Category Archives: Rector’s Reflections

Revd Sue Mann

11th May 2020

Dear All,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Last night we were all eagerly anticipating Boris’ speech and the full details of the plans are yet to be revealed. But what we do know is that, whilst a few restrictions will be lifted, we are still in a time of uncertainty with significant social limitations in place.

If you have been joining in with Morning Prayer either on Facebook or on your own, you will know that the Lectionary Bible readings over the past two months have been from the book of Exodus when the Israelites were faced with the ten plagues and today we moved to the book of Numbers when the Israelites were travelling in the Sinai Desert. The instructions for the Israelites in the Desert were that when the cloud covered the camp, they were not allowed to travel, whether the cloud cover be for a day, a month or more. So they were, in effect, in lockdown for some of the time. The good news for the Israelites was that the plagues did pass and they did travel through the Desert and eventually reach the promised land but it required incredible patience and trust. And I think this offers some reassurance to us. Sometimes it is incredibly hard to trust when we are hurting and when some of us have lost loved ones along the way, isn’t it, but I do believe that, albeit bruised and hurting, with God’s help, we will come through this, together.

This week is Christian Aid Week. Yesterday, the Bible reading was about God preparing a place for each of his followers; a passage which we would normally associate with heaven as an after-life.  But, in my talk, I spoke about our world here on earth being God’s home and our need to care for our brothers and sisters across the globe.  ‘Love Unites all’ is the name for this year’s Christian Aid appeal, which is raising money to support countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, in their fight against the Coronavirus, by providing them with clean water supplies and sanitation facilities.  I have created a Christian Aid e-envelope in order for us to raise some money in this Benefice and have set a challenge for us to raise £300. Thank you to those who have already donated. So far, we have raised £210, although not all of this has been recorded on the e-envelope. I have spoken with Christian Aid about this and they have experienced some technical problems, so if you have contributed and your donation hasn’t registered on out Benefice total, if you would like to let me know, I can add your donation to the total amount and let people know at the end of the week how much as a Benefice we have really raised, although I appreciate that you may  wish to keep your contribution confidential. They have asked us to let them know if we experience any other problems so please let me know if you have any difficulty. If you would like to locate the e-envelope, it is at:

https://envelope.christianaid.org.uk/envelope/eyJlbnZlbG9wZSI6NDI3MSwgImNoYW5uZWwiOiJjb3B5In0=

If, however, you don’t have the facility to make a donation on-line, Christian Aid are happy for you to call them on 020 7523 2269.

Thank you for your continued donations to the foodbank; it is great to see how all the three villages are working together in this way.  I know the foodbank are very grateful for all the contributions. The things they currently need are, rice pudding, packet mashed potato, tinned spaghetti, jam, tinned carrots, biscuits, hot dogs, cooking sauces, squash (cordial) and tinned potatoes.  They have also asked for prayer for the physical health and well-being of all their volunteers in the warehouse and at the distribution centres. 

Please do keep the family of the Betty Tinworth, in your prayers. Betty’s graveside funeral, for close family members only, will be on Friday 22nd May at Horndon Cemetery at 1pm. Please also keep the Anderson family in your prayers, following Lisa’s dad’s sad passing away, and also Steve, (H) Steve, (O) and Lyn and Roy (H), and do let me know of any other prayer needs.

Take care and God bless you all.

With love and prayers,

Sue

Revd Sue Mann

4th May 2020

Dear All,

Thank you for your email messages, phone messages and Facebook messages over the past weeks. It is amazing what a difference a short message makes, isn’t it, when we are all in lockdown.

I hope you are staying well, and that those who have been ill are on the mend. Please do hold the Jones family in your prayers on Monday as Glyn’s funeral takes place . And please could you pray for the family of Betty Tinworth, who sadly died this weekend and also Dave and Steve who are unwell at this time.

It was good to join with some of you for our online service this Sunday, at hobnob.org.uk/watch, where we focused on God as the loving Shepherd. Max preached about the fact that God knows each one of us by name and our need to follow Jesus our Shepherd, faithfully, by praying, reading our Bibles and looking out for the needs of others and we welcomed a reading and prayers from Sonia and Felicity in Horndon. We shared a song, ‘You never let go,’ by Matt Redmond, which reassures us that whatever we are going through, God never lets go of us. On the back of this letter or as another attachment to your email, is a Roots Adult Bible Study Sheet following on from this Sunday’s theme, which you might like to use during the week.

For those of you who use the Church of England Lectionary, the morning and evening Bible study readings for this week are:

DayMorning PrayerEvening Prayer
4th Sunday of EasterNehemiah 9 6-15 and 1 Corinthians 10 1-13Ezra 3 1-13 and Luke 19 37-end
Monday 4th MayExodus 32 1-14 and Luke 2 41-endDeuteronomy 9 1-21 and Ephesians 4 1-16
Tuesday 5th MayExodus 32 15-34 and Luke 3 1-14Deut  9 23-10 -5 and Ephesians 4 17 – end
Wednesday 6th MayExodus 33 and Luke 3 15-22Deut 10 12-end and Ephesians 5 1-14
Thursday 7th MayExodus 34 1-10, 27-end and Luke 4 1-13Deut 11 8-end and Ephesians 5 15-end
Friday 8th May Julian of NorwichExodus 35 20-36-7 and Luke 4 14-30Deut 12 1-14 and Ephesians 6 1-9
SaturdayExodus 40 17-end and Luke 4 31-37Deut1 5 1-18 and Ephesians 6 10-end

Thank you for your continued support for the foodbank and thank you to Jane, Kelly and Paul and the staff at Orsett Shop for their support. Needs for the foodbank this week are, tinned potatoes, cooking sauces, tinned meat, cereal, tea bags, mashed potato, tinned rice pudding, tinned carrots, custard and tinned spaghetti. We still have our collection points at 24, Church Lane, Bulphan, 1 Lion Cottages, Horndon and The Rectory, Orsett and you can now leave donations at Orsett Shop as well as place an order over the phone to the shop who will deliver it to the Rectory. The shop’s number is 01375 891242.

I hope it won’t be too long before we are able to meet again but please be assured of my ongoing prayers for you all at this time.

Take care and God bless,

Sue

Revd Sue Mann

27th April 2020

Dear All,

It has been good to communicate with many of you over the past few weeks, whether by phone, email or Facebook and I hope you are staying well. Thank you to those who are phoning others to make sure that they are ok or just to have a friendly chat. And thank you, also, to those who have cut the grass in the churchyards and to the volunteers who are checking the churches weekly.

Please do let me know if you have any prayer needs so that I can include them in our Morning Prayer and Night Prayer Services as well as the Sunday Morning Services, and do continue to pray for those who have been bereaved in this time and who face family funerals. This week the funerals of Peter Moorse, Peter Rood and Leonard Edgar take place. Also, it is now confirmed that the funeral of Glyn Jones will be taking place at Basildon Crematorium on Monday 4th May at 5pm. Please could you also keep David Staines and Betty Tinworth in your prayers at this time.

The Foodbank have said they are seeing a 40% increase in demand on this time last year. Last week they made up 199 boxes, which kept their very dedicated volunteers extremely busy. Thank you, so much, to those who have donated items for the Foodbank. If you are unable to get out to buy food and would like to donate some items, Orsett Stores is offering a system whereby you can phone them on 01375 891242 to place your order and they will deliver it to the Rectory, or we will collect it from the shop, and take it to the foodbank. We also still have collection boxes in Bulphan, at 24, Church Lane, and Horndon, at 1, Lion Cottages, High Road. Or, if you would like to make a monetary donation, you can send a cheque made payable to Thurrock Foodbank to, 2 – 4, Chase Road, Corringham, Essex SS17 7QH, or make a donation by bank transfer, the details of which are, Thurrock Foodbank, Lloyds Bank, account number 22388060 sort code 30-18-34. The volunteers at the Foodbank have said they welcome our prayers more than ever at this time, and have asked that we pray for good health for all their volunteers and for the clients who are facing unemployment, domestic violence, illness, benefit delays or very low income, for whom the struggle to survive and the responsibility of feeding children who are home a lot more than normal weighs heavily.

This Sunday, my talk for the Family Service was based upon the story of the Road to Emmaus found in Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 24: 13-35, where Cleopas and, probably, his wife, didn’t recognise Jesus with them, as they were walking along chatting. It was only when Jesus broke bread that they finally realised who it was. I spoke about my own life journey and made a bracelet with beads, each of which represented a time when recognised Jesus’ presence. I also spoke of times when I failed to recognise Jesus or when I pushed him away. I encouraged people to make their own faith journey bracelets and keep adding to them and to look out for Jesus in unexpected places and at unexpected times. I also suggested we wear our bracelets or keep them in their pockets as an encouragement, particularly in these times, that Jesus has always been and continues to be with each one of us, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

Finally, for those of you with young families, please don’t forget to send in photos of your children’s ‘Roots’ activity sheets to include on either our website or our Facebook page. For the website, please send it to d.mortimer@hobnob.org.uk and, for the Facebook page, please send it to l.robertson@hobnob.org.uk

Attached to the back or at the bottom of this letter, are this week’s Lectionary readings.

Please be assured of my ongoing prayers for you all at this time.

God bless,

Sue

This Week’s Lectionary Readings

DayMorning PrayerEvening Prayer
Monday 27thPsalm 96; Exodus 19; Luke 1: 1-25Psalm 61; Deuteronomy 5: 1-22; Ephesians 1: 1-14
Tuesday 28thPsalm 98; Exodus 20: 1-21; Luke 1: 26-38Psalm 71; Deuteronomy 5: 22- end; Ephesians 1: 15- end
Wednesday 29thPsalm 105; Exodus 24; Luke 1: 39-56Psalm 72; Deuteronomy 6; Ephesians 2: 1-10
Thursday 30thPsalm 136: Exodus 25: 1-22; Luke 1: 57-endPsalm 73; Deuteronomy 7: 1-11; Ephesians 2: 11- end
Friday 1st MayPsalm 139; Proverbs 4: 10-18; James 1: 1-12Psalm 149; Job 23: 1-12; John 1: 43-end
Saturday 2nd MayPsalm 110; Exodus 29: 1-9; Luke 2: 21-40Psalm 27; Deuteronomy 8; Ephesians 3: 14- end

