Reflections from the Rectory – Dec’19

Advent is upon us, leading up to Christmas. Amidst the decorations and commercial pressures of preparing for Christmas, it is easy to lose the meaning of Advent as a separate season.  In South Africa, where I come from, this is further complicated by the fact that Christmas falls in the middle of the summer holidays, and schools break up at the beginning of December, so Christmas parties start in November.

“Advent” means coming. It is a time when we think about Jesus’ birth, when he came to live among us as a human being. It is also a time when we remind ourselves of the promise that he will come again as judge at the end of time, to set everything in creation to rights.

It is a time for carol services,  carol concerts and other events leading up to the celebration of Christmas. Advent for many begins with the switching on of the Christmas lights at Mundford on the 1st December, and the Advent Fayre earlier that day.

Carol services are to be held at Little Cressingham, Sandton Downham, Oxborough, Mundford, Foulden and Ickburgh. The schools will present a Nativity Play before they close for the Christmas holidays.

Generally it is a time of building excitement, and a time for family and friends to gather together and enjoy one another’s company.

Christmas itself, of course, is a joyful time of celebrating God’s greatest gift, when he became a human being and lived among us as one of us. It is a time to enjoy being with family and friends, celebrating the year’s achievements and sharing what we have.

May you all have a joyful and peaceful Christmas and look forward to 2020 with anticipation and hope.

Rev Linda Lubbe

Where love is there God is

Associate priest in the Mundford, Hilborough and Oxborough groups of churches.

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service

NARS are now able to offer a wide range of training courses. Our new website is now ‘live’! It has involved a lot of work, but we are very pleased with the results. Do please have a look, as it provides all the latest information about NARS. www.nars.org.uk

We are also working in conjunction with Simper Law to offer a free will writing service, for more information on this offer please look on our website. Please pass this information on to your parishioners.

Whilst writing, please note that we are very happy to come out to give a talk to clubs, societies or workplace groups.

We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to give up a day or two a year to help man our stand at a fete or show to help raise awareness of our organisation. Or for people who would be prepared to organise their own fundraising events on our behalf (ie: raffle, sponsored walk, bake sale).

We would love more people to become involved in our very worthwhile work and look forward to hearing from you if you feel that this is something you would be interested in doing. Please bear in mind that you do not need any specialist knowledge to help us just plenty of enthusiasm. Your commitment to us can be as small or as large as you would like it to be. We are very grateful for any help that we receive. Please feel free to pass this information on to someone who you feel may be interested, maybe a local resident, employer, work colleague, friend or relative.

Norfolk Police – Cold Caller Incidents Prompt Warning

Police are urging residents to be vigilant to cold callers claiming to be police officers following two incidents in south Norfolk.

It follows two incidents in Wymondham and Chedgrave where elderly residents were cold called on the telephone by a man claiming to be a police officer.

The first incident happened yesterday (Thursday 21 November 2019) when a resident in Chedgrave was called by a man claiming to be a police officer from Hammersmith Police. They stated the victim’s bank account had been hacked and that money needed to be withdrawn by the account holder to rectify it. The victim went to the bank where staff intervened and no money was taken.

A second incident was reported to police earlier today (Friday 22 November 2019) in Wymondham when a woman received a cold call from someone claiming to be a detective from Norfolk Police. The man asked the resident to confirm her address, which she did. The woman’s carer then took the call and asked the man to provide his collar number, at which point the call was terminated.

Detective Sergeant Chris Archer said: “This is a known method used by suspects to commit frauds and encourage vulnerable victims to withdraw large sums of money from their accounts.

“Fortunately, no money has been handed over in either incident but we clearly want people to be vigilant to such scams.

“Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.

“I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.”

Officers have this advice:

·     Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.

·     If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.

·     Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.

·     If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.

Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere. Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Cold Calling

A no cold calling zone is a designated area where the residents declare they will no longer accept traders calling at their homes without an appointment.

No cold calling zones are a deterrent to unscrupulous traders and bogus callers, who do not want to be recognised or ‘logged’ as working within an area.

Apply to become a no cold calling zone

You can apply online for an area to be a no cold calling zone.

Trading Standards support the collective wishes of the residents, so the majority of the people living in the area must want the zone to be created.

It’s also helpful to have support and agreement from the parish or town council and to have someone who can act as a local champion to help promote the zone.

No cold calling zones are suitable for areas where: 

  • There is evidence of a history of doorstep rogue trading/bogus calling
  • The area has a strong community bond/spirit and desire for the zone
  • The age and/or vulnerability of the residents causes them to be at greater risk through cold calling
  • The area is considered to be attractive to doorstep rogue traders
  • The area is distinct and can be clearly identifiable as a zone

What happens to the application?

One of our officers will assess the need for the zone and its potential success.  If the application is accepted, we will liaise with the local champion to set up the zone.  We supply signs, packs for residents containing advice and information and door stickers.  We offer continued support to established zones.

