St Mary’s Easter 2018 Good News Update

Easter 2018St Mary’s Easter 2018 Good News Update

This Easter 2018 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.

Life to the Full

How are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? If you are anything like me, they are long forgotten! Sunday supplement magazines are full of ideas and advice on how to live a happy and fulfilling life, but what advice does the Bible give us?

There is one verse in particular which always sticks in my mind, mainly because I find it a bit of a puzzle:

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10, verse 10).

To put this verse into context, these words were said by Jesus as part of his teaching about himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. He says that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but that in contrast he has come so that his sheep may have life, and have it to the full.

What does it mean?

But what does Jesus mean when he says have life and have it to the full? Is he talking about the material things in life – a nice home, a steady job, a new car? Is he talking about an inner spiritual life, or is he talking about something else entirely?

One bible commentator’s view is that whilst ‘life’ refers to spiritual joy and fullness, in the same way as the good shepherd takes care of the needs of his sheep, so Jesus is able to provide for our physical needs (although job promotions and new cars are probably not among the fringe benefits offered by Jesus!).

Another commentator says that “when we walk with Jesus there comes a new vitality” to our lives, a new spiritual dimension to our life.  But the interpretation that struck me the most was this:

“When he talks about giving us an abundant life, Jesus isn’t referring to wealth, happiness or earthly success. Jesus is promising to give us so much life that it will last all of eternity”.

Best wishes, Liz Dixon
Sources:, Grace Community International & Testifying to Grace.

Jo Jeffery and familyIntroducing our New Families Worker – Jo Jeffery

We are delighted to announce that Jo Jeffery has been appointed as our new Families Worker, to initiate new ways of outreach and to develop our work with families across the three parishes of Great Horkesley, West Bergholt and Langham with Boxted.

Jo runs her own tuition business and is a mum to two. She has been married to her husband Pete (also a teacher) for 17 years. She previously taught French and German at Philip Morant and The Gilberd schools and also worked as a school pastoral leader. Jo is a Church Governor at Heathlands primary school, and is also involved in the Christian Youth Outreach program in Colchester. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running and swimming.

Jo became a Christian at the age of 16 as a result of a friend introducing her to a Christian youth group. She is passionate about Jesus and longs for other people to know him too. She is very much looking forward to working with Mandy and the 3 Parishes.

Jo was commissioned in her new role in a special service on Sunday 7 January at St Mary’s Church, Langham.

If you would like to get in touch with Jo, her contact details are [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] or 07419 317854.

Check listAnnual Parochial Church Meeting

Our Annual Church meeting will be held this year on Sunday 15 April, 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 also be elected.

We will also be thinking about plans for the year ahead and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Everyone is welcome to the Annual Church Meeting, but only those on the Electoral Roll may vote. If you would like your name added to the Electoral Roll, please contact Sue Hart on 01206 241666 or by email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Piles of coinsChurch Treasurer Vacancy

Jon Wilson, our current church treasurer, will be stepping down after the Annual Meeting after many years of service. We are really grateful for all Jon’s hard work as treasurer, and to his wife Kate in her unofficial capacity as ‘assistant treasurer’!

This means that we are looking for someone to takeover as treasurer from April 2018. The job involves looking after the church’s bank account, paying in donations and issuing cheques for expenditure; attending PCC (Parochial Church Council) meetings approximately 6 times per year to report on finances; preparing the necessary reports for the annual church meeting, and dealing with gift aid. Training is available for new treasurers!

You don’t have to be a regular church-goer. If you are good with figures, IT literate and are looking for an opportunity to do something worthwhile for the local community, we’d love to hear from you!

For more information, please contact Liz Dixon in the church office on 01206 243683 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Women's World Day of Prayer logoWomen’s World Day of Prayer

As in previous years, we will be joining with the Methodist Church to celebrate Women’s World Day of Prayer on FRIDAY 2nd MARCH. This year the service will be held at St Mary’s Church. There will be a Soup’n Snack Lunch at 12.30pm in the Hall followed by the Service in the Church at 1.30pm.

This years’ service has been written by the Christian women of Suriname (a country which borders Brazil and Guyana) and the theme will be “All God’s Creation is Very Good”.

Women's World Day of Prayer 2018

Caring for God’s creation is hugely important and highly relevant to people of all ages and beliefs. With its vast rainforest and wealth of resources, Suriname asks us to pray for conservation and the protection of wildlife, through an awareness of pollution, misuse and abuse, as well as for the situation in Suriname and concerns for the future.

ALL ARE WELCOME – Children & gentlemen welcome!

To help with catering arrangements, could you please let Kate Penrose know if you would like to come to the soup lunch: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] – by Friday 23 February.

Discussion GroupLent Discussion Group

Lent is more than simply giving up something for a month; it is an opportunity to encounter Christ in a wholly new way!  As in previous years, we will be holding a Course on Tuesday evenings during Lent on the following dates, all at 8pm-9.30pm:

  • 20 February,
  • 27 February,
  • 6 March,
  • 13 March &
  • 20 March.

Using a study booklet called ‘We shall be changed’ by Keith Duke, we will be thinking about the things which may prevent us from truly transforming on an emotional and spiritual level; reflecting on our experiences of rebirth, and examining the deserts of our lives and how to find God in that wilderness.

