To St. Mary's Church, Chediston, situated 2 miles west of Halesworth and just off the B1123. Our village church welcomes all who wish to come and pray or share in worship; whether as individuals wanting a quiet space, or together at our services that take place twice or three times a month, and for special festivals and occasions. Our church door is unlocked during the day, every day of the week and you are always welcome to visit. We are village and community centred , promoting and sharing the Christian faith and Christian values as part of our village life. Our church, with recently restored bells and fabric, and the Church School room next door are available as resources for the community.
Church Address: St. Mary's Church, Chediston, IP19 0AU
Team Rector: The Revd Dominic Doble
Team Vicar: The Revd Gini Williams
Churchwarden: Joanna Wareham (07711066727) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hold two regular services per month, usually the second and fourth Sundays. A third service alternates between St Mary's Chediston and our neighbours, St Margaret of Antioch at Linstead.
See 'Church services' page for details of forthcoming services.
Worship and Ministry Statement
We have services to meet the range of needs in our community from a monthly Village Service jointly with Linstead (St. Margaret of Antioch) at alternate churches to a monthly Eucharist or Communion Service using a modern Anglican 'Common Worship' format, and traditional monthly service of Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer). There are special Services at Christmas, Easter, Mothering Sunday, Harvest, and remembrance Sunday . Children and babies are always welcome to all of our services. The Village Service, especially, is meant for families with younger members, lasting approx. 45 minutes with a short talk. We enjoy hymn singing, traditional and new hymns, and are fortunate to have a regular organist.
Bell Ringing Information
The bells will be rung open for services and special civic and national occasions.
Regular ringing practices will take place on the First and Third THURSDAYS of the month at 7.30 to 9.00 pm. but may sometimes not take place due to other ringing events or commitments.
For further information or confirmation of ringing times and dates please contact Veronica Downing, Chediston's Bell Tower Captain on 01986 873184.
Calling all potential bell ringers!
If you know of any one who is interested in learning to ring, or yourselves, I would be very happy to spend some one to one sessions on tuition. Babies in prams are also welcome to come and watch if the session is during the day.
Also for everyone's information and the webnotice board, the Monthly Prayer meeting on first Friday at 8 a.m. takes place - 20 minutes of quiet time, scripture reading, prayer and reflection and a chance to bring before God our own community, its people and concerns. Venue The Barn at Bridge Farm.
Veronica Downing (01986-873184)
Other church information including special services
Chediston Remembrance Service - November 10 2019
An excellent attendance with an almost full church and plenty of additional villagers at the cenotaph. The service was conducted by Edward Rennard who also gave a moving address. (Thanks to Clive Roose for some of the photos)
Felix Wareham Christening
Congratulations to the Wareham family on the christening of young Felix Wareham. Vic Hopkins administered the service.
Chediston Churchyard Clean Up 2019
This took place on August 10th. Despite the extremely windy conditions approximately a dozen villagers turned up to help armed with strimmers, shears, rakes, wheelbarrows etc. It wasnt long before the efforts of strimming, cutting, raking and hedge cutting were rewarded with a much tidier looking churchyard.
Thanks to all who turned up to assist and thanks for the refreshments and nibbles together with the inevitable chats and banter over tea and cold drinks as is the norm on these social occasions.
Here are a few photos:
Photos - Webmaster and Dave Fendell.
Doug Cady Memorial Service 2nd June 2019
The service at St. Mary's Church, Chediston was conducted by Vic Hopkins. The service was well attended by Doug's family, friends and Chediston residents. Hymns that Doug would have liked were sung with gusto,. A Eulogy was given by Jonathan Carman and highlighted incidents, memories and events in Doug's life that touched many listening. The dedication of the plaque to Doug was held adjacent to his pew in the choir stalls and will be treasured by all who were fortunate to have known him.
Memorial Photos from the church and the service of dedication
An Extract from the Eulogy prepared and given by Jonathan Carman
The word that comes up time and time again when thinking about Doug was his enviously modest qualities, and stoic charm. Especially in an era when most youngsters want to wear every emotion and action on their sleeve Doug was a man who wore all this within his heart.
He had a huge appetite for fun and was always ready to have a cheeky laugh or smile with our children. They have all grown up knowing about him from the earliest of years when he held a candle for each of them at their christenings, to seeing him at the back of the church acrobatically ringing 3 bells at the same time before a Sunday service.
We took it upon ourselves to adopt Doug as our Suffolk Grandpa and regularly had him around for Sunday lunch. After we had eaten, he would often sit watching the children play with a patient and encouraging smile whilst they bashed tunes out of a anything within close enough proximity to cause his hearing aid to whistle and screech in response.
