Category Archives: Rector’s Reflections

Revd Sue Mann

22nd May 2020

Dear All,

I hope you are well. I have seen a few more of you since the lockdown restrictions have been slightly relaxed.

Although Ascension Day was on Thursday 21st May, we are celebrating it on Sunday 24th May. Do remember that Ascension Day marked the beginning of the global prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come, which takes place between 21st and 31st May,  during which period we are encouraged to pray for  people we know, to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Now we are out of the Easter Season, we will return to Morning Prayer for Ordinary Time. Those of you who receive this letter by post will have received Morning and Evening Prayer for Ordinary Time when the lockdown began and, for those of you who receive this letter by email, you should have also got the new version of Morning Prayer attached to your email.

The Lectionary Readings for the coming week are:

DayMorning PrayerEvening Prayer
Monday 25th May The Venerable BedeNumbers 22 1-35 Luke  7 36-endDeuteronomy 31 1-13 1 John  2 18-end
Tuesday 26th May Augustine ArchbishopNumbers 22 36- 23 -12 Luke 8 1-15Deuteronomy  31n14-29 1John 3 1-10
Wednesday 27th MayNumbers 23 13-end Luke 8 16-25Deuteronomy 31 30 – 32- 14 1 John 3 11-end
Thursday 28th  May Lanfranc Monk ArchbishopNumbers 24 Luke 8 26-39 Deuteronomy 32 15-47 1 John 4 1-6
Friday 29th MayNumbers 27 12-end Luke 8 40-endDeuteronomy 33 1 John 4 7-end
Saturday 30th May Josephine Butler Social ReformerNumbers 32 1-27 Luke  9 1-17Deuteronomy 16 9-15 John 15 26- 16-5

Thank you for your continued support of the foodbank. This week they need tinned peas, packet mashed potato, tinned carrots, tea bags, tinned potatoes, cordial (squash), custard and rice pudding. The foodbank are thankful for the blessings  they have received in donations of food and money and they request prayers for their volunteers and their continued good health and, of course, prayers for their clients and their situations, each of them known to God.

Please also continue to pray for Roy and Lyn (H), Dave (H), Steve (O), Steve, (H),  and also the Anderson Family, and the family of Jazz, following their recent bereavements, as well as the many others that have lost loved family members and friends over the past few weeks.

Prayer needs, further afield, include the homeless, following the Government’s recent decision to  cut the additional funding they  provided at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Please also continue to pray for those affected by the cyclone in India and Bangladesh and the families of those killed or injured as a result of the Pakistan Airline plane crash and, of course, an easing of the tensions between Hong Kong and China.

Following Boris Johnson’s talk a couple of weeks ago, there has been a lot of speculation regarding churches and when we might return to worship in our buildings. Although it has been said this may take place at the beginning of July, and that small weddings may even be allowed from the beginning of June, there has been no official guidance from the Church of England yet, as they are reliant upon Government advice. All I do know is that Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London, who is part of the working committee to discuss this, has stated that church worship is unlikely to return to normal  for some time. However, I will wait  to receive specific guidance from the Church of England, before I impart any information!

Don’t forget our online Sunday service at 10am at

Please do let me know of any other prayer and pastoral needs and I look forward to hearing from you or maybe seeing you, albeit at a distance, soon.

Take care and God bless,


Revd Sue Mann

18th May 2020

Dear All,

Yesterday, it was the 6th Sunday of Easter. Those weeks seem to have passed by quickly, with so much happening.

Our focus for yesterday’s service was John 14: 15-21 and Max led a game of Simon Says and spoke about God’s love for us and  the need to follow Jesus’ commandments. This is Max’s summary of his talk:

‘As Christians there are lots of religious things we don’t have to do, like following the rules of Shabbat, or the Jewish food restrictions. But when Jesus says do something, we should do it. This is because as his people we should love him, and if we love him we will do what he asks. 

If Simon says stand on one leg and rub you belly in an anti-clockwise circle while patting your head, that would be very hard. Try it for yourselves! Likewise, Jesus wants us to do some very hard things, like forgiving people and loving people we may not even like. But because we love him, we have to try. This is how we get to know Jesus better.’

One way of showing our love for God and for others is in our giving, and it is great news that, after setting up our Christian Aid online giving envelope last week, where our target was £300, this Benefice has raised between £550 and £600 for the Christian Aid Coronavirus Appeal to help Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa by providing clean water, good sanitation and medical supplies. Thank you, so much, for all your contributions; I recognise that some of you may have also sent a cheque or donated by phone.

Thank you, also, for your contributions to the Foodbank; this Benefice is doing a great job! This week they need tinned potatoes, sponge puddings, snack meat, eg. ravioli, sausages in beans, spaghetti bolognaise, cooking sauces (korma, sweet ‘n’ sour, mushroom, hunter’s chicken, chilli con carne, honey and mustard etc,) hot chocolate, tinned carrots, mashed potato and tinned spaghetti.  They also need some large sized nappies.

You may have heard that priests are now able to go into churches to pray if they live close by and are able to stream services from their churches. However, congregations are not able to worship in churches at the moment and for this and a number of other, largely practical, reasons, I have decided to continue recording our services from The Rectory and will lead services from church at such a time when we are able to worship together.

Just a reminder that it is Betty’s funeral service in Horndon, this Friday at 1pm. The same restrictions as before apply, but I am sure that if anyone feels able to stand in the road to offer their support,  Eddie, Lin and the family would appreciate it. Please do hold them all in your prayers

at this difficult time. And please do continue to pray for Roy and Lyn (H), Dave (H), Steve (O)  and the Anderson Family, following their recent bereavement.

On the subject of prayer, Ascension Day, this Thursday, (which we will actually be celebrating at our online 10am Sunday Morning Service on Sunday 24th May), marks the beginning of the Church of England’s Thy Kingdom Come initiative. Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day (21st May) and Pentecost (31st May) for more people to come to know Jesus. I invite you to join with me in doing that. If you would like some resources to help you with this, you can find information by clicking on this link:

Also, the Lectionary Bible readings for this week are:

DayMorning PrayerEvening Prayer
Monday 18th May  Numbers 16 1-35 Luke 6 27-38Deuteronomy 26 1 Peter 4 1-11
Tuesday 19th DayNumbers 16 36-end Luke 6 39-endDeuteronomy 28 1-14 1 Peter 4 12-end
Wednesday 20th May  Numbers 17 1-11 Luke 5  7 1-102 Samuel 23 1-5 Colossians 2 20- 3 -4
Thursday 21st  May   Ascension DayIsaiah  52 7-end Hebrews 7 26-end2 Kings 2 1-15 Mark 16 14-end
Friday 22nd MayNumbers 20 1-13 Luke 7 11-17Deuteronomy  29 2-15 1 John 1 1- 2 -6
Saturday 23rd MayNumbers 21 4-9 Luke  7 18 -35Deuteronomy 30 1 John 2 7 -17

And if you have been using the Morning and Evening Prayer booklets,  Ascension Day would be the time  to revert back to the original Morning and Evening Prayer booklets which I delivered when the lockdown begun.

Take care, do let me know  of any prayer needs,  or practical needs, particularly relating to gardening, as  one couple have kindly offered their help, and I look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future.

With love and prayers,



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:

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,


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, 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,


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 and, for the Facebook page, please send it to

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,


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