Revd Sue Mann

20th April 2020

Dear All,

We are into our fifth week of lockdown now and we are all having to get used to this new way of life for the time-being. Yesterday we held our fifth Sunday on-line service and it was great that we were able to include Max giving the talk. Thank you, Max! Max’s words are either on the back of this letter or as another attachment to your email, in addition to this.  Thank you to all of you who have joined in this worship and to those of you who have shared words of encouragement. And, also, thank you to those who don’t have a computer but who are faithfully saying your prayers at home at the same time. God hears all of us and knows each one of us, whether or not we have technology. As it says in Psalm 139, God knows our words before they are even on our lips, and there is nowhere we can go to escape from him, which I think provides us with great reassurance at this time.

What has been great about our recent worship is that new people have joined our Facebook live-streamed community and it has been good to welcome, again, some people we haven’t seen for a while. We now have nearly 150 followers on Facebook, which is proving to be a good platform on which to share the good news of the Gospel, as well as general notices. The church buildings are currently closed but it is encouraging to see that the Church is very much alive and kicking.

Thank you to those who have donated items for the Thurrock Foodbank. The foodbank is still needing donations. This week, it needs tinned tomatoes, fruit Juice, tinned carrots, cooking sauces, tea bags, tinned fruit and sponge puddings. If you are unable to get out to buy food and would like to donate some items, Orsett Stores is offering a system whereby you can phone them on 01375 891242 to place your order and they will deliver it to the Rectory, or we will collect it from the shop, and take it to the foodbank. We also still have collection boxes in Bulphan, at 24 Church Lane, and Horndon, at 1, Lion Cottages, High Road as well as the Rectory, in Orsett.

Thank you to those who have kindly offered to do some phoning round; your help is greatly appreciated. There are people for whom this extended period of lockdown is taking its toll-particularly those who are not mobile and whose relatives live at a considerable distance. Please do hold all people who are feeling isolated in your prayers and also those keyworkers for whom the current situation has surfaced feelings of inadequacy, when they are working so hard to save lives and provide multi-faceted support, in difficult circumstances.

This week we will be holding the funerals of Pamela Palmer from Horndon and Doreen Bartley, from Orsett, and next week the funerals of Peter Moorse, Peter Rood and Leonard Edgar. Please do continue to hold these families in your prayers and also the family of Glyn Jones, whose funeral date is yet to be confirmed.

Don’t forget to send in photos of your children’s Roots activity sheets to include on either our website or our Facebook page. For the website, please send it to d.mortimer@hobnob.org.uk and, for the Facebook page, please send it to l.robertson@hobnob.org.uk

Please be assured of my ongoing prayers for you all at this time.

God bless,

Sue

Revd Sue Mann

17th April 2020

Dear All,

He is risen. He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I hope you were able to celebrate and know the joy of our Risen Lord, this Easter, albeit in a very different way from usual. Please know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, and those of Max, at this time.

There are some members of our church family for whom this Easter period has been a very sad time. Following the death of Peter Rood, at the end of March, Peter Moorse and, more recently, Glyn Jones have passed away. Please do keep Anita, Diane and Judy and their families in your prayers at this difficult time.

For those of you able to access technology, we had an Easter Day Communion Service which was recorded and is available on the Church website; you can find it, if you haven’t already seen it, by going to hobnob.org.uk/watch The talk I gave as part of that service is the other email attachment in addition to this one or, for those of you who receive this information by post, it is on another piece of paper in the same envelope.

The livestreamed Morning and Night Prayer, for those of you able to access this, continue on our Facebook page @HOBNOBChurches and take place at 9am and 7.30pm respectively, every day apart from Sunday. Max has kindly agreed to lead this on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings. The link for the latest service booklet, also on Facebook, is https://cdn.hobnob.org.uk/uploads/2020/04/Morning-Prayer-for-the-Easter-Season.pdf or a paper version can be found in your envelope.

On Maundy Thursday, the Holy Communion Service which is normally held in the Cathedral, was held using Zoom, the video-conferencing platform, and Bishop Stephen presided from his home. On Easter Sunday, Bishop Stephen gave a farewell talk to the Diocese as he prepares to take up his post as Archbishop of York. We give thanks for Bishop Stephen’s ministry in our Diocese over the past 10 years and wish him God’s blessing in his new post. Do keep Bishop Stephen and his wife, Rebecca, in your prayers at this time and please also pray for the committee who are seeking God’s guidance to appoint the right person to serve us as our new Bishop in this Diocese. You can find Bishop Stephen’s farewell speech at https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/news/article/a-farewell-to-bishop-stephen

We are all in uncertain times, but the one thing that remains the same is God. The Church buildings remain closed but the Church still remains very active. One Church member has very kindly paid for a new poster to go on Orsett’s new notice board and it reads ‘Hope is alive.’

Let’s hold on to the hope of Easter, and the God who will never leave nor forsake us.

Take care and God bless,

Sue