All Saints Church, Alburgh. January News.

Our first good news of which most will by now be aware is of the appointment of The Revd. Chris Hutton as Rector of Alburgh and of the other parishes in our benefice (group of parishes). We look forward to getting to know him and his family and going forward under his leadership. The service of Institution will be at Ditchingham Church on the evening of Tuesday 1 April at 7 pm when he will assume his appointment. We do not know at the time of writing this when his first service in our church will be but we will make sure that it is known.

With six parishes to look after he will not be able to know everyone in the way the old time parson could, who had only one church and parish to look after, but we hope to make as many introductions as we can. If he cannot know us all individually at least we may know him.

Over Christmas our services were well supported particularly the carol service which was much enhanced by the music of the Salvation Army band. We were pleased to be able to pass on to them the amount of the collection £220. It was also a pleasure to see the good number of children who attended our Christingle service.

The church building is subject to inspection by an architect every five years (The quinquennial inspection) and this took place in the Autumn. As we know from experience with our own houses there is always some repair and maintenance required and this is more true when the building is large and hundreds of years old. On this occasion the architect has recommended urgent repairs estimated at £13,000

with a further £16000 needed within two years. When our church finances are under strain to meet insurance, general running costs and the required payment to the Diocese this is a daunting prospect. However the Feoffees of the Town Lands Estate have offered £3000 and the Trustees of the Pagan Trust, established by the late Rector The Revd. Albert Pagan have offered £5000. We are much encouraged and grateful for this support coming from within the parish. We will be energetically approaching other possible sources of funds. Competitive tenders will be obtained for the work under the supervision of the architect.

We have carried out some work in the churchyard including trimming the hedges and replanting the section of dead hedge along the road. We are applying for the necessary legal permission to establish a new area just inside the gate for the placing of ashes of the deceased which we hope can be completed before the summer.

We will provide further information on our new notice board next to the letter box by the Village Hall and write a further newsletter when the Rector has arrived and we know future plans.

The Churchwardens and the Members of the PCC wish everyone a happy and peaceful 2014. January 2014