For latest service info/times please see the website.
A while ago I encountered someone in Suffolk wearing a rather striking T-shirt. You’ve guessed the slogan: “Question Everything”. I have good reason to believe that the wearer was of an atheist persuasion. And I know that for many these two words mean a lot. We ought to question everything. We ought to scrutinise and check everything. Of course, we’re all busy and we rarely stick to this principle. However, throughout my life I have noticed that there is a running assumption in the UK that Christians have not questioned everything. Christians have taken a blind leap of faith. Christians have shut their eyes to plain facts. Nothing could be further from the truth! My experience is that I/we have questioned everything. I’ve asked my questions, and I’ve found answers. In fact, in finding answers I’ve found more questions as well! I would encourage everyone to ask their questions and look for answers. We’re attempting to answer some big questions through our regular short videos on YouTube. Why not take a look and post any questions you may have for us? We’d love to hear from you and respond. Let’s start a conversation…
A special note: We are working on what church looks like for us, given the new government guidelines. If you’d like to see what we’re about you’re very welcome to join us we continue our online services on our YouTube channel ‘Mickfield Evangelical Church’. They premiere at 10am Sunday morning and are still available afterwards. We also produce many other short videos that look at all sorts of ideas and questions regarding Christianity, all available there as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
For latest service info/times please see the website.
In The Public Eye
Our politicians have been very much in the public eye over these last weeks. They’ve been subject to the scrutiny that we expect in a liberal democracy. As Christian’s we believe Jesus of Nazareth ought to remain in the public eye too. His life and claims ought to be subject to public scrutiny. Christianity has long lived in the public square in this country.
The church in the UK cannot meet publicly at the moment, but the Christian message is more in the public eye than ever, and people are taking the opportunity to look into what goes on within churches through their social media accounts.
Why not take a look at some of our recent videos? We’re on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. We recently posted a 3-part series entitled ‘3 Reasons we Believe’. We first considered The Monty Python reason, taking a look at the staggering impact of Jesus on our country. We’ve explored how Christianity makes sense of our complex and messy world, in The C.S. Lewis reason. In the final instalment we’re now taking a look at The Jesus reason. Have you scrutinised the man and his message?
Here’s a link to watch “The Jesus Reason”:
If you missed “The Monty Python Reason” or “The C.S. Lewis Reason” take a look here:
You may also be interested in our latest series: ‘5 Reasons to dismiss Christianity’. Which can be found here:
If you’d like to check out our family services or some of our short thought for the day/daily devotional videos they can be found on our YouTube channel here:
The wet few days we have just had, were very welcome indeed. We have recorded just over 24mm which, combined with overcast humid conditions, will allow the rain to be absorbed by the crops before it evaporates. At the risk of being called a misery, I wish it had been twice or three times as much! The greetings of the many cart track walkers passing through the farmyard have been interesting. There have been many grimaces when folks have been caught by heavy showers. When I point out that the rain is needed for the crops to grow for food, the common reaction is, “Yes I know but I am walking the dog.” The Arabs have a saying – All sunshine makes the desert – very true.
Wheat crops are looking promising and every shower will help grain fill in the ears. The prolonged dry spell has given us very little disease to worry about so far. Keeping the flag leaf clear of fungal infection is very important. This is the final and largest leaf of the cereal plant to emerge and provides 40% of the end yield of the plant. When it is working at its hardest during the long hours of daylight at present it is truly the power house of the arable farm and is quite literally providing our bread and butter. The rain and sun are also benefitting the spring barley which has transformed itself from disastrous to bad since the rain. The jury is still out on the spring beans as they have an extra 2 or 3 weeks longer than the other crops to reach maturity. More rain and sun over the next fortnight will improve matters a lot.
With no Suffolk Show, Cereal Exhibition, crop trials or holidays to get in the way, we have been plugging on with lots of routine maintenance jobs which have been pending for quite a while. Hedge cutter and grass topper have been treated to new sets of flails and had guards repaired and a couple of leaking hydraulic rams resealed. The main elevator in the grain store has been showing its 60years of active service for a few years now so we have taken all the cups off the drive belts ready for the skilled team at Bloomfield’s, in Debenham, to replace the 48metres of belts. All we have to do then is to bolt the 384 cups back on to the belts.
On the wildlife front it has been a very enjoyable spring. Whether the lockdown has given us time to watch, or the sunny weather and warm winter has been beneficial to resident creatures, we have seen a lot. Our barn owl box has 3 chicks in it and there seems to have been plenty of food for them. In the garden we have enjoyed the antics of a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers at the peanut feeders, and seen hedgehogs, muntjac and foxes with our camera trap and during the day. Turtle doves seem to be favouring the area close to the farm buildings and churchyard this year and butterflies and bees are making the most of the clover and vetches on our lawn ( or what we call a lawn!) there have been some glorious sunsets seen through a pint of Farmers Flagon ruby ale from St Peter’s Brewery. I look forward to being able to share these sentiments in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives. Britain has been forced to implement restrictions and new rules that our country has not experienced since the Second World War. Many people are still working from home and we remain unable to freely see people that we love and care about. But these ongoing measures are necessary to halt the spread of the virus and to protect lives.
Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has recently announced the Government’s intention to take the first careful steps in modifying some of the restrictions facing our daily lives and these remain under constant review. However, it remains vitally important that we all continue to respect and follow Government advice so that we don’t risk a second wave of infection. A second wave would have devastating consequences for our NHS and for our economy. In my view, it is essential that we continue to be led by the scientific evidence, which dictates which restrictions can start to be lifted and when.
We must all continue to play our part in helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by:
Maintaining social distancing – keeping at least 2 metres apart from people who are not from your own household helps to protect each other and reduces the spread of the virus;
Ensuring good hand hygiene – thoroughly washing your hands and wrists before eating and when returning home after leaving the house is particularly important to protect yourself from catching the virus;
And to protect others, it is important NOT to leave home if you or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, my office and I have continued to work hard on behalf of everyone in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, helping people to access personal and business financial support, and also helping a great many people who were stranded overseas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to return home. I continue to ask probing Parliamentary questions of our Government about its response to the pandemic and continue to raise issues that matter to us here in Suffolk in Parliament and directly with Government ministers.
I will always do my very best for the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and if there is anything with which I can help, please get in touch with me. My website also has up to date, helpful information so do please check there: www.drdanielpoulter.com
As ever, I would like to close by paying tribute to my NHS colleagues, the Police and the many others on the frontline of our public services who are putting others before themselves to help in this crucial fight against Coronavirus.
Since we installed floodlights to light the church during winter evenings, we have made disposable money boxes available for spare change as a relatively painless way of funding them. This has been very successful. However, this year, we feel that a shopping trip to try to purchase disposable cans and the difficulty of handing them out with the church closed, make this operation unwise. Also many people are using cash very little this year and so spare change may not be forthcoming. Please could we ask our congregation to find suitable containers and make a donation which will be collected at the Harvest Worship for All service, assuming that we have one. If we are still not gathering on the 2nd Sunday in October we will make other arrangements. Thank you very much in anticipation.
The dry April has seamlessly continued into a dry May and crops are desperately needing a rain and some warm nights. The night-time frosts we have had lately are proving difficult in the vegetable garden and I am quite relieved to have no sugar beet to worry about. May and tree blossom seems to be good but with insect eating birds nesting I hope that a bit of warmth and a shower will bring more blossom in the various bits of conservation mixtures we have sown ready for the chick feeding.
The wheat crop looks reasonably good in general and provided we get a couple of inches of rain to fill the grains in June it should be ok. Spring barley is poor. the dry April has caused some germinating seed to fail to emerge from cloddy seed beds. The least bad field is the one we tried out a cover crop on which will encourage us to repeat the process next year. The oil radish component of the mixture may have help to prevent the soil becoming consolidated by the rain and lack of frost. There was certainly no problem with sowing though the residue. Spring beans being sown deeper and more robust plants have emerged well and should produce a reasonable result if weather conditions are favourable.
How has lockdown and social distancing affected us? Broadly speaking, our style of arable farming has continued more or less as normal. Chemical and fertilizer deliveries have not been affected so far. We have been able to get any building materials and spare parts that are needed although understandably delivery times are much longer and in the case of machinery dealers. We have to go and collect from a box outside the stores. Dust masks to use in the grain-store have quadrupled in price and delivery before harvest is not guaranteed. Delivery drivers and store staff of the companies we work with have been help and careful without exception.
We have seen a large increase in exercisers and dog walkers on the farm. The sunny weather has obviously encouraged this which is very good to witness. On an average day we get 50 – 60 folks out with at least half of these coming through the farmyard. Sam has put up some new signs showing what is supposed to be growing where and indicating which areas we are trying to leave disturbance free for conservations purposes. Thank you all for respecting these. We have had very few causes for concern. We do still have some loose dogs going into the growing crops. I don’t think their owners realise that skylarks are on nests at the moment and a Labrador blundering past is not conducive to chick survival. We have several pairs close to the main footpaths. I hope that next year we will have even more.
For latest service info/times please see the website.
Give Me One Good Reason!
We’ve all had to adapt dramatically to the Coronavirus situation. How have you managed the changes? As a church it’s been very strange. We can’t meet together at all the time of writing. We now have a Sunday service online with a group Zoom meeting afterwards, and we also produce and distribute daily ‘thought for the day devotional’ videos via What’s App and YouTube. If you’d like to check out some of these short videos you can find them on our YouTube channel. Just visit YouTube and type Mickfield Evangelical Church.
In the midst of all this we have seen an increasing interest in Christianity. Many people have been engaging with the videos on our website, on Facebook and on YouTube. …Why not use the opportunity to have a peek and see what Christianity is all about without the (perhaps daunting) prospect of having to set foot in a church!
We want to continue to provide a means for all kinds of people to explore the Christian faith. So, over the next few weeks I will be posting 3 videos, exploring 3 very personal reasons for my own faith in Jesus. The first is, what I call, the Monty Python reason!
Sometimes people say: “give me one good reason to believe!” We’d like to present 3. And we’d love to know your thoughts. Feel free to begin a conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section on YouTube or via my email (listed above).
Stay Safe and Blessed!