• St. Andrew's in the early morning sunshine.St. Andrew’s stands at the entrance to the Norfolk village of Great Ryburgh, close to the bridge over the River Wensum. This round tower church with Saxon origins is a distinctive feature of a village that is essentially a working community with a maltings, some light industry and a shop that has been retained as a community venture. 

    The cruciform design of the church building is unusual, each arm  of the cross being almost equal in length.The reordering of the Chancel in 1912 by Sir Ninian Comper gives the building a wonderful feeling of space and light as well as a flexibility of use which the parish uses to full advantage for its services, community events and concerts. 

    St. Andrew's, Great Ryburgh is part of the Upper Wensum Benefice. The Revd. Robin Stapleford looks after seven parishes with the help of reader, Richard Hirst and a number of retired clergy who give generously of their time. 

    Visitors are welcome every day of the week.



    The church is open for private prayer and while services have been cancelled,

    you are welcome to join us for a short time of prayer

    on the Sundays when we would normally meet for worship.


    THE  SECOND SUNDAY OF  LENT                                       

    "I will  make my covenant between me and you"

    1) O Jesus, I have promised 
    To serve thee to the end; 
    Be thou forever near me, 
    My Master and my friend;
    I shall not fear the battle 
    If thou art by my side, 
    Nor wander from the pathway 
    If thou wilt be my guide. 


    2) O let me feel thee near me! 
    The world is ever near: 
    I see the sights that dazzle, 
    The tempting sounds I hear. 
    My foes are ever near me, 
    Around me and within; 
    But, Jesus, draw thou nearer, 
    And shield my soul from sin.


    3) O let me hear thee speaking 
    In accents clear and still, 
    Above the storms of passion, 
    The murmurs of self-will. 
    O speak to reassure me, 
    To hasten or control; 
    O speak, and make me listen, 
    Thou guardian of my soul.


    4) O Jesus, thou hast promised 
    To all who follow thee
    That where thou art in glory 
    There shall thy servant be. 
    And, Jesus, I have promised 
    To serve thee to the end; 
    O give me grace to follow,
    My Master and my friend.



    The collect for the Second  Sunday of  Lent       

    Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen


    This week the theme that connects our readings is “promise”. Just as God promised to Noah that he would never again flood the earth, so he promised to Abraham that he would be with him and his descendants to the end of time.  These promises were made as part of a covenant between God and his people, a covenant that was fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Christ.



     A reading from Genesis 7:1-7, 15-16

    When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

    God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’ 

    Icon of Abraham and Sarah: Vanderbilt Library




    Psalm 22: 22-30

    Praise the Lord, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.                                                                                                          

    For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.

    My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

    The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"

    All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

     For kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules over the nations.

    To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.

    My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the Lord'S for ever.

    They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.


    Covenants are about a “coming together” (Latin roots!), in other words a partnership. If God makes a promise, the other party, that is God’s people, make in return a commitment to work in partnership with him.  At the time of Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments, a third covenant was made and yet another one at the time of King David. But all were broken. God kept his promises but there was no commitment on the other side. The prophets talked about a day when God would create a New Covenant. This new covenant was fulfilled by God's Son, Jesus: a new relationship and channel of love and trust was opened up.


    Second Reading  Romans 4:13-25

    The promise that Abraham would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

    For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’). Abraham believed in the presence of the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations,’ according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him,’ were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification. 

    Rainbow over the Pyramid: Vanderbilt Library


    Gospel Reading: St. Mark 8:31-38

    Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

    He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

    Scenes that presage the crucifixion: Canterbury Cathedral- Vanderbilt Library


    Today’s psalm offers a promise of an orderly and peaceful world in which nobody will go hungry or unloved. This is a vision we all share but for it to come about, it requires prayerful commitment from us.  Whereas the OT covenant was based on complying with the Law, Christ instituted a new kind of partnership, a New Covenant, based on love and forgiveness. It is through the Holy Spirit that God will fulfil his promises but we must play our part too. “Take up your cross and follow me!” That seems a daunting commitment and one that we have to work through in our own circumstances - while taking comfort that the Holy Spirit will never abandon us as we seek, however falteringly, to live a Christ centred life and make our contribution to the  building of a better world.


    As the light appears at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we thank God for the many who have kept the country going over the last year, whether through service on a national platform, through healthcare, through scientific research or through good neighbourliness. We give thanks too for all working in the field of technological innovation who have made it possible for people across the globe to connect online in a way that was previously unimaginable. We give thanks for the assurance of  God’s promise that, however bleak the world may at times appear, he will never abandon us.


    • We pray that during this Lent we will engage more wholeheartedly in the loving partnership that God offers to us that we may play our part in building our post-pandemic future.
    • We pray for those who are struggling to come to terms with the new direction their life is taking.
    • We pray for places of education as they prepare to reopen  & face the  challenging issues ahead.
    • We pray for those known to us who are in poor health, thinking especially of ....................................................
    • We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have recently departed this life, remembering  ...........  We ask you, Father, to be with the bereaved that they may take comfort from your loving and never failing presence.                                                                                                                       

    Give us light and strength, O God, to know your will. Guide us by your wisdom and support us by your power. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true; through Christ our Lord. Amen.                 Isidore of Seville, c.560-636






     01603 882345 or safeguarding@dioceseofnorwich.org

    See the  SAFEGUARDING PAGE  for more details.


    Help for young people wishing to report abusive behaviour

    Parish Safeguarding Officer:   Mary Carden Tel: 07808164686

    Email:  marycarden1@icloud.com

    You can if you wish also contact Childline (childline.org.uk or telephone 0800 1111 This service offers free, confidential advice and support about whatever is worrying you.

    Also: the NSPCC  0800 802020.

    Help for adults wishing to report abusive behaviour

    Parish Safeguarding Officer:   Mary Carden Tel: 07808164686

    Email:  marycarden1@icloud.com





    Our church building has been here for over 1,000 years and we try to ensure it is a welcoming and inspiring place for worshippers, local residents, visitors and pilgrims.


    The William Martin Building with its much needed handwashing and hospitality facilities is ready to open fully (It was officially opened by the Dean of Norwich on 1st September 2019 when only the outer shell was complete.) We are so grateful to those who built it and to those who donated materials, labour and funds. Do come and have a look!


    Pilgrims walking the Walsingham Way are very welcome. We can offer a place to camp, kitchen and W.C. as well as basic shelter if the weather is bad. You can contact the churchwarden on 01328 829413.


    Many thanks too to all who helped raise the money to fund the restoration of the westernmost south chancel window! It is now back with us, with help from the Norfolk Churches Trust and the Round Tower Churches Society . The next task is to repair the porch,  its roof in particular needing some attention!


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