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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Advent: Are we ready?

bauble image 3

See more here…

Advent calling. Are you getting ready, what can you actually do to get ready, how much time do you need and will this have the right effect?

My Advent reading this year is with Tom Wright, a great writer of commentaries and his Advent for Everyone: A Journey Thrugh Matthew.

So get ready for the adventure ahead, or are you already Advent ready!

Matthew 3:1-10 is the place to be!

Advent content available here

John was preaching in the Judean wilderness. By all accounts John was a wild character, clothes made from camel hair, eating locusts and honey and foretold by Isaiah that there would be a voice in the wilderness shouting in the desert.

And he doesn’t let us down! As in Matthew 3:7 he says to the Pharisees approaching,  who were full of pride and righteousness.

‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to escape from the coming wrath, you had better prove your repentance by bearing the right sort of fruit!

But what about us?

Can we take ourselves away from the glitter and spending for a little while, to reflect and prepare for Jesus coming into our world?

 Advent is a wonderful time of year and it does  bring Jesus into many homes, through Nativities, cards, carols and the church services. We can pass on that understanding of what Christmas is actually about.

That wonderful togetherness and joyousness is a reflection of the joy that Jesus can bring into all our lives.

It isn’t a case that we have to stop enjoying the preparations, let’s all have a great time and make as much festive Christmas preparations as we can, let’s light up the churches, let’s light up the world and let’s light up our hearts with the knowledge that once again we find ourselves at this splendidly wonderful time of year.

Rev’d Sue MartinBaubles in Advent


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Faith, Hope and Compassion at the End of Life

Faith, hope and compassion

Sarah Tobin, our first speaker, on Compassionate Care

A training and seminar workshop for clergy and medics, at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House was held on Sept 16th 2016. Over 40 participants from across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, listened to three speakers and enjoyed time together sharing stories and exploring ideas.

The three speakers brought different aspects of compassion and faith to the sessions;

Sarah Tobin, is a lecturer at the University of Plymouth and a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Torbay Hospital. She gave an amazing talk on compassionate care in the health service and how we can teach it and make sure that it is part of the experience of nursing staff to go above and beyond or just to share a simple act of kindness.

Rev’d Catherine Dixon is a Methodist Presbyter in West Norfolk. She has recently gained an MA in Pastoral Theology at Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge and is studying for a Ph.D.  Her talk was based on the title of her studies, From Glory to Glory: Ministry to the Dying. It provided a unique slant on how practices and acceptance of death has changed over the last 50 years.

Rev’d Sue Martin FRSA, is Hospice Chaplain and licensed with the Norwich Diocese, and is keen to explore the wider aspects of ministry, including being alongside people at the end of their lives, meeting with families, offering compassion  and support. Her talk was based on work within a health care setting, offering methodology and stories about walking alongside.

Fuller details of Sue’s presentation will be available on

(See Sue’s page Faith and Work here for a copy of her slides…)

The day provided a much needed resource and chance to talk and share with colleagues across professional boundaries, we are hoping that we can continue to develop further workshops in the future.

Rev’d Sue Martin                         Chaplain to the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House


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First Steps to Santiago

Pilgrims en route,

Pilgrims en route,from Norwich Diocese another time

Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford sets out on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. His first steps are recorded on his twitter feed as he heads off along the Camino del Norte.

The start of a pilgrimage can be so exciting, an adventure in the making.  To have arrived at the point of setting out is a journey in itself. No doubt for Bishop Stephen it will have taken some organising to have released himself from his day to day tasks and the pressures and joys of ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford.

We are very fond of pilgrimages!! Journeying, setting out, exploration, discovery, walking with God, what could be better than that!

Faith Goes Walkabout is in essence about finding your way, taking first steps, exploring, looking beyond what you first see. On a pilgrimage your mind becomes freer and walking with God along a path or a route helps you find your way. You may not even be lost but God will find you.

Last year was a busy pilgrimage year and with the Diocese of Norwich travelled to the

Holy Land with Pilgrimage People and Papua New Guinea.

We wish Bishop Stephen well on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Faith Goes Walkabout

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