to the way side, or return to the safety of the begining.

It is not for me, a book which I can read quickly or devour in one energetic reading frenzy. It leaves me with a need to spend time in my own thoughts about the events and of course to reflect and try and learn from my own life experience.

The journey starts at the City of Destruction and we first meet Christian as he leaves his home, his family and the city. He meets Obstinate and Pliable who try to dissuade him from this journey, but he continues with Pliable and directed by Evangelist.

The first obstacle is the slough of despond, in which they both start to sink. Pliable gets himself out and immediately returns home. Christian with his heavy pack on his back sinks further until he is helped.

‘Why did you not use the steps?’ he is asked. Christian replies that he was so frightened that he stepped straight in!

One of the aspect Bunyan uses well is the name of the companions and people on the way. A brilliant way of knowing and understanding the people.

I will continue with A Pilgrim’s Progress and even if I continue to step off my own path from time to time, I know that the eventual journey is leading me in the right direction.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Palm Sunday

Image 2

Palm Sunday

Turmoil, Trouble and Triumph


Palm Sunday is a real marker in the church year. We go from Lent and within a week are at the cross. A week full of downs and ups, but it starts on a high note.
A day of triumph, a welcome into the city of Jerusalem.

Palm crosses remind us today and through the year about this very day.

You know what it’s like before a Bank Holiday, people travelling everywhere, more shopping, rushing around, bit of panic buying or in our case panic petrol buying….
Well, Jerusalem would have been a bit like that. The Feast of the Passover was at the end of the week, a big event for Jewish people then and now.

We know that the Jewish leaders were getting worried; lots of people would be coming to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, crowds expected everywhere. The last thing they wanted was this new prophet/teacher causing a problem, they really couldn’t be doing with it.

Today he would have been called a disruptive influence.

Read more in sermons…

Rev’d Sue Martin

Living Together

Image 3On Sunday November 15th I was delivering a Holy Communion service in the village church. It was an unremarkable day, the same lovely group of people and cheerful organist.

I have come to know and love this church and know that there are always one or two little things that don’t quite work out. This Sunday, it was the microphone system and although we struggled with all the switches and the sound system we couldn’t get it to work.

Looking at the altar in the chancel and where the congregation were sitting, attached to the pews at the back of the church, I didn’t fancy having to shout my way through the Eucharist. I took the brave decision to ask if everyone could move forward to the front!!

If you too are a confirmed Anglican, you know what a big ask that is!

But very willingly everyone moved forward and the benefits were that I didn’t have to shout and they could hear me. Success!!

Being together, finding ways to make things work. Just what living together is really about. God’s love finds us all and we can all share, make changes and love one another as Jesus has asked us to do.

And the kite picture? Well, it is very bright on this autumnal day and also it shows what can happen when we all pull together.

Rev’d Sue Martin – Hospital and Hospice Chaplain Diocese of Norwich

What did I need? -1st Sunday in Lent

Readings Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1: 9-15

A few weeks ago I was in the Holy Land and I    wondered what I had been expecting on that journey and in that place?

Who would I meet? What would I say? What did I need to take?

I am not sure now what I expected, or had I set out on this journey with the hope that I would merely enjoy it and be pleased that I had made the effort?

And as we start Lent our readings for are about temptation, fasting, God’s promise to Noah, and Jesus resurrection.

Temptation – believing that I have got it all right

Fasting – spending time by suffering in some way

God’s Promise – He will be with us

Jesus Resurrection – Beyond all this that we see and meet Jesus died and was resurrected that we may have that eternal life.

In the Holy Land these aspects were all met and I found that they became alive for me. And who did I meet, what could I say and what did I need to take?

Absolutely nothing!

Rev’d Sue Martin

The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration Feb 15 2015, St John’s Church, Kings Lynn

Readings 2 Kings 9:1-10 Mark 9:2- 12

IMG 1564  Our eyes are opened and at last we see.

Three tents or places look towards the heavens.

I have just come back from the Holy Land and and on Mount  Tabor, walked in in the place where the Transfiguration  happened.

What was it that Jesus was asking his disciples here? Why  again, did he just take Peter, James and John? How amazed  were they as they watched Jesus transform into dazzling  brightness?

How unbelievable that as the cloud descended there beside Jesus, stood Elijah and Moses?

Jesus took the three disciples there to try to open their eyes to what was happening.
Often in Jewish scriptures we hear of the ‘veil of ordinariness that normally prevents us from seeing the inside of a situation. This is a view and an insight into God’s kingdom, Jesus really did appear as the Messiah. The disciples were transfixed. They could see with their eyes wide open.

We often hear that there are layers and dimensions in this world. Usually we like to make sense of all that we see, hear and know and are familiar with. It is hard to take that leap of faith and enter a world of the unknown.

It’s a bit like being a child again, like exploring for instance the world of music, or the world of dance, looking through a telescope into the stars.

Rev’d Sue Martin –

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