• 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.



                                    “Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.”


    1) Forty days and forty nights
    You were fasting in the wild;
    Forty days and forty nights
    Tempted, and yet undefiled.


    2) Shall not we Your sorrow share
    And from worldly joys abstain,
    Fasting with unceasing prayer,
    Strong with You to suffer pain?


    3) Then, if Satan on us press,
    Flesh or spirit to assail,
    Victor in the wilderness,
    Grant we may not faint nor fail!


    4) So shall we have peace divine;
    Holier gladness ours shall be.
    'Round us, too, shall angels shine,
    Such as served You faithfully.


    5) Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear,                                                                                                                                                                             Ever constant by Your side,
    That with You we may appear                                                 
    At the eternal Eastertide.   



    The collect for the First Sunday of  Lent       

    Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen







      The Temptations in the Wilderness: Juan de Flandes


    A Reading from Genesis 9:8-17                                                                                                                                                  

    Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’                                                                                                    




     Noah’s Ark: Natalia Ermakova


    Rainbows have featured prominently since the beginning of the pandemic but for the Christian they are a reminder of God’s promise to his people that he will always be there for them. As we go into Lent and experience the forty days of “wilderness”, it is heartening to remember that God is always present, however we decide to use these days of preparation for Easter.


    Psalm 25: 1-10

    To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; let me not be humiliated,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.

    Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.

    Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.

    Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

    Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.

    Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love
    and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.

    Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

    He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.

    All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

    For your name’s sake, O Lord, forgive my sin, for it is great.


    Lent is an opportunity for inner “spring cleaning”: Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.  


    A Reading from 1 Peter 3:18-22 

    Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you – not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.


    Some of us may feel that we have been in the wilderness ever since last March when the first lockdown was announced. The author of today’s epistle was probably writing at a time of Christian persecution, an extreme form of wilderness. Whatever form our wilderness takes this Lent, we can be reassured that the resurrected Christ will be accompanying us during the forty days.


    Gospel Reading Mark 1:9-15

    In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

    And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’    





    “Christ in the


    Moretto da








    Of the three Gospel passages recording the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness, St. Mark’s is by far the shortest but each of these three texts follows an account of Jesus’s baptism in the River Jordan. As we saw during the Epiphany readings, Jesus’s baptism was an event that clearly identified Christ as the Son of God.  During his time in the wilderness, Jesus had to work through what this actually meant for him personally and to come face to face with evil, a regrettable but necessary preparation for his ministry in the wider world. The experience would strengthen him to withstand the suffering, both mental and physical, that lay ahead. However we imagine those long heart searching days of isolation in a landscape of rocks and dry scrub, it is comforting to read that “the angels waited on him”. It is a reminder that in our Lenten wilderness, whatever form that may take, God will never be far away.  That is what he promised when he put the rainbow in the sky!


    Forty days alone, a wilderness of thoughts, tempting and inviting thoughts, which could so easily have distracted you from your task, your mission, your vision.
    Yet you emerged, stronger and more attuned to all that had to be done, despite a time constraint
    that to our eyes would have seemed hopeless.
    We too live in stressful times.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Demands are made of our time, that leave so little for the important things of life.                                                                                                                               We are easily distracted in the wilderness of our lives, by every call to go this way or that,
    to turn stone to bread, leap from mountains,                                                                                                                                                                                            and do all that would keep us from the truth.
    We listen to the voices of this world, and ignore the one who endured all this and so much more,
    and emerged triumphant, that we might not have to suffer so.
    Forgive us, Father, when we get distracted from our task.                                         
    Forgive us those times when we try to be all things to all men, and fail to be anything to anyone. 



    • We continue to pray for all involved in caring for others, whether as professionals or as volunteers.
    • We pray for decision makers seeking to give access to the vaccine in a fair and efficient way.
    • We pray for the victims of snow, flood and fire and those seeking to help them.
    • 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.

       O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it that you may enter in.  Amen.                         

                                                                                                                                 Augustine of Hippo




     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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