Easter 2021 at St Mary’s

St Mary's In the Sun

This Easter 2021 update from St Mary’s starts with a message from Revd Anne and also includes:

… and the usual listings of services and contacts but first:

Revd Anne’s Easter Message

You may be reading this article around Eastertime, or a little earlier. It’s at Easter that Christians the world over celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection, and are reminded of God’s free gift of forgiveness and love. In the Bible we read,

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Corinthians 13:4-8

The defining characteristic

Easter Love

Love is the defining characteristic of God’s presence and should be the defining characteristic of ourselves too. But however hard we try to live up to these words—being patient, kind, not envious or proud, always protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering—we will fail in some way or other. But God’s love never fails. And it’s an unconditional love that is present both in this world and the next. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to live among us, and it was when Jesus gave His life for each one of us, for everyone in the world, that He was able to make us right with God.

Mixed emotions…

When something happens that shakes our lives, when we experience personal difficulties, or when something like the pandemic impacts the world, we can experience many mixed emotions—sorrow, anger, confusion, and perhaps feelings of despair and hopelessness. The week before Jesus was arrested and crucified He ensured that He spent time with His disciples to reassure them about His love, and what would happen after He died. He said to them,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

John 14:1

Signs of hope

And as we look around us there are signs of hope—daffodils are flowering, buds are appearing on trees, we are travelling along the Government Roadmap to a time when we will be able to meet up again, and the Covid vaccine is being rolled out in great numbers.

My prayer is that we are not troubled, anxious or afraid but that we know how much God loves us and that we experience hope and peace.

Revd Anne Mason, Assistant Curate

An Easter Blessing

Happy Easter

May you feel Christ’s love in your heart and be filled with His Peace and Joy this Easter Season, and always.

Happy Easter, with love from all at St Mary’s.

Easter 2021 Services & Events

We will be holding an indoor, gathered service on Easter Day @ 10 am which will also be broadcast live on Zoom. If you would like to attend in person, please book your place by emailing [email protected] by 31 March. The service will begin with an informal family-friendly talk and end with a short communion.

Numbers will be limited to about 25 due to social distancing measures. Please wear a mask.

Our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will be on Zoom only. All are very welcome to join us and you can obtain the zoom meeting codes from Jo in the church office, email: [email protected]

Look out also for the donkey and illuminated cross which will be appearing outside the church in front of the porch from Palm Sunday!

Finally, look out for publicity on Facebook about our family-friendly Muddy Church Easter Trail in Hillhouse Woods from 29 March.

Muddy Church Adventure – Free, Fun, Family Activity

Muddy Church Adventure

Organised by St Mary’s Church, West Bergholt at Hillhouse Woods, West Bergholt – from Monday 29 March.

Follow a fun QR Code trail around the woods! The trail will be marked out on a map, and QR codes on the map link to activities, videos and photos connecting nature and the Easter story.

The map will be available to download from our website from 29th March. If you are not able to access QR codes, paper copies of the trail are available from the church office on Monday 9 am-12 pm or Tues-Fri 9 am-1 pm (except Good Friday and Easter Monday).

Muddy Church - questions for kids

If you can solve the puzzle at the end of the trail, then bring your solution to St Mary’s Church Office on Saturday 10 April between 10 am – 12 noon to claim your Easter Egg prize!

As It Says

Some of the paths are very  muddy so please wear suitable footwear. Please also observe social distancing rules and stay on the marked paths so as not to damage the bluebells coming up at the moment.

Church Open for Private Prayer

We are very pleased to announce that the church is open again for private prayer on weekday mornings during church office opening times.

Appointing a New Priest In Charge

Following Rev Mandy’s retirement, the process has begun to find a new Priest in Charge for our parishes. The proposal is that the new incumbent would cover the six rural parishes of West Bergholt, Great Horkesley and Langham with Boxted, Little Horkesley, Mount Bures, and Wormingford. Messages from our Church Wardens and the Archdeacon of Colchester, giving more details, are below.

