St Mary’s News update – February 2016

St-Mary's-PCCSt Mary’s News update – February 2016

The February & March edition of Good News, St Mary’s Parish Magazine, is reproduced below:

He is not here; He is risen, just as He said. (Matthew 28:6) Easter Sunday – 27 March 2016
He is not here; He is risen, just as He said. (Matthew 28:6)
Easter Sunday – 27 March 2016

For quick access to different articles please make use of the following list:

Missing PieceThe Missing Piece

I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles when I had the time (before I became a parent and a working Mum!) but isn’t it frustrating when you realise that there is a vital piece of the puzzle missing?

Information published by a Christian group called ‘Journey into Wholeness’* indicates that although the percentage of the population who would describe themselves as Christians is in decline, the percentage of people who claim to have had a ‘spiritual’ experience is on the rise. These spiritual experiences may include seeing a pattern in events, being aware of the presence of God, answers to prayer and being aware of a sacred presence in nature. Apparently, over 90% of people in Britain believe in something.

Many people search in all sorts of places for that elusive feeling of inner peace, or purpose in their lives, not realising that Jesus could in fact be the vital missing piece which makes sense of their lives.

If you are curious to know more, you are very welcome to come to the Lent course on Tuesday evenings starting on 16 February, when we will be looking at personal prayer (see page 5 for more details). You will also be very welcome at the Good Friday service on 25 March at 10am, which is a time for quiet reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, or at our Easter Sunday service on 27 March at 9.30am, which is a livelier occasion!

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Best wishes, Liz Dixon

*   Journey into Wholeness, Essex Group, is a Christian group which seeks to connect with Spiritual Seekers who come to Mind, Body and Soul exhibitions.

For all the Saints

Yes – I know I’ve missed All Saints’ Day (November 1st), but I had other things on my mind during the autumn.  The main source of distraction for me was a course of radiotherapy for prostate cancer which took place from Mondays to Fridays for nearly two months.  Although I wouldn’t have chosen this lifestyle for the relevant period, nevertheless it wasn’t a negative experience.  For a start, I received the treatment in the radiotherapy department at Colchester General Hospital.  This environment has been well-planned and is pleasant, relaxing and sociable.  The equipment there is state-of-the-art and represents some of the most modern in Europe.  If you want to know what £25 million looks like, then pop your head round the door!  The staff were friendly, professional and efficient.  It’s the sort of place that makes me feel pleased that I’ve been conscientious in paying my taxes throughout my life, as well as making me proud to be a supporter (and ex-employee) of the National Health Service.

But what particularly made my experience a positive one was the range of wonderful people I met there – people I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered.  There were the members of staff, fulfilling various roles, all of whom were conscientious and caring.  And there were my fellow-patients (and their families and friends), some of whom were facing difficult situations – but were getting on with their lives as best they could with a cheerful and positive outlook.  There was a great deal of good-humoured support given to each other, without which I for one would not have completed the course of treatment as well as I did.  When I needed some quiet time on my own, I could retreat to the chapel which is an oasis of calm and peace in the middle of a busy hospital – and which is maintained by another band of saints.

So although this wasn’t an experience that I would have chosen, I do give thanks to God for all the saints I met in this process – many of whom would be very surprised (and possibly offended) to hear themselves referred to as such!  If you’re faced with the prospect of radiotherapy treatment then there really is no cause for alarm – and be prepared to encounter a number of living saints!


Lent Group 2016

St. Mary’s will be holding a series of 5 Lent studies in the church hall on the following dates:

Tuesday evenings @ 8pm in the church hall:

  • February 16th & 23rd
  • March 1st, 8th & 15th

The sessions will start with refreshments at 8pm and will finish by 9.15pm.  The studies will be looking at the topic of personal prayer (this is in response to a need identified in the church survey). All are welcome – you do not have to attend each session – just come to what you can – you will be made very welcome.

As with last year’s Lent Group, folk from West Bergholt Methodist Church and Great Horkesley, Langham and Boxted parish churches will be joining us.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

  • Sunday 17 April 2015 at 12.15pm in the church

Our Annual Church meeting will be held this year on Sunday 17 April at about 12.15pm, straight after the 11.15am Communion service. More details will follow in the April Good News.

Senior Citizens Lunches

We would like to hold our popular Senior Citizens lunches more frequently, perhaps every 2 months instead of only once a term. The lunches are a much valued opportunity for the older members of our village to enjoy some company and a home cooked meal, particularly for those who live alone. If you can help with the organisation of the additional lunches, please contact Kate Penrose (210225) or Murray Harlow (07989 720256).

The River of GodThe River of God – Heathlands School Worship Display

In October last year, Heathlands School unveiled their new Worship Display for the school hall. The display focuses on a river and was lovingly created by Jo Jeffery from various shades of blue material. The photograph opposite gives an idea of what it looks like, although it’s a shame we can’t show it in colour!

In a whole school assembly, Jo explained to the children the key features of the river:

  • The River has been deliberately handmade to reflect the uniqueness of each of us and how we are carefully thought of and created with time, care and attention with our own mix of unique personalities and abilities.
  • The sides of the River are deliberately not stitched to reflect the fact that we are capable of big dreams and visions for an unlimited life.
  • The River is all stitched with a triple gold thread to reflect Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s matt gold to show the humility of Jesus who came as a servant.
  • The back of the River is all in gold to reflect how God’s love never leaves us throughout the whole of our life, even when we can’t see it (just as we can’t see the gold background).
  • Inside the river all the threads have been left loose rather than cut off or stitched in. This demonstrates that sometimes we have regrets, things we’re sorry for, things we wish we hadn’t said or done. When we give these loose threads to God, He can weave them back into our lives as something beautiful, even if this is painful and may require us to say sorry, or to work hard to finish something we’ve started.

The plan is for all pupils, and staff, to add to the display so that eventually all pupils are represented on it.  This term, each class has been asked to design a fish to reflect one of the school’s Christian values, such as hope, forgiveness and thankfulness. Every pupil and member of staff will then contribute in some way to the making of the fishes, so that the whole school will be represented in the Worship Display.

I look forward to seeing the fishes in due course and am grateful to Jo Jeffrey and head teacher Jeremy Hallum for allowing me to reproduce the article which appeared in the school newsletter last October.

Liz Dixon


Easter Flowers

Flower arrangmentEaster is rapidly approaching!

This year Lent begins on Wednesday 10 February so we will soon be thinking about flowers for our church for Easter Sunday on 27 March. Hopefully by then, after our topsy turvey winter, there will be lots of bright spring flowers to choose from.

Please put Easter Saturday 26 March in your diaries now and come along to help from 9.45am on that day. Ideas and suggestions gratefully received at any time. Thank you.

[antibot mailto=”[email protected]”] , mob: 07866 485269

World_Day_of_Prayer_LogoWomen’s World Day of Prayer – Friday 4 March – 4pm at St Mary’s Church, West Bergholt

This year we are doing something different for Women’s World Day of Prayer: we will be having afternoon tea here at St Mary’s at 4pm, followed by the service at 4.45pm.  The service has been written by Christian Women from Cuba and the theme is ‘Receive children, receive me’.

Everyone is welcome, including men and children! So that we have an idea of numbers for catering, please contact Kate Penrose:

tel: 01206 210225, email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]; or Judith Fletcher: tel: 01206 241969.

Many thanks, on behalf of Kate Penrose.

The Month Newspaper

The next edition of the monthly Diocesan newspaper is now available – please do pick one up from the back of the church – it’s well worth a read!

Vocations Day – Saturday 5 March

Being held at Christ Church, Ireton Road, Colchester this is a day’s course to think about your discipleship in the church and the world.

For further details please phone 01245 294453 or email Geoff Read –  [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].

Christian Aid co-ordinators needed!

A reminder that Richard Chadborn is stepping down from his role as co-ordinator for the village Christian Aid collection and is looking for a team of 2 or 3 people to take over from him. If you feel you could help out in any way, please contact Richard on 01206 240541.

