Sue Mann

20th January 2024

Dear Everyone,

As we enter February, our Church Council, the PCC, will be going to Mulberry House, in Brentwood, to pray and consider how we, as a church, can continue on our journey to be as inclusive as possible. So With this in mind, we welcomed the Revd Mike Nelson, from Twydall in Kent, to one of our morning services in January to speak to us about his church’s journey to become an ‘Inclusive Church.’

The ‘Inclusive Church’ statement says,

“We believe in inclusive church – a church which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate.

We will continue to challenge the church where it continues to discriminate against people on grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality.

We believe in a Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”

Whether or not we are a member of ‘Inclusive Church,’ it is important that our doors are open to all and that each person who walks over the threshold feels welcomed, loved and valued. That means we are called to love our neighbours, especially those who don’t look like us, think like us, speak like us, pray like us or vote like us. Jesus loved everyone without exception. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’

And so that is what we, as Christians, are called to do.

In the Parish, we try hard to be as inclusive as possible and really do hope you feel welcome when you come along to church, or to church activities, although we recognise that we may not always get it right. So, if there is something we could do to make your experience of church more comfortable or welcoming, please do  let me, one of our wardens or a member of the PCC know.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With love and prayers,