St Mary’s Year of Jubilee Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with A Year of Jubilee, and continues with other Jubilee events, Licensing of a lay Minister, Prayer Spaces and the usual listings of services and contacts.

A Year of Jubilee

This month we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with an extra long bank holiday weekend and in villages, towns and cities up and down the land, there will be special events to mark this special occasion.

Over the Queen’s remarkable reign, we can all probably remember several big Jubilee celebrations.

I was five when the Queen marked her Silver Jubilee, I still remember the fancy dress parade where I was dressed up as a 50 pence piece and being given a special commemorative coin from school, which I still keep in a special place.

Lovely Jubbly

For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I was on a planning committee, arranging a large community event, and, much like the recent error you may have heard about with 10,800 teacups, mugs and plates commemorating the ‘Platinum Jubbly’ … we managed to order hundreds of posters, which to our horror said ‘Diamond Jubliee’ by mistake

But then jubilee is not really a word we come across in everyday language very often, so no wonder it leaves itself open to the occasional spelling mistake.

Yet it is a word that we come across a fair bit in the bible. Biblically it is a year of emancipation and restoration. In the book of Leviticus, the Lord declares that a year of Jubilee be held every 50th year and that it be a special year of pardoning sins. Slaves were to be freed, debts forgiven and land returned to its original owner. So rather radical!

The Character of God

Jubilee, teaches us a lot about the character of God, His mercy, generosity and love of justice. We are reminded that God is our provider. In the same way Jubilee gives an opportunity for all people to display love and grace in a remarkable way and above all it sets people free.

Celebrate & Rejoice

Jubilee then is a fitting time for celebration and rejoicing.

So as we celebrate and rejoice in the Queen’s 70 year reign, we do so giving thanks for her strong Christian faith and witness. For the mercy, generosity and justice she has shown in her reign, and we rejoice and are glad in all that God has given us.

May God Bless you abundantly

Reverend Heather

Jubilee Events

Stalls at Village Festival

On Saturday 4th June, we will have two stalls at the Jubilee Festival on the Lorkin Daniell Field. One stall will have Jubilee themed crafts for all ages to try out; the other will be a books, games and toys stall run by our 5T’s Group (a group that meets each Thursday afternoon to share a cup of tea and a chat – all are welcome). Do come and visit us!

Jubilee Songs of Praise

On Sunday 5 June we look forward to welcoming you to a special Jubilee Songs of Praise Service at the Old Church, either walking from St Mary’s at 5.30pm or joining us at the Old Church at 6.00pm.

Jubilee Leaf Canopy Art Installation

A huge thank you to everyone who has knitted leaves for the special Jubilee Canopy which is being put together on 31th May. The canopy reflects the theme of planting trees for the Jubilee, and the knitted leaves represent every resident of West Bergholt. The leaves will be sewn into netting which will be suspended from the ceiling. Do come in and see it, it will be in place for the next few weeks.

Licensing of a Lay Minister

All are invited to attend a special service on Sun 26 June @ 3pm at St Mary’s Church to mark Liz’s licensing as a Lay Minister. Liz has recently completed three years of part-time training and is looking forward to serving in the parish of West Bergholt.

The role of a Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) is varied and can include leading non-communion services, preaching, teaching, supervision and mentoring of other lay ministries, and taking funerals.

The service will be followed by afternoon tea in the Rectory Garden. All welcome!

Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Spaces

Come and visit the prayer spaces in church from now until 5th June. They are part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ global prayer initiative focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. They also link to prayer spaces in Revd Heather’s other parishes of Great and Little Horkesley, Boxted and Langham, Wormingford and Mount Bures so that you can visit all the churches in a sort of mini pilgrimage!

Services & Other Dates

4th JuneAttending Jubilee Festival
5th June9:30 amPentecost – Holy Communion (also on Zoom)
6:00 pmJubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church
12th June9:30 pmMessy Church—outdoor service incorporating the ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ Churchyard Wildlife Count. Everyone welcome to join in!
19th June9:30 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
26th June9:30 amCafé Church
3:00 pmSpecial service to mark the licensing of Liz Dixon as a Licensed Lay Minister
For those services which are also being zoomed, please contact the church office on 01206 243683 or [email protected] for the zoom link.

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox
    email: [email protected]
    tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
  • Assistant Curate: Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday).
  • 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.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    Liz Dixon
    tel: 07914 001212
    email: [email protected].
  • Website:
  • Follow us on Facebook:

St Mary’s Jubilee Songs Edition

Christian Aid
Join us this Christian Aid Week, and help turn hunger into hope.

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Christian Aid Coffee Morning, announces Jubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church, updates on Church Heating and Hall and other events and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Christian Aid Coffee Morning and Plant Sale

Coffee & cake

Please pop along to the Rectory on Monday 16th May, between 10 am – 12 pm, at 1 Church Close, West Bergholt for tea/coffee and cake and lots of fun and fellowship whilst raising money for Christian Aid. This is an event for all the six parishes and all are very welcome!

