A service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Hope, and the dedication on an oak tree in memory of all those who have died from Covid 19, was held at All Saints church in Wreningham, South Norfolk, on Sunday (March 20).

A congregation of Wreningham villagers and Upper Tas Valley Benefice church members gathered for the service, led by retired minister Rev Linda Ricketts, as all regular clergy in the benefice are currently isolating due to having Covid.

During the service, symbols of the last two years, including a face mask, bowl of salt water (to represent tears) and a jug of daffodils (to represent hope), were placed on the altar. The congregation were invited to tie yellow ribbons on a tree to remember the millions of people who have died during the pandemic.

Speaking words written by Rev Lydia Avery, Rev Linda Ricketts said: “As we look back, we see that each of our lives have changed to some degree. Perhaps we are more anxious than we used to be and many of us have found ourselves reappraising what’s important to us and how we want to live the rest of our wild and precious life.

“Though the invisible enemy is still at hand, we’re now striving to recover what we value not only as community and family members but also as individuals.

“There are now new and very demanding challenges ahead – the devastating consequences of a war in Europe and a rapidly changing climate.

“Today we claim the radical right to have hope and to carry this into the future. We do this in the yellow that we wear and in the tree that we are about to dedicate and in our day-to-day living. With the care of many generations, the Wreningham Oak tree may live for centuries – well past our current concerns and challenges.

“Today, as we reflect on the pandemic and what it has done to us all, we also give thanks that we are not alone in times of trauma devastation and that we and those we love and miss are promised a place of safety and new life in death.”

The congregation then went out into the church yard to see the dedication of the Wreningham Oak tree.

Pictured above is the Wreningham Oak dedication (by David Kirk) and, below, the tree of yellow ribbons.


Christine Minns, Church warden writes:

The third week in March will see the 2nd anniversary of the first lockdown due to Covid-19. For many who did not experience a “world war” the past 2 years will be the nearest we have come to one.

People dying without family with them, and no chance to say a final farewell to loved ones – just as the families of soldiers would have experienced during a war.

Scientists working day and night – not to produce a new bomb or other items of war but to produce a vaccine.

The medical teams rushed off their feet in hospitals and providing, not field hospitals, but overspill facilities.

The “Land Girls” and “Bevan Boys” not going to mine coal or plant food but they manned the vaccine units.

I could fill a page of similar examples from evacuees similar to home schooling and so on.

There is no “war memorial” to remind people of the experience of the past 2 years. The sadness and the good things which have come out of the pandemic, but for those of you who would like to remember, mourn a loss and/or celebrate the survival of so many, we invite you to join us on Sunday 20th March. The Service of Remembrance will be at 10.30 am at Wreningham All Saints and will give thanks for the good things – all the support we received and remember all who have suffered. This will be followed by the dedication of an Oak Tree planted in the graveyard as a reminder of the pandemic.

If you feel the time is right for you, to reflect on the past 2 years, do come and join us.



The Centenary anniversary of the end of World War One has been marked in Wreningham with a service of Remembrance, a wreath laying, the installation of a soldier’s silhouette and the ringing of the Church bells to remind people of the sacrifices made.

The service of Remembrance at All Saints’ Church on Sunday November 11 was lead by Canon Martin Smith. The names of the war dead from the various parishes within the Benefice were read out by representatives of the community. A two minute silence was held by the 40 people attending. Canon Smith’s sermon on the necessity of Remembrance drew on his many years’ experience as a priest and RAF padre. The collection for the British Legion amounted to £121.

Immediately after the service the congregation was led from the Church to the war memorial in the graveyard beside Church Road by Michael Hill, chairman of Wreningham Parish Council. There, when everyone had gathered around, Canon Smith recited a prayer, Michael laid a wreath on behalf of the villagers of Wreningham, and all stood in silence for a few moments of contemplation.

All Saints’ Church bells were rung for five minutes from 12.30pm, as Big Ben in London stuck 11, at the start of the international bell-ringing to mark the Armistice.

Another reminder of the sacrifices made during past conflicts is the black silhouette of a soldier which has been erected on the Reading Room grass area by the village sign in the centre of the village.

The war memorial has recently been cleaned and restored thanks to a grant from Wreningham Parish Council.

 


The Church Warden, Christine Minns, writes:

“Wreningham church would like your help. Our church is normally unlocked during the day time and we are always pleased when people visit providing they respect what it stands for. However, we have recently had a visitor who was really not welcome or needed.

Somebody has taken the church key and a number of small items amongst them a small cut glass dish and lid, 2 small glass carafe stoppers, a tapestry book mark (used in the Bible) and a number of new flags (of the kind we fly from the tower). If you know where these are or who may have taken them, perhaps you could encourage them to return the items. In the meantime, I ask everybody who uses Church Road to be extra vigilant both by day and night and report any suspicious activities. I have informed our PCSO and asked that the police keep an extra watch on the church for the time being.”