Lyn's Sermon from Sunday 4th March

If you were with us in the Church Hall on Sunday 4th you'll remember that our curate Lyn preached a brillliant sermon from 1 Corinthians 2, speaking of the way that Jesus and the crucifixion are good news for us, encouraging us to share, and telling us some of her experience of hearing Billy Graham speak at Carrow Road in the light of his recent death. It is so worth reading again, or catching up with if the snow kept you away: just click on Resources at the top of this page and scroll down...


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Annual Report for 2017

With our 2018 APCMs in full swing, we have uploaded our annual report to the website (click here) so you can read lots of great news about everything that has been happening in our churches this year. There are copies available in the churches, but we thought it might help you to be able to see it online. Happy reading!


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In view of the continuing snowy and icy conditions, and the relative inaccessibility of Caistor and Stoke churches, we have decided that we will hold one service only tomorrow, Sunday 4th March, at 10.30 am in the Church Hall. Both the 9am and Taize services at Caistor, and the evening Gathering at Mulbarton, will not be happening tomorrow. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Church Hall as we gather to worship together. Please do not attempt to travel if it is not safe to do so. Please continue to pray and care for one another and those around you.


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Weather Update including Lent breakfast CANCELLED

In view of the difficult road conditions and the threat of more snow tonight, we have made some changes to our plans for this weekend:

The Lent breakfast on Saturday morning WILL NOT be taking place. Please do not attempt to come to the Church Hall.

As it stands, we are planning to go ahead with our Sunday morning services as normal at Caistor at 9, and Stoke at 10.30. In the event that we decide tomorrow that conditions at the churches are too difficult, we will rearrange both those services, meeting together to worship in the Church Hall at 10.30am, where access is level, and the building, drinks and welcome will be warm! We will email out, and post messages on Facebook and the website. I will leave a recorded message on my phone as well.

We are hoping that the conditions might have improved sufficiently by Sunday evening to enable the 5pm Taize service at Caistor and the 7pm evening Gathering at Mulbarton to go ahead, so those ones are still happening at the moment.

Please do pray and look out for one another, keep safe, and keep looking at emails, Facebook and the website to get an update tomorrow. And PLEASE pass this message on!


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Our first Allstars Club!

We had a great time yesterday at our first ever allstars CLub! About 20 children from Stoke primary school came along and had a great time thinking about the Parable of the Lost Sheep, with songs and games and crafts and the compulsory drinks and snacks... We are very grateful to our super team of helpers who made everything possible, and are so excited to see how this grows and develops in the months to come! Please do keep praying for us!


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New Allstars Children's Club!

All Foundation-Year 6 children are welcome to join us at our brand new after-school club, as well as any older helpers who would like to join in! If you’d like to come along, or find out more, contact us on, or 01508 492305. 

Games, Crafts & Snacks, Bible Stories, Videos & Songs

We really need to know in advance if you are coming to help us plan ahead, but please do just come along if you don’t manage to get in touch for any reason. All children must be signed in and out by a responsible adult.



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John McGinley weekend update

We had a fantastic weekend with John at the beginning of November, and I know lots of you from around the churches will be wanting to go over some of his material from the weekend as we pray and plan ahead, asking God how he will lead us forward from here. The good news is that audio of John's teaching from Saturday and Sunday morning is now on the Resources section of this website in its own category, together with the Powerpoint slides from Saturday. I am sorry that the sound is a little patchy in places, but almost all of it is clear enough to make out well. We will see if we can get the Sunday evening recording on here soon too. Loads to feed on, and pray through - do listen again with a home group, or talk and pray it over with a friend. The PCCs are already thinking it all over too!


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An exciting week!

It is an exciting week for us here in the churches, and it got off to a great start yesterday, as we celebrated sending off 97 shoeboxes around the world with Operation Christmas Child, and then welcomed 42 children and their families to the Light Party in the Church Hall. Please do join me in thanking God for this wonderful day.

There is much more to look forward to, though! On Wednesday 1st at 7.30pm, we are meeting together to pray for our churches and communities, and for the world, at 60 Caistor Lane from 7.30pm. It would be great to see a whole selection of folks from across the group with us there.

Then this weekend, 4th-5th November, we are really pleased to have John McGinley with us. John is the vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Leicester, and a regional director for the New Wine movement, but most importantly a Norfolk boy. He will be sharing some ideas about being disciples of Jesus from his fantastic recent book Mission-Shaped Grace, which helps us to understand how following Jesus and sharing our faith with others fit together in clear and practical ways. We are having a day at St George’s Hall from 10am-4pm on Saturday – come along for as much as you can… we will be providing hot drinks and water, but we would love you to bring some lunch for yourself, and some cake/biscuits to share. Please do let me know you are coming by email to John will be staying with us for Sunday too, and will be speaking on a different theme at our morning services at 9am at Caistor and 10.30am at Stoke, and then again at a celebration service at Mulbarton church at 7pm.

