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40 years of service, unusual lunch and first Reconciliation

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes 40 years of service, an unusual Lent lunch and children's first Reconciliation.

The parishioners of St Benet’s in Beccles have expressed their gratitude to Jackie Pipe for the 40 years of service she has given to the Parish as President of its Flower Guild.

Rona Baxter, Jackie’s successor, presented a bouquet of spring flowers and said how delighted parishioners had always been at the floral displays produced by Jackie and her team of helpers."It has also been wonderful to see the way Jackie had encouraged new members and had generously shared her skills and expertise," said Rona. "However, as she had now reached the magnificent age of 90, Jackie felt she really had to retire and let the younger generation take over."

Fr Martin added his congratulations and thanks – and he extended his appreciation to the 30 other parishioners who also volunteered their time and skills to keep the parish functioning.

Pictured above is Rona Baxter, right, presenting a bouquet to the retiring Jackie Pipe.

The Norwich Secular Franciscans volunteered to run one of the Caf sessions being run throughout Lent at St Georges Norwich, featuring the Oremus programme. Volunteering involves preparing the room and refreshments and providing some form of light entertainment during the break. Parish Priest, Fr Sean, in his weekly announcement, informed the Parish it was the turn of the Secular Franciscans and jokingly told them they could expect bread and water.

Anne Murrin said: "Parishioners arrived and were rather shocked to find they could not have their usual cup of tea and a cake or biscuit, but only some slices of French sticks, not even buttered, and a jug of water to share ' it was Lent after all!

"At the interval however, they were treated to the well-hidden homemade cakes and other goodies, and their much-awaited cups of tea. There was also a quiz on the life of St Francis that even some of us who are reasonably well versed in his life-time activities found difficult."

St Nicholas Church in Lowestoft saw 24 parish children make their first Reconciliation on March 20, pictured below) and they enjoyed a little celebration afterwards, said Kathy Fallon: "They were amazing and it was a really beautiful day and another step towards their First Holy Communion."