St Mary’s Autumn 2017 Good News Update

St Mary’s Autumn 2017 Good News Update

This Autumn 2017 edition of Good News, St Mary’s Parish Magazine, is reproduced below (together with additional material from various notices), use the links to the stories & news items.

No More Toast Crumbs in the Butter!

I am officially an ‘empty nester’ as my husband and I have recently packed our only child off to University. We do miss him of course, but there are some compensations. Less washing is nice (except when he comes home at the end of term) and it is strangely satisfying to open up the butter tub and find it completely free of toast crumbs!

A friend was asking me how he was getting on after the first few days and I explained that he seemed a bit fed up because he hadn’t got to know anyone yet, and we laughed about having to suppress the urge to rush down and try and make everything better. It’s a parent’s instinct to want to protect your children from life’s difficulties, but you know the time has come to let them stand on their own two feet and work through any difficulties themselves. All you can do is to be there at the end of the phone if they choose to ask for help and advice.

As I was saying this to my friend, it suddenly struck me that this was a good parallel of God’s relationship with us, in that he longs to make things better for us when things go wrong, but waits until we ask for help, rather than being an interfering and controlling parent.

There are some lovely passages in the Bible which illustrate this picture of God as a caring parent who patiently waits for us to come to him.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7: 7-11

Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem….how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Matthew 23:37

Best wishes
Liz Dixon

(PS My son has settled in fine now!)

Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2017

Dear Friends

As another year passes and we approach the festive season, we put our thoughts to those less fortunate than ourselves and ask how we can help. Here at St Mary’s we do this by supporting the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal. Thanks to your generous contributions last year, we were one of about 30,000 churches around the world who sent out a total of over 11 million shoeboxes to children living in poverty.

Simple gifts such as gloves, soap, toothbrushes, colouring pencils and toy cars can make such a big impact and there are some truly humbling stories on the Operation Christmas Child website:

Stories such as Jaki, an orphan in Guatemala, who was absolutely thrilled with a toothbrush after having to share one with 10 other children for years; and David in Romania receiving a toy car instead of his usual orange, which was all his family could afford each year. The Appeal provides shoeboxes to 17 countries across Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Each box is offered to children as part of our Christian faith, as an expression of God’s love and care, but the boxes are given unconditionally to children of all faiths and none.  The volunteers distributing the boxes are carefully trained to ensure that information about the Christian faith is only offered if community leaders welcome it; contrary to some claims in the media, there are no strings attached for the children and communities receiving the boxes.

Please do give generously if you can as a small shoebox really makes a big impact. You can take your gift-filled shoebox to Liz in the church office anytime up until Thursday 16 November (opening hours are weekdays except Weds 9am-1pm). Opposite are some guidelines for how to fill your shoebox.

Thank you for your support!
Rev Mandy Elmes

How to Pack Your Shoebox

Get an empty medium sized shoebox and wrap the box and lid separately in decorative paper (or you can order pre-printed shoeboxes from the website).

Choose whether you would like your shoebox to be for a girl or a boy and which age group (2-4 years, 5-9 years or 10-14 years), and attach the appropriate label on the outside of the lid (labels available from the church office).

Fill your shoebox with a suitable variety of new gifts from the list below. Why not add a personal note and photo, and you may also like to pray for the child who will receive your box?

Please include a £5 suggested donation to cover essential processing and shipping costs and training local churches. Cheques to be made payable to Samaritan’s Purse, or you can donate online at and find out which country your shoebox went to.

Gift Suggestions

Please fill your box with a selection from the following list or similar items.  All items should be new.

  • TOYS include a toy that a child can love such as a doll or a cuddly toy, toy truck, skipping rope, yo-yo, ball, small puzzle, musical instrument etc.
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES  Pens, colouring pencils, sharpener & eraser, crayons, felt pens, stamp & ink pads, writing pads or notebooks & paper, colouring & picture books, solar calculators etc.
  • HYGIENE ITEMS Toothbrush & toothpaste, bar of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel.
  • OTHER ITEMS Hat, gloves, scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, wind up torch, jewellery set, sweets (but no chocolate and must have best before date of at least March 2018).

Leaflets, labels and spare shoe boxes are now available from the church office. The deadline for completed shoeboxes is Thurs 16 Nov.