A Message from Archdeacon Ruth

Bishop Roger and I met with Churchwardens, ministers, and PCC (Parochial Church Council) members in late January to have an initial conversation about your forthcoming vacancy.  It was so encouraging to hear about all that you do to minister to your parishes and to celebrate all that Mandy brought into your shared life.  It was good, too, to hear the hopes that you have for your future and how you long to continue reaching out to your communities in new and established ways. 

Please be assured that Bishop Roger and I do not want you to have a long vacancy.  We also remain convinced that greater collaboration between the rural parishes in North Colchester will be mutually beneficial.  To explore what this might be like, we held a joint meeting with friends from Wormingford and Mount Bures with Little Horkesley who have been in vacancy since John Chandler retired in October 2019. 


We have to be prudent about our resources as a diocese at the moment.  There are things we can move forward with in confidence and there are others that we cannot.  We can move forward confidently with recruiting a Priest in Charge of your six parishes: Langham with Boxted, West Bergholt with Great Horkesley and Wormingford & Mount Bures with Little Horkesley.

This will be a different role to reflect a different ministry with you for this new stage in your journey.  When we met together with representatives from all six parishes, Bishop Roger and I heard you say that you need somebody who will gather you, support you and nurture you, somebody who will feed you and equip you.  You also talked about how important it would be to have somebody who will provide you with oversight and supervision, who will enable you to flourish, who will help in some areas but will step back in others.

Parish Profile

We will work with you as you begin work on your “Parish Profile” and as you discern further the kind of person that you need in your next incumbent.  Revd Canon Janet Nicholls, our Area Rural Advisor, will also be available to support these conversations.

The prophet Isaiah said, “Thus says the Lord, I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43: 19).  We look forward to the new things that will “spring forth” in your parishes over the coming months, not least the person who may join you as your next incumbent. Archdeacon Ruth, March 2021.

A Message from our Church Wardens

Our 3 Parishes’ Churchwardens have now also met together, and the Parish Profiles are currently being revised and updated. West Bergholt PCC last week nominated Liz Dixon and Kate Penrose as their Parish representatives. It will then be up to all of our 3 Parishes’ Representatives to combine the resulting documents and to link up with Little Horkesley, Mount Bures and Wormingford to produce the final version.

On behalf of our three Parishes, Great Horkesley PCC has made contact with the single representative for the Little Horkesley, Mount Bures and Wormingford churches so that we now have a point of contact who we can begin to work with in these early stages of our new Benefice group.

We will keep you informed as matters progress.

God be with us all as we embark on this new stage in our Parishes.

Peter and Caroline, Kate and Stephen.
(Joint Churchwardens, West Bergholt)
March 2021

Services & Other Dates

All events are on Zoom unless stated otherwise.  Kids’ Church is our new form of Sunday school for children.  Note, no Evening Prayer Service during winter months.

28th March – Palm Sunday9:15 amBCP Communion on Zoom
10:00 amPraise on 4 Service on Zoom
1st April – Maundy Thursday8:00 pmAgape Fellowship Meal on Zoom
2nd April – Good Friday10:00 amReflective Service on Zoom led by the Praise on 4 team
2 – 3 pmVigil at the Cross, on Zoom, led by Revd Anne Mason
4th April – Easter Day10:00 amGathered inside service in St Mary’s Church, also on Zoom
11th April9:15 amMessy Church on Zoom
10:00 amCommunion on Zoom
18th April10:00 amCeltic Communion on Zoom
25th April9:15 amBCP Communion on Zoom
10:00 amZoom Praise on 4
If you would like to receive the Zoom links for any of our services, please email the church office at: [email protected]

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Assistant Curate:Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursdays).
  • Church Wardens:
    Peter & Caroline Finlay, — [email protected] or 07926 387551 and
    Kate & Stephen Penrose, — 07973 421306
  • Lay Readers:
    Richard Chadborn—01206 240541;
    Michael Foster—01206 241022;
    Joy Budden—01206 241871.
  • 3 Parish Families’ Worker:
    Jo Jeffery—07853 586683.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Pastoral Assistant:
    Dorothy Chadborn – 01206 240541
  • Church Administrator:
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
  • Newsletter Editor:
    email: [email protected].
  • Hire our hall:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Website: Stmaryswestbergholt.co.uk
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