St Mary’s News update – June/July 2016

Messy ChurchSt Mary’s News update – June/July 2016

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

heartGetting to the Heart of the Matter

A few Sunday’s ago, I was standing in front of the Communion table waiting to receive Communion, when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye on the floor – a piece of red fluff. As soon as I had received Communion, I bent down and picked up the piece of fluff and carefully put it in my pocket.

People must have thought I was slightly bonkers, or perhaps obsessively tidy! What could be so special about a piece of red thread? The answer lies in the training day which had taken place in the church the day before.

The training day was on the subject of how prayer can be used in a healing ministry and was led by John Ryeland, who is the director of the Christian Healing Mission based in London. At the very beginning of the day, he brought out a large fluffy red rug, cut in the shape of a heart. This rug, he explained, represented God’s heart for us, and that it is a useful exercise to imagine ourselves standing on the rug and being surrounded by God’s love. We can dare to believe that the Father’s love for us is real and personal and that He does not wish that we were anyone else.

Another image that I took away with me from the training day was the idea that Jesus gives us glimpses of his presence with us.  His full presence is so bright and dazzling that we would be overwhelmed by it, so he reveals himself through glimpses. The way in which each person experiences these glimpses is very personal to them. For example, some people sense that Jesus is standing behind them or by their side, while others simply experience a feeling of peace.

So you see, the little piece of red fluff I saw must have come from John Ryeland’s heart-shaped rug and was for me a little glimpse of the presence of Jesus, as well as being a powerful reminder of God’s love for us!

Best wishes,
Liz Dixon

If you are interested to know more about the training day or the work of the Christian Healing Mission you can visit

News from our Annual General Meeting

At our annual church meeting in April, Rev. Mandy Elmes gave her annual report and thanked the many people who contribute to the life of the church and help organise its many activities, including the Sunday services and Messy Church, serving coffee after the service, leading our home groups, Wired youth club, open house coffee morning, 5Ts and senior citizen’s lunches (to name but a few!). Something else to celebrate is our relationship with Heathlands School and the way it has blossomed in the past year. It is great that the children are now taking the lead in planning and leading services in school and in church.

Looking to the future, we would like to make the church increasingly family friendly and to develop our outreach to different groups of people in the village. Mandy is hoping to set up a team of people to visit families who would like their children baptised, and also to visit people in the village who have recently been bereaved. There are training days for this in June and September and if you are interested in these, please contact Liz in the church office for more details.

Pat Kinzett
Pat Kinzett

Following the closure of the Village Friendship Club which was held in the Orpen Hall, we have decided to hold our 5Ts club (Together for Tea on Thursdays at Two-Thirty) every week instead of once a fortnight. We would also like to increase the frequency of the Senior Citizen’s lunches. But to make these two things more sustainable we need a bigger team of people and all offers of help would be gratefully received!

We are also looking at ways to develop our individual and corporate discipleship, and in due course would like to offer prayer after our Sunday morning services, in particular prayer for healing.

Dorothy and Richard Chadborn continue as our church wardens, but would like to step down next year so we will be looking for new church wardens next year, and there are 2 new faces on the Parochial Church Council – Sue Day and Rachel Hutchings.

We are also very pleased to welcome Pat Kinzett as our new PCC secretary. Pat recently moved to West Bergholt from Rainham to be closer to her family, including 5 grandchildren (with another one on the way!). She was an active member of her old church in Rainham and has been delighted with the warm welcome she received when she came to St Mary’s. She says she is pleased to be able to contribute to the life of the church in her new role as PCC secretary.

Messy Church – Happy 1st Birthday

Messy ChurchIt’s been a whole year since we introduced Messy Church here at St Mary’s and I am very pleased to say that it has been popular not only with families but with those of us whose children have grown up and flown the nest!

Messy Church is a fun and down-to-earth ‘way in’ to church and the Christian story for children and their families. We aim to be creative, learn, enjoy ourselves, worship, pray and celebrate God’s love together.

Whilst we want to encourage families to come along it is by no means only for the younger age group, and it has been lovely that the whole St Mary’s family have supported the new venture.

Here is a little flavour of what we get up to in Messy Church. Last month’s theme was ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and we heard the story of the Good Samaritan, with the help of our puppet friends Dylan & Daisy. Then we had chance to take part in lots of fun activities such as decorating biscuits, practising our first-aid bandaging skills and playing a brilliant board game, designed and made by Ronnie, based on the good Samaritan story.

A big thank you to the Messy Church team who put such a lot of time and thought into planning and leading the services. Thank you also to the St Mary’s folk who meet regularly (usually the Thursday before Messy Church @ 7pm in the church) to pray for the work of our church, especially Messy Church.

queen's-hatThe next Messy Church will be on June 12th when the theme will be the Christian values and beliefs of Queen Elizabeth as we join in with her 90th Birthday celebrations. There will be lots of fun activities including a mini royal garden party in the Rectory garden, so feel free to wear a hat!!. We look forward to seeing you there!

