The Ouse Valley Benefice

Bexwell + Crimplesham + Denver + Hilgay

Ryston + Southery + Ten Mile Bank

Welcome to the Ouse Valley Benefice

Welcome to the Ouse Valley Benefice - a group of Churches in West Norfolk that are part of the Diocese of Ely. The Benefice comprises seven rural villages and their churches in or close to the Norfolk fens: Bexwell, Crimplesham, Denver, Hilgay, Ryston, Southery, and Ten Mile Bank. The Benefice came into existence in January 2022 succeeding several earlier groupings to make more coherent geographical sense.

Meet Our Vicar

The Revd Nigel Moat has recently joined us after being inducted by Bishop Dagmar, Bishop of Huntingdon, in July. He joins us from the West Norfolk Priory Group where he served as Curate. Nigel and his wife Heidi have grown to love West Norfolk and are really excited to serve here in the Ouse Valley Benefice.

Prior to being ordained, Nigel worked in the electronics and software industry, but followed his calling to ordination - he trained initially in the Diocese of Lincoln, and then in the Diocese of Ely following his marriage to Heidi.

What does Putting Christ back in Christmas mean to you?

For me, it’s more than buying an advent calendar with pictures of the nativity behind each window. And it’s more than putting cinnamon on my cappuccino. Can you believe that I was once asked if I wanted this ‘touch of Christmas’ on my coffee - in October? We hadn't even had bonfire night! I’m sure you too can think of many ways that secular commercialisation can overwhelm the real meaning of this season.

So how can we make our Christmas more Christ-centred this year? I definitely want to enjoy the traditional festivities but it is also important to me during this Advent season, to draw closer to God in all the busy preparations and remember the coming of his son as my Saviour.

There are many resources available such as books of meditations, Bible readings or prayers that can help us on our personal journey through Advent. I’d like to recommend the ‘Follow the Star’ campaign which you can find on the Church of England website and you can also search for advent resources to find other resources to help you in advent.

There are many practical ways we serve outside our Churches during Advent too. Inside this newsletter, you can find out how you could help in our local schools, shop for the Food Bank or even sing carols in Tescos! Each of us have different gifts we can use to reach out to show God’s love to others this Christmas. This too is part of our worship.

Heidi and I are looking forward to our first Christmas together with you in the benefice. We want to say thank you to everyone who has worked so hard this year in and through the 7 Churches and for making us feel so welcome over the last 6 months.

Together, let’s all put Christ back at the centre! - Revd Nigel Moat

Advent Resources

We have collated together a number of resources that might be useful over advent.

Follow the Star - Explore 12 days of reflections, starting 24 December 2022

You’re invited to Follow The Star as we explore the meaning of Christmas together.

Each day, read or listen to a Bible passage, short reflection and prayer, in the way that suits you.

Download the free Follow The Star app

• Sign up to get the reflections by email for free

• Tell your smart speaker to “Ask the Church of England for today’s Follow the Star reflection”

• Call the Daily Hope free phone line to listen each day: 0800 804 8044

To get the app or signup to emails, visit cofe.io/FollowTheStar

Baptisms, Wedding and Funerals.

If you would like to arrange a baptism, wedding or funeral in any of our churches, please see out Life Events pages. There you will find more information about how these can be arranged. For baptisms we would like to point you in the direction of our baptism coordinator who will guide you through the process. For weddings, your first point of call would be our Vicar, the Revd Nigel Moat. Funerals would normally be arranged via your chosen funeral director - but equally, you can contact Revd Nigel directly if you would like more information.

News and Events

We now have a new 'News and Events' page on our website. This is maintained as a 'live' newsletter with the aim of keeping you updates with what is happening in the benefice. Please do check by and keep yourself updated with what is happening in and around our churches. Click this link to go to the News and Events page.

Online Service

Some of our services from Bexwell can be found online. Everyone is more than welcome to join us. Please see the calendar for the online services - the zoom link can be found in the calendar entries for each. If you have any problems accessing the zoom service please drop as a line by contacting is using this online form.

Daily Prayer from the Church of England

You can catch up with the Church of England daily prayer here.