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Caring for each other and the planet in Breckland Deanery

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A gathering of clergy and people from the local area for Holy Communion at All Saints, Narborough marked the start of Bishop Graham’s Breckland Deanery visit.

Once the service ended, Bishop Graham visited the Meadow House Nursing Home in Swaffham – where the residents jovially greeted him in song. Bishop Graham went to each patient and said hello, stopping in conversation with many of them about everything from what they like about Meadow House to what football team they support.

From there it was on to Gooderstone Primary Academy, where the children were learning about the merits and drawbacks of competition. Some children had prepared poems to read to Bishop Graham, but all eagerly put their hands in the air to give their opinions on good and bad competition.

A tasty break came in the form of hot lunch at Fountain of Life Church, Ashill. Bishop Graham was able to talk to the enthusiastic Chapter Clergy about their hopes for future cooperation between churches, as well as community projects for which they hope to get funding.

After lunch it was Bishop Graham’s second school visit of the trip – to Necton Primary School. He began by meeting with the Eco Council and Values Council. The Eco Council looks to make the school a champion of the fight against Climate Change with schemes like Green Teams – teams of students who go around the school at the end of the day ensuring that lights and other electronics are switched off. The Values Council always has their eyes open for students exhibiting core values such as kindness, generosity, or friendliness.

At the start of Collective Worship at Necton Primary School, Bishop Graham saw some students singled out to be applauded for exhibiting the Value of the week – each one put forward by the Values Council.

Leaving the school for the day, Bishop Graham went to Chase Farm, where farmers Peter and Pam Chapman strive to make their farm as ecologically sustainable as possible. Peter took Bishop Graham on a drive around the farm to explain the different ways they made this aim work.

Through growing other plants alongside their harvest to help keep pests off the crop and wilding the edges of their fields to encourage pest-eating insects, they do away with polluting chemical pesticides; working with nature instead of against it. They even keep dead trees on their land as habitats for wildlife and insects.

Having toured the farm, Bishop Graham went in with the Chapmans, and other farmers of the area, for a spot of tea and cake.

It was then back to Ashill to visit the Village Aid “Call-In” Centre; where neighbours help neighbours. The community of Ashill runs the Centre – an old coal-shed – to help out those in need locally and maintain the green areas and duck-pond in the village.

The day nearly over, Bishop Graham went to St Mary’s, Watton for dinner and a Q&A session from the people of Breckland. As the stars started to twinkle over St Mary’s, Compline was held and the visit officially ended.