Continue reading “St Mary’s Jubilee Songs Edition”

Annual Parish Meeting – 27th April 2022

Will you be attending on 27th April 2022?

Taking place on 27th April 2022, the Annual Parish Meeting is not a Parish Council Meeting, but a meeting for electors of the parish.

It is an opportunity to discuss parish affairs and say what matters to you. Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.

The meeting will commence at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday 27th April 2022, in the Orpen Memorial Hall. Light refreshments will be provided. The Agenda for this year’s meeting, which will be chaired by Councillor Chris Stevenson, Chairman of the Parish Council, is:

  1. Welcome and Introduction from the Chairman
    Parish Council Annual Report 2022 & unaudited Trust Accounts 2021-22 (10 mins)
  2. Heathlands School (Joseph Fielder)
    New Headteacher of Heathlands Primary School (10 mins)
  3. Age Well (Emma Barrow)
    Services & contacts available from Age Well (previously Age Concern) (10 mins)
  4. Jane Gardner
    Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (15 mins)
  5. Parish Council Grant Awards
    Friends of St Mary’s Old Church
  6. Active Essex
    Find Your Active presentation (5 mins)
  7. Tim Simpson (Essex County Council)
    Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Drainage Manager (15 mins)
  8. Robert Strathern
    Innovative farming methods at Fairfield Crisps (10 mins)
  9. Issues from the Floor – Have your say

It would be helpful if you could notify the Clerk in advance if you have any matters to raise during the Issues from the Floor item. Email to [email protected].

St Mary’s All You Need is Love Edition

Love is God's light in the darkness

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with a message saying “All You Need is Love” and then addresses Easter Services and the usual listings of services and contacts.

All You Need is Love – an Easter Message from Revd Anne

We moved house last year, to Great Horkesley, into a house that is smaller.  This, of course, meant some sorting out, and giving or throwing things away.  We all accumulate ‘stuff’ – things that might come in handy one day, or perhaps have a sentimental attachment.  And now, a year later, we can’t even remember the things that we thought were important and that we were so reluctant to get rid of!

From Pandemic to Ukraine

Continue reading “St Mary’s All You Need is Love Edition”

St Mary’s Stormy Edition

Jesus asleep during storm alarms disciples

This edition starts with thoughts on recent storm damage and then addresses Lent matters and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Storm Damage

Dudley, Eunice and then Franklin. In the space of just a few days, storms wreaked havoc in the UK. Power lines were cut, properties damaged, trees fell down, some were injured and tragically a few lost their lives.

On the Sunday after Storm Eunice, and as Storm Franklin gained momentum again, across the six parishes we worshipped in churches which had lost window panes and trees, all whilst hearing the reading from the bible of Jesus calming the storm from Luke’s gospel.

As the storm builds, Jesus is asleep in the boat, the disciples become frantic and eventually wake Jesus up saying ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown.’ In Marks gospel, it says the disciples said ‘don’t you care if we drown?’

Jesus Cares

Of course Jesus cares, he cares deeply for all of his children, and he gets up rebukes the wind and the raging waters and the storm subsides.

But that doesn’t mean that storms still don’t occur, whether that is the aforementioned physical storms, or the emotional or mental storms that might assail us throughout our lives.

And sometimes, we like the disciples may feel in a place where we want to call out and say ‘Jesus, don’t you care that we are drowning?’ and the answer for us is that of course he cares, he is indeed, as he was for the disciples, in the same boat with them and us. He is always with us. He can’t protect us from every storm, but he is with us through them all.

Lent Journey

This month we begin our journey through Lent, as we travel with Jesus to the cross. A stark reminder that Jesus himself had to suffer both spiritual and physical storms in his life. We see his pain and torment in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he cried out, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.’

Jesus travelled through his own storms, and is with us through ours too. May we trust in him and may God bless you.
Reverend Heather

Lent Carbon Fast, Groups & Prayer

There are three Lent-specific activities taking place during Lent, a Carbon Fast, Lent Groups and Prayers.

Lent Carbon Fast Challenge

In the Bible, caring for Creation is God’s first instruction to humans. During Lent, an organisation called Climate Stewards is encouraging us to take up the challenge to find new ways to reduce our impact on the natural world and our global neighbours.

You can sign up through the link below to receive  weekly emails suggesting easy, medium and harder challenges to try related to the seven weekly themes of:

  • 1—fast from social media or tv.
  • 2—Fast from unawareness—expand your knowledge.
  • 3—Fast from silence—speak up.
  • 4—Fast from electricity—live more simply.
  • 5—Fast from driving.
  • 6—Fast from meat and dairy.
  • 7—Fast from food waste.

Lent Groups

Rev Heather Wilcox has written a Bible Study Course which be focusing on our Sunday readings for Lent. Our regular Bible Study Groups will meet weekly, from 8th March to 5th April, to study this material and you are very welcome to join the following groups:

  • Tuesday afternoons @ 2pm at Sue Day’s house. (please contact [email protected] for details)
  • Tuesday evenings on zoom @ 7.45pm: Meeting ID: 852 5818 3545, passcode: 814244 (please contact:        [email protected] for more details).

