Dates for your diary for week beginning April 18th









Bible Study Group

Online – contact J Pascall




MBC Singing for Fun

Online – contact J Saville



10.30am – 11.30am

Virtual Coffee Morning

Online – via Zoom or via telephone – contact J Pascall




Rock Solid

Online – contact S Price







We know in this parish that ‘music builds community’; we understand and laud its intention, thanking God for musicianship and the gift of sharing in it.

For some of us it seemed remarkable that last Sunday saw no increase in church-attendance despite the national days of mourning following the news just two days earlier of the death of HRH the Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

We might understand that people are unaware that we are, and have been, open for regular worship right though the pandemic (apart from the enforced closure periods), and yes, many will still be nervous for shielding reasons, but the pervading sense that few if any were asking or enquiring, let alone turning up, tells us that sadly the CofE is not in a great place at the present time, despite the rhetoric of a parish church being there for the whole community.

It was a joy to be part of the crowd of folk at The White Horse yesterday teatime, seeing people’s sense of reunion and friendship being re-kindled, but the contrast with last weekend’s Church was, for me at least, poignant. So, what do we do about this state of affairs, nationally and locally?

We misunderstand mission if we think it is a matter of persuading people to accept ideas.

The truth of any ideas or doctrines is something that becomes apparent in the light of the sort of life that those ideas make possible. To see a common life of unconditional; mutual generosity, sustained by the sanctification of each part of the day, in God’s honour, is to grasp that the defensive and self-referential habits of the world at large can be decisively overcome by grace, the ‘promise’ of Christian teaching, the hope of heaven, becomes credible when earthly life is transformed. Perhaps this is where we should begin in thinking about mission?.....what does a ‘promising’ life look like?

A life that values every dimension of experience, including the routine, the repetitive, the prosaic, one that assumes mutual need and invites generosity (given and received) at the same time as offering it in hospitality, this is a life that is not merely apostolic but Christlike and that illustrates the freshness of what the Gospel makes possible.

We mustn’t overlook the converting power of such apostolic life. It is not just that people are attracted by lives of virtue and service, true as that undoubtedly is (as we see in the Duke of Edinburgh’s distinguished record), but of poverty and vulnerability, of silence and praise, of labour and fidelity….the praying community shows how people can be bound together in work and contemplation, and it seems clear to me that our mission must include a seriousness about worship in community. It must convey something of why it might be desirable to hope for heaven as the context where our vocation to praise and contemplate will be fulfilled, authentic to the community itself, demonstrating that we have fallen in love with God, and not because we have been told it is part of a strategy for evangelisation, but because of the intimacy of our community living, nothing more or less. In this we all clearly have our role to play.

The rule of St Benedict, bedrock of all intentional communities, mirrored in the life of any parish church, includes ‘your way of acting should be different from the world’s way’, ‘the love of Christ must come before all else’ and ‘let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ’ ….it is the only place from which a fully transforming mission can begin, so the enduring question will always be, are we ready and able to do that?    Mark


ST PHILIP’S REOPENING  It was lovely to see St Philip's & St Etheldreda's open on Easter Sunday after a whole year. Hope all enjoyed the service. We will be open every Sunday now. We are still only allowed 12 people unfortunately, so booking has to be made early via me. Even if you came last week it doesn't mean you are automatically on the list for the following Sunday - you have to book every week! Jennie Oakman 01638 668176 or 07949692180. God's Blessings x


MBC Singing for Fun  In the two April sessions (7th and 21st) we’ll be singing “Songs about Travel” from slow to very fast. We journey “From Captain Tom to Major Tom” so guess what the first and last songs are ……… On the 7th we go from about 1 to 40 mph with songs by the Beach Boys, Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Gerry & The Pacemakers, Proclaimers, Rod Stewart and several traditional songs. We meet via Zoom starting at 8pm. For details of songs and how to join see  Password is MBCSFF. More info from John Saville 07968-912046


