The Month March 2016

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In this issue: Friends create picture to say farewell to the Archdeacon of Chelmsford, Aid volunteer Sandra witnesses plight of fleeing refugees on Greek island of Lesvos and Archdeacon John Perumbalath tells his life story.

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  • March 2016

    New Bradwell Festival weekend replaces traditional pilgrimage Full story: Page 3

    Aid volunteer Sandra witnesses plight of fleeing refugees on Greek island of LesvosFull story: Page 5

    Archdeacon John Perumbalath tells his life story toThe MonthInterview: Centre Pages

    N E E D T O K N O W I S T O R I E S I A R E A U P D AT E S I E V E N T S N E A R Y O U

    ThanksDavid

    Friends createpicture to say farewell to the Archdeaconof Chelmsford:See Page 3 www.chelmsford.anglican.org

    A r c h d e a c o n s V i e w

    By ROBIN KING,

    Archdeacon of

    Stansted

    IN my attempts to be a disciple of Jesus, a question Ive always had in my head is,

    Which is best, being right or being together?

    Before we got married, I can remember

    someone telling us there were no

    arguments in a marriage worth winning

    the damage done far outweighed the

    benefits of having the right colour curtains.

    When it comes to being a disciple, the

    same question is still there. Is it worth

    holding on to what I believe is right at all

    costs, or does there come a point when

    disunity undoes any benefit from being

    right? Of course, the argument goes

    the other way too can we go on

    compromising what we believe to be true,

    whatever the cost?

    Im a bit of a lone sportsman these days

    (running, cycling, etc.). I have recently

    joined Sudbury Rowing Club and try to

    get out on the river on days off, which

    usually means Friday morning, when

    nobody else is around. Its great to have

    the river to myself, but doing it alone,

    especially over the winter months, can be

    hard work.

    But there was good news recently - I

    was asked if I could fill in when a crew of

    veterans needed an eighth man. It was a

    CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

    christmasstarts.com

    Bring the kids to light a candlefor Christs birthday

    Christmas startswith

    Christingle

  • Deaf centre anniversaryTHE month Bishop Stephen follows in the footsteps of predecessor

    2 THE MONTH March 2016

    IN November 1935, the third Bishop of Chelmsford, Henry Wilson, laid the foundation stone of the St Mellitus Centre for Deaf People in Southend.

    Eighty years later the present Bishop, Stephen Cottrell, joined deaf worshippers at a service of thanksgiving at the St. Mellitus centre (right).

    Bishop Stephen gave everyone a stone to remind us that we are each chosen and called by God.

    The St Melitus Centre is one of the locations where signed services are regularly provided by the diocesan Deaf Church, a Bishops Mission Order (BMO) church.

    A BMO provides legal recognition of a mission initiative For more information, visit www.deafchurch-chelmsford.org.uk.

    Striding out for homelessFATHER James Rodley, Priest-in-charge of St Andrew North Weald and St Mary Magdalene, Harlow Common has completed a long-standing pro-ject to walk between Land's End and John O'Groats.

    James (left) said: "This was a very personal route which passed through my current parishes in West Essex.

    "It's taken me more than 10 years to complete in stages but I didn't start out with the intention of it becoming how it ended up.

    "However, I thought it would be good to celebrate the end, after more than 1500 miles by asking friends, family and colleagues to make a donation to Harlow's charity for the homeless, Streets2Homes.

    "I set up a fundraising page and people generously donated 1,035."

    ESSEX Police have launched heritage crime meetings to protect the county's valuable heritage assets

    The first meeting of the Essex Heritage Crime Strategy Group took place at the Corporation of London's Epping Forest Rangers' base at Loughton.

    Stephen Armson-Smith, Essex Police heritage crime prevention lead said: "The group consists of Essex Police, Essex County Council Place Services, Historic England and other heritage professionals representing the different facets of our heritage visitor attractions and museums, archaeology, church buildings, listed building owners, the insurance sector and history groups.

    "The group are a guiding body for the formation of Heritage Watch and the meeting included an update on its progress.

    "One of the objectives of the group is to understand

    and reduce crimes threatening our heritage assets such as metal thefts and the recently publicised theft of historic masonry.

    "As well as discussing current threats and risks to each aspect of our county's heritage there were presentations from William Brown, National Security Adviser to the Arts Council, and John Minary of Trace-in Metal Ltd."

    Stephen added: Heritage assets within our county are

    many, varied, and valuable and in most cases they are simply irreplaceable.

    "It is important that we are proactive in protecting them. This group brings together the people with the knowledge from the wide variety of heritage fields to help keep our heritage safe for this and future generations to enjoy. Stephen can be contacted at Braintree police station by ringing 101 ext 407110 or at stephen.armson-smith@essex.pnn.police.uk

    Essex Police in move to reduce heritage crimes

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    For distribution contact Sarah Newman: internalcomms@chelmsford.anglican.orgTel: 01245 294443.Your newspaper will normally be available from the third Sunday in the month. Any further changes will be advised to distributors.

