Revd Sue Mann

11th May 2020

Dear All,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Last night we were all eagerly anticipating Boris’ speech and the full details of the plans are yet to be revealed. But what we do know is that, whilst a few restrictions will be lifted, we are still in a time of uncertainty with significant social limitations in place.

If you have been joining in with Morning Prayer either on Facebook or on your own, you will know that the Lectionary Bible readings over the past two months have been from the book of Exodus when the Israelites were faced with the ten plagues and today we moved to the book of Numbers when the Israelites were travelling in the Sinai Desert. The instructions for the Israelites in the Desert were that when the cloud covered the camp, they were not allowed to travel, whether the cloud cover be for a day, a month or more. So they were, in effect, in lockdown for some of the time. The good news for the Israelites was that the plagues did pass and they did travel through the Desert and eventually reach the promised land but it required incredible patience and trust. And I think this offers some reassurance to us. Sometimes it is incredibly hard to trust when we are hurting and when some of us have lost loved ones along the way, isn’t it, but I do believe that, albeit bruised and hurting, with God’s help, we will come through this, together.

This week is Christian Aid Week. Yesterday, the Bible reading was about God preparing a place for each of his followers; a passage which we would normally associate with heaven as an after-life.  But, in my talk, I spoke about our world here on earth being God’s home and our need to care for our brothers and sisters across the globe.  ‘Love Unites all’ is the name for this year’s Christian Aid appeal, which is raising money to support countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, in their fight against the Coronavirus, by providing them with clean water supplies and sanitation facilities.  I have created a Christian Aid e-envelope in order for us to raise some money in this Benefice and have set a challenge for us to raise £300. Thank you to those who have already donated. So far, we have raised £210, although not all of this has been recorded on the e-envelope. I have spoken with Christian Aid about this and they have experienced some technical problems, so if you have contributed and your donation hasn’t registered on out Benefice total, if you would like to let me know, I can add your donation to the total amount and let people know at the end of the week how much as a Benefice we have really raised, although I appreciate that you may  wish to keep your contribution confidential. They have asked us to let them know if we experience any other problems so please let me know if you have any difficulty. If you would like to locate the e-envelope, it is at:

https://envelope.christianaid.org.uk/envelope/eyJlbnZlbG9wZSI6NDI3MSwgImNoYW5uZWwiOiJjb3B5In0=

If, however, you don’t have the facility to make a donation on-line, Christian Aid are happy for you to call them on 020 7523 2269.

Thank you for your continued donations to the foodbank; it is great to see how all the three villages are working together in this way.  I know the foodbank are very grateful for all the contributions. The things they currently need are, rice pudding, packet mashed potato, tinned spaghetti, jam, tinned carrots, biscuits, hot dogs, cooking sauces, squash (cordial) and tinned potatoes.  They have also asked for prayer for the physical health and well-being of all their volunteers in the warehouse and at the distribution centres. 

Please do keep the family of the Betty Tinworth, in your prayers. Betty’s graveside funeral, for close family members only, will be on Friday 22nd May at Horndon Cemetery at 1pm. Please also keep the Anderson family in your prayers, following Lisa’s dad’s sad passing away, and also Steve, (H) Steve, (O) and Lyn and Roy (H), and do let me know of any other prayer needs.

Take care and God bless you all.

With love and prayers,

Sue