It was a pleasure to invite him for meals, firstly because he was great company, and secondly to coax out of him all his wonderful stories which were presented in vivid technicolor with his descriptive and charming Suffolk brogue. One particularly memorable Sunday afternoon was had with him providing the running commentary to a film all about a Lancaster bombing raid which truly brought the whole experience back to life, and which he presented with such calm professionalism that he obviously would have been a real asset to have as a crew member over 70 years ago. He also used to chat about all the people who lived in Chediston over the years and described what it was like to live in this beautiful part of Suffolk as a child, having his annual school trip to the adventurous and bustling town of Southwold, and not many years later being called up to serve his country.
It is almost ironic, but fitting, that a man who has done so much for the church, surrounding area and his country should be commemorated by such a small discrete plaque, tucked away in the corner of St Marys church. God bless you Doug.
Doug Cady Memorial in Chediston Church
Doug’s memorial was installed today - after all the time taken to get approval and agree text and so on, it took about an hour to fit!!
As indicated at the service on Sunday, we now need to look at a Dedication Service at some point in the next couple of months. Previous discussions at the PCC have indicated a preference for a separate service to our normal services.
Jane: Your thoughts about likely timescales and appropriate member of clergy?
Doug didn’t have many relations, but his nephews were in church on Sunday to hear the news of installation, which was nice. Clearly they would need to be invited along with any other known acquaintances/friends etc.
Mothering Sunday Service 2019
We enjoyed a very good service for Mothering Sunday, written by the Mothers Union and used throughout the Blyth Valley Churches. It was very inclusive of all and emphasised the qualities needed in all who care for others.
The seven extremely helpful children present helped Veronica assemble a word collection illustrating our thoughts on caring and gave out fabulous posies.
A wonderful looking simnal cake and home made biscuits were eaten afterwards.
Report & photo Joana Wareham
(Thanks Jo. - webmaster)
Chediston Harvest Festival - October 14th 2018
Graeme Williams reports:
‘ Yesterday saw the annual Chediston St. Mary’s Harvest Thanksgiving service. We had a lovely service delivered with humour by our Rector, Edward Rennard. The theme of his talk was that when you are stuck behind one of the many huge farm vehicles around harvest-time, try to think of what such vehicles represent in terms of our food production and be grateful, rather than being tempted into ‘road rage’ incidents!! Approaching 50 people were in the congregation and it was a delight to see so many children present. The church flowers and produce looked stunning, with a large number of villagers pulling out all the stops to make all vacant surfaces look superb. We had readings by John Parson and David Mantell and the organist was Will Drew-Batty, who played all the harvest favourites. After the service virtually everybody meandered down to the Old Church School Room for the traditional Harvest lunch co-ordinated and prepared by Sally Aldous and Joyce Gregory. As usual, the food and drink was wonderful and the buzz in the room clearly indicated an extremely convivial hour or two. Even the weather co-operated by staying dry, which enabled the youngsters to have a whale of a time chasing round the adjacent field, which looked great fun.
The collection at the service was in aid of the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami victims and raised £238.00 for the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC).
In addition, a huge range of produce is now on sale in the church, with proceeds going as usual to Christian Aid, so help yourself and please give generously. A box of tinned and dry goods will also be donated to the Halesworth food bank. Donations may be added to this box up until and including Sunday 21st Oct.
All in all we had a super day, and our deepest thanks go to all those villagers who contributed to it’s success. Special thanks of course go to Sally Aldous who persuaded and cajoled so many to help with the decoration of church, and also Joyce Gregory for looking after the provender – keep the runner bean chutney coming Joyce!!
It’s also worth reminding people that there is a Book Exchange in operation in the church in the rear pew to the left of the main door. There is no charge, just have a look and see what takes your fancy when you drop off your completed book. ‘
Doug Cady - Memorial Stone
‘Many will know that Chediston St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC), are currently seeking approval to install a memorial stone in the church which Doug Cady so loved. The PCC have to apply for formal approval from the Diocese, and this has been provisionally approved. However, as part of the process we must advertise our intentions publicly for 28 days before final approval can be given. Any objections can then be considered on their merit. The 28 days of public advertising began yesterday, 9th September. The advert is placed in the church porch and gives details of the planned memorial. If anybody has any objections, please make them known to either Edward Rennard, Team Rector, or the Churchwardens, Veronica Downing/Graeme Williams. Contact details are also on the notice board.
Assuming we obtain formal approval, the intention is to install the memorial close to where Doug sat in the choir stalls for so many years. The PCC then intend to hold a brief commissioning service in Doug’s honour, which we hope many who knew Doug would like to attend.
