The vibrant colours and tortured faces of Suffolk artist Chris Newson will be on display in St Mary’s Church Centre this June as part of an exhibition of the artist’s work, hosted by the Friends of St Mary’s. Newson, who has a shop and studio in Leiston, is mentored by another Suffolk artist, the highly acclaimed Maggi Hambling, who will open the show at a private view on 8 June. The Friends have a busy programme of events this year, including a Life on the Deben ‘music from the film’ concert on 15 April, an AGM and speaker on 18 April; the Newson show from 8-10 June and the annual Woodbridge Prom on 21 October. Thanks to the Joyspring Jazz Quartet for another superb concert in church in February which raised over £300, and to Paul Cherry for his highly informative defibrillator talk and demonstration in the Church Centre. May we never have to use it for real! One of the highlights of 2017 was being able to hand over another £10,000 in support of the North Porch, thanks in part to events such as our highly successful Recital and Auction of Promises which raised over £4,000 (shared with Macmillan Cancer Support). Yet another Suffolk artist, Woodbridge resident Claire Fried, exhibited her evocative portraits of the Six Wives of Henry VIII in November and December, an eye- catching backdrop to St Mary’s font throughout the busy Christmas period. Would you like to become a Friend and get involved with our work? If so please get in touch on Woodbridge 385384 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, come along to the AGM, including refreshments, on 18 April. Nick Cottam Addressing ‘God and Politics’ What does the Bible say about God’s action in politics and history? What can we learn from outstanding Christian leaders? These were just two of the questions addressed during a well-attended Lent Course of four lectures on ‘God and Politics’. Led by Bishop Tim Stevens and held at St Mary’s Church Centre, the course also looked at the role of the Church in facing up to some of the topical public issues of the day, and explored what the Cross has to teach about the cost of public discipleship.