    Editor: Jon LongmanEditorial and photographs for The Month should be sent to:themonth@chelmsford.anglican.orgor Jon Longman, The Month, 1 Bouchiers Place, Messing, Colchester CO5 9TY. Tel: 01621 810530. Mobile: 07860 769906 Digital photographs for publication: Please take pictures at largest size,

    resolution and compression. Hi-res JPGs or Tiffs should be re-sized to min 7x5in at 300dpi with no layers or sharpening. Captions, your name and contact details should be embedded in the 'File Info' section if possible. If e-mailing many shots, send only 72dpi initially at max size of 8x6in. When submitting photos please confirm that written consent has been obtained from parents / guardians of children under age 16 for publication of photos publicising church activities in

    The inclusion of an advertisement should not be taken as implying endorsement of the objects of the advertiser by the diocese.

    The Month, incorporating NB and East Window, is the free circulation newspaper of Church of England in Essex and East London (Diocese of Chelmsford). www.chelmsford. anglican.org/themonth Find Chelmsford Diocese on Twitter @chelmsdio Find Bishop Stephen on Twitter @cottrellstephen Subscribe to our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/ChelmsfordDiocese Like us on Facebook: www. facebook.com/chelmsdio Like our Ask an Archdeacon Facebook www.facebook.com/ askanarchdeacon View our photostream on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/chelmsford-diocese

    Running parish gets redefined

    Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

    REMEMBRANCE Sunday in the mid-Essex village of Stebbing features a 10-mile running race.

    In the past, this sporting event had caused some disruption to the parish churchs Remembrance Service, but then the races organisers, Grange Farm and Dunmow Trotters, working with the Priest in Charge, Tim Goodbody, came up with an excellent solution; the runners would come to the war memorial to participate in the silence before the race began. So two competing events became one united Act of Remembrance.

    Since 2011, about 700 people have been attending the wreath laying and two minutes silence at the war memorial, and then 200 proceed into church while 500 turn round to start their race just below the church.

    This development has been welcomed by all concerned, and this year the good relationship between runners

    and church was cemented by Tim and the Archdeacon of Stansted, Ven Robin King participating in the race.

    Before the race, both ministers led the Act of Remembrance before stripping off their robes to reveal running kit underneath. The trainers were a bit of a

    giveaway though (above). In the race, Archdeacon Robin (303 in inset) left Stebbings parish priest in his wake as he stormed to a time of one hour 14 minutes, finishing 142nd out of 494. Tim (210) eventually made it round the route in two hours and two minutes (but he wasnt last).

    THE Bishops of Chelmsford and Barking will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May next year with McCabe Travel.

    There will be two options to be part of this amazing trip which will take you to all the key sites associated with the life of Jesus.

    One group will be in the Holy Land from May 23- June 1, and the other will be there from May 27-June 3. Both groups will spend time together in

    Jerusalem. If you would like to find out more, please visit www. chelmsford.anglican.org/pilgrimage2017 where you will find information about the itinerary and costs.

    There will be two evening meetings for those who would like to find out more in the Barking Episcopal Area on May 24 and in Chelmsford on May 25. Further details will be posted on the website and appear in the April edition of the Month.

  • Bradwell'spilgrimagerevamped

    THE MONTH March 2016 3

    THE month New festival is built on years of tradition

    x

    from charities and campaign groups will have a new home in the Othona gardens.

    Festival speakers will include Dave Walker, cartoonist from the Church Times, Leigh-on-Sea author Jane Dolby, whose book Song of the Sea tells the story of how she rebuilt her life and formed The Fishwives Choir after her fisherman husband was tragically lost at sea. Also speaking will be Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford.

    Festival-goers will be able to enjoy a wide range of music at both the Performance Caf on the Othona site and on the main stage in the Chapel Field. The line up includes vintage jazz trio The Daisy Bowlers, and Christian singer-songwriter and social justice campaigner Andy Flannagan. More artists will be added to the line up.

    "For those wishing to make a weekend of it, camping will be offered on the site. The chance to see the sunrise over this stunning landscape will undoubtedly be a real highlight for anyone staying overnight," adds Hannah (right).

    BRADWELL-ON-SEA will take on a different flavour during the first weekend in July this year as a new festival comes to the village.

    "The Bradwell Festival will build on the legacy of the Bradwell Pilgrimage, starting with the pilgrimage itself," said Revd Hannah Bucke, the chair of the organising committee.

    "This year there will be two routes to choose from: the traditional walk through Bradwell village, starting from St Thomas church, and a new coastal route beginning at The Green Man pub on the marina, and taking in the unique landscape of the Blackwater Estuary.

