Lent lunches will be provided on the following dates and venues

This year we are holding them in each village of the Parish, to give more people the opportunity to join us

(all Saturdays, starting at 12 noon to 1.30pm : last serving at 1pm)

4th March – Orsett Churches Centre, Orsett

11th March – Parish Room, Bulphan Church

18th March – The Woolmarket, High Road, Horndon on the Hill (CHANGE OF VENUE)

25th March – Orsett Church (CHANGE OF VENUE)

1st April – Parish Room, Bulphan Church

The menu will be a hearty soup (vegetarian), a chunk of French stick loaf, an apple and a (Fairtrade) hot drink.

Those attending are encouraged to donate what they would have spent on a lunch.

At the lunch we will be selling raffle tickets for a hamper of Fairtrade goods.

All monies will be donated to the Great Green Wall Project. The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 5000 mile (8000km) natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa. More details can be found at


Sue Mann

14th February 2023

Rector’s Reflections

Dear Everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather.

I am pleased to announce that we have two new wardens. Alastair Macrae, who has served as Churchwarden at Horndon, has now been appointed Churchwarden with primary responsibility for Bulphan and Beverley Macrae has been appointed as a new Churchwarden at Horndon, alongside Sonia Ward. It is great to have 6 Churchwardens again. Please do keep Bev and Alastair in your prayers as they undertake these new roles.

Since my article last month, the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England, has met. One of the items on the agenda, as I mentioned in my February article, was a discussion and subsequent vote on whether to offer same-sex blessings in the Church of England. The outcome of this was, as follows:

The Church of England’s General Synod has supported a motion, welcoming proposals that would enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing.

Synod members also voted to “lament and repent” of the failure of the Church to welcome LGBTQI+ people and for the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced – and continue to experience – in churches.

A motion which details and recognises a series of proposals put forward by the bishops on human identity and marriage was agreed by majorities in the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity after a landmark debate over two days.’

Our Diocesan Bishop, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis- Dehqani said:

“I welcome today’s vote from General Synod whilst at the same time recognising that this has been and continues to be a very painful process for many people. I know that for some these prayers have not gone far enough and for others they represent too much change.

“As a College and House of Bishops, we have listened carefully, as was the intention, and we are committed to ongoing discussion. We have particularly heard the importance of guarding the consciences of those who will not be able to use these prayers.

“My ongoing commitment, together with our Area Bishops and the other members of the Bishop’s Leadership Team, is to promote and encourage a way of travelling well together, despite the differences in what we believe, and despite the inevitable pain those differences cause.”

Prayers are now being put together which will be able to be used by churches who offer them, for couples who have marked a significant stage of their relationship such as a civil marriage or civil partnership. I am unsure, at this stage, as to when these will be available, but will keep you posted regarding further developments as they happen.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing some of you at our monthly Lent Lunches which will  continue throughout March, on Saturdays at 12.00, the proceeds of which will be going towards the Great Green Wall, a tree planting project in Africa. Please look on our notice sheet for details of where they are. There is no need to book-just turn up.

Do continue to let me know about any prayer or pastoral needs.

Take care and God bless,


Café Church – Orsett (Sunday 29th January)

As part of the growing repertoire of 5th Sunday afternoon services, we held the first Café Church at Orsett at 4pm on Sunday 29th January.

Café Church is an informal service with activities, where cakes and drinks are available and consumed during the service.

The service was based around Candlemas which marks Jesus being presented at the Temple, as a baby. Candlemas is actually on February 2nd and is 40 days after Christmas Day.  In the past it was the day that candles were blessed for use through the year.

The service was split into 2 parts with activities between them, which gave more opportunity for cake to be eaten.  Moji delivered a talk and told us about power cuts in Nigeria, which can last weeks and people have to be resourceful, as they have no idea how long it will last.  Which as annoying as the power cuts we experience are, when they last a few hours they are a minor inconvenience by comparison.

If you would like to join us for a different and less formal worship experience keep your eyes peeled for details the next 5th Sunday afternoon service which will be on April 30th.  Venue and type to be notified in due course

Sue Mann

22nd January 2023

You may be aware that over the past few years the Church of England has been engaging with a project entitled Living in Love and Faith which has explored the subject of sexuality.

I was involved personally by leading, with another clergy colleague, a 5-week course looking at Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. Several people from the Parish of Horndon, Orsett and Bulphan attended this course. The sessions included a time of watching videos where people of varying sexual orientations and genders shared something of their life stories and their faith. This was followed by discussion and prayer.

The purpose of this course was both to promote better understanding between people of different sexualities and differing theological viewpoints and to help the General Synod (the Church of England Governing Body) to make a decision regarding same sex marriage within the church. I think it is fair to say that nearly everyone who attended the course found it to be a positive experience.

Recently, many of you will have read in the news that the Church of England is proposing to bless same sex partnerships in the future, a decision conditional upon this proposal receiving a majority vote at General Synod in February.

I  will be able to give you further details about this in March after the General Synod has met.

But I felt it important, at this time, to reassure you that everyone is welcome at our three parish churches.

“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, confused, well-heeled or down at heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers.

We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You’re welcome here if you’re just ‘browsing’, just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury or haven’t been to church since Christmas ten years ago.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet and to teenagers who are growing up too fast.

We welcome keep-fit parents, football fanatics, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians and junk food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps or don’t like ‘organised religion’

We offer a warm welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, can’t spell or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids or got lost  with a dodgy satnav and wound up here by mistake.

We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters…and you! “

Seen at Coventry Cathedral

And in the words of a song we often sing: ‘All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.’

With love and prayers,


Sue Mann

19th December 2022

Rector’s Reflections

One of the privileges for me, over the Christmas period, was to hear a beautiful song sung by children in our schools.

Some of the words are:

If a wise man knows where the Saviour’s born,

guided by a shining star

to the world he shows why he came so far

understanding who you are

What can I bring, what can I sing

to honour you my friend and king?

Who can describe this love of mine

the holy Saviour so divine?

When a child is born and the reason why

is to love this broken world,

how can I repay? Can the only way

be to love him in return?

Taken from ‘What can I bring’ from ISing Christmas

These words are particularly appropriate in the season of Epiphany which we celebrate this month, marking the visit of the Wise Men, or Magi, to Jesus. We often see images of three of them, although we don’t actually know how many of them there were. The number three probably corresponds with the number of gifts which were, of course, gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold represented kingship, frankincense – worship and myrrh – death and dying; a foretaste of what was to come. Needless to say, these would all have been very expensive gifts.

I don’t know about you, but as we start a new year, I often set many resolutions only to find that halfway through the first month I have failed in at least half of them.

This year, instead of creating a huge, long list, it is my plan simply to ask God in my prayer time each morning, ‘What can I bring to honour you?’ We all know that the best gift we can give anyone is love, and our relationship with God is no different, so really, in saying those words, I will be asking God how best I can love him.

Love sometimes requires sacrifices and our love for God is no different. This means when we follow God, we are sometimes called to make difficult choices, to say no to things we have previously done or to commit to taking on something new. The book of Hebrews in the Bible is written for Christians who are being persecuted for their faith. We don’t know who wrote it, but it urges them on in their faith, listing heroes of faith in the past, describing them as a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ and at the end of the letter, the Christians are reassured by the words of Jesus, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’

This year, I encourage you to step out in faith and ask Jesus what you can bring to honour him. Love takes many forms but it is my firm belief that we all have something to offer and that following Jesus is the most exciting things we can ever do.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Take care and God bless,