Tackling cold calls in a no cold calling zone

We follow up all reported incidents of cold calling.  This may be limited to finding out why a trader has ignored a designated no cold calling zone but may include more formal enquiries.

There is no law preventing cold calling.  However, by law, you have 14 days to cancel contracts signed at home or your place of work for works costing more than £42.  The trader must give you a cancellation notice, allowing a 14-day cooling off period.  It’s a criminal offence if they don’t do this and Trading Standards may be able to take enforcement action.

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for advice using their online enquiries form or by calling 03454 04 05 06.

Mobile Library Poetry Competition

We have a poetry competition which is running throughout November and ending on 21st December. We are inviting everyone to write a poem about the Mobile Library, in any capacity – a fantasy journey, a memory of the library, a recent visit to the library – the choice is the authors.

Poems can be given to drivers or emailed through to us at central.mobiles.lib@norfolk.gov.uk

The Mobile Library Team will pick their favourites and the authors will have the chance to be filmed, if suitable, reading their poems on the Mobile Library for a Digital Anthology which will be shown on our internal screens in the New Year. We have 2 guest judges: Hayley Scott, author of Jar Baby and the Teacup series, and Elly Griffiths, author of the Ruth Galloway series, who will be around when we film for the Digital Anthology to meet the winners.

Your Mobile Library routes are:

Mundford: EDE205

All timetables can be found here: www.norfolk.gov.uk/mobilelibraries and of course any questions or anything you’re welcome to email or phone: 01603 222 267

Bus Service Changes, Dec’19

Norfolk County Council, Travel & Transport have notified Parish Clerks that there are multiple changes coming up to local bus services and many are soon coming to an end. This is due to new Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations as well as budget constraints.

Services through Mundford which will end on 24th December 2019 are:

  • Coach Service 12 Foulden – Kings Lynn on Tuesdays
  • Coach Service 26 Methwold – Norwich on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays

For more information about how your service is affected, it is advisable to contact the service operator:

Click/tap to see a full list of the changes and possible alternatives.

WHAT3WORDS

 What3words For those of you who aren’t already using What3words and its sister app 3wordphoto, this is a fantastic tool, especially for those of us who live and work in rural communities. It can be used to provide POLICE officers with an accurate location of an offence or to direct resources to someone injured or lost in an open rural location https://what3words.com

Reflections from the Rectory – Nov’19

The nights are drawing in, and we have come to the time of remembrance services, when we remember those who have died and give thanks for their lives and memories.

On the 1st November, it is All Saints’ Day, and 2nd November is All Souls’ Day, so it is a natural time to think of our departed family members and friends, and to celebrate their lives.  It is a time to remember God’s gifts of light and colour, and his love which darkness and death cannot overcome.

On 11th November, we remember those who have given their lives in war and pray especially for peace around the world, and the resolution of on-going conflicts. This is an important date in our communities, and was especially so last year, when we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. I was very new to this area, and appreciated being part of events.

In South Africa, especially in rural, Afrikaans-dominated areas, 11th November largely passes by unmarked. I would usually wear a poppy on the 11th November, and would often be asked what it was about.

Major services of remembrance will be held in some of our villages, such as Mundford and Gooderstone, on the 10th November (the nearest Sunday), including reading out the names of local residents who fell in both world wars, and the laying of wreaths at war memorials. This is meaningful for members of their families and for members of their communities, who owe their life and security to past sacrifices made on their behalf.

This is a time for solemn remembrance, but also for us to give thanks and dedicate ourselves to build life and community where we are.

Rev Linda Lubbe

Where love is there God is

Associate priest in the Mundford, Hilborough and Oxborough groups of churches.

Reflections from the Rectory – Oct’19

It seems incredible to me that I have almost been here for a full year. I am enjoying the beauty of the Thetford Forest and the wonderful, friendly communities in the villages around.  We are beginning to see the trees of the forest displaying their rich autumn colours.

In early August, I was able to re-connect with old friends in South Africa. I have also learned to know new friends and made contact with family members here.

During October, many people in the villages around here have arranged events to support Macmillan, and raise funds to care for people living with cancer. This is a wonderful effort, and hopefully will raise much-needed money for a worthwhile cause.

During September and October, many of our churches and communities have also arranged harvest thanksgiving celebrations. As I move around between villages, I am struck by the amount of work going on in the farming community, and the enormous machines being moved from farm to farm.

It also seems to be a popular time for weddings, and we have seen some very happy celebrations of the love between two people, often also bringing restoration, and healing of past hurts.

The schools are also  open for a new school year, a time for celebrating past achievements and looking forward with hope to the future.                                                         

Whether we face pain or joy at this time, God invites us to bring our feelings and circumstances to him, trusting him as we go forward into the future.

Rev Linda Lubbe

Where love is there God is


Associate priest in the Mundford, Hilborough and Oxborough groups of churches. Rev. Zoe Ferguson is currently on long term sick leave.