St Mary’s Church update for 4th April provides listings of services, bible readings and other events and news such as the Good Friday and other Easter events, IGNITE! Youth Service and the Alpha Course.
Don’t forget, the church is now open on weekdays if you would like a quiet space to reflect or say a prayer for someone.
Easter is a wonderful time of year as we celebrate the time when Jesus rose from the dead, proving that God’s power of life over death, light over darkness and hope over hopelessness, is real. It is a time to celebrate and give thanks for all that God has done for us; which is undoubtedly easier to do as the days lengthen and the temperature rises. Continue reading “St Mary’s Easter Good News Update”
Mandy gave her annual report and thanked the many people who contribute to the smooth running of the church and all its various activities and services. A copy of her report will be available on the church web site next week. Richard & Dorothy Chadborn were re-appointed as church wardens, and there are some new faces on the PCC Continue reading “St Mary’s Update – 18th April 2016”
The word Pentecost comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth and was the name of a Jewish Festival celebrating the completion of the grain harvest. This festival, also known as the Feast of Weeks, was observed on the 50th day, or 7 weeks, after Passover. However, the festival gained a new significance for the Christian Church when, 50 days after Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion (and 10 days after his ascension into heaven), the Holy Spirit descended in a dramatic fashion on the disciples gathered in Jerusalem for the festival of weeks.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment because each one heard them speaking in his own language. (New International Bible, Acts 2: 1-6)
Peter then stood up and preached to the assembled crowd with a new confidence that God had raised Jesus back to life and urged people to “Repent and be baptised, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Some 3,000 people became followers that day, and thus the church was born.
So what does this mean for us today? I found the following quote online which really seemed to sum up the significance of Pentecost:
When you strip it of everything else, Pentecost stands for power and life. That’s what came into the church when the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost. (David Wilkerson).
Best wishes, Liz Dixon
Christian Aid Week – 15-21 May
Be the answer to Morsheda’s prayer this Christian Aid week
Morsheda is a young mother of four living in Bangladesh. She has no land, few assets and no savings.
For Morsheda’s family living on low-lying islands in the Brahmaputra River, floods are a terrifying part of everyday life. Morsheda can’t even count on having a safe place to call home: the single-room, corrugated-iron house she shares with her children has been flooded four times.
I feel very scared of the river. When I look at it I keep thinking “it is coming”.
Dangers all around
One year, her humble house filled up to her knees with floodwater. To stay dry, and keep away from the dangerous snakes that now swam through her home she raised her bed up on bricks. But during the night she was woken by a loud splash. In the pitch black, her baby son had fallen into the inky water. He could have drowned in moments.
Race against time
In a bad year, huge waves crashed against her house, giving her less than an hour to uproot her home and scramble to safety. Racing against time, she gathered her terrified children together and hastily made a raft from a banana tree. At any moment, it could have tipped and plunged them into the swirling waters, but it was their only hope. She put her youngest daughter in a cooking pot and clung to it as it floated in the current.
My children were so scared. My sister was holding them very tightly and we were panicking because my neighbour’s child was washed away.
The floods are coming
Morsheda and her children live a precarious life. They know that the floods will come again, and soon. But we can lift our neighbours like Morsheda to safety.
Just £250 is enough for a Christian Aid Home Safety Package. It could flood-proof Morsheda’s home, raising it eight foot on an earth plinth, so that she has a safe place to rebuild, keep livestock and grow crops. It could also buy a goat, seeds and a wormery to help produce compost – all of which will give her a long-term income and a solid foundation for a new life.
If I could raise my house then I would feel much safer living here with my children.
The above story is an extract from the Christian Aid website.
At the time of writing, it is uncertain as to whether there will be a house-to-house collection in West Bergholt this year. As reported in the December edition of Good News, Richard Chadborn is taking a well-earned rest as Christian Aid co-ordinator, having organised the collection at St Mary’s for the past 37 years. However, no-one has yet come forward to take his place, which means that there may not be a door-to-door collection this time. If you feel you could help, please contact Richard Chadborn as soon as possible (tel: 01206 240541).
There will, however, be a collection at St Mary’s during Christian Aid Week, or you can give online at caweek.org
Side Person Duties
We have a team of 8 people who take it in turns to act as sides person each week. The duties include welcoming people as they come into church on a Sunday morning and handing out service sheets and hymn books; guiding people to the altar during communion services; collecting the service sheets and hymn books at the end of the service and locking the front of the church. A full list of duties can be found on the notice board in church. You would be one of a pair, one Sunday a month.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Chadborn on 01206 240541.
A New Beginning
There are two things about Easter that I think are really important, and if we don’t get them right we don’t get Easter right. First of all the resurrection is not a happy ending tagged onto a sad story; and secondly, the church is not the Jesus Christ Appreciation Society.
Let me explain. Because those of us who are in the Church know the Easter story so well, we tend to think of the cross as the ‘sad bit of the story’ and the resurrection as the ‘happy ending’. Because we know what is coming, we are always seeing Good Friday through the lens of Easter Sunday. In many ways there is nothing wrong with this, but it can mean we are prevented from being shocked and surprised by the Resurrection. It can also mean that we leap frog over the cross and fail to stop and see the beautiful and painful reality of Christ’s death. So, in my view, it is much better to think of the Resurrection as a new beginning rather than a happy ending.
