FOREST CHURCH, Bulphan, Sat 01 May

On Saturday 1st May, we gathered around a fire in Bulphan Churchyard for Forest Church. It was great to be able to meet again. We thought about St George and his fight against evil. We made swords which, upturned, became crosses and reflected upon the demons we fight in our own lives but how, with God’s strength we can overcome them and we listened to two short passages from the Message Version of the Bible.

Deuteronomy 31: 6

6 Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

Ephesians 6: 13-17

3-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.


Do join us for our next Forest Church which will be in Orsett Churchyard on Saturday 5th June at 4pm. All ages are welcome. Please wrap up warm and bring something to sit on.

Sue Mann

29th April 2021

On Easter Day, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ in Orsett Church. It was wonderful to be able to worship together in person again. May is another busy month in the church calendar.

On Rogation Sunday, the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labours of those who produce our food. A common feature of Rogation days was the ceremony of beating the bounds, in which a procession of parishioners, led by the minister and churchwardens would proceed around the boundary of their parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year. As it is no longer practical to follow exact boundaries, services have a focus on specific elements of creation such as livestock, fields, orchards and gardens. This year we will celebrate Rogation Sunday on 9th May at Orsett Church.

On Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter, we remember Jesus leaving this earth and returning to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Ascension Day will be celebrated in our Tuesday Morning Holy Communion Service on 11th May at 9.30am at Horndon Church.

In between Ascension Day and Pentecost, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ takes place. It is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. Since its start in May 2016, God has grown Thy Kingdom Come from a dream of possibility into a movement. Christians from 172 countries have taken part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come we are encouraged to :

  • Deepen our own relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus.
  • Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness.

And then, at Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter. The name comes from the Greek word, ‘pentekoste,’ which means fiftieth. Pentecost is also regarded as the birthday of the Christian Church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world. This year Pentecost falls on Sunday 23rd May and we will be celebrating it at Bulphan Church.

Christian Aid Week also takes place in May and will focus on the issue of Climate Change.

‘This climate crisis hurts us all. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it every day. From drought to flooding, climate change robs people of control over their lives.’ Christian Aid

If you would like to contribute to the work of Christian Aid, you can do this by giving through our online envelope, details of which can be found later in the magazine. Last year we raised over £600 through our e-envelope. It would be great if we could equal or even beat that total this year. Our service will be at Horndon Church on Sunday 16th May.

We will also be running an online SHAPE course during May and June to help people discover their God given gifts and how they might use them in God’ service. Do contact me if you are interested in participating in this course.

I would certainly challenge anyone who  says that being Christian is boring!

As ever, with love and prayers for you all.

Take care and God bless,


Easter Sunday 2021

Easter Sunday seemed to be an appropriate service celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and for many their journey back into church life, however that may look into the future. Hats off to all those at Orsett for the sterling work to make the service possible and to Sue for making it feel normal in these continuing bizarre times, even down to the traditional Easter egg hunt for the junior members of the congregation after the service. It was special day for 2 young people as they took their first Communion.

The link below to see some pictures taken

Sue Mann

29th March 2021

Recently, after some prayer and thought, I phoned two people up to ask them if they would consider doing something. Each of them responded by saying that they had been praying, asking God to open a door, that the timing was just right and so they said ‘yes.’

It is important that we spend time drawing close to God in prayer and that we not only speak but listen so that what we do is of God rather than out of a sense of guilt or obligation. It is said that it is no coincidence that God gave each of us one mouth and two ears!

Before lockdown, many of us were so busy! We live in a world where we often glorify the act of busyness but sometimes when we are rushing around, we push out that still small voice of God when, actually, what we need to say to God, in the words of Samuel in the Old Testament, is ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’

Julian of Norwich said,

‘…for that is what obedience is, listening, discerning and acting upon what one hears, through the motive power of love. St Benedict makes clear that obedience is a mutual exercise. We listen to God, we listen to each other, and to what the Spirit is saying to this little monastic church, from the least one in the community to the abbot.’

We are so glad to be back in church for Easter Day. And, although we have been worshipping online for the past year, the last Easter Day Service in church was two years ago and so it will be a joyous occasion, on April 4th, when we gather together. But we, as a church, need to be mindful about rushing back into everything just because that is how we did it before. We need to listen to God, to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

During lockdown, I have had the opportunity to listen to many different views about church services.  We also sent out a service questionnaire and with my colleague Max and with the support of the PCCs, we have adopted a new service pattern in the hope of engaging with as many people as possible in a manageable way. The new service plan can be found in the HOBNOB magazine. I believe it is an exciting time with new opportunities to embrace. Had we been asked 18 months ago to adopt the technology and different ways of worshipping many of us have now grown used to, most of us would have balked at the idea. But we have done it and I really believe that the Holy Spirit is calling us now into a new season which will incorporate some of the old and combine it with some new. Of course, as with any change, we will meet some challenges but we will continue listening to God as we go along and will make tweaks where necessary.  I invite you to come with us on this journey; a journey of listening, of hope and of discovering God afresh; a journey following God into the unknown, confident that when he calls us into pastures new, he will never let us go. After all, he is a God who loves each one of us so much that he was prepared to die on the cross for us, so that all of our sins and wrongdoing can be washed away for ever and so that each one of us can have a relationship with him. And, to finish, just to let you know, If you would like to find out more about Christianity or do a refresher course, we are hoping to hold an Alpha Course online in the near future. If this is something that you would be interested in please do let me know.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With love and prayers for you all.

God bless,


Mothering Sunday ~ 14th March 2021

On Mothering Sunday we hosted a service on Zoom. It was a joyful and also thought provoking service. We thought about the Mother Church being the largest Church in the area at which people historically worshipped on Mothering Sunday, we gave thanks for earthly mothers or those who have cared for us and we considered the mothering characteristics of Jesus. As part of the service, people were asked to draw a picture of a mother or someone who has shown them love and care and make a list of their mothering qualities. This picture is one of Janet, drawn by Dawn.