PARISH VOICE AND EVENTS PLANNING  The first meeting following the lifting of Covid restrictions will be held on Monday 28th June, 7.45pm at St P&E.  Everyone welcome. If you are not already on my Parish email address list, should you wish to receive an online copy of Voice and Events Planning meetings, please send your email address to and I shall send a BCC copy.  The first list of plans for the remainder of this year has been circulated recently. There will also be hard copies available in future, as per usual. With thanks, Jenny King


Annual Meeting of Parishioners (APM) and Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)  The APM (to elect churchwardens) and the APCM (to receive an account of the church's activities in 2020 and to elect various church officials) will take place on Tuesday 27th April 2021 at 7.30 pm. Unfortunately, owing to COVID restrictions, the PCC has decided that the meeting will need to be on-line via Zoom. It will be possible for a limited number of people to attend by telephone if they do not have computer access. If you wish to attend either on-line or by telephone, please tell me so that I can send you the required information for connection (telephone 01638 578372 email ) plus a copy of the agenda and the annual report. Thank you, John Pascall


ELECTORAL ROLL 2021  It is that time again!  If you are not on our Electoral Roll and would like to be, then please do get in touch with me and I will send you an application form.  Normally, these would be available in both Churches, but until normality returns…!  Applications close on Sunday 11th April.  Patsy Edwards TEL 01638 665343 or  Many thanks, Patsy


Nomination Forms  for the posts of Churchwardens, Deputy Churchwardens, Pro Wardens (to serve at St Philips and St Etheldreda) and PCC members will be available in both churches from this Sunday. John Pascall


Charitable giving by the church in 2021  Because of the complication of organising a paper vote for the charities to be support this year, we will be holding a vote at the APCM. Only four charities were nominated this year from which we have to choose three: The Voluntary Network; The Newmarket Day Centre; The Newmarket Food Bank; The Bishop's Appeal for Kagera. If you cannot attend the APCM, you can send your preferences to me before the meeting (selecting up to three charities). Thank you. John Pascall.


A Message from Bishop Martin  Dear Brothers and Sisters, I want to thank everyone across the Diocese for your incredible generosity, hard work and prayer, and we thank God that all our efforts have been blessed and our prayers answered. Last October we asked individuals and parishes to give generously and sacrificially, and make all possible efforts to overcome the projected deficit we were facing of £1.9m. The Church Commissioners had generously made a grant of £600,000, but that still left a £1.3m projected shortfall.  Above all we asked every parish to pray, and particularly to pray throughout the month of October to All Saints Day for us to give as we have received, abundantly, generously and joyfully. Everyone’s hard work, generosity and prayer has resulted in a near break-even end-of-year result, almost eliminating the deficit, a truly miraculous outcome! We are delighted that more than 60% of parishes met their full contribution and more than 30 parishes paid over their Share allocation to support those unable to meet their commitments.  Everyone’s effort, creativity, determination and sacrifice, undergirded and strengthened by persistent prayer, has enabled us to reach this goal. Once again, thank you for your continued and generous support for the mission, ministry and work with which we are together engaged.  Our prayers are with you for all that you are continuing to do as we support one another through these times of unprecedented uncertainty. With every blessing, Bishop Martin.



This year’s Christian Aid Week begins on Sunday May 9th, and helpfully the house-to-house collection is being handled differently this year. Instead of both delivering and collecting the red envelope, it will be delivery only, with collection points arranged for the return of donations. We are hoping people can join us from the SMENN churches, delivering locally while on their daily walks. Please do get in touch with Jan Lovegrove if you would like to help with this.

