The Six Parishes of the Saxon Shore Benefice

"The United Benefice of Hunstanton St. Mary with Ringstead Parva St. Andrew,
Holme-next-the-Sea St. Mary the Virgin and Thornham All Saints,
with Brancaster St. Mary the Virgin, with Burnham Deepdale St. Mary
and Titchwell St. Mary, with Choseley",
which is the official name of this Benefice, is rather a mouthful and so the name
"The Saxon Shore Benefice"
was chosen for these churches on the north west Norfolk coast.

Our Search for a new Priest – an update

Over the last few months, the wardens of the six parishes of this benefice have been doing their best to push forward with finding a new priest. It has been complicated by difficulties in setting dates for interviews that do not exclude priests coming to the end of their curacies (training period) who might be interested in applying. The Bishop of Norwich has set a strict timetable for this. There are further delays due to the Bishop of Lynn being unavailable for about a month.

We have finally managed to agree the following timetable: advertisement in the Church Times on the 9th and 16th May and interviews on July 8th.

Please pray for a good selection of candidates.

          The wardens of the Saxon Shore Benefice

A blue line!

Rev'd. Christopher Wood after his last service in the Saxon Shore Benefice - Photo Tony Foster In his fifth year as Rector of the Saxon Shore Benefice, the Rev'd. Christopher Wood has now moved on to take up the challenge of a different type of parochial ministry within this Diocese, in the City of Norwich.

From January 6th, 2014 he relinquishes his position here and becomes Rector of the parish of St. John Timberhill with St. Julian's. This involves Sunday morning worship at St. John's as well as Services each day at both churches in Norwich city centre.

Revd. Christopher Wood after his last service in the Saxon Shore Benefice - Photo Tony Foster

The church of St. Julian is unique in that it houses the small cell, built out of the original foundations, of the Medieval anchoress and mystic, Julian of Norwich. Her book, 'The Revelations of Divine Love', is known world wide and it is the earliest published work by a woman in the English language. Visitors come from many countries to visit and pray in the small ancient and very simple space in which she lived out her vocation.

The Rector has the task of maintaining and developing this interest while ensuring that the silent and prayerful shrine remains a thin place where the presence of God may be encountered in a special way.

The parish covers a large area of the city of Norwich, including the rail station, the Carrow Road football stadium, the largest nightclub in Europe, Norwich Castle and the shopping complex below ground and many other points of interest. St. John's can be found opposite the John Lewis Store in Norwich.

The Saxon Shore Benefice is now in a period of interregnum while a new priest is sought to take up ministry here.

Cartoon by Tony Hall
Cartoon by Tony Hall at
(Shown by kind permission of the owner, Rev'd. Christopher Wood)

Our Curate

Revd. James Monro

The Revd. James Monro is curate of the parishes of the Saxon Shore Benefice. He took up his post in July 2012 when he returned to Norfolk from Street in Somerset.

Contact details:
Revd. James Monro
Manor Cottage,
Church Place,
PE31 8LW

Tel: 01485 518342

"Ordination at Norwich Cathedral"
Information and photo by kind permission of the Diocese of Norwich

Revd. James Monro (front row left - with the cross showing) after his ordination with the Bishop of Norwich

WITH THE BISHOP: The Rev. James Monro (front row left - with the cross showing) after his ordination
with the Bishop of Norwich at the Petertide ordinations which took place on Saturday 30 June 2012

A Letter from the Curate, Rev'd James Monro...

March 2014

I am finding, along with everyone else, that the older I get, the quicker time goes by. The New Year festivities seem an age away now, and Ash Wednesday and Lent are fast approaching as we head into March.

Covering the head with ashes was in ancient times a sign of mourning for the death of a loved one, or an expression sorrow for one’s faults. The days of Lent are a commemoration of Jesus’ forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness. From the very earliest times, the Church has begun this time, which comes before Good Friday and the joy of Easter Sunday, with a ceremony in which ashes are placed on our foreheads as a reminder of our mortality, and a sign of repentance to God.

Many think of Lent as a time for giving something up, but perhaps it might be better to see it as an opportunity for taking up a spiritual discipline. One such practice is Lectio Divina or Divine Reading, a traditional method for reading passages in the Bible, begun by Benedictine monks. It has four steps in order: reading, meditation, praying and contemplation.

The practice has been likened to “Feasting on the Word”, and is perhaps more a matter for the heart than the mind. First a not too large or small bite is taken; commonly a passage from the gospels is chosen. This is read slowly and reflectively several times allowing it to sink in to the mind. It is then chewed upon in mediation, where we think and ruminate upon the text so that we take from it what God wishes to give us.

We then savour the essence in prayer, allowing our hearts to speak to God.

Finally it is digested in contemplation, when we let go of our own thoughts and simply rest in God at the deepest level of our being to find the still, small voice within that will gradually transform us.

Do please contact me if you would like to know more.

Rev'd James Monro, Curate

Curate’s Notes

There will be no Bible Studies in March. Instead, the Deanery Lent Services, with the theme “The Words from the Cross”, will be on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. as follows:

Wednesday, 12th March 2014 – St. Nicholas’ Church, Dersingham
Wednesday, 19th March 2014 – St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham - with Revd. Canon Beryl Wood from St. Faith’s Church, Gaywood, King’s Lynn
Wednesday, 26th March 2014 – St. Mary’s Church, Old Hunstanton
Wednesday, 2nd April 2014 – St. Andrew’s Church, Ringstead
Wednesday, 9th April 2014 – St. Mary’s Church, Snettisham - with the Bishop of Lynn.

Last updated 07/04/2014
Services throughout the benefice during May.