Edward Rennard, Veronica Downing & Graeme Williams
Chediston Church Grass Cut - 11th August 2018
It was good to see at least some caring villagers attending the church grass cut, A great deal was completed and now the surrounds to the church look so much nicer and smart. Thanks to Ann Williams for the very welcome refreshments.
Ann Williams writes: 'Unfortunately I didn't get pics of all the helpers but here are a selection. 15 residents turned up to help this morning and we got so much done - thanks to you all'.
Graham Williams writes:
On a gloriously sunny Saturday 11th August, fifteen, yes, fifteen villagers turned up for a Churchyard Working Party. After the stunning spring and early summer, our wild flower meadows were looking rather sad, so enthusiastic grafters set to work with gusto. Never have there been more strimmers in such a concentrated space, the morning was filled with the sound of demented wasps!
After a couple of hours of cutting, lopping, strimming and raking the churchyard was transformed and never was a beer or two more deserved by the perspiring party!
After lunch the work continued at a more sedate pace, it was certainly quieter minus those wasps!
By 4.30pm the tired but happy crew took great pleasure in seeing the fruits of their labours, and what a companionable day it was. Many, many thanks to those who gave up their time so willingly, some didn’t even need to be ‘press-ganged’!! One or two simply turned up ‘on spec’ having seen the advert on the website, so special thanks to them.
And at the end of the day, a long soak in the bath almost made the effort worth it!
Churchwarden, Chediston St. Mary’s
Team Evensong Chediston Church - 8th April 2018
A lovely service led by Morgan Bunday with Jason on the organ and the team choir in good voice. Great that so many stopped on after for refreshments and chat. Church still looks beautiful with most of its Easter flowers, thanks to everyone who contributed.
75th Anniversary of the RAF Crash
This superb cross-stitch has been made by Fiona Woodberry, grandaughter of Thomas Munro.
Ann Munro sent the following message. "Fiona is with us at present, she has brought over the cross stitch design she has beautifully made. It is in a cylinder ready to post tomorrow. Hopefully there is somebody who knows how to mount cross stitch .
It would be too heavy to post mounted. Fiona has not put her name to the design as felt it would not be appropriate. Maybe you may like to put it on the back. Fiona Woodberry, Hoppers Crossing , Victoria, Australia. Granddaughter of Thomas Fraser Munro.
Fiona has willingly undertaken the whole project herself, declining any help from us. George and I are both thrilled with it, trust the parish will be too".
Simon & Sophie Watling
Congratulations to Chedistonians, Simon Watling and Sophie Welton who were married at 1pm on Saturday 18th July in Chediston Church. Bells were rung! We wish them well in their married life together.
Veronica Downing writes:
The summer weather was perfect and glorious for the village wedding of the year! Sophie looked stunning in her gown with a very pretty and unusual diamanté strap over her shoulders and back. About 80 guests welcomed the bride as she walked down the aisle on her father's arm. Sophie and Simon's little girls, Ruby and Lily, looked lovely in their white dresses and purple sashes. Simplicity was the order of the day with the aisle looking beautiful with sprays of white flowers - gypsophila, lilies and roses tied with purple ribbons placed on the pew ends. The Reverend Edward Rennard conducted the service and John Stevenson accompanied the hymns on the organ with well-known tunes that everyone could join in. He also played favourite traditional wedding pieces during the signing of the register. Finally the bells rang out the happy couple into the sunshine for photographs. After ringing rounds and call changes we then rang a method called St Simon's Bob Doubles which seemed apt enough for this occasion and then 240 changes of Plain Bob Doubles. The wedding party then continued with celebrations on Devil's Hill.
We all wish Sophie and Simon a long and very happy future together.
Churchwarden and Bell Ringer
Pet Service 21 June 2015
On Sunday 21st June we saw the St Mary's Pet Service in Chediston Church which was filled with a wild cacophony of barks and bashing tails ringing out whilst Edward Rennard paused (paws) for thought, and asked us to be grateful for our 4 legged miracles. There were wafts of Eau de Chien and plumes of wafting dog hairs filling the aisles and nostrils whilst the large congregation was singing their praises for their beloved pets in the short but jolly service.
After the service the animals and congregation were treated to biscuits rewarding them for good behaviour during the service, although some of the children were not quite as worthy as the dogs. The collection, which was in excess of £120, was donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Report & Photos courtesy of Jonathan Carman
A Peal Remembered
In that fateful summer of 1914 a peal was rung on the bells of St Mary's, Chediston. The bells had only been augmented to six three years previously to mark the coronation of King George V, and it was the first recorded peal rung at Chediston.