Each session starts with tea/coffee and biscuits and will include a time for worship, silence, and discussion, alongside prayers and liturgies from the Celtic tradition.  The study booklets will be provided but donations towards the cost would be much appreciated.

All are welcome and you don’t have to come to every session – just come to what you can. For more information, please contact Liz Dixon on 01206 243683 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

ToysTable Top Sale

Do you enjoy tracking down a bargain or need to find a home for good condition children’s books, toys, games and DVDs? On Saturday 17th March, 2:00-4: 30 pm, our WIRED youth group will be organising a table top sale in the Church Hall as part of our Families Worker Fundraising.

We will be selling toys, games, children’s books and DVDs (but not general bric-a-brac) and also selling tea, coffee, cake etc.

We will be taking donations of toys, games, books & DVDs on Thursday 15 March between 9-11am in the church office and from 1pm on Saturday 17th in the hall with the sale starting at 2pm. For more information, contact Rachel via [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].


spring flowersEaster Flowers

As I write this, the snowdrops in our garden are still struggling to hold their heads up – it has been so cold and dreary most of January!  However, the days are beginning to lengthen and Easter will be on us before we know it.

During Lent, of course, we do not have flowers in church so, if possible, we would like lots of bright spring colours for Easter, which this year is Sunday 1st April.  We will be decorating the church on Saturday 31st March from 9.45 am. Small flowering primulas in pots can often brighten up a dull corner.

If you would like to help, please note the date now and contact me for any further information nearer the time at [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] when we’ll have a better idea of what flowers might be available.

Thank you in advance for your help.  Fiona.

continental breakfast3 Parishes Women’s Breakfast

Calling all ladies! You are warmly invited to join us for breakfast at the Queens Head on Saturday 24 February at 8.30am. There will be a speaker (details to be confirmed) and a full continental breakfast. The cost will be £10.00.

It would help with arrangements if you could let Sue Hart know in advance if you would like to come. Sue can be contacted on 01206 241666 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Revised Church Opening Times

Weekdays, except Wednesdays and Bank Holidays – 9am – 1pm.

Dates for Your Diary (Including Services)

Kids’ Church is our new form of Sunday school for children.  Services at St Mary’s unless stated otherwise.

Friday 2 February 7.45pm Wired (Talent Night)
Sunday 4 February 9.30am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with Kids’ Church
Communion at St Peter’s, Boxted;
11.15am Morning Praise at St John’s, Great Horkesley
Sunday 11 February 9.30am Messy Church (no Kids’ Church)
Communion at St Mary’s, Langham
11.15am Communion at All Saints, Great Horkesley
Wednesday 15 February 8.00pm Ash Wednesday Communion Service at St John’s, Great Horkesley
Sunday 18 February 9.30am Family Service at St Peter’s, Boxted
11.15am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with Kids’ Church + Children’s Society speaker
Morning Praise at St John’s, Great Horkesley
Tuesday 20 February 8.00pm Lent Group
Sunday 25 February 9.30am Morning Worship, with Kids’ Church
Tuesday 27 February 8.00pm Lent Group
Sunday 4 March 9.30am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with Kids’ Church
Tuesday 6 March 8.00pm Lent Group
Friday 9 March 7.45pm Wired
Sunday 11 March 9.30am Mothering Sunday Messy Church (no Kids’ Church)
Tuesday 13 March 8.00pm Lent Group
Thursday 15 March Heathlands School Art Exhibition in the Church
Friday 16 March Heathlands School Art Exhibition in the Church
Sunday 18 March 11.15am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with Kids’ Church
Tuesday 20 March 8.00pm Lent Group
Thursday 22 March 7.45pm PCC Meeting
Sunday 25 March 9.30am Palm Sunday Morning Worship, with Kids’ Church
Thursday 29 March 8.00pm Maundy Thursday Communion at St John’s, Great Horkesley
Friday 30 March 12 noon Good Friday Devotional Service
Friday 30 March 12 noon Good Friday Devotional Service
Sunday 1 April 9.30am Easter Sunday Communion
Sunday 1 April 9.30am Easter Sunday Communion Service
Sunday 29 April 9.30am Joint 3 Parishes Service at St Mary’s, Langham

Sunday Gospel Readings

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 4 February John 1:1-14 The Word became flesh.
Sunday 11 February Mark 9:2-9 Jesus is transfigured on the mountain.
Sunday 18 February Mark 1:9-15 Jesus is baptised then tempted in the desert.
Sunday 25 February Mark 8:31-38 Jesus predicts his death the first time.
Sunday 4 March John 2:13-22 Jesus drives the money-changers out of the Temple.
Sunday 11 March Mothering Sunday John 3:14-21 ‘Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst’.
Sunday 18 March John 12:20-33 Jesus explains why he must die.
Sunday 25 March Palm Sunday Mark 11:1-11 Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Regular Events

Thursdays at 9.00 am Drop 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
No evening prayer in winter months
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 continue up to and after Christmas on the dates below.  Contact Michael Foster on 241022 if you would like to join one of the groups.

  • Tuesday 8pm (Michael Foster 241022):  5/12, 2/1, 16/1, 30/1.
  • Monday 1.45pmam (Gill Partridge’s House):  11/12, 18/12, 8/1, 22/1, 5/2 – 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.

  • 15 December – Christmas party;
  • 8 January.

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]”].
  • 3 Parishes Families Worker:
    Jo Jeffery – 07419 317854
  • 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
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