Category Archives: Church

Reflections from the Rectory – Feb’20

The Christmas holidays are over, and we are into the new year.

A new year, new hopes and possibilities, and perhaps some anxieties about the future. The children are back to school after their Christmas break, offices and shops opening, and most of us settling back into our regular routine.

Does anyone still make New Year Resolutions? Last year, I was sent a photograph of a friend of mine next to a list of resolutions, about a week into the new year. Two thirds of them had already been crossed off the list – did that mean he had accomplished many things, or just given up on his resolutions?

The church calendar celebrates twelve days of Christmas, beginning on 25th December. Then 6th January is the Feast of Epiphany, when we remember the wise men who came from the East to visit the baby Jesus and bring him gifts. Traditionally we think of three wise men, because they brought three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh), but no number is mentioned in the New Testament – so it could have been many more.

These were three men from outside the nation of Israel who travelled a great distance, probably from modern Iran, to acknowledge Jesus as the promised King.

The Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on the 6th January, with great solemnity and pageantry.

The next “commercial” festival featured in our shopping calendar seems to be Valentine’s Day, 14th February. Like other similar events, it may be abused, but should be seen as a celebration of what is best in human  love.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2020.

Rev Linda Lubbe

Where love is there God is

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

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.

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.

Reflections from the Rectory – Jul’19

It is a beautiful Summer day as I write this. The squirrels are very active. Mind you, they have not really been absent all winter.  It is wonderful to appreciate the changes in our rural landscape, in the trees and flowers.

Our church buildings are part of the landscape and history of our villages. Many of our church buildings have a long history. They were built to last, often during the Middle Ages.  They are still the focal point for many community and family celebrations, for baptisms, marriages and burials, for remembrance day and for Christmas celebrations. They are special places, associated with rich memories for all.

 We face the continual challenge of funding maintaining and repairing our ancient church buildings, paying for heating, electricity, gas, etc.

Of course, the church is composed of people, and should not be seen primarily in terms of buildings, but it is the buildings which are the visible focus of our presence in the community, representing the presence of God among us.

Please continue to support coffee mornings, soup lunches, spring teas and other occasions, which not only raise much-needed funds, but are a lot of fun and  build up our communities and our sense of belonging to one another.

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.

Reflections from the Rectory – Jun’19

We are enjoying beautiful Summer days. I am learning about local birds and wildlife, including otters which have decimated the inhabitants of my neighbour’s fish pond population in recent months!

During June, the Church celebrates the important festivals of Pentecost, on 9th and Trinity Sunday on the 16th.  Pentecost was the Jewish feast held fifty days after Passover, when they gave thanks for the wheat harvest. It was one of the important Jewish pilgrim feasts, when all adults who were able to would travel to Jerusalem for the festivities. This is why Jerusalem was filled with people of many nationalities when the Holy Spirit came on the first Christians, empowering them to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection to the crowds in the streets.

We are told that about 3,000 people responded and joined the believers, and the church was born. So, Pentecost is the birthday of the church. We give thanks for the presence of the Holy Spirit in us and among us, and celebrate his empowering and gifts, given so that we are able to serve one another and build one another up.

Trinity Sunday reminds us that God is beyond our understanding, and reveals Himself to us as three persons, who live together in perfect harmony and work together in creation and in our lives.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy month of June

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.

Reflections from the Rectory – May’19

Signs of spring are everywhere. As a newcomer to England, I am particularly enjoying the snowdrops and daffodils sprouting in our gardens and along the roadside.

In the Church, the period of Lent began on the 6th March. It is a time of preparing ourselves for the celebration of Easter. In the early church, new Christians were baptized at Easter, and were given special teaching and preparation for a six week period beforehand. This is the origin of the tradition of keeping Lent.

Many of us remember being told to “give up” something for Lent, such as sugar in our tea. This is fine, but Lent could be more positively seen as a time to “take on” something of value, such as caring for a neighbor in times of illness or distress.

During Lent, many of us will be sharing a soup lunch on Saturdays at the Mundford Bowls Club and/or on Wednesdays at the Foulden Village Hall. This is a time for fellowship and sharing, and all are welcome.

Easter is a great celebration of life in Christ. Many special services are planned in the villages over this time, and all are welcome to participate.

The rejuvenation of nature around us after the winter reflects new life and hope for the future.