It is a very worthwhile cause and raises around £2000 a year to help people in need all over the world.

Dates for Your Diary

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

Sunday 17 April after the 11.15am service

Home Groups

Our home groups will continue on the following dates:

Thursday 10am (Rachel Hutchings): 4/2, then break for Lent.

Tuesday 8pm (Michael Foster) – continues after Easter on 12/4, 26/4, 10/5, 24/5 & 7/6.

Lent Groups

16/2, 23/2, 1/3, 8/3 & 15/3 – see above for more details

Open House & 5T’s

Open House every Thursday morning at 9am in term times

5T’s – 2.30pm on 4/2, 18/2, 3/3, 17/3 & 31/3.


Youth Group for Secondary School Students

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

  • 5 February – Talent night;
  • 4 March;
  • 1 April – chocolate night;
  • 6 May;
  • 10 June – Boxted v Bergholt;
  • 8 July – Pool Party

Contact Mark for further details (241617).

Lent & Easter Services

  • 10 February – Ash Wednesday Holy Communion – 8pm @ St Mary’s
  • 24 March – Maundy Thursday Fellowship Meal & Communion service – 8pm @ St John’s, Great Horkesley
  • 25 March – Good Friday service – 10.00am @ St Mary’s
  • 27 March – Easter Sunday Holy Communion – 9.30am @ St Mary’s, led by Rev. Geoff Read

Sunday Gospel Readings – February and March

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.

Date Reading Theme
Sunday 7 February Luke 9:28-36 Jesus is transfigured on the mountain
Sunday 14 February Luke 4:1-13 Satan tempts Jesus in the desert
Sunday 21 February Luke 13: 31-35 Jesus grieves over Jerusalem
Sunday 28 February Luke 13: 1-9 Jesus calls the people to repent
Sunday 6 March Luke 2: 33-35 Mary & Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple
Sunday 13 March John 12:1-8 A woman anoints Jesus with perfume
Sunday 20 March Luke 19: 28-44 Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey (Not the set reading)
Sunday 27 March Luke 24: 1-12 Jesus rises from the dead

Regular Events

1st Sunday in the month 9.30am Holy Communion + BUGS
2nd Sunday in the month 9.30am Family Worship
6.30pm (4.30pm in winter) Evening Prayer
3rd Sunday in the month 11.15am Holy Communion + BUGS
4th Sunday in the month 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) 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays in the month.


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


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

Services at a Glance


  • Sunday 7 February       9.30am          Holy Communion with BUGS
  • Tuesday 9 February      11.00am         Combined Communion service at St Mary’s
  • Weds 10 February  Ash Wednesday 8.00pm      Holy Communion service
    Also 11 am Communion at St Mary’s , Langham
  • Sunday 14 February      9.30am          Messy Church (No BUGS)
    4.30pm         Evening Prayer Service
    Also 9.30am Communion, St Mary’s, Langham; 11.15am Communion, All Saints’, Gt Horkesley; 6pm Storytime Club, New Village Hall, Great Horkesley
  • Sunday 21 February      11.15am         Holy Communion with Baptism and BUGS
    Also BCP Communion, St Mary’s, Langham; 9.30am Family Service, St Peter’s, Boxted; 11.15am Morning Praise, St John’s, Gt Horkesley
  • Sunday 28 February      9.30am          Morning Worship with BUGS


  • Sunday 6 March Mothers’ Day                 9.30am      Holy Communion with BUGS
  • Tuesday 8 March                  11.00am          Combined Communion service at St Mary’s
  • Sunday 13 March                  9.30am            Messy Church (No BUGS)
    4.30pm          Prayer Book Evening Service
  • Sunday 20 March Palm Sunday                    11.15am    Holy Communion (No BUGS)
  • Thursday 24 March Maundy Thursday          8.00pm     Holy Communion Service @ St John’s, Great Horkesley
  • Good Friday 25 March     10.00am         Good Friday Meditation service
  • Easter Sunday –    27 March                     9.30am      Holy Communion service
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