St Mary’s Church Coddenham

At the heart of Coddenham Parish

An introduction

The parish of Coddenham is part of the North Bosmere Benefice[1], within the Deanery[2] of Bosmere in theDiocese[3]of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

Our benefice comprises the parishes of Coddenham, Creeting St. Mary, Creeting St. Peter, Crowfield, Earl Stonham with Stonham Parva, Gosbeck, Hemingstone, and Stonham Aspal and Mickfield.

The church congregation has always done all it can to ensure that the church is open and welcoming to everyone who visits.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the monthly pattern of worship consisted of a Holy Communion, two services of Morning Prayer, one of Evening Prayer each month and a Wednesday Communion service on alternate weeks.  A benefice service for all 8 parishes was held whenever there was a fifth Sunday. There was also a weekly benefice service and lunch at Haysel House

In addition, there were special services on important days in the church calendar – Christmas (the carol service, Crib and Christingle, Midnight Mass and Christmas Day Praise), Palm Sunday walks (with donkey!), Easter (Good Friday and Easter Day), Mothering Sunday, Pentecost, Harvest and Remembrance Sunday which were all always well supported.

We have also held, in recent years, an annual Songs of Praise to coincide with our Open Day. The church has always been open for weddings, baptisms and funerals.

A notable feature of the church community has been the involvement of so many people offering their talents – whether in grass-cutting, cleaning the church, flower arranging, taking responsibility for parts of the worship, providing tea and coffee after the services, serving on the PCC ,running the monthly coffee mornings and organising and running a variety of other social and fund raising events (see our news/blog).

St Mary's Church Coddenham interior

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the church was closed. We looked for new ways of reaching out to people and started, shortly after the lockdown, to investigate ways of worshipping on line.

There is now a thriving “Zoom” community, with services every Sunday at 10am, Tuesday at 10am and Friday at 7pm. These are valued by those who attend; they offer an opportunity of seeing the faces of old friends and new and talking together after the services – on a Sunday, these chats take place in breakout chatrooms as there have recently been as many as 60 plus attending the services. If you would like to join one of these services please email Ruth Dennigan – reader.ruthdennigan@gmail.com

All 8 parishes have joined together to celebrate and worship as one, which has been hugely uplifting.

Update: on the 25th June our church buildings reopened, with the ability to gather together in person to celebrate and to worship, we will continue to hold on line Zoom services in the months ahead.

Detail in roof St Mary's Church Coddenham interior
Painting of Christ in St Mary's Church Coddenham
Stained glass at St Mary's Church Coddenham

In 1996, the Church of England committed itself:

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  3. To respond to human need by loving service
  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

These are sometimes known as Tell – Teach – Tend – Transform – Treasure.

We see this as the mission of our church. Different times highlight different imperatives – today church members, in addition to many others in our village, are active in supporting the village community during this difficult time. 

 [1] A benefice is a grouping of church parishes.

[2] A deanery is a geographical area in a diocese within which parishes are grouped for pastoral and administrative purposes.

[3] A Church of England administrative area under the pastoral care of a bishop.

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