Sue Mann

22nd November 2022

Following the celebration of All Saints and All Souls, followed by Remembrance and then Christ the King, we are now in Advent, the period of waiting and anticipation as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, later in the month.

Every year, for the past few years, the Church of England has provided some useful resources to help us to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. These resources come under the umbrella, ‘Follow the Star.’ This year, the focus is ‘The Great Invitation,’ the purpose of which is ‘encouraging everyone to share the joy of gathering together to celebrate the birth of Jesus with their family, friends and neighbours-especially after two years where this has been impossible for many.’ (C of E Website)

Follow the Star: The Great Invitation consists of 12 reflections from a range of authors who will share personal stories exploring themes of invitation. These reflections will be starting on Christmas Eve and continuing daily (Monday to Saturday) until the Epiphany (6 January) and are designed to help us all make space to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. On each of the 12 days, a different contributor will share something that speaks of a Christmas invitation for them, bringing the theme to life through a mixture of personal story, Bible reading, reflection and challenge.

These reflections will be made available freely via:

  • email
  • audio
  • app with accompanying resources for children and families

You will find more information about these and other Christmas resources by going to

I have also ordered some of these reflections in booklet form for those of you without access to technology, including a few large print versions for anyone who would find this helpful. If you would like one of these, they will be available at the back of all three churches. Any donation towards the cost of a booklet would be greatly appreciated.

I encourage you to invite your neighbours and members of your local community to one of our in-person gatherings this Christmas, to hear the Christmas story and be welcomed into the love of Jesus. We have a variety of services both in church and at other local venues including The Swan Pub in Horndon, The Foxhound Pub in Orsett and another drive-in service at Arden Hall Farm in Horndon. Everyone is most welcome at any or all of the services. Please keep an eye on the posters for details.

I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

With love and prayers,


Sue Mann

20th October 2022

Thank you to everyone who donated food for the foodbank at Harvest time. As a result of your generosity, we were able to take 396 kgs of food to the Foodbank to help those who are struggling financially at this time. Thank you, also, to those who decorated the churches so beautifully and to the farmers who provided seeds and wheat to display in our churches, and to those who provided refreshments after our Harvest services.

We know that this winter is not going to be easy for many people so, if you are able to continue supporting the Foodbank do remember that we have collection points for food in all three villages.  

Over the past few weeks, we have also been doing an Alpha Course at the Woolmarket in Horndon. The course is due to finish in mid-November. I would like to thank all those who have made running this course possible.

The Alpha Course is designed to help people understand more about what it means to follow Jesus. It began in 1977 at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton and by 2017, over 26,000,000 people had tried Alpha in 100 countries and in over 100 languages and the number has increased since then.

Each Alpha session begins with cake and refreshments followed by a video and then we split into small groups for an informal discussion.

 At each Alpha Course, the following topics are covered:

  • Is there more to life than this?
  • Who is Jesus
  • Why did Jesus die?
  • How can I have faith?
  • Why and how do I pray?
  • Why and how should I read the Bible?
  • How does God guide us?
  • Who is the Holy Spirit?
  • What does the Holy Spirit do?
  • How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
  • How can I make the most of the rest of my life?
  • How can I resist evil?
  • Why and how should I tell others?
  • Does God heal today?
  • What about the Church?

Our course included a special day at Mulberry House, Essex in October.

It always is a privilege to walk alongside people on their faith journeys.

If you think you might be interested in attending an Alpha Course in the future, please do let me know.

I look forward to seeing you soon. Don’t forget our Remembrance Services on 12th and 13th November.

Take care and God bless,


Moji – Ordained Priest & first Communion

Saturday 1st October was a major moment in Moji Jaiyesimi’s clerical life as it was the day she was Ordained as a Priest having successfully completed her year as a Deacon and served her “apprenticeship” as a Curate in the Parish.

Moji joined 4 other Ordinands at St Andrew’s in Basildon to be ordained priest by Bishop of Bradwell Dr John Perumbalath.

Now Ordained, Moji can take all day to day services that churches offer.

After the service Moji surprised us with a veritable feast, od sausage rolls, filled rolls, cake, fruit, crisps and drink, which we were assured in the Nigerian tradition of sharing food and ensuring everyone is well fed

Sunday 2nd October Moji undertook her first Communion service at Orsett. It seems to be something of a tradition that the first service a newly Ordained priest to preside over is a communion where for the first time they say the Eucharistic prayer and preparing the elements, bread and wine for communicants to take. Until ordained as a priest this is the service that they can only assist with.  Needless to say that Moji got through this with no problems and now can fully assist Sue and Max, taking more services and help share the load.

After the service it was the congregation’s time to show it’s love for Moji with plentiful refreshments including a splendid, decorated cake and the presentation of a travelling Communion set.  Which we are certain will be most useful.

Sue Mann

21st September 2022

Following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard, to ring the bells and to open the churches for people to come and say prayers, light a candle or sign a book of condolence.

During the period of mourning, we held services of prayer and thanksgiving for the life of the Queen during which, together, we considered,

  • What stands out in our memories about The Queen?
  • What we will always remember about her?
  • What we learned through her life and death, including about God in Jesus Christ?

I reflected that the things for me that most stand out and which I will always remember about Queen Elizabeth II are her loyalty, her servanthood and her faith.

We have all heard those words which she spoke  on her 21st Birthday, when she said:

‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong.’

She honoured that commitment until her dying day. And people respect her for that; for her integrity and loyalty.

Queen Elizabeth was a Christian. And I believe that her reign was a success because it was underpinned by her deep faith in God. She knew who was Lord of her life, who was sovereign and ruler of all. She knew who to thank, who to turn to for guidance and who was her strength when things got tough.

It was so moving to see the thousands of people drawn to London to pay their respects and lay flowers, after which they returned home to continue with their everyday lives and the Royal family were afforded some space to grieve in private.

Of course, most of the beautiful floral tributes will have, by now, withered but memories of the much-loved Queen will live on and be passed down through the generations. It is my prayer that through the Queen’s life and death, people will be pointed to the one under whom she served and the one who reigns over all, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Because Jesus Christ, lives on for eternity and is there for each one of us, just  as he was for the Queen and will be for King Charles and future monarchs. He is there for all, whatever our personal circumstances or social class.

The Queen unfailingly honoured her commitment to devote her whole life to the service of her people. When we become Christians, we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, the greatest servant of all, and it is certainly my prayer that my commitment to Jesus Christ will be as honourable as her late Majesty’s was to God and to us.

With love and prayers,


Orsett Show 2022

Clergy and church members from across the Thurrock Deanery came together at the Orsett Show on Saturday September 3rd to promote the work of the church in the borough.

The Deanery tents offered a range of free refreshments and activities for children; glitter tattoos, plate decorating, biscuit decorating and colouring, which were thoroughly engaged in and enjoyed.

There was opportunity for people to speak to those present from the Deanery and those who wished, a quiet space for prayer or reflection.

The Deanery also played host to Thurrock Food Bank who were raising funds and raising awareness of their work.