Revd Sue Mann

6th April 2020

Dear All,

I hope you continue to stay well. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

Morning Prayer and Night Prayer/Compline are continuing to be live-streamed on Facebook at fb.me/HOBNOBChurches, from Monday to Saturday, at 9am and 7.30pm respectively. Thank you to those of you who have been joining in, either on Facebook or, if you don’t have Facebook, in the quietness of your own home. It has been great to welcome new members into our worshipping community at this time. If anyone has news they would like shared or particular needs or prayer requests, please do let me know by phoning or emailing me: 01375 891254 or rectorsue@hobnob.org.uk

This Sunday, 5th April, at 10am there will be another service on the website; this week it will be a Family Service, for Palm Sunday, which you will be able to find at hobnob.org.uk/watch. Please join in online if you are able to, ready with scissors and paper to make palm crosses!

With regard to Sunday worship, the Bishops have given permission for clergy to receive the sacraments on behalf of congregations at home communion services, and they have also relaxed the rule which states that there must be a service of Holy Communion every week. The fact that priests, currently, are permitted to receive communion on behalf of their congregations has had a mixed reception from both clergy and laity to the extent that some vicars have decided not to offer this at all and I respect colleagues who have made that decision at this time. It is very much my theological understanding that Holy Communion is a corporate act of worship where the role of the priest is to preside to enable a congregation to receive together, rather than to celebrate on behalf of the congregation. However, I also recognise that the Holy Communion Service is important for many church members so it is my intention to continue offering an online Holy Communion Service, albeit with its limitations, within a 3 weekly service rotation which will include a Family Service and Morning Praise. This will, hopefully, enable us to maintain a pattern of worship similar to that which we normally have and, therefore, allow us to continue to be inclusive.

There have been many prayer resources produced by the Church of England that you can access on their website, which now includes resources for Holy Week. These can be found at https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/holyweekathome

During the week, Max also hopes to share some reflections on the Stations of the Cross.

In addition to the resources already available, you can find an order of service for spiritual communion and information on possible ways of giving to the Church at this time here on the website.

Thank you for your continued support of the foodbank. If you are able to go out for exercise, to drop off food, the foodbank still needs semi-skimmed long-life milk; long-life fruit juice; tinned tomatoes; tinned fish and mashed potatoes. There are collection boxes at 24, Church Lane, Bulphan; 1, Lion Cottages, Horndon and The Rectory, School Lane Orsett. Thank you for your support of this.

Let’s keep praying for an end to this horrendous coronavirus pandemic and for a healing of the damage it has, and continues to, cause, but let’s also look for and join in with the work that God is doing in the midst of this.

God bless, Sue

Footprints In The Sand

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it:
“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me.”
The LORD replied:
“My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Carolyn Joyce Carty