The ringers were mostly local men such as Lionel Hammond and Arthur Took, no doubt inspired and enthused by that notable local ringer Fred Lambert, who conducted the peal and who is commemorated in Halesworth church. And although the war clouds were already gathering over Europe, the ringers on that quiet summer's day in Suffolk could not possibly have imagined the cataclysm that was about to unfold. Even less could they have dreamed of the events which were to occur on the beaches of Normandy just thirty years later.
But their feat was nonetheless recorded on a small wooden plaque which today hangs in the ringing chamber in Chediston church and now, a century on, it has been repeated. For on the evening of 6th June 2014, exactly a hundred years later to the very day, a group of Sufffolk ringers completed a commemorative peal in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
For those versed in the arcane mysteries of bell ringing, the methods rung in 2014 were slightly different to those rung by Fred Lambert and his band. The original peal comprised 720 changes each of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob and Grandsire, and two 720s each of Canterbury Pleasure and Plain Bob to make up the required 5040 changes. Our anniversary peal comprised two extents each of Kent Treble Bob, St Clements College Bob and Cambridge Surprise, plus one of Plain Bob, but the effect was the same.
Three of the ringers were local. Graham and Veronica Downing from Chediston - Veronica being churchwarden as well as tower captain - and Jason Busby from Halesworth, were joined by Michelle Williams from Reydon, plus Brian Whiting and Mike Whitby, who composed and conducted the peal with great skill and authority.
A short prayer was said beforehand to remember the ringers who had gone before, and also to remember those who fell in Normandy 70 years ago. Their contribution far outweighed that of the rest of us, for it could be argued that without them we might no longer enjoy the freedom to ring peals in Suffolk churches. Certainly England would today have been a very different place.
June 6th 1914
A Peal of minor in five methods, 5040 changes, being 720 changes each of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob and Grandsire and two 720's each of Canterbury Pleasure and Plain Bob, in 3 hours.
1 Lionel Hammond
2 Frederick Lambert (cond)
3 James Spalding
4 Arthur Took
5 James Howard
6 John Larter
June 6th 2014
A Peal of minor in four methods, 5040 changes, being two extents each of Kent Treble Bob, St Clements College Bob and Cambridge Surprise, and one of Plain Bob, in 2 hours 40 minutes.
1 Graham Downing
2 Veronica A M Downing
3 Jason R Busby
4 Michelle Williams
5 Brian E Whiting
6 Michael G Whitby (cond)
On the centenary of the first recorded peal on these bells, and in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D Day.
Graham Downing 7th June 2014
Commemoration Visit & Service for New Zealand Bomber Pilot & Crew - Sunday 9th September 2014
Sally Aldous writes:
This took place on Sunday 9 September at St Mary's in the presence of George & Ann Munro, son and daughter-in-law of Thomas Fraser Munro the pilot of the Wellington bomber which crashed on that fateful night killing the entire crew.
It was wonderful that we were able to have George and Ann in our midst for this very special and moving service. As people gathered the bells of St Mary's were rung half-muffled for a special quarter peal of 1260 changes lasting ¾ hour, the “echoing” backstrokes of which created a haunting atmosphere.
The Chediston cenotaph. George & Ann Munro pay their respects to the crew of the crashed Wellington bomber.
We welcomed the Royal British Legion who formed a guard of honour outside near the war memorial where the service began.with George and Ann laying a wreath after the names of the crew had been read out. After the words of “they shall not grow old” and a few moments of silence we moved back inside where the Standard of the RBL was presented together with the flag of New Zealand and the Union Jack, the latter two were draped on the altar. Edward then led us through a very moving and beautifully planned service . His sermon brought home to us all the horrors of war and he mentioned all those who had sacrificed their lives for their country.
Click on the link to view the Order of Service: Order of Service
After the service many of the congregation led by Joanna visited the exact spot at Herne Hill Farm where the bomber had crashed. Doug Cady as a young man actually witnessed the crash. Then it was back to Chediston Hall (nearly 60 of us) who all enjoyed a buffet lunch. Very many thanks to all of those who helped me with this. I couldn't have done it without you! Luckily we were able to spill out into the garden.
During the afternoon Ann Munro presented Veronica and myself with two lovely vases made in New Zealand, for the church which we will treasure for years to come. Douglas presented them with an aerial picture of St Mary's and the churchyard beautifully framed by Barry Curtis.
This event would not have taken place without the research on email by Janet Heath who really was instrumental in making this memorable occasion happen.
The collection taken during the service amounted to £324.45 and his will be sent to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
(Both photos attrib: G. Downing)