    "Once at the festival, which will incorporate St Peters Chapel and the Othona Community, festival-goers will be able to enjoy a variety of worship, activities, food and drink throughout the day and evening.

    "Worship will take place outside St Peters Chapel as people arrive and the Northumbria Community will be leading the Daily Office in the chapel during the weekend."

    Stallholders and representatives

    FestivalupdatesKEEP in touch with the Bradwell Festival updates and the musical line-up by logging on to www.bradwellfestival. com

    David's friendsin the frame forfarewell pictureA FRAMED reproduction of a painting of Christ by the Spanish painter El Greco was presented to David Lowman on his retirement as Archdeacon of Chelmsford at a farewell Eucharist on January 31 at Chelmsford Cathedral.

    The picture (right) was assembled from hundreds of photographs of Davids colleagues and friends.

    Bishop Stephen said: The reason David Lowman has been an outstanding Archdeacon, and a wonderful servant to the Chelmsford diocese, is quite simply because he is an outstanding priest. He has always carried out his work with a priests pastoral heart as well as an Archdeacons eye for detail.

    "His love of the gospel and his care of souls never dimmed. This will go on as God opens new doors of opportunity in retirement. We wish him well, and thank God for his ministry.

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  • 4 THE MONTH March 2016

    THE month Friends of Essex Churches grant for High Ongar roof works

    Roof project cost 100,000MAJOR fundraising by the congregation has augmented grants from Friends of Essex Churches and the Governments Listed Places of Worship (roof repair fund) and enabled vital work to take place at St Marys High Ongar.

    "The church dates back to Medieval times and King John granted a licence to hold a fair in the churchyard," said Project Manager Andy Neale.

    "Since then the church has been home to many generations of Christian believers and with these repairs carried out we hope that this will continue for many years."

    The scheme, costing more than 100,000, was undertaken in partnership with Natural England, the Bat Conservation Trust, Historic Britain and local authorities to ensure that all aspects of the project were completed.

    Revd Malcolm Peters said: Whilst these works were in progress our Sunday services were held in High Ongar Primary School and we are truly grateful to the headteacher, staff and governors for their support and hospitality.

    The church opened its doors again on December 13 when the special guest was the former Bishop of Lewes, Rt Revd Wallace Benn.

    Wallace was formerly a parish minister in Harold Wood is more famous as one of the participants in the Top Gear 'Fastest Faith' race where he took a magnificent third place.

    Pictured below at a site meeting are (left to right) contractor John Cater, architect David Ferguson and churchwarden Peter Lewin.

    Morris Men add colour to Plough Sunday celebrationBISHOP Roger and Janet Nicholls, Rural Adviser & Agricultural Chaplain, celebrated Plough Sunday at Thaxted church.

    A troupe of Thaxted Morris Men (above) and a plough also made an appearance at the service on January 17.

    The observance of Plough Sunday goes back to Victorian times, but behind it there is a much older observance, associated

    with the first working day after the 12 days of Christmas, hence Plough Monday in some places such as Maldon.

    In medieval times some ploughs were kept in the parish church, and some churches kept a plough-light. In days when work was scarce in winter, the observance looked forward to the time of sowing with the promise of a harvest.

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  • THE MONTH March 2016 5

    THE month Volunteer meets refugees fleeing to Lesvos

    Realities of tide of humanity . . .

    Canvey Islander SANDRA TUDOR spent a week volunteering on the Greek island of Lesvos, distributing aid to refugees arriving on their shores via Turkey. "We have all seen the plight of the refugees on the news, but the sheer volume of humanity on the move was incredible to see close-up. Many were families with babies and young children, bewildered by their plight," says Sandra. Here is her story. IN Lesvos alone, there is a near constant stream of overloaded boats arriving from Turkey, where refugees have been forced often at gun point, paying 1500 to 2000 euros each for the trouble into rubber dinghies with dud lifevests and sent on their way.

    Some boats are turned back by the Turkish police, others suffer engine failure and struggle to reach the safety of land. Between 1,000-2,000 people can arrive on a calm day.

    And each week there continue to be those who dont make it, whose boats capsize at sea or children who die of hyperthermia during the crossing. Boat upon boat lies strewn on the beaches.

    I was encouraged by the number of volunteers there, including people who simply turn up on the island and offer their help.

    It was heart-warming to see the constructive efforts and attitudes of locals and volunteers alike Stavros was a lovely local running one of the camps. He was so grateful for the 'presents' (aid) we brought. He said there were no refugees or immigrants only guests to his island to whom he shows hospitality.

    As this situation becomes the norm for now, there is some degree of process and organisation there are lookouts

    on watch for boats arriving, teams of doctors, nurses and aid workers to meet the boats and United Nations buses to take the refugees to the camps for registration.