See you somewhere this week!


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Talking about sharing faith... this Wednesday 11th October

Some of us got together last week, to think together about how we feel about sharing our faith - why we find it awkward or difficult, and reasons why it is important. We watched a couple of the videos from the Thy Kingdom Come website, which really helped us to talk. If you didn't see them, you can catch up with them all here: Whether or not you manage to watch them, we'd love to see you this week. We'll do a little recap to get us started. Wednesday 11th October, 7.30pm in the Church Hall.


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Church Administrator

The Venta Group of churches is seeking to appoint a new administrator for 8 hours a week to help manage the work of the church office. Are you interested in engaging with people?  Are you sympathetic to a Group of Church of England churches seeking to bear witness to Jesus Christ?   If so, this vacancy could be for you.  Further details of how to apply and a job description can be obtained by emailing the vicar Rob Baker at or telephoning 01508 492305.  Application closing date: 31st October 2017.


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Praying around the villages - an exciting update!

It is an amazing privilege to be able to spend time with God, and to know that he hears our prayers—more than the best of human fathers. Across our group of churches we are meeting more regularly now, to pray that God’s kingdom will come in the world, and in our communities here, and that people will come to know Jesus. Please come and join us to pray anywhere, any time. Our prayers will cross parish boundaries as we hold the different villages before God wherever we are; please do cross them yourselves and join us as much as you can.

 All the dates are in the diary/ events section of this website, and we have put a flyer in the Resources section of this website too.


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Bishop's Move

Bishop Alan has moved from Stoke Holy Cross to Wymondham (staying in the same job!) and we asked him to reflect on his time in the village for the next Free For All...

We have really enjoyed our time living in Stoke Holy Cross. Highlights would be the quietness and night skies with no street lights, giving us a view of the splendour of the stars. Walking to the bottom of the garden and watching the barn owls hunting along the Tas Valley. We had a few cold winters when we first came, and the frozen flooded meadows were beautiful.

One member of the family will really miss the garden and the view, and the excitement of a passing muntjac or pheasant. And the sunsets.

It has also been a treat to live near to Caistor Roman Town, and to be able to enjoy the wonderful walks there, along with so many friendly local walkers and dog-walkers.

It has been strange living in a village that we¹ve not been able to get to know well as my role has taken me to 275 churches all over south and east Norfolk. We are grateful, however, for the welcome we¹ve always received from those of you we have met, and will miss Stoke Holy Cross.

The move to Wymondham will bring some practical advantages: a rather better laid-out house for the work of a Bishop, and it will be a more accessible place for those who have to visit me, particularly for users of public transport.

We leave with many happy memories, and wish you all in this lovely community God¹s richest blessing. + Alan and Pippa, Tasha and Belle


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Rob writes

By the time you read this magazine, we will have celebrated our harvest services on 24th September; the allotment association had their show a few weeks before us, and you will probably have seen some of the tremendous entrants in the pictures on the cover. They confirm for me a long-held suspicion that I am not a natural gardener!

Harvest is a great time of year, because it gives us an opportunity to be thankful. Life can be so full of things to do, people to catch up with, or plans to make, that we can lose track a little of all the good stuff that is going on in the midst of it all. Sometimes, of course, it is the opposite problem: if we are lonely or bereaved, or life is a struggle for different reasons, we can find it hard to see the things to be thankful for amongst the difficulties too.

One of the big ideas of the Christian faith is that gratitude produces generosity. I have always felt that one of the signs of how grateful I am to God for all that he has done for me, is how much my instinct is to respond to the need I see in the world, including in people close to me, with generosity. (I’m not suggesting at all, by the way, that only Christians are generous, but I am suggesting that all Christians should be.)

As well as our Harvest services, which often offer an opportunity to give to those in need around us,

later on this autumn we will be having our shoebox service at Arminghall, which is happening this

year as a joint event for our whole group of churches on Sunday 29th October at 10.30am. It is a

great opportunity to show gratitude for all that we have, by offering generosity to those who have

very little. All it takes is an old shoebox, a few little bits from the shops (which you can start to

collect now), and a little donation to send it on its way. You can pick up a leaflet from one of the

churches, or google ‘Operation Christmas Child’. If you would rather just drop off a few items to be

packed into a box, then you can get them to the Vicarage or to Annie at Bluebell Lodge, Arminghall

Lane by the middle of October. Finished boxes can be brought along to the service, or dropped in

with Annie or at the Vicarage.

One of my favourite verses in the Bible says, ‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved

children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.

God’s generosity gives us so much to be thankful for, and makes us generous in our turn.


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