Rogation Sunday falls on the eve of CA Week, and is when we pray for everything that happens within the parish boundary, be it crops growing towards the harvest, industry, businesses, civic and community life, and our homes and families. While our worship on May 9th will reflect that, we are also keeping it later in the week, Saturday 15th May, with a Beating of the Bounds, the traditional walking around the parish boundary. We are doing this with St Mary’s and St Agnes, the other two SMENN parishes, making possible a 15 mile walk around our two united benefices. Parishioners will be encouraged to walk, run, cycle or ride, just like the SHCT Ride & Stride on the 2nd Saturday in September, and on this occasion are being encouraged to be sponsored for Christian Aid. Let’s make this a bumper year! Clearly not everyone will want to tackle the whole distance, but some will. Maps, sponsor forms, and an itinerary that identifies 8 timed stages will be issued to all participants……’stations’ where people can begin and end their beating of the bounds, park their car, meet support vehicles, and so on. Please mark your diaries now for this very important week, and be in touch with Jan Lovegrove (07471 942 696) or Mark (tel. 07932 160 009) to find out more.


Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride  will take place on Saturday 11th September. I am looking, if possible, for someone to take over from me as the local organiser for this parish. Thank you John Pascall


Virtual coffee mornings  As the coffee mornings seem to be popular, we will be continuing them for the foreseeable future. Although we will be continuing to use zoom there is no need to have zoom installed on your device as there will simply be a web address to click on. If you have no facility for accessing the internet, there are also five telephone numbers that people can ring in on but obviously there will be no video by that method of access. If you wish to join us please email me or text me , so that I can send you the link or a telephone number – email; text 07985791524.   John and Sally Pascall


Bishop's Lent Appeal  In these challenging times across the globe, we are able to reach out and support friends in Christ who are facing far worse difficulties than we are. I am so grateful for the generous response to our previous appeals to support our link diocese, Kagera, and our commitment to serving our brothers and sisters in Kagera continues. The theme of the Bishops' Lent Appeal 2021 is supporting key workers in Kagera, providing food, health care and spiritual support: - Farmers, to support subsistence farmers across Kagera, and those who are helping them develop better ways of making the most of their land.

- Doctors at the Diocesan hospital, undertaking specialist training to reduce patients' need to travel many hours to find specialist treatment.

- Priests leading their communities, helping with training and transport, for example, £850 will buy a motorbike so a priest can spend less time walking, maybe 10 or 20km between churches, and more time serving.

Bishop Mike has produced a video introducing our 2021 Lent appeal which can be found HERE. Clergy and PCC secretaries will be receiving information packs, including a brand-new Lent Challenge booklet. Churchwardens should also have received an email with copies of everything. More information can be found on the diocesan website, . Alternatively, please contact Chris and Anji Dawkins, Kagera Link Coordinators, for more information,


LIGHT A CANDLE  By lighting a virtual candle, you're making space to pray.  You can light a candle online to pray for yourself, for a loved one or for a situation on the Church of England website


PRAYER WALL  St Edmundsbury Cathedral offers an online Prayer Wall where you can choose to light an online candle.  Each day one of the Cathedral Clergy will pray these prayers.  For details please visit


OFFERINGS TO THE CHURCH VIA STANDING ORDER . Here are the details if you would like to set up a regular payment through your bank to the parish. If you wish to gift aid your payments, please let me know & I will send a gift aid statement to you if you haven’t already done one.

Account Number: 44358318

Sort Code: 60-15-47

Account Name: Exning PCC

Please put your name as reference



Environmental Issues: Last week, churches across the UK demonstrated their support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill by taking part in a nationwide banner drop and twitter storm; brightly coloured banners were dropped from church buildings. Drafted by scientists, legal experts, ecological economists and environmentalists, the Bill is designed to reverse climate and ecological breakdown. It asks the UK Government to take responsibility for our fair share of greenhouse gas emissions, to actively restore biodiverse habitats in the UK and to reduce damage to the environment caused by the production, transportation and disposal of the goods we consume.

Prayer for Creation for April: Loving God, we do not understand why nature sometimes seems so cruel and harsh, and why people suffer from floods, earthquakes and man-made disasters. Help us to trust in your promises and to rest in the certainty that not even the smallest sparrow lies outside your loving care. Help us to do all in our power to relieve suffering and make us willing and eager to share the good things you have given us, for the benefit of all.  Amen