    But the situation evolves according to weather conditions, Greek ferry strikes and bureaucratic demands, and so there is an undercurrent of chaos and searching for information.

    One evening while I was there the weather got so bad they closed the ferry port and a thousand refugees, who had been hoping to leave the island for the

    mainland, were stranded to spend the night in the cold.

    We took one of our aid lorries to the port and spent four hours giving out clothing and bedding to a constant stream of people.

    And in marshalling the queue, I met some great people without language we smiled, laughed and shared sweets.

    One man was so grateful for the warm trousers Id been able to sort out for him that he came back just to show me what he looked like wearing them.

    Each refugee brings a story of hardship and hope. Whatever the

    politics, whatever the 'best solution, these are people in need. And despite whatever is said or done to prevent them travelling, they will continue to do so because this risky journey is better than the alternative in their homelands of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Please pray for the people working in Lesvos and for the refugees. And pray that a solution of safe passage is found soon. Further accounts of the trip and details of the charity I went with can be found at www. hopeandaiddirect.org.uk

    MEMORIES: Sandra Tudor helps to unload UK aid lorries and one of her "customers" parades with a new hat

    Rowing in the right direction?FROM FRONT PAGE

    Saturday morning, the diary was clear, and I jumped at the opportunity.

    It was great to be in a crew and feel the encouragement of everyone working as one (or trying to). The only trouble was, having been going out on my own for so long, I suddenly had to submit to what everyone else wanted to do and the way they wanted to do it and acquire a completely new set of blisters in the process.

    Togetherness in a rowing boat is crucial. It wouldnt take more than a few days to train a crew of beginners to beat a crew of Olympians if the beginners did everything together and the experts each did their own thing their disregard for each other would spoil it all.

    Jesus prayed passionately that we should be one, and he forgave

    the disciples when they didnt quite understand his teaching, and so I guess thats why I tend to learn towards being together over being right. The truth in scripture is that I am a fallible human being and have to accept the possibility that I just might be wrong about something. If I cant be sure that I am right, I can at least be sure that I am united with the church and with my fellow pilgrims and being united with them perhaps gives us a better chance of arriving at the most godly solution anyway.

    Im now back to rowing on my own, but just one day of being part of something bigger has made a difference and Im fitter and stronger for it. Of course, it would be great to be both right and together and so perhaps thats the miracle I should be praying for.

    ROBIN KING Archdeacon of Stansted

    Mark takes youth roleBISHOP John Wraw has appointed Mark Tiddy as Youth Adviser in the Bradwell Area.

    Mark (above) trained in youth ministry with Oasis College in London whilst working as a youth worker in Peterborough.

    For the last six years he has worked as a youth facilitator and schools worker with churches and schools in villages just outside Hull. In his spare time, Mark loves music, runs a youth work resource website and enjoys playing with the latest tech.

    Bishop John said: "Mark brings practical experience both of leading and developing youth work himself as well as helping and supporting churches and other groups. He has a real passion for ensuring the voices of young people are heard so that they can play a full role in the life of the church."

    The Barking and Colchester Youth Advisers, Rachel Brett and

    Hannah Phillips, said: Were very excited for Mark as he becomes part of the youth adviser team.

    "Mark brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise that complements us as a team. We look forward to welcoming him in April and introducing him to the excellent youth work that happens across the Diocese.

    Mark begins his work in the Area on April 4 and is looking forward to invitations to visit youth groups, chapters, synods and churches.

    Bishop John added: "I would very much like to visit as many youth groups as possible with Mark over the next few months, so please do send your invitations to my PA, Amanda Robinson (arobinson@chelmsford.anglican.org), who is looking after Marks diary until he joins us.

    "Please do join me in praying for Mark as he makes his preparations to move to Essex."

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  • 6 THE MONTH March 2016

    Archdeacon puts his faith in youth to revive the Church

    THE month 'Sometimes the point of the Gospel is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'

    new Christian friends, I had a life changing experience of reading Johns Gospel, chapter 1, and I got stuck at verse 14. I felt as if the Word of God was jumping out of the pages and confronting me, bridging the gap between the things I was struggling with. In the Word became flesh, I found God doing away with that dichotomy of spirit and body, spiritual and physical. I began to search the Scriptures more seriously, started the Evangelical Union study group in my college and soon I found myself teaching and preaching at various church gatherings.TM Did you go straight into Ordination training after university?JP After I left the university, I worked a year full time with the Evangelical Union, then took a Bachelor of Divinity degree, did a year of teaching in a small Bible college and then went on to do postgraduate degrees in the New Testament and philosophy. I was invited to join the faculty of New Testament Studies at Serampore College (University), near Calcutta, and taught there for two years. I was ordained while I was teaching there and served my curacy in a parish in Calcutta alongside teaching.TM Why did you move into parish ministry when you could have remained an academic?JP I had fallen in love with Calcutta and the urban challenges beckoned me out of the academy. I enjoyed teaching and writing but I longed to share life with people outside the academy communities with real challenges and needs out in the world. That passion and longing grew in me as I prayed about my future and then it wasnt difficult for me to conclude where I was called to be.TM You have become very passionate about urban context and life. But how does your rural upbringing contribute to your perspective today?