Messy ChurchMessy Manna & Messy Advent

Our Messy Church services on the second Sunday continue to be very popular. Over the last few months we have been busy marching around the church in a retelling of the story of Joshua when he brought down the walls of Jericho; playing games, icing hundreds of delicious biscuits, and making beautiful safari animals out of cardboard tubes and coloured tissue paper, to name but a few things!

On October 8th, our theme will be Messy Manna – God provides for our needs and in December we will have a Messy Advent on Sunday 3rd December. Please note that in December, Messy Church is on the first Sunday of the month, due to the Confirmation Service being held on 10th December.

Please note also that there is no Messy Church in November due to the Remembrance Sunday service.

  • Sun 8th October @ 9.30am – Messy Manna – God provides for our needs
  • Sun 3rd December @ 9.30am – Messy Advent

Thank you to Caroline and all the Messy Church Team who plan the services and come up with so many fun ideas for different activities.

Our Messy Church Team

Messy Church Team
(Left) Richard, Rachel, Ronnie, Kate, Natalie & Caroline (Right) Daisy, Dylan & Grandma


Family Fun & Harvest Weekend

A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to decorate the church and run activities for the Family Fun event. We raised over £400 towards our contribution to the cost of the Families Worker!

Confirmation Classes for Adults and Children

Rev Mandy Elmes will be holding Confirmation classes, both for adults and young people, starting on Tuesday 17 October for 6 weeks, leading to a Confirmation Service on Sunday 10th December. The sessions for young people will start at 6.30pm and those for adults at 7.45pm. Both sessions will take place in the Rectory in Church Close.

Confirmation classes are a good way to explore your faith with others who are thinking about confirmation and are a safe place to ask any questions you have about God, Jesus and the journey of faith. All are welcome to investigate what Confirmation is about, or just to refresh your memory about the basics of the Christian faith.

If you haven’t already booked your place, please contact Rev. Mandy Elmes for more information

Thank You to West Bergholt Allotments!

A huge thank you to the West Bergholt Allotments folk who are very kindly donating money to our 5Ts fellowship group and Wired youth club from donations to their produce stall. Your generosity is very much appreciated!

Churchyard Tidy

Can you spare a few hours to help tidy the churchyard on Sat 14 Oct between 9.30am & 3.30pm? All helpers welcome and food will be provided for the workers! If you can bring any tools with you, or know someone who could help transport the garden waste to the tip (perhaps someone with a trailer), that would also be very helpful.  For more info contact Liz in the church office 243683.

Christmas Choir Rehearsals

Rehearsals for this year’s Christmas Choir will take place on:

  • Nov 26th @ 10.45am
  • Dec 3rd @ 10.45am
  • Dec 10th @ 11.00am
  • Dec 17th @ 10.00am

Please come along and join us!

Dates for Your Diary (Including Services)

Sunday 8 October 9.30am Messy Church
Service at St Mary’s, Langham
11.15am Service at All Saints’ Great Horkesley
6.30pm Evening Prayer
Monday 9 October 1.45pm Home Group at Gill’s
Tuesday 10 October 11.00am Combined Village Communion
8.00pm Home Group at Richard & Dorothy’s
Thursday 12 October 9.00am Open House
2.30pm 5Ts
7.00pm Messy Church Prayer
Friday 13 October 7.45pm Wired Youth Club
Saturday 14 October 9.30am -3.30pm Churchyard Tidy Day
Sunday 15 October 8.00am BCP Communion at Langham
9.30am Family Service at Boxted
11.15am Holy Communion with Kids’ Club
Morning Praise at St John’s Great Horkesley
Tuesday 17 October 6.30pm & 7.45pm Confirmation Classes
Thursday 19 October 9.00am Open House
2.30pm 5Ts
Sunday 22 October 8.00am BCP Communion at All Saints Great Horkesley
9.30am Morning Worship with Kids’ Club
Communion at Langham
11.15am Service 4 All at All Saints’, Great Horkesley
Sunday 29 October 10.30am 3 Parishes Service at All Saints’ Great Horkesley with speaker Simon Prestney.
If anyone would like a lift, please contact Liz in the church office.
Sunday 5 November 9.30am Holy Communion with Kids’ Club
4.00pm All Souls Service at All Saints’ Great Horkesley.
To remember loved ones who have recently passed away. If anyone would like a lift, please contact Liz in the church office.
Sunday 12 November 10.45am Remembrance Service in the Orpen Hall (no Messy Church or Evening Prayer)
Tuesday 14 November 11.00am Combined Village Communion
Saturday 18 November PCC Away Day at Assington Hall
Sunday 19 November 11.15am Holy Communion with Kids’ Club
Saturday 25 November 12.45pm Senior Citizens’ Lunch
Please contact Murray Harlow (01206 242007) if you know someone who would like to come, or if you can help prepare and serve food on the day.
Sunday 26 November 9.30am Morning Worship with Kids’ Club
10.45am Christmas Choir rehearsals begin
 Sunday 3 December  9.30am  Messy Church (Advent Sunday)

