Sue Mann

21st September 2023

Rectors Reflections

The past few weeks have been very busy, as the new academic year  has got underway, and I would particularly like to thank the churchwardens and the many others at church who continue to work so hard to ensure that everything happens as it should.

We have just celebrated Harvest. Thank you to all our local farmers for all their hard work over the past few weeks and to everyone at Church who helped to make our Harvest Services and Celebration a successful and enjoyable occasion and to everyone who brought donations for the Thurrock Foodbank. Of course, as we celebrate Harvest, we are mindful of the people of Morocco following their devastating earthquake and the people of Libya following their terrible flooding and we remain acutely aware of our responsibility to care for creation.  It is often those suffering the most, as a result of climate change, who have least contributed to it.

At the start of this academic year, we have just had notice of the Course in Christian Studies, CCS, run by Chelmsford Diocese. It is a great course, giving people the opportunity to meet with members of other churches and discuss many aspects of the Christian faith in a relaxed atmosphere.

‘Since it began in 1987, over 3000 people from Essex and East London have joined the Course in Christian Studies. What has it given them? What could it give you?

The excitement of discovery and learning together: members bring their own varied stories and experiences and share them, finding new truth in themselves and in each other through lively discussion. Knowledge of the Bible and of the huge riches of Christian tradition, nurtured by tutors and textbooks, and whetting members’ appetite for more knowledge – but not providing all the answers.

Delight in that biblical and Christian tradition, finding in it a field for imaginative and practical exploration, for wonder and worship and decision. Constructive reflection on the Bible and tradition and on the contemporary world: the Course does not shirk the hard questions posed by the Church’s history or by believing in God and seeking peace and justice today. Spiritual Formation of both the local group and its individual members: the Course does not set out to convert or evangelise, but it is concerned with the whole life of prayer and activity and relationships – not just with the mind.

For those who desire it, the Course also provides a foundation for further education or training. This could be other local courses; it could be a degree or diploma. Or it could be training for a specific ministry in the Church including the ministry of: Licensed Lay Minister, Authorised Local Preacher, Pastoral Assistant, Lay Evangelist, or Priest.’ Diane Hardy

CCS is available in local face to face groups or online and groups normally meet weekly. I thoroughly recommend the course and if you think this is something you may like to do, or you would like further information, I would be please to chat with you or put you in touch with someone from the Parish who has done the course. There are also some taster sessions, details of which are available later in the notices.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

take care and God bless,