    JP We are products of our culture and context. I was a rural boy until I went to the university. Farming is what most people did in the communities where my dad served. That context helps me a lot even when I read the Bible. I understand what it probably means to 'to take the yoke' I still remember my dad making or repairing yokes and learn from Jesus. When I read about the farmer who went on sowing seeds even on the rocky ground, I wonder what a crazy farmer because farmers normally sow seeds after preparing the ground for it.

    'Urban challenges beckoned me'

    TM Was there any other turning point or transition in your life that has bearing on your ministry?JP Yes, it happened when I was training for Ordination. My spirituality became sacramental and Eucharistic centred. In one sense it was a strange thing to happen because I trained in a seminary which had a low view of sacraments. Then I was drawn to Benedictine spirituality. The Benedictine framework of study, labour and

    THE VENERABLE DR JOHN PERUMBALATH, Archdeacon of Barking, spent the first four years of his life in an agricultural community in India before his father swapped farming for the Church. The Month talked to John about the steps in his own journey of faith from academia to urban ministry and Church leadershipTM Can you tell us something about where you come from and about the Christian communities there?JP I come from Kerala, the land of coconuts, the southwestern state of India. Christianity is very prominent in Kerala and the majority of Christians there belong to the ancient Syrian Christian community. My family traces its Christian heritage back to first century AD.TM You followed your father into ministry. Was this an easy move to make?JP Not that easy! My sense of being called was surely influenced by my fathers life and work. But in my youth I became conscious of poverty, homelessness and injustice around me. I questioned the Churchs lack of response to social problems like these. So I drifted away from the Church in my late teens.TM Did you feel the Church had lost its way?JP I felt a contradiction between Jesus as I saw him in the scriptures and a Church that consisted of comfortable souls pretending there was no world outside the Church. I felt that people in Church acted as individuals wanting to have a better life for them rather than as instruments of God in this world.

    'I had lost faith in the Church'

    TM What were you struggling with exactly at that time?JP I was struggling with the dualistic way of thinking I found in my Christian community. They separated the spiritual from the physical and material. They were interested in saving souls not persons in flesh and blood. Most of them saw being human as bad. But I believed as St Irenaeus said: The glory of God is the human being fully alive. I couldnt see in them any commitment to transform the world that God created and loved.TM Did you look for solutions to social problems outside the Church?JP I became political at university. I felt if peoples lives were to be transformed, I needed to work with politics. I was drawn to socialist thinking and activism. I had my faith; I never lost it, but had lost faith in the Church.TM What made you go back to Church?JP I came into contact with some friends belonging to the Evangelical Union at university who accepted me without judging me. They accepted that what I was doing as an activist was part of what God wanted me to do. Fellowship with other Christians started to become more important to me. TM - How important was the Bible to you at that time in your life?JP I had never stopped reading the Bible. But somewhere around the time when I met my

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  • THE MONTH March 2016 7

    Archdeacon puts his faith in youth to revive the Church

    THE month 'Sometimes the point of the Gospel is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'

    in touch with me. Three among them are clergy in the same diocese now. TM How have you managed to change attitudes and grow the Church?JP We need to speak to the heart and even challenge but with love and humility, building on relationships with people and living among them as one of them. Sometimes the point of the Gospel is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. All are created in the image of God and all have the potential to grow into his likeness. Church growth does not happen just by what the priest does. Ministry belongs to the whole people. So I would start with the congregation helping them to be confident in practicing and sharing their faith, enabling them to love one another (and the strangers) and shaping them to be a community of radical hospitality, sharing time, space and material resources.

    'Ministry belongs to the whole people'

    TM Doesnt the Church today have too many problems of its own to make it a model for transformation?JP The Church always had problems! But the New Testament provides us with examples of handling problems and transforming conflicts (and disagreeing well). May be it is good that we have some problems of our own to keep us human and humble lest we assume a moral high ground in our public discourse! But the Church fails in its calling and defeats Gods purposes for us when we fail to love.TM Should Christians exercise their consciences in the cause of transformation?JP Yes, but we should also be willing to

    examine our conscience. Our conscience is related to our culture, tradition and upbringing. It is often influenced by our prejudices and unhealthy presumptions. Conscience is not static. I have changed my mind I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit on certain matters. My conscience responds differently now from the past when I approach those issues. People have thought and felt differently about the same things in different times and places. Take slavery, for example. Our conscience must be subjected to the ongoing renewing work of the Sprit. We need to engage with the scriptures, reason and tradition in this journey. TM What makes you feel sad about the Church today?JP I am sorry that fewer families are coming to Church. It also saddens me that often individuals are asking what satisfaction they are getting from Church, holding on to a consumerist approach to religion. Faith is reduced to a feel good factor in life. Faith is then neither vibrant nor deep. There is also a tendency to be inward-looking and becoming blind to the human realities around us. That is worrying.TM What gives you hope about the Church?JP God. It is Gods Church and God continues his mission in this world. Although the membership is in decline, the Church is still the largest network of volunteers making any real presence in many communities in this country. So we still have the potential to reach out to our communities. And on a global level, the Church is not in decline as such. Where the Church is declining, like in this country, there are still signs of people searching something deeper. I have a lot of confidence in young people. They tend to have the capacity to think deeply, to be socially conscious and open to change. I am also heartened that migrants are bringing new vibrancy into the Church.

    prayer, and the vows of stability, obedience and conversion of life have since shaped and ordered my life. TM What was your first post after Ordination?JP I was invited by the Bishop of Calcutta to serve at St James Calcutta as curate; or so I thought. I had taken a look at the curates vacant flat but when I mentioned this to the Bishop, he asked: Why would the vicar live in the curates flat? St James had the largest English speaking congregation in Calcutta and I was the youngest vicar ever appointed there. I was in shock.TM What was parish ministry like?JP I sooner found out that a lot of people had dropped out of the congregation and to my horror I realized it was the economically poor ones who left. I went knocking on their doors. Six or seven people would be living in a one- or two-bedroom flat. I met many youngsters who wanted to come back to church but felt they were not welcome there. A number of families returned. My wife and I made space in the vicarage for several young people who needed somewhere to sit and study. Our youth group grew eight fold. We got to know around 100 children and youngsters during those five years there who grew in life and faith by encountering an affirming environment. Most of them are still

    ROOTS: John at home in Kerala (left) and St James' church in Calcutta (above).

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  • THE MONTH March 2016 9

    THE month Whats on near you during Lent in Essex & East London Sunday, February 21 Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. St James' church, Beatrice Road, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1LE. 4pm. St James @ 4. A short, informal Service of Holy Communion, using modern music, and followed by refreshments. Suitable for all ages.Monday, February 22 Chelmsford Cathedral. 7pm. Flower Guild demonstration by David Thomson.Tuesday, February 23 Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group. In Lent 2016, the Bishops of Chelmsford, Barking, Bradwell and Colchester will present four lectures on the four themes of Transforming Presence, the strategic priorities for the Diocese of Chelmsford. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week one with Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford - Living distinctively What does it mean to be a disciple today? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 8pm. Lent Course: Migration and movement, a Christian response. A Deeper Walk - Lent Course. Emmanuel Church, Billericay CM12 9LD. 7.30pm. Find out more at www.billericaychurches.org/html/news.php.Wednesday, February 24 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.30am. Lent Group - Evangelism and the Third Age. Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am-12noon. Baby & Toddler Group in St Cedds Hall. Chelmsford Cathedral, north transept. 7.30pm. Wednesday Evenings in Lent at the Cathedral Faith and Film. A reflective series of talks with five different speakers showing an excerpt from a favourite film of theirs, and then talk about how it connects to their faith. Speakers include Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Canon Jane Freeman and Dean Nicholas Henshall with his wife Christine. The evening ends with Compline (Night Prayer), finishing at 9pm. Entry is free. St Johns, Colchester. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week one with Bishop Stephen Cottrell - Living distinctively What does it mean to be a disciple today? Refreshments from 7pm. No need to book.Thursday, February 25 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster (car parking available). 1.05pm-1.50pm. Lunchtime concert by Ourania Gassiou (Megaron Concert Hall, Athens). St Johns, Stratford. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week one with Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford - Living distinctively What does it mean to be a disciple today? Refreshments 7pm. No need to book.Friday, February 26 Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert by Rita Schindler (Harp). Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 7.30pm. Stations of the Cross.Saturday, February 27 Church of St Mary and St Lawrence, Great Waltham CM3 1AR. 7.30pm (doors open 7pm). Songs of the Season by Essex Voices directed by Annabel Malton in a mixed programme of vocal music of the 16th - 20th centuries. Admission by programme 15, 6 (under 16) including refreshments available from Lynne Squier 01245 360047 Annabel Malton 01245 360240 or at the door Proceeds to the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. Might God be calling you to serve? Vocations Days are an opportunity to consider Gods call and find out more about the different types of ordained and licensed lay ministry direct from Church leaders. 9.15am-3.30pm, Bradwell Area Vocations Day, Canvey Island St Nicholas. For more information and how to book, please visit www.chelmsford.anglican.org/vocations-days2016.Sunday, February 28 Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. Tuesday, March 1, St David's Day Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group. URC Chapel Lane, Little Baddow CM3 4BE. 3.30pm.Chelmsford and District Welsh Society. St David's Day service at Little Baddow. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. In Lent 2016, the Bishops of Chelmsford, Barking, Bradwell and Colchester will present four lectures on the four themes of Transforming Presence, the strategic priorities for the diocese. Week two with Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking - 'Evangelising effectively - How can I share and bear witness to my faith?' Refreshments from 7pm. No need to book. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 8pm. Lent Course: Migration and movement, a Christian response. A Deeper Walk - Lent Course. Emmanuel Church, Billericay CM12 9LD. 7.30pm. Find out more at www.billericaychurches.org/html/news.php.Wednesday, March 2 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.30am. Lent Group - Evangelism and the Third Age. Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am-12noon. Baby &