Messy Church Dates at a glance

Sundays @ 9.30am on the following dates:

  • 12 June,
  • 10 July,
  • 14 Aug,
  • 11 Sept,
  • 9 October &
  • 11 December 2016.

Can I have Some Chocolate Please?

A few Sundays ago in church we celebrated Pentecost – the birth of the Christian Church when the disciples received the Holy Spirit. It was a lively occasion and it was lovely to be able to welcome the families of Tilly and Rhys who were being baptised that morning.

But who or what exactly is the Holy Spirit? The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition: “(in Christianity) the third person of the Trinity; God as spiritually active in the world”. Yet the Holy Spirit is probably the least understood member of the Holy Trinity. We can identify more easily with God as Father, and Jesus as the Son, but the Holy Spirit is more mysterious and ethereal.

In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is often symbolised as coming down like a dove, or looking like tongues of fire and sounding like a rushing wind (incidentally the Hebrew word for the Spirit in the Old Testament means ‘breath’ or ‘wind’). In her sermon on Pentecost Sunday, Rev. Mandy Elmes used a number of interesting visual aids to illustrate the nature of the Holy Spirit and I thought I would share some of them with you.

The first visual aid was 5 flames made out of coloured cardboard. The flames had been hidden around the church for the children to find, and while they were searching for them, Mandy explained that we too can seek out the Holy Spirit in the expectation that we will find him. Once the children had found all the flames Mandy lined them up on the Communion table and talked about the ways in which the Holy Spirit is like fire:

  • Sometimes it is strong and powerful like a blazing fire;
  • Sometimes it is quiet and gentle, like a candle, whispering deep into our needs and telling us what is right;
  • Like fire, the Holy Spirit is warming, spreading love and a real desire to ‘put things right’ and to stand up for goodness and truth;
  • Like fire, the Holy Spirit purifies us, burning away all that is evil and selfish in us, so that we can become like refined gold, glowing with the light of God’s love;
  • Like fire, the Spirit is enlightening, shedding light for us on our understanding of the Bible, our conversations and relationships, and other events in our lives so that we can see God more clearly through them.

The second object was a fan with ribbons tied to it and Mandy explained that the Holy Spirit is a bit like the wind; we don’t know where it comes from or where it goes to, and we can’t see it, but we can see the effect of it in our lives, just as you can see the ribbons streaming out when the fan is switched on.

Next, Mandy produced a torch with no batteries and asked the children if it would work; not surprisingly, it didn’t work until the appropriate batteries had been inserted! Mandy then talked about the fact that when Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection, his disciples felt powerless until God sent his Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is God’s power in our lives. And God doesn’t limit his gift to a select few; it is available to everyone.

Finally, Mandy drew our attention to something else on the Communion table; an enormous bar of chocolate. Many of us had noticed it but were too polite to ask if we could have a piece!  The Holy Spirit is a bit like the chocolate; we know it’s there but we need to ask if we want to have some of it. God wants us to ask him for the Holy Spirit to help us grow as Christians and to become more like Jesus with the same love, joy, peace, and all the other wonderful parts of Jesus’s character. These are the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

And now the title of this article finally makes sense!

May God give you his Holy Spirit and bless you richly.

Thank you very much to Rev. Mandy Elmes for allowing me to reproduce parts of her sermon.

Best wishes,
Liz Dixon


Children’s Society Boxes

It’s that time of year again! Liz Dixon will be contacting all box holders in June so please keep topping them up with your spare change. Last year we raised a fantastic total of £260, so thank you all for your continuing support.

(See the Children’s Society website for more about their good work).

More helpers needed to run 5Ts (Together for Tea at Two Thirty on Thursdays)

Following the closure of the Friendship Club held in the Orpen Hall, 5Ts is now taking place every Thursday in the church hall. However, we need more helpers in order to share the responsibility and Murray Harlow would love to hear from you if you can help in any way (it doesn’t have to be every week). Please contact Murray on 07989 720256 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

West Bergholt Open Gardens – Sunday 12 June

We will be providing refreshments in the church as part of the Open Gardens Event in West Bergholt on Sunday 12 June. Nicole Long is organising a rota of volunteers who could spare an hour during the afternoon to serve tea and cakes. If you can help on the day, or donate cakes, please contact Nicole on 240443 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Alzheimers Cup Cake Day Coffee Morning

Thursday 16th June, 10:30am at St Mary’s, Open House will be joining forces with a coffee morning to raise money for Alzheimers research. All welcome!

Boxted Flower Festival – St Peter’s Church, Sat 11 & Sun 12 June

A celebration of the life, loves and duties of Queen Elizabeth from 11am to 5pm on both days. Free admission and parking. Afternoon tea on Sunday at the Old Vicarage opposite the church.