Sunday Gospel Readings




Sunday 1 October Matthew 21:23-32 Religious leaders challenge Jesus’ authority
Sunday 8 October Matthew 21:33-46 The parable of the wicked tenants
Sunday 15 October Matthew 22:1-14 The parable of the wedding feast
Sunday 22 October Matthew 22:14-22 Religious leaders question Jesus about paying taxes
Sunday 29 October Matthew 22:34-46 Religious leaders question Jesus about the Greatest Commandment
Sunday 5 November Matthew 5:1-12 The Sermon on the Mount
Sunday 12 November Matthew 25:1-13 The parable of the ten bridesmaids
Sunday 19 November Matthew 25:14-30 The parable of the loaned money
Sunday 26 November Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells about the final judgement

Regular Events

Thursdays at 9.00 amDrop in for coffee during term time.

1st Sunday in the month 9.30am Holy Communion + Kids’ Church
2nd Sunday in the month 9.30am Messy Church
6.30pm Evening Prayer – 8 Oct 2017 only
3rd Sunday in the month 11.15am Holy Communion + Kids’ Church
4th Sunday in the month 9.30am Morning Worship + Kids’ Church
(Kids’ Church = St Mary’s Sunday school)
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.

Home Groups

Our home groups start again after the summer holidays on the dates below. If you are interested in joining one of the groups, please contact Michael Foster on 241022.

  • Tuesday 8pm (Michael Foster 241022):  10/10, 24/10, 7/11, 21/11 & 5/12 (TBC) – studying Women of the Old Testament up to and including 7/11.
  • Monday 1.45pmam (Gill Partridge’s House):  9/10, 23/10, 6/11, 20/11 – pre-school children welcome. Please contact Liz in the office for details – 243683.

Open House & 5T’s (Together on Thursdays for Tea @ Two Thirty)

  • Open House every Thursday morning at 9am in term times.
  • 5T’s – 2.30pm every Thursday, including school holidays.

Wired (our Youth Group for Secondary School Students)

Fridays @ 7.45pm in the church hall.

  • 13 October – Construction Night;
  • 10 November – Light Party;
  • 15 December – Christmas party.

For more details contact [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].


  • Priest in charge: Rev Dr Mandy Elmes,
    The Rectory, 1 Church Close,
    West Bergholt CO6 3JZ
    Tel 01206 240906
    Mob 07872 649967
    [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
  • Parish Office & Good News Editor
    Liz Dixon 01206 243683
    [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
  • Lay Readers:
    • Richard Chadborn – 01206 240541
    • Michael Foster- 01206 241022
  • Evangelist:
    Ronnie Seymour – 01206 273579
  • Church Wardens
    • Sue Day – 01206 241040
    • Peter Jeffery – 01206 548839
  • Pastoral Assistant
    • Dorothy Chadborn – 01206 240541
  • Home Groups: (Bible Study) Contact Michael Foster – 01206 241022
  • Hall Hire and Church Bookings: Contact Nicole on 01206 240443
  • Website and email
    [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]
    Follow us on Twitter @stmarysbergholt or Facebook
  • Rainbows, Brownies and Guides
    Enquiries regarding Rainbows, Brownies & Guides to 07757 636446, [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or
  • Cubs & Beavers contact: 241666;
  • Scouts contact: 240549



Skip to content