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 Rector

Contact details:
Rev. Susan Bowden-Pickstock
The Rectory,
Broad Lane,
PE31 8AU

Tel: 01485 211180

The Revd Susan Bowden-Pickstock is the new Rector of the Saxon Shore Benefice of six Churches here on the north Norfolk Coast.

Photo - Susan Bowden-Pickstock

She is an ordained Pioneer Minister in the Anglican Church. This is a relatively new type of training which combines traditional theological training with an emphasis on relating to our current culture and helping church and community to meet. Susan grew up in rural villages in East Anglia, and has been a person of strong faith since a small child:

          ‘I remember a conversation under cherry blossom when I was about 5 when it all made
          sense in my head that God was there, and I was loved, and that was that.’

Her previous working life includes ten years as a Registered General Nurse: journeying from Guys Hospital in London, to Papworth, Newmarket, Addenbrookes, and finishing as a GP Practice Nurse in Cambridge. She then worked for fifteen years within the BBC in local radio as a ‘Faith and Ethics Producer.’

Photo- Susan Bowden-Pickstock

Susan is married to Philip and they have four children at various stages of secondary, university education and employment: careers are currently being formed as a chef, in psychology, in medicine, and in any and all water sports and computer games…. Family life has been the greatest joy, in all its wonder, muddle and chaos.

She has always taken Iranaeus seriously when he said ‘The glory of God is a human being fully alive.’ and cannot resist the challenge to explore a new dimension of living. She therefore also has RHS qualifications in general horticulture, as well as an honours degree in Literature and Religious Studies. Her childhood dream to be an author was fulfilled in writing a book on horticulture and spirituality called ‘Quiet Gardens: the Roots of Faith?’ and hopes one day to write more.

She has taken a few random opportunities in life including exercising racehorses at Newmarket, Photo- Susan Bowden-Pickstock sailing on a tall ship out of Stockholm, spending time with monks in Rome, travelling with the family to Australia, Canada, Scandinavia and Italy and gaining (with a team of others) a Chelsea silver-gilt medal.

Susan enjoys almost anything but particularly, cooking and eating, gardening, hill climbing, horse-riding, cycling, swimming, reading, cinema, theatre, and photography.

She would like to own a giraffe (but only on a plot of land big enough, of course!).

A blue line!

The Service of Induction and Intallation
for the new Rector of our Benefice

At 7 p.m. on Monday 13th October in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Old Hunstanton the Reverend Susan Bowden-Pickstock was Instituted by the Right Reverend Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich and Inducted and Installed by the Venerable Steven Betts as Rector of the Saxon Shore Benefice.

Photo - Tony Foster

In a packed church parishioners, friends and family witnessed a moving ceremony as Susan was made Rector of the Benefice. At one point in the ceremony the congregation held its breath as our new Rector began to pull the bell rope but after a few tugs to get into the swing of things we were rewarded with some very nice dongs from on high!

Photo - Tony Foster

After the ceremony the Rector and the Bishop stood by the main door...

Photo - Tony Foster

...chatting with just about every member of the congregation...

Photo - Tony Foster

...who were also enjoying a most excellent buffet with wine and cups of tea and at the same time taking the chance to socialise with inter-parish chit-chat in a wonderful atmosphere of friendship and goodwill.

Photo - Tony Foster

Our grateful thanks must go to everyone involved in any way with the evening. The Bishop of Norwich, the visiting clergy, the Rural Dean, our own Curate, James, and all the Chuchwardens, representatives and parishioners who played their parts well - and, of course, those who baked and prepared and also served the refreshments in the back of the church afterwards.

A blue line!

Our Curate

Rev. James Monro

The Rev. 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:
Rev. 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

Rev. 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 James Monro...

November 2014

Letter November 2014 Autumn this year seemed almost as busy for me as Christmas or Easter with its round of Harvest Festival services. And however hard I tried, I could not stop “We plough the fields and scatter” ringing endlessly through my head.

But it’s good to find time to take stock and remember before God our dependence on the land and the cycle of the seasons for our sustenance. There are many suitable passages in the scriptures that we read at this season, but the spirit of one that is particularly relevant to our times is from the Book of Deuteronomy:

“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop - do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”

Modern farming methods leave very little of the crop on the ground these days, so it is good to remember the needy in other ways. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has donated to our local food banks for acting in this spirit of goodwill. Donations from Harvest Festival services have provided a very welcome harvest this year by restocking the shelves in both Hunstanton and King’s Lynn. Thank you all very much, and please go on giving. The need continues throughout the year. There are collection boxes in all the churches of the benefice, and at Barclays Bank in Hunstanton.

Rev. James Monro, Curate

Last updated 18/12/2014
Services throughout the Benefice during December and January.