Lent Prayer Activities in Church

Throughout Lent (from Saturday 4th March until Easter) there will be prayer space activities in the Church, changing weekly, to reflect the set Gospel reading for the week. All are welcome to come in and have a look at the prayer spaces and try out some of the simple activities, such as writing in a sand pit something we are sorry for and then wiping the words away to remind us of God’s forgiveness.

One of the prayer spaces will include an opportunity to light a candle and say a prayer for the people of Ukraine.

 The church will be open from 9am to 3.30pm each week day and children accompanied by parents are very welcome.

Services & Other Dates

6th March10:00 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
13th March10:00 amMessy Church
20th March11:15 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
27th March10:00 amMothering Sunday – Praise on 4 Service (also on Zoom) with refreshments served from 9.45am
3rd April9:30 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
10th April9:30 amMessy Church
For those services which are also being zoomed, please contact the church office on 01206 243683 or [email protected] for the zoom link.

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox
    email: [email protected]
    tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
  • Assistant Curate: Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday).
  • 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.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    email: [email protected].
  • Website:
  • Follow us on Facebook:

St Mary’s Valentine Wedding Edition

Wedding image

This edition starts with a wedding themed songs of praise service in celebration of Valentines Day. Other news includes Home Group, World Day of Prayer and 5Ts Fellowship Group. It also, of course, has the usual listings of services and contacts.

Special Wedding Themed Songs of Praise Service

February is the month when traditionally we celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th February. So what better month in which to hold a special Songs of Praise service with a wedding theme! The service will take place on Sunday 27 February @ 6.30pm.

Cake & Prosecco

We will be inviting couples who have been married in our joint parishes over the last few years , and also couples planning to be married this year. But everyone from the village is very welcome to attend and enjoy cake and prosecco at the end of the service!

As part of the service, it would be lovely to display a selection of photos from people’s weddings, so if you have a wedding photo you would like to share, please contact Jo, our church administrator , or Rev Heather (contact details on page 2).

Do you have a special anniversary this year?

Continue reading “St Mary’s Valentine Wedding Edition”

St Mary’s New Year Resolutions Edition

Revd Heather Wilcox starts by discussing New Year Resolutions; there is also an appreciation of Jo Jeffery and thank you for Advent Windows. It also, of course, has the usual listings of services and contacts.

New Year Message from Revd Heather Wilcox

New Year resolutions, I suspect that at some point in our lives, we have all made them.

As a new year dawns, we wake up determined that somehow this year we will make better choices. Maybe we want to lose weight or exercise more, learn a new hobby, or find ways of connecting with our friends more effectively throughout the year and not just with the annual Christmas card and round robin letter.

Continue reading “St Mary’s New Year Resolutions Edition”

St Mary’s Advent Trail 2021 Video

Christmas Services Update

One of the Advent Trail windows
One of the Advent Trail Windows

Before we get to the trail video, there are some changes to St Mary’s services on Christmas Eve. The Crib Service at 3 pm will now take place outside in the church yard (so wrap up warmly). The 6.45 pm Carol Service will be socially distanced in the Church and also on Zoom. For Zoom details, please contact the church office on [email protected].

Advent Trail

The West Bergholt Village Advent Windows returned for 2021! A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered to decorate a window featuring a scene from the nativity story.

The first window was revealed on Wednesday 8th December with a window each day until Monday 20th December.

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year from everyone at St. Mary’s Church.

COVID, St Mary’s Booster Sessions, Transport & Carol Cancellation

St Mary’s Booster Sessions

Booster sessions at St Mary's

St Mary’s are running Booster sessions every Tuesday & Friday between 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Nik, from the pharmacy, is leading these sessions with help from a steady band of volunteers to keep traffic flowing. Check on the NHS website to see availability although note that St Mary’s will only show up if there are slots available. If you want to take a chance, you could also pop along late in the session in case they have spare doses left over (often advertised on the Hub).

Transport for Vaccination

Continue reading “COVID, St Mary’s Booster Sessions, Transport & Carol Cancellation”

St Mary’s Advent Trail Edition

Learn About the 2021 Advent Trail & More Updates

Some example nativity windows from last year

St Mary’s December newsletter provides details of this years, advent trail and a Christmas message. It also, of course, has the usual listings of services (and they look forward to welcoming you for their Christmas Services in both the Old Church & St Mary’s), and contacts.

Christmas Message from Revd Heather Wilcox

It’s that time of year, when we are bombarded with Christmas advertising, but one advert in particular has caught my attention, probably because it has generated the most complaints in 2021 so far, the Tesco’s advert.

It begins with a lady standing outside a Tesco’s store being asked, ‘Do you need a little help’ and she responds, ‘Don’t worry my love, this year, nothings stopping me.’ Queens ‘Don’t stop me now’ providing the soundtrack to the advert.

Continue reading “St Mary’s Advent Trail Edition”
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :