News & Events

BIBLE STUDY LENT GROUP  - March 2024

 

Dr Wilf Wilde has offered to host, facilitate and lead a Bible Study group for Lent (and perhaps on a different plan afterwards). The plan is to study the parables in the gospels in a discussion group, with tea and biscuits, for around 1 – 2 hours.


There will be two groups – one on Tuesday evenings at 7.30 and another on Friday afternoons at 2.30. The first Tuesday is planned to be 27th February, followed by the first Friday on 1st March.

 

You will need no advance preparation, just come along (perhaps with a Bible, if you have one). You need only do one meeting, no commitment is required for all the sessions.

 

Wilf has lived in Denver (on the way to the Windmill) for just over two years, and plans to host the group there. He has published two books on biblical theology.

For more details contact Wilf at friendsofbexwell@gmail.com


Harvest Festival 2023

It's not hard to get sentimental when you meet and worship for a Harvest service in an ancient church that has been decorated by a modern, floral Michaelangelo. Our resident genius, Sandra Brett, just quietly 'snuck' into church on Saturday and filled the church with beautiful autumnal displays. At the service we sang hearty Harvest hymns, played as always with great aplomb on the might Bexwell pipe organ by Chris Young. We greeted one another in friendship and Revd Nigel spoke about how we can never give enough, because we have all been given so much by God. In response to our call, we have been inundated by offerings for the foodbank as part of our harvest festival, and we will gladly take them over this week because this is just the least we can do for our fellow citizens in this area.


Forest Service in action!

On September 17th we held a 'Forest Service' underneath the newly trimmed Bay Laurel tree in Bexwell churchyard. It was sunny and warm, and along with Bible readings and a short address, we lit candles, sang a couple of songs, we released feathers on the breath of God, and we planted some bulbs too. It was not a gimmick, it was a chance to try something new; something stimulating and thought-provokling, but still a service. Thank you to Heidi for the images that we have used to present this short video to capture the 'look and feel' of the service.


The 15th Annual Bexwell Feast

 

Yes folks, it's that time of year again when we demonstrate the versatility of Bexwell church by turning it into a medieval banqueting hall for an evening!

 

If you've never been to a Feast, we commend it to you. We serve a three-course meal for 60 people in the nave of the church, which is transformed into a wonderful venue for food and friendship for the evening. You sit at tables accommodating 6-8 people, so if you have a party of friends you can all sit together, or if you are on your own you can join with others and make new friends!

 

As you well know, food prices have risen faster than ever in the last year, and there's no doubt we will expend more money in buying everything this year. Nevertheless, we are going to keep the price of the tickets at £20, and instead we will ask those who can to consider paying £25. If money is tight, then we understand, and £20 is great. As usual we will have our well-stocked cash bar, but this year will also accommodate card payments by 'tapping' (ooh!).

 

Importantly, our treasurer has pleaded with us to make use of a brand new scheme that allows you to pay for tickets directly via the Parish Giving Scheme. The money goes straight into the church account and has the additional benefit that the 20% Gift Aid is recovered automatically and our treasurer doesn't have to chase after it. Honestly, this is going to be a real game changer for one-off payments to a church like ours. Please, please do use this opportunity to become familiar with this way of paying money to the church; it's the way forward.

 

How do I purchase a ticket?  Firstly contact Carole at  friendsofbexwell@gmail.com  to check there are still tickets available. Then use the instructions below to  pay for the tickets. Then let Carole know you have done this and by which method so we can track the payment.

 

Right back to the fun stuff...

 

While assembling: table nibbles

 

Starter: Brussels pâté with salad and toasted baguette

 

Main: the popular 'porchetta roast', in which a heady mix of delicious Italian herbs are folded into large pork joints, marinated for a week, and then slow-roasted for about 6 hours.

The porchetta will be accompanied by herbed and quartered oven-roasted potatoes and Italian green beans prepared with tomatoes and parmesan, all served on piping hot plates (I hate having hot food on cold plates, and that's why we have accumulated four hostess trolleys!).

There's always 'seconds' too.

 

Dessert: we are fortunate to have the 12-star Michelin dessert chef, Roy Shipton, preparing a raspberry syllabub with a red current coulis and an accompanying biscuit topping.

 

If you are vegetarian/vegan we will offer alternatives, but please let us know beforehand. Similarly for anyone with gluten-intolerance.

Flt Lt Colin Bell returns to Bexwell 

As part of his walking to various important RAF sites Colin returned to visit Bexwell and lay a wreath at the new memorial. He and a few others were welcomed to the church by Melanie and Nick Martin to have a rest, a cup of tea and  piece of cake. Visit the EDP for more information

A Garden Metaphor!

There's a common trope in current television programs called 'the reveal'. From the program makers' point of view, the idea is to hold the tension throughout the program, keeping the viewers wondering what will happen, and then... relief! The reveal. Or alternatively, there's the 'time-team' approach where, underneath a car park, after much digging and scraping, a medieval king (or someone) is eventually revealed.

 

Well, of late through July and August there's been much revealing going on in Bexwell churchyard. On the north side of the church, we've completely cleared all the strangling ivy from the oak tree and cut away all the scruffy growth around the otherwise lovely yew tree. We've raised and levelled all the 'memorial stones' in that area and we've also put a bench up so that people can sit quietly to reflect.

 

Meanwhile, on the south side, our verdant Bay Laurel tree had become a little bit too vigorous. As Nick Martin said “The bloomin' thing is taking over the churchyard!” Well, it was time for a proper haircut, and we had a fantastic garden day on Saturday 12th August when a team got together to tackle this and many other issues (thank you everyone). The area under the canopy of the Bay Laurel just seems to call to us and say “Please come and spend some time with me in here”. Perhaps a 'forest service' where the earth and our stewardship is a focus? Or perhaps a place to congregate at Christmas time to sing carols? Who knows?

 

Without attention and intervention, whether trees or ivy, all these things grow out of control. And yet, with some vision, some pruning and shaping, new opportunities and vistas appear. Go on- you know it's a metaphor; I'm not going to spell it out for you- you all did English at school.

Congratulations to Kirsten & Alex!


What a day full of joy! Despite the torrential rain there were only smiles and laughter (& a few tears) as this lovely couple with their delightful family were married in Bexwell. The weather was pretty awful but as ever the peace of Bexwell Church enveloped this couple as they continued their journey together.

We wish them well!

Bee Careful!

So, yesterday (4th) we were preparing the church for a wedding today (5th) for Kirsten and Alex (congratulations!), when we noticed what appeared to be a swarm of bees inside the church against the window of the Saxon tower! Now, you can't have a swarm of bees as part of a wedding, and so we are very grateful to local bee keeper and bee expert, Mark Riches, who came at 9am this morning to help the bees find a new home.


Nobody can figure out how and why they were inside the church, but Mark gently removed them into a bag and will release them in Bexwell so that either (a) they find a new home, or (b) they make their way back to the tower of the church where we have had a bees' nest in there since forever.


Mark my words: you are the bees knees!


Gardening Day 

Saturday 12th August 

3:00-5:00pm

We're tidying up the churchyard

Bexwell VC Memorial Re-dedication

"On Sunday 9 July at 1430, at St Mary's Church Bexwell, there will be a short service to rededicate for the new memorial to VC recipients Flt Sgt Aaron and Sqn Ldr Bazelgette who both flew from RAF Downham Market.

 

Being a memorial for 2 Victoria Cross winners, both sadly posthumously, the Bexwell memorial is unusual; local engineer Jonathan Horton has designed and built a very fitting structure that also fittingly celebrates all the people and crews who were based at Downham Market, with silhouettes of the squadrons and aircraft that operated there.

 

After the service, at around 1530-1630, there will be a chance to hear from Jonathan and from Flt Lt Colin Bell, now 102, who flew Mosquitos from the airfield during the same period. The project has been a collaboration between the village of Bexwell and the wider area, local RAF Association branches, and the current RAF Marham personnel.

 

Members of the public are welcome to join the event, meeting at the memorial which is on the northern side of the church for 14:30."

Celebrations!

"Well, you couldn't have asked for better weather for a wedding- sunny outside and very sunny inside too; the 'emotional weather' in church was wonderful: nobody stressed out or tetchy, everyone 'going with the flow'. Rachel and Euan beamed throughout, and our vicar Nigel was relaxed, inspiring and obviously enjoying himself presiding over a happy occasion with two lovely people. The three-dog-guard in church were amazingly well-behaved, and, I kid you not, when the congregation said one of the 'Amens' at the end of a prayer, one of the dogs gently barked twice in quick succession, as if to say his 'A-men', too. Heather played them out with Bach's wonderful "Jesu, joy of mans' desiring" on possibly one of Bach's original scores! Congratulations, Euan and Rachel. Don't be strangers; we've enjoyed hosting you and we'd love to see you again in the future.

Ceremony for the loss of a child

Churchyards throughout the country have the highest population of yew trees, and Bexwell church is no exception. Under one of our magnificent yews is something of a hidden, but poignant, gem. It is a little tablet stone upon which is written:

 

In memory of

Paul Geoffrey Davies

beloved son of

Ramsey and Marjorie Callaby

Fell asleep 23rd March 1951

Aged one day

 

I think of him every time I clean the stone. Paul would have been almost 72 if he had lived, and who knows what he might have gone on to do in life. In 2023 we are much more open to discussing the grief that accompanies miscarriages, stillbirths and very early deaths like Paul's, and it is testament to his parents that this stone was put up in 1951 and sits quietly under one of our beautiful yew trees.

 

I have been meaning to do this for some years now, but I would like to hold a very simple, short event / ceremony around Paul's tablet stone on Sunday March 26th at 11am (the nearest Sunday to the 23rd). This would be to remember Paul, and to invite anyone who is familiar with the loss of a child (even those lost as adults) to come and be present in their own way, whether to cry, speak or remain silent- whatever. We might invite people to tie a little ribbon on one of the yew's branches to commemorate their own loss, and we will leave the ribbons there for a while. 

Holly Tree

The large holly tree that stood near the north door died suddenly last year and needed to be removed. We are extremely grateful that Nick Brett and his colleagues at Downham Market's 'Lawnboy' services  have now removed the tree. Nick also arranges for Lawnboy personnel to cut the churchyard grass, and we know we are extremely fortunate to have Nick and Sandra as members of Bexwell church offering such practical help.

Thank you so much to Nick, Sandra and 'Lawnboy' staff.


"It's an ill wind that blow no good" as they say, and now there is an

unobscured view of the church from Bexwell lane as you can see in the

picture. 

 

Help and support with living costs.pdf

The wisdom of children after a visit to Downham Market Foodbank



On Tuesday 18th October members of our Denver School Council travelled to the Downham Market Foodbank to find out more about what they do to support the community and to take the generous donations made during their Harvest collection. School Council members Kayla and Chloe wrote this lovely report about their visit...

“The food bank was incredible! It showed us just how many people are suffering and how much the food bank relies on our donations. All the staff (who are volunteers) were very welcoming. If you look worried, they give you tea or coffee and a biscuit. Also, they will talk to you about your problems.

It isn’t just food for people that they provide, they also provide cat food, dog food, toiletries and even clothing in case you need to attend an important event (such as a job interview). This is because if you are unable to feed yourself, you are also unable to feed your other family members, including your pets.

When someone donates a tin or other product, it is weighed, and the date is checked. This is displayed clearly on the top so it is easier to see and is not wasted. There are items on the front desk that are out of date, that they leave out so everyone has a choice if they want to take it or not as they don’t want people to become ill. Once the items have been dated, they are then sorted into categories: toothpaste, sauces, animal foods and more.

My favourite part (Kayla) is that they have a reverse advent calendar! Instead of receiving chocolate or an object, you donate that to the food bank instead. It is a really creative idea. You can donate as much or as little as you can manage. Everything counts and is valued.

It really was an incredible experience and we learnt a lot from visiting. They help anyone in need which is so kind. Please remember to spare something whenever you can."


What a privilege to hear the thoughts of children about the workings of the food bank. Go to our Giving page for more information.