19th June 2020
Over the past week I have been meeting with wardens to do risk assessments for when the church buildings re-open and I am pleased to let you know that, from the beginning of July, the churches in the Benefice will be open for funerals, albeit, with necessary restrictions in place, to enable social distancing etc. Because Bulphan Church is small with only one aisle, and unable to support a one-way system it will, at present, only be used for funeral services after which there is a burial in the churchyard.
With regard to churches opening for individual private prayer,
Bulphan will be open on Monday and Thursday mornings from 10am until 12.00, beginning on Monday 6th July.
Horndon will be open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 10am until 12.00 beginning on Tuesday 30th June. (Please note that whilst we fully intend, in the future, to reinstate the ‘open church’ coffee mornings,when safe to do so, at present this is not allowed and the church will be open for individual private prayer only.)
In addition, St John’s Church, Corringham, will be open on Wednesday mornings from 10am until 12.00, beginning on Wednesday 1st July and St Margaret’s Church, Stanford-le-Hope, will be open on Friday mornings at the same time, beginning on Friday 3rd July.
You may remember a few weeks ago, I sent you some information about the discernment process to appoint our new Bishop of Chelmsford. I hope that some of you might have sent a response, and, if you have, thank you for taking the time to pray and consider this. If you haven’t had a chance to do it yet, there is still an opportunity and I am planning to send a response from our Benefice at the end of June so would be grateful for any answers to the questions below by next Friday 26th June. It is important that we send our views so, even if you only have an answer to one of the questions, please send it to me and I will make sure I include it with our submission. You can email me, phone, or put a note through the door. The questions are,
- Can you tell us what you value most about the Church in your community as well as across Essex and East London?
- What challenges does the Church face in East London and Essex as we seek to share the Good News of Jesus?
- What wider issues would you like our next Bishop of Chelmsford to be passionate about?
- What qualities, skills or leadership characteristics will our next Bishop of Chelmsford require?
- What kind of person will our next Bishop of Chelmsford need to be (particularly as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic)?
- What else would you like to tell us?
The Lectionary Readings for the week beginning 22nd June are, as follows.
|Day||Morning Prayer||Evening Prayer|
|Monday 22nd Alban, first martyr of Britain, c250||Psalm: 44, Judges 2, Luke 13: 1-9||Psalm: 47, Job 19, Romans 9: 1-18|
|Tuesday 23rd Etheldra, abbess, c678. 1st EP of Birth of John the Baptist||Psalm: 48, Judges 4: 1-23 Luke 12: 13-21||Psalm: 71, Judges 13: 2-7,24-end Luke 1: 5-25|
|Wednesday 24th Birth of John the Baptist Ember Day||Psalms: 50, 149, Ecclesiasticus 48: 1-10, Luke 3: 1-17||Psalms: 80, 82, Malachi 4 Matthew 11: 2-19|
|Thursday 25th||Psalm: 57, Judges 6: 1-24 Luke 14: 1-11||Psalm: 62, Job: 23 Romans 10: 11-end|
|Friday 26th Ember Day||Psalm: 51, Judges 6: 25-end Luke 14: 12-24||Psalm: 38, Job 24 Romans 11: 1-12|
|Saturday 27th Cyril, bishop, teacher of the faith, 444. Ember Day||Psalm: 68, Judges 7 Luke 14: 25-end||Psalm: 66, Job 25-26 Romans: 11: 13-24|
Also, to let you know that, if you are unable to access our online services at hobnob.org.uk/watch or our Facebook services @HOBNOBChurches, you can access Daily Hope, a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers, on 0800 8048044, and when you phone you will hear a welcome message from the Archbishop of Canterbury!!
Items urgently needed at the Foodbank this week are brown sauce, gravy granules, jelly, ketchup, sponge puddings and toiletries. Thank you, so much, for your ongoing practical and prayer support; it is greatly appreciated.
Local prayer needs this week include Nicola, Hazel, Dave, Steve, Steve, Jane, Dawn, Lyn and Roy. Please also continue to pray for those recently bereaved, including our former Archdeacon, Mina, and her husband, Chris, following the tragic death of their two daughters in a London park. Please pray for our local area coordinators and local councillors. As well as being Father’s Day, this Sunday is Refugee Sunday, when we are called to hold before God all those who flee to other countries, or are internally displaced within their own country, due to famine, plagues, war, persecution, discrimination, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, or to escape dire poverty. We are asked to pray for all organisations, churches and communities who are working tirelessly to care for refugees. Other prayer requests, as part of the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, are for the Anglican Church in Nigeria and the Most Revd Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, Metropolitan and Primate, and, of course, the current discernment process to find the right person to serve us as the Bishop of Chelmsford and East London.
As ever, please continue to let me know about any prayer or pastoral needs; please be assured of my prayers for all of you and know that each one of you is deeply loved by God.
Take care and God bless,