When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb on that first Easter morning she went to anoint the dead body of Jesus. She was not expecting to find anything else. When the tomb was empty, she assumed it was because people had stolen the body away. The last thing she was expecting was Resurrection. In other words the Resurrection was a surprise: as much of a surprise for people then as it is for people now. It was unimaginable and inexplicable then. It is unimaginable and inexplicable now. It is outside our experience. It is beyond our imagining. But it is the beginning of Christian faith: Jesus really died on the cross, and God really raised Jesus to life on Easter day. Without this the Christian faith is nothing, and Jesus just another good person, and the Church, therefore, just the Jesus Christ Appreciation Society, remembering the good deeds and wise words of our long dead and much loved founder.
But the real story is different. What ended in defeat and death begins afresh with Resurrection. Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus in the garden not as a resuscitated corpse, brought back to resume the life he lost, but as the first piece of the new creation. And this is a new story that we are invited to be part of.
In the risen Jesus we see our destiny and are enlisted to share this with others. Jesus is present to us today as he was present to Mary Magdalene yesterday. We, the Church, are formed by the impact of God raising him from the dead and of his gift of the spirit. More than this, the Bible says that the church is Christ’s body. We are his presence in and for the world today, a new people with a new beginning and a new identity.
+ Stephen Chelmsford, Easter 2016
Sunday Gospel Readings – April & May
Our Bible readings for every Sunday are taken from the Lectionary, a table of psalms and readings authorised for use in public worship of the Church of England.
Sunday 3rd April
John 20: 19-31
Jesus appears to his disciples
Sunday 10th April
John 21: 1-19
Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish
Sunday 17th April
John 10: 22-30
The unbelief of the Jews
Sunday 24th April
John 13: 31-35
Jesus predicts Peter’s denial
Sunday 1st May
John 14: 23-29
Jesus promises the Holy Spirit
Sunday 8th May
John 17: 20-26
Jesus prays for all believers
Sunday 15th May
John 14: 8-17, 25-27
Jesus the way to the Father
Sunday 22nd May
John 16: 12-15
The work of the Holy Spirit
Sunday 29th May
Luke 7: 1-10
The faith of the centurion
Easter Church Flowers
A big thank you to Fiona and her team of volunteers for decorating the church for Easter – the flowers are beautiful!
5Ts Now Weekly!
As a result of the closing of the Fellowship Club which met in the Orpen Hall, 5Ts is now taking place every week at St Mary’s. However, extra helpers to open up and serve refreshments would be welcome. If you can help, please contact Murray Harlow on 07989 720256.
Collection during Sunday Services
From 1 May onwards, the collection will be now be taken during the Sunday morning service. For those members of the congregation who give regularly by standing order, there will be little cards available which can be put into the collection bag instead of money.
Dates for Your Diary
Don’t forget to sign up for the day of training here at St Mary’s with Rev John Ryeland from the Christian Healing Mission on Sat 16 April from 10.15am to 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch and a £5 donation.
The day is being organised by Janet Jones from St Luke’s Church, Highwoods. To book your place, please contact Janet on 01206855459 or via email – [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
Our Annual Church meeting will be held this year on Sunday 17 April at about 12.15pm, straight after the 11.15am Communion service.
The Annual Meeting gives us all an opportunity to review the past year and to thank those who have contributed to the life of the church. Churchwardens and members of the Parochial Church Council will be elected. We are delighted to announce that Pat Kinzett has volunteered to take over from Dorothy Chadborn as PCC secretary after the annual meeting. However, at least two more sides people are required. This is a very important job – there is a list of full duties on the noticeboard at the back of the church but some of the main tasks are listed below. We will also discuss ‘Where do we go from here?’ and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Everyone is welcome to the APCM, but only those on the Electoral Roll may vote.
Please stay for a soup lunch afterwards.
After Easter, our home groups will continue on the following dates:
Open House every Thursday morning at 9am in term times .
5T’s – 2.30pm – from 1 April, 5Ts will be held every week!
Wired (our Youth Group for Secondary School Students)
Fridays @ 7.45pm in the church on the following dates:
1 April – chocolate night
12 June – Boxted v Bergholt
8 July – Pool Party
Contact Mark for further details (241617).
Senior Citizens Lunch – Saturday 23 April at 12.45pm
Please contact Murray Harlow (07989 720256) if you would like to come or can help on the day.
Sunday 29 May @ 9.30am – Joint 3 Parishes Worship Service
Our next joint service with folk from the parishes of Great Horkesley and Langham with Boxted will take place on Sunday 29th May @ 9.30am at St Mary’s, West Bergholt with guest speaker Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral.
1st Sunday in the month 9.30am Holy Communion + BUGS*
2nd Sunday in the month
9.30am Messy Church
6.30pm (4.30pm in winter) Evening Prayer
4th Sunday in the month 9.30am Morning Worship + BUGS
5th Sunday in the month (when applicable) Combined service with Methodist Church and the parishes of Great Horkesley and Langham with Boxted. The location and times of the service rotate between the 5 churches.
Thursdays at 9.00 am – Drop in for coffee during term time.
Thursdays at 2.30 pm – – 5Ts (Together for Tea on Thursdays at Two-Thirty) Weekly from 1 April 2016.
* BUGS = St Mary’s Sunday school.
Priest in charge:
Rev Dr Mandy Elmes,
The Rectory, 1 Church Close,
West Bergholt CO6 3JZ
Tel 01206 240906
Mob 07872 649967
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