Baptism Training Day

Taking place on Monday 20 June @ St John’s Church, Colchester – 9.15am – 2.30pm, please let Mandy or Liz Dixon know if you would like to attend.

Heathlands School Fayre – Fri 1 July

The church has been invited to run a stall at the school Fayre on Fri 1 July and Liz is getting together a small team of people to organise and man the stall. We haven’t yet decided what activities we will offer, but if you can help in any way, please contact Liz in the church office on 243683 or [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Dates for Your Diary

Services at a Glance

Sunday 5 June 9.30am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with BUGS
Sunday 12 June 9.30am
Messy Church (no BUGS)
Evening Prayer
Tuesday 14 June 11.00am Village Communion at St Mary’s
Sunday 19 June
Fathers’ Day
11.15am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with BUGS
Sunday 26 June 9.30am Morning Worship, with BUGS
Sunday 3 July 9.30am Holy Communion led by Mandy Elmes, with BUGS
Sunday 10 July 9.30am
Messy Church (no BUGS)
Evening Prayer
Tuesday 12 July 11.00am Village Communion at the Methodist Chapel
Sunday 17 July 11.15am Holy Communion led by Rev Dennis Martin, with BUGS
Sunday 24 July 9.30am Morning Worship (no BUGS)
Sunday 31 July
No service in West Bergholt
9.30am Joint 3 Parishes service at St Peter’s Church, Boxted

Home Groups

Our home groups will continue on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 8pm (Michael Foster): 7/6,
  • Thursday 10.00am (Rachel Hutchings): 9/6, 23/6 & 7/7.

Open House & 5T’s

Open House every Thursday morning at 9am in term times, in the church

5T’s – 2.30pm every Thursday in the church hall


(Youth Group for Secondary School Students)

Fridays @ 7.45pm in the church on the following dates:

  • 10 June;
  • 8 July (Pool Party).

Contact Mark for further details (241617).

Senior Citizens Lunch

The next Senior Citizen’s lunch will take place on Saturday 25 June @ 12.45pm. Please contact Murray Harlow (07989 720256) if you know someone who would like to come, or if you can help prepare and serve food on the day.

Prayer for Messy Church

The prayer meetings to pray for Messy Church and the work of our church will take place @ 7pm in church on the following dates:

9/6, 7/7, 11/8, 8/9, 6/10 & 8/12.

Services in Great Horkesley & Langham with Boxted

  • Sunday 12th June – 8am Communion (said) at St Mary’s, Langham;  9.30am Communion & flower festival at St Peter’s, Boxted,  11.15am Communion at All Saints’, Gt Horkesley (GH) & 6pm Storytime Club at GH new village hall.
  • Sunday 19th June – 8am Communion (said) at St Mary’s, Langham;  9.30am Family Service at St Peter’s, Boxted; 11.15am Morning Praise at St John’s, GH.

Joint 3 Parishes Service – 31st July@ 9.30am, St Peter’s Church, Boxted

If anyone would like a lift, please contact Liz in the church office or Richard & Dorothy Chadborn.

Sunday Gospel Readings – June and July

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 5 June Luke 7: 11-17 Jesus raises a widow’s son.
Sunday 12 June Luke 7: 36-8:3 Jesus is anointed by a sinful woman.
Sunday 19 June
Fathers’ Day
Luke 8: 26-39 Jesus heals a demon-possessed man.
Sunday 26 June Luke 9: 51-62 The cost of following Jesus.
Sunday 3 July Luke 10: 1-11,
Jesus sends out the seventy-two.
Sunday 10 July Luke 10: 25-37 The parable of the Good Samaritan.
Sunday 17 July Luke 10: 38-42 At the home of Martha and Mary.
Sunday 24 July Luke 11: 1-13 Jesus’ teaching on prayer (the Lord’s Prayer).
Sunday 31 July Luke 12: 13-21 The parable of the rich fool.

Regular Events

1st Sunday in the month 9.30am Holy Communion + BUGS
2nd Sunday in the month 9.30am Messy Church
3rd Sunday in the month 6.30pm (4.30pm in winter) Evening Prayer
4th Sunday in the month 11.15am Holy Communion + BUGS

9.30am Morning Worship + BUGS

(BUGS = 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.
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.


  • 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]”].
  • Licensed Readers:
    • Richard Chadborn – 01206 240541
    • Michael Foster- 01206 241022
  • Evangelist:
    Ronnie Seymour – 01206 273579
  • Church Wardens
    Richard & Dorothy Chadborn –   01206 240541
  • Home Groups: (Bible Study) Contact Michael Foster – 01206 241022
  • Hall Hire and Church Bookings: Contact Murray on 07989 720256
  • 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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