Category Archives: Rector’s Reflections

Sue Mann

14th October 2018

We are now well into the swing of the Autumn term. Pupils and staff have returned to school after the summer holiday; clubs and societies have recommenced and, at church, several things have happened, or are happening.

Over the summer we were pleased to welcome a new parishioner into Horndon, The Right Reverend John Perumbalath, our new Bishop of Bradwell, along with his wife Jessy and their daughter Anugraha. We were very fortunate that Bishop John came to preside and preach at our United Benefice Service at Orsett in September and, at this service, he made a presentation to Canon Glyn Jones who, after many years of faithful service in this Benefice has decided to rescind his licence giving him permission to officiate. On behalf of the Benefice, I would like to express grateful thanks to Glyn for all he has contributed over many years. And, as Bishop John said, although he will no longer officiate, he will always be a priest.

Messy Church is now established and, this year, we are very fortunate that we are able to offer Messy Church, once a term, in all three of the primary schools in the Benefice, the dates of which are in this magazine. We are also very grateful to W. Howard and Son, who have kindly supplied us with lots of stationery, craft material and posters for this, and to Tesco, who have given us some vouchers to spend in their store on food. Families are welcome at all three Messy Church locations and not limited to the one in their particular parish. We look forward to seeing you at Messy Church; it is great fun! Please remember, though, that children need to be accompanied by an adult. We have also just set up a ‘WhatsApp’ group to advertise this, and an email circulation list, so please do let me know if you wish to be added to these groups.

You are probably aware that, in May, the Government introduced some new legislation with regard to data protection, with which we have to comply. This means that all members of the three church electoral rolls are required to fill in a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) form in order for us to be able to contact them regarding church matters. If you are on one of our church electoral rolls and have not yet filled in one of these forms, please could you do this as soon as possible. Also, if you are not on an electoral roll, but attend church or church activities and would like to be kept informed, I encourage you to fill in a form too. The forms are available at the back of all three churches. And, perhaps, when you do this, if you are not currently on a church electoral roll, it might be the time to consider whether you might like to be, giving you the right to vote on church matters. Forms for this are also available at the back of all three churches.

Recently I attended the Orsett Forum meeting where I was presented with a cheque for St Giles and All Saints Roof Fund, raised by the proceeds of the Fun Run. Thank you, so much, to Orsett Forum. We are very grateful for this kind donation which has helped towards the roof fund.

And, finally, we have just launched our new website. You can find it at

I am very grateful to David Mortimer, Thomas Mann and Charles Mortimer who have been working hard since last October, to create this website and we are fortunate, now, that Philip Oderinlo has also joined the team to share his expertise. We hope that you find this website helpful and informative. It is a work in progress and, as time goes by, we hope to develop it. We would like to keep our new website fresh and up to date, so I encourage anyone who leads a church group and who would like upcoming activities publicised, or news or photos of events which have taken place, shown, (provided that GDPR rules are complied with) to send this to, either: or

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With love and prayers,



Sue Mann

14th July 2018

As I write this, Youth HUB, our Youth group ‘HERE in the UNITED BENEFICE,’ has just returned from SOLID, a Christian Festival held at Stubbers Activity Centre in Upminster every July. We returned this year, after enjoying ourselves last year.

The festival is organised by Scripture Union and a number of partnering agencies, including Chelmsford Diocese, and is open to all youth groups from any denominational background.

SOLID brings together hundreds of young people from across the South East of England to discover and worship Jesus while taking part in all kinds of adventure, creative and sporting activities, including Laser Tag, canoeing, high ropes, banana boating and jet skiing, to name just a few.

Ten young people from Youth HUB, and four leaders – Christine and David Mortimer, Phil – my husband and I, arrived at Stubbers on the Friday evening to put up our tents and we then began the weekend by participating in an opening act of worship in the ‘Jump-in’ tent. The worship was lively, with contemporary music, a professional Christian theatre group and an engaging speaker and it challenged each person to consider what it means to fully commit his or her life to Jesus Christ. Throughout the weekend, the worship reiterated the message that we can all be used by Jesus to share the good news of the Gospel with others. And Phil, the speaker, gave lots of examples of young people he had encountered in his ministry, who thought they were worthless, but who have been used powerfully by God to bring others to faith after giving their own lives to Jesus. He recounted how individuals have done this through prayer and by daring to step out of the boat, trusting in God as they have started something new.

I encourage you to pray for our young people. It was a tremendous privilege to take them away and to see them grow in confidence in their faith as they shared in worship and had fun together over the weekend. As Bishop John Wraw said, before he sadly died last year, ‘our young people are not the church of tomorrow, they are an important part of the church of today.’

Of course, it is essential that we recognise that our churches are made up of people of all ages and that we value all. It was in contrast to the Stubbers gathering that, at our Deanery meeting last week, we were fortunate to hear a speaker, Canon Hugh Dibbens, talking about evangelism for the senior members of our congregations. Hugh has written a five – week course for those of more mature years, to help them become more confident in sharing the good news of Jesus with others. The course is called ‘Calling all Seniors.’ Jesus calls us all ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19); none of us Christians are exempt from this command. At the meeting Hugh encouraged us to discuss some of the ways in which retired members of our congregations share their faith and he spoke, positively, about his own experiences as a man of mature age. It is hoped that Hugh’s course will be run in Thurrock Deanery in the coming year, so if you are someone who thinks you might be interested in attending, then please do let me know and I can pass your details on to Revd Darren Barlow, our Area Dean; it would be great to have some representatives from this Benefice attending.

I am running out of space now, so will sign off until October’s edition. I pray that, if you are going away over the summer, you will have a refreshing break, just as we did at SOLID, but that, wherever you are, you will know God’s presence with you.

With love and prayers,