26th June 2020
I hope you are remaining well.
I am delighted that, thanks to those of you who have worked hard to clean, all our churches are ready to open for individual private prayer, as follows.
Bulphan will be open on Monday and Thursday mornings from 10am until 12.00, beginning on Monday 6th July.
Horndon will be open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 10am until 12.00 beginning on Tuesday 30th June. (Please note that whilst we fully intend, in the future, to reinstate the ‘open church’ coffee mornings,when safe to do so, at present this is not allowed and the church will be open for individual private prayer only.)
In addition, St John’s Church, Corringham, will be open on Wednesday mornings from 10am until 12.00, beginning on Wednesday 1st July and St Margaret’s Church, Stanford-le-Hope, will be open on Friday mornings at the same time, beginning on Friday 3rd July.
Funerals, weddings and baptisms are now permitted with the appropriate restrictions in place which, at the current time, in this Benefice, will be conducted mostly at Horndon and Orsett due to their larger buildings. I am sure you will also be aware that the Government has stated that Sunday worship is permitted to begin at the beginning of July. Please note that they have said permitted, not mandatory, and whilst I know some of you may be keen to begin worshipping in church again, I am asking for your patience as we begin to consider when and how it might be safe and appropriate to do this and what form worship might take within the current restrictions. For example, we will not be able to have hymns books or service books and, whilst church liturgy is familiar to some people, it is not familiar to everyone. This will, therefore, require some prayer and creativity if we are to continue to make our services engaging for all as I hope, together, we have achieved during the lockdown. Certainly I have received some positive feedback and, as churches we have been encouraged by the Bishops to build upon the positive things that have been learned during the lockdown. So please can I ask for your prayer and support in this matter.
Last week I sent a list of 6 questions for us to use as a template for our Benefice response to the Diocesan appeal for our views regarding the kind of person we think would be appropriate as our new Bishop of Chelmsford. The deadline for your responses was today, 26th June and, as yet, only one person has replied! You may have already sent your own personal response to the Diocese following my previous mailing, but, if you haven’t, please could I ask you to give the questions below some consideration and send me your thoughts on one or all of them by tomorrow, 27th June.
- Can you tell us what you value most about the Church in your community as well as across Essex and East London?
- What challenges does the Church face in East London and Essex as we seek to share the Good News of Jesus?
- What wider issues would you like our next Bishop of Chelmsford to be passionate about?
- What qualities, skills or leadership characteristics will our next Bishop of Chelmsford require?
- What kind of person will our next Bishop of Chelmsford need to be (particularly as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic)?
- What else would you like to tell us?
The Lectionary Readings for the week beginning 28th June are, as follows.
|DAY||Morning Prayer||Evening Prayer|
|Monday 29th Saint Peter & Paul, Apostles||Psalm: 71, 113,Isaiah 49: 1-6 John 21: 15-22||Psalm: 124, 138, Ezekiel 34: 11-16 Psalm: 125|
|Tuesday 30th||Psalm: 73, Judges 9: 1-21 Luke 15: 11-end||Psalm: 74, Job 28 Romans 12: 1-8|
|Wednesday 1st Henry, John and Henry Venn, priests, evangelical divines, 1797, 1813, 1873||Psalm: 77, Judges 9: 22-end Luke 16: 1-18||Psalm: 119: 81-104 Job 29, Romans 12: 9-end|
|Thursday 2nd 1st EP of Thomas the Apostle||Psalm: 78: 1-39, Judges 11: 1-11 Luke 16: 19-end||Psalm: 27, Isaiah: 35 Hebrews 10: 35-11.1|
|Friday 3rd Thomas the Apostle||Psalm: 92, 146, 2 Samuel: 15: 17-21, John 11: 1-16||Psalm: 139, Job 42: 1-6 1 Peter 1: 3-12|
|Saturday 4th||Psalm: 76, Judges 12: 1-7 Luke 17: 11-19||Psalm: 84, Job 32 Romans: 14: 1-12|
Also, a reminder that, if you are unable to access our online services at hobnob.org.uk/watch or our Facebook services @HOBNOBChurches, you can access Daily Hope, a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers, on 0800 8048044.
Thank you for your loyal support for the Foodbank. Items needed this week are brown sauce, gravy granules, ketchup, stuffing, jelly cubes, sponge puddings, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap and handwash.
Local prayer needs this week include Nicola, Hazel, Dave, Steve, Steve, Jane, Dawn, Lyn, Roy, Mark, Derek and Alastair. Please continue to pray for those recently bereaved, including the family of Colin, Suzarne’s brother-in-law and, in particular, Colin’s wife, Diane, also our former Archdeacon, Mina, and her husband, Chris, following the tragic death of their two daughters in a London park, and those affected by the stabbings in the park in Reading. Louise Bradshaw and Kevin McAlpin are due to be married at Bulphan on 4th July, so please hold them in your prayers. We are also asked to pray for the Friends of Essex Churches Trust, The United Church of North India and The Most Reverend Dr Prem Chand Singh, Moderator and Bishop of Jabaipur.
As ever, please continue to let me know about any prayer or pastoral needs and please be assured of my prayers for all of you.
Take care and God bless,