The Bluebell Benefice

A warm welcome to The Bluebell Benefice, which covers the parishes and churches of Great Gransden, Little Gransden, Abbotsley and Waresley in South Huntingdonshire and South West Cambridgeshire.

While the church buildings are closed, we are still holding online services each Sunday at 10am. Some are streamed live on our Facebook page, whereas more complicated services with more videos are put on YouTube, or some may be audio-only services. We also provide a midweek service and other prayer resources. All details are posted on this website shortly before or see the live services page if you're having trouble viewing the service, and see our Home Worship page for links to all the services that we have done.

Pentecost, 31st May 2020

Our Sunday service for Pentecost featuring contributions from many of our members across the parishes can be watched on YouTube.

Midweek reflection, 27th May 2020

A reflection for Wednesday.

Rain by Vincent Van Gogh

Seventh Sunday of Easter, 24th May 2020

Our Benefice service this Sunday is a joint service with Clare College, Cambridge, the patrons of Great Gransden church, led by Mark Smith, Dean of Clare, and Reverend Rachel.

The audio of the service and service sheet can be downloaded or accessed online at any point.

Clare College, Cambridge

Daily Worship

Here are some links to resources for prayer and reflection that you can use at home.

Windows of Hope

Count down the weeks by sharing a different picture of hope in your window each Sunday. We began with a rainbow, then bluebells; then Easter, now Stay Creative! Below are sample pictures, activity sheets, and some simple letter templates to post a message of hope to a loved one elsewhere.

Activities sheets

FFF May 2020.pdf
bluebells.pdf
BLUEBELLS activity sheet.pdf
FFF Easter 2020.pdf

Ascension Day, 21st May 2020

Our short Ascension Day service was live-streamed on our Facebook page at 7:30pm.

The Ascension by Rembrandt

Sixth Sunday of Easter, 17th May 2020

Our Sunday service was live-streamed on our Facebook page at 10am.

Pulpit, Little Gransden

Midweek reflection, 13th May 2020

This week's 'Something for Midweek' is written by Anne Constantine of Great Gransden.

This week is 'Christian Aid Week'. Please consider praying for, and donating to, the urgent and essential work they are doing to support some of the most vulnerable people in the world to meet the challenges of Covid-19.

See also this wonderful version of The Blessing recorded by churches all around the UK.

Audley End

Fifth Sunday of Easter, 10th May 2020

A service of peace and reconciliation for VE Day was live-streamed on Sunday, and a recording is now available.

We have made a quick instruction video if you're having trouble watching the live service.

Midweek reflection, 6th May 2020

Reflection and prayer for Wednesday.

Fourth Sunday of Easter, 3rd May 2020

A recording of the 10am All-Age Service is now available.

Midweek reflection, 29th April 2020

Reflection and prayer for Wednesday.

Peter Paul Rubens - The Martyrdom of St Stephen

Third Sunday of Easter - 26th April 2020

This was live-streamed at 10am. See the Home Worship page for details on how to watch the recording.

Midweek reflection, 22nd April 2020

Reflection and prayer for Wednesday.

Psalm 34

Easter Sunday - 12th April 2020

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! You can now rewatch our live-streamed Easter Communion.

Holy Saturday - 11th April 2020

"Moving from darkness to light", a short Easter Vigil.

Good Friday - 10th April 2020

A service for the afternoon of Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday - 9th April 2020

A meditative video service for Thursday evening.

Palm Sunday - 5th April 2020

A special service for Palm Sunday.

Jesus enters Jerusalem and the crowds welcome him, by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320

Midweek thoughts - 1st April 2020

A reflection for Wednesday.

Christ at the home of Martha and Mary by Georg Friedrich Stettner

Sunday Service - 29th March 2020

A service for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Resurrection of Lazarus,  Athens ca.  12–13th century

Feast of the Annunciation - 25th March 2020

A Reflection for today.

The Annunciation by John William Waterhouse

Mothering Sunday service - 22nd March 2020

For any who wish to celebrate Mothering Sunday with us, please see our Home Worship page.

Simeon’s song of praise by Aert de Gelder

Benefice Update - 17th March 2020

Dear all,

All church services cancelled

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, the archbishops have just written with great sadness to confirm that all acts of public worship must cease until further notice. This means that there will no longer be services held on a Wednesday morning in Little Gransden, or on Sundays in any of our churches.

Prayer continuing

Assuming I am not myself in isolation, I will be continuing to say Morning Prayer privately in each of the churches as often as I am able during the week, offering daily prayers for you, these villages, those for whom you are concerned and all the wider world. If you would like me to pray for anyone in particular, especially as things develop over these weeks, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email/text. Your requests will be kept confidential. If you would like to join me in praying daily from home, please see the Church of England's daily prayer page.

Churches open

Great Gransden, Little Gransden and Waresley churches will remain open as usual during the daytime (Abbotsley, on request): please feel free to use these beautiful, peaceful spaces for prayer and reflection at any point in the day, though do be careful to wash hands/use sanitiser after touching door handles etc. In a few days there will be candles you can light in the churches, and some reading & prayer resources you can use.

Worship at home

Each week I will be making a simple Sunday service sheet available, which those who would like to, can use at home. It will provide the Bible readings for the day, a short reflection on the passage, links to some music, and a couple of prayers to say. I also hope to provide a short midweek reflection. These will be made available primarily on this site, as well as on the churches’ own websites, Facebook page, and through links on Touchbase and the Waresley Crier. If anyone knows anyone who would like to receive regular hard copies, please just let me know. (As we approach the special services of Holy Week and Easter, I might even attempt some live-streamed services...but am learning as I go!) And if you have any other ideas for what you would find helpful, again please do get in touch. I am especially after some fun – and safe – ideas for Easter Sunday!

Light a candle

We have been called by our Archbishops to keep this coming Mothering Sunday (22nd March) as a day of prayer and action for all those being affected by the virus. We have been invited to place a lighted candle in our window at 7pm, as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.

A prayer for calm

Last Sunday we listened to Jesus’ conversation with the woman from Samaria, when He reassured her that it does not matter to God where or when we worship, but whether we do so ‘in spirit and in truth’, as our true selves. If your true self, like mine, feels rather frightened, shaken and overwhelmed by the enormity of these times, then let’s make that the starting point of our worship. This is a Celtic prayer for stilling our hearts:

Encircle us, O God,

keep faith within,

keep panic without.


Encircle us, O God,

keep hope within,

keep despair out.

Encircle us, O God,

keep love within,

keep fear without.


Adapted from David Adam’s

"The Cry of the Deer"

The other wonderful joy of worship is that when we do it, we join together with the whole faithful company of those in both heaven and on earth – so we are never truly on our own! I am fixing my heart longingly upon the wonderful service of thanksgiving we shall hold together once we are eventually through these times...

May the God of Peace protect and be with you all. Please do not hesitate to email/phone me at any stage in these next weeks if you would like to talk anything through, or receive a blessing or be prayed for over the phone: I am here to help in any way I can.

The Archbishops have left us with this challenge: ‘We urge you brothers and sisters to be a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise, and overflowing in service to the world.’ Amen to that.

With my love and prayers,

Rachel

Get in touch

The Revd. Rachel Blanchflower can be contacted at:

rev.gransdens@gmail.com, or by phone on: 07824 380 479.

Rachel’s post is half-time, but she will be in the villages for part of most days of the week – except for Thursdays, her day off.

Please get in touch if you have any enquiries about weddings, baptisms, funerals, home/hospital visits or exploring the Christian faith – or if you’d just value tea and a chat.