May I wish all of you a joyful Easter.

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.

Reflections from the Rectory – Apr’19

Signs of spring are everywhere. As a newcomer to England, I am particularly enjoying the snowdrops and daffodils sprouting in our gardens and along the roadside.

In the Church, the period of Lent began on the 6th March. It is a time of preparing ourselves for the celebration of Easter. In the early church, new Christians were baptized at Easter, and were given special teaching and preparation for a six week period beforehand. This is the origin of the tradition of keeping Lent.

Many of us remember being told to “give up” something for Lent, such as sugar in our tea. This is fine, but Lent could be more positively seen as a time to “take on” something of value, such as caring for a neighbor in times of illness or distress.

During Lent, many of us will be sharing a soup lunch on Saturdays at the Mundford Bowls Club and/or on Wednesdays at the Foulden Village Hall. This is a time for fellowship and sharing, and all are welcome.

Easter is a great celebration of life in Christ. Many special services are planned in the villages over this time, and all are welcome to participate.

The rejuvenation of nature around us after the winter reflects new life and hope for the future.

May I wish all of you a joyful Easter.

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.

Reflections from Mundford Rectory – Feb’19

Dear Friends,

I wanted to say an enormous thank you to everyone in our community who supported us through the event of our Church Gift Day for St Leonard’s Church in Mundford. Your generous contribution to the work of the church in serving the community in this place is invaluable and helps us to keep a ministerial presence and the love of God through His people alive in the village of Mundford and surrounding villages, enabling a continuing worshipping presence, the joy of bringing people together in marriage, baptizing new Christians and supporting the dying and bereaved.

Many of you will know that sadly I have been unwell since last July. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to so many people who have and continue to keep me in their thoughts and prayers, and have supported my family and myself in very practical ways as well.

It has truly been a very difficult time but I am slowly making progress in my illness with the love, support and encouragement of so many people, and hope very much to be serving my communities again as your parish priest in the coming months ahead.  You have all remained very close to me in my heart and I feel truly blessed to be a part of the wonderful community of Mundford along with the various villages that I am called to serve. Please do continue to pray for me and for my family, and I look forward to being active again in ministry alongside you all and sharing in the abundant love of God at the very heart of His people.

Every love & blessing,
Your parish priest,
Zoe

Where love is there God is

Rev. Zoe Ferguson (Priest in Charge of the Mundford, Hilborough & Oxborough groups)
Currently on long term sick leave.

Reflections from Mundford Rectory Jul-Aug’18

Where love is there God is

Dear Friends,

Wow, how quick the year seems to be flying by and how wonderful to be bathed in glorious sunshine of late!

In the church we are now in the long season known as Trinity, but with this brings blessings of hearing about the life, miracles and healings of Jesus and a time to reflect on what it means to be His Disciple (the word disciple literally meaning ‘learner’). I have also begun the wonderful wedding season where we have the privilege of bringing 2 people completely in love into a life-long commitment and witness to this. However, this season still sees much sadness in the community’s that I serve with an ongoing time of funeral ministry, reflecting again the power of love. These extremes of life events in ministry perhaps indicate the risk that we take in loving others, but the gift that is experienced also as the lives of others touch ours so deeply.

In the world, we hear of sadness across the world continuing to carry on and for many of us we are immersed in the World Cup and painfully watching England play through each match….Come on England…. You can do it!!!

Our young people have completed their SAT’s and GCSE and A -Level exams, and for some an extended summer holiday with various proms to look forward to, and everyday life rumbles on as a lot of us look forward to a time of summer holidays to spend time with our families and friends, it is so important that we take time to spend with our loved ones, for none of us knows what tomorrow holds, and the greatest gift we can receive on earth is the gift of time and the gift of one another.

Which leads me to the greatest commandments that Jesus gave us ‘To love God and to love one’s neighbor as ourselves’

During the summer months which has already seen us move through the longest day of the year, remember to take time, for you and your loved ones, and enjoy the gift that is each and every day, and have a wonderful and blessed summer, a time for renewal and refreshment.

Every love & blessing,
Your parish priest,
Zoe

Rev. Zoe Ferguson (Priest in Charge of the Mundford, Hilborough & Oxborough groups) Day off Monday.
(For Wedding, Baptism & Church enquires 01842 879990 or email)