    Toddler Group in St Cedds Hall. The Chelmsford Christian Bookshop Reading Group. Library at Diocesan Office, 53 New St, Chelmsford. 1pm. Everyone is welcome and it is free to join in. For details, please contact the bookshop on 01245 294405 or bookshop@chelmsford.anglican.org Chelmsford Cathedral is hosting a reflective series of talks on Wednesday evenings. The theme is Faith and Film five different speakers will show an excerpt from a favourite film of theirs and then talk about how it connects to their faith. Nicholas and Christine Henshall - Of Gods and Men. The talk begins at 7.30pm in the north transept of the Cathedral. The evening ends with Compline (Night Prayer), finishing at 9pm. St Johns, Colchester. 7.30pm. In Lent 2016, the Bishops of Chelmsford, Barking, Bradwell and Colchester will present four lectures on the four themes of Transforming Presence, the strategic priorities for the diocese. Week two with Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking - 'Evangelising effectively - How can I share and bear witness to my faith?' Refreshments from 7pm. No need to book. Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock. 1-3pm. Caf Theology. Meet at the Food Court.Thursday, March 3 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. Chelmsford Cathedral. 10am. Mothers' Union Corporate Communion in St Cedds Chapel. Chelmsford Cathedral. 8pm. Mothers Union Evening Section meets in St Cedds Hall. St Johns, Stratford. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week two. Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking Evangelising effectively How can I share and bear witness to my faith? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book. St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by Emily Onsloe (Soprano). Retiring collection. Car parking available.Friday, March 4 Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert by Mark Brayfield (Concert Organist). Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Ss Peter & Paul, Ilford. Stations of the Cross. 'Journey through the waterways of Russia'. Henny Parish Room, Great Henny, Sudbury CO10 7NN. 8pm Illustrated talk by Dr Robert L Smith.Saturday, March 5 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10am-12 noon. Cathedral Coffee Morning in the Chapter House. Come and enjoy fresh coffee, home-made scones and a bring & buy. St Mary's, Maldon. 7.30pm. Recital for Trumpet and Organ on the new Hey Orgelbau organ. Sam Moffitt, Trumpet; Colin Baldy, organ. Also featuring Lewis Hammond, counter-tenor and Barnaby Beer, baritone. Tickets 12 (10 conc.) from Maldon Tourist Information on 01621 856503. Christchurch, Ireton Road, Colchester CO3 3AT. 10am-4pm. Colchester Area Vocations Day. Vocations Days are an opportunity to consider Gods call and find out more about the different types of ordained and licensed lay ministry direct from Church leaders. For more information and details of how to book please contact Revd Geoff Read Colchester Area CMD Adviser Tel. 01245 294453 e-mail gread@chelmsford.anglian.org St Mary's church, Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP. 9.45am-4pm. Skills Development Day making the good news of Jesus more accessible for people with learning disabilities, covering praise, worship, teaching and prayer. Cost 20 bring your own lunch. To book a place contact 0118 9516979 e-mail ministry@prospects.org.uk www.prospects.org.ukMothering Sunday, March 6 Chelmsford Cathedral. 8.30am Breakfast with the Bible led by Archdeacon Annette Cooper and at 3.30pm Evensong. Tuesday, March 8 Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week three. Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester Serving Accountably To whom do I render my life? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 8pm. Lent Course: Migration and movement, a Christian response. A Deeper Walk - Lent Course. Emmanuel Church, Billericay CM12 9LD. 7.30pm. Find out more at www.billericaychurches.org/html/news.php.Wednesday, March 9 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.30am. Lent Group - Evangelism and the Third Age. Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am-12noon. Baby & Toddler Group in St Cedds Hall. Chelmsford Cathedral, north transept. 7.30pm. Wednesday Evenings in Lent at the Cathedral Faith and Film. A reflective series of talks with five different speakers showing an excerpt from a favourite film of theirs, and then talk about how it connects to their faith: Paul Hutchinson, Mayor of Chelmsford - Mrs Miniver. The evening ends with Compline (Night Prayer), finishing at 9pm. Entry is free. St Johns Colchester. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week three. Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester Serving Accountably To whom do I render my life? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book.Thursday, March 10

    Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. Chelmsford Cathedral. 2pm. Mothers' Union Afternoon Section meet in St Cedds Hall. St Johns, Stratford. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week three. Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester Serving Accountably To whom do I render my life? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book. St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by Gerard Brooks (Organ, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster). Retiring collection. Car parking available.Friday, March 11 Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert by Essex Police Choir. Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or bring your own if you wish. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 7.30pm. Stations of the Cross.Saturday, March 12 St Andrews church, Ilford IG1 3PE. 7.30pm. Valentine Singers Spring Concert. Conductor: Christine Gwynn; Alto: Ron Morris; Harp: Brian Davis; Organ: Jonathan Dods; Percussion: Chris Brice. Bernstein Chichester Psalms; Elgar Great is the Lord; Holst Hymns from the Rig Veda; O Regan Dorchester Chronicles. Tickets: 14 /8 students & benefit holders 16 /10 on the door. Box office 020 8550 4654. Book online from www.valentinesingers.org. Tickets from Mayfair Stationers, 80 High Street, Barkingside. Ilford Hospital Chapel, Ilford Hill. 1-2.30pm. Open Day. Stalls will include greetings cards, jewellry, bargain CDs and DVDs, Memorabilia and Bric a Brac. Free guided tours. Refreshments available. Town Hall Committee Room, Saffron Walden. 9.30am-noon. Sale of Stamps in aid of Buildings and Music Funds of St Marys, Saffron Walden. Free admission and a warm welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7pm. Caprice Concert. Colne Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Whittaker, in concert at St Nicolas Church, Chipping Hill, Witham CM8 2JS at 7.30pm. The programme includes Schubert's 'Unfinished' Symphony; Beethoven's fifth Symphony; and Handel's Coronation Anthem, 'Zadok the Priest'. Tickets can be obtained from the CPO Box Office 01206 210933, cpo-boxoffice@bigfoot.com or at the door. Ingatestone and Brentwood Choral Societies concert. Brentwood Cathedral. 7pm. Charles Wood's St Mark's Passion and Lenten/Easter excerpts from Handels Messiah. Tickets 12 (reserved), 10 (unreserved), 5 students fromMusic Office, Cathedral House, Ingrave Road, Brentwood CM15 8AT. 01277 265288 or email music@dioceseofbrentwood.org.Sunday, March 13 Chelmsford Cathedral. 8.30am Breakfast with the Bible led by Heike Prentice; 3.30pm Revd Elizabeth Snowden installed as the next Archdeacon of Chelmsford; 6pm Charles Wood's St Mark's Passion. St Mary's Little Parndon. Annual general meeting after the 9.30 am service. Tuesday, March 15 Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series week four. John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell Re-imagining Ministry What is ministry and what part can I play? Refreshments from 7pm. No need to book. St Mary's Ilford, 426 High Rd (corner of Buckingham Road), Ilford, IG1 1TX 8pm. Lent Course: Migration and movement, a Christian response. A Deeper Walk - Lent Course. Emmanuel Church, Billericay CM12 9LD. 7.30pm. Find out more at www.billericaychurches.org/html/news.php.Wednesday, March 16 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.30am. Lent Group - Evangelism and the Third Age. Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am-12noon. Baby & Toddler Group in St Cedds Hall. Chelmsford Cathedral, north transept. 7.30pm. Wednesday Evenings in Lent at the Cathedral Faith and Film. A reflective series of talks with five different speakers showing an excerpt from a favourite film of theirs, and then talk about how it connects to their faith. Speaker tonight is Bishop Stephen Cottrell, who will talk about the film Cinema Paradiso. The evening ends with Compline (Night Prayer), finishing at 9pm. Entry is free. St Johns Colchester. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series: John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell Re-imagining Ministry What is ministry and what part can I play? Refreshments available from 7pm. No need to book.Thursday, March 17 Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. St Johns, Stratford. 7.30pm. Lent lecture series: John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell: Re-imagining Ministry What is ministry and what part can I play? Refreshments from 7pm. No need to book.Friday, March 18 Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert by St Cedd's School. Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Ss Peter & Paul, Ilford. Stations of the Cross.Saturday, March 19

    Mothers' Union Coffee Morning. St John the Baptist Church, Danbury CM3 4NG. 10am. Celebrating140 years of the Mothers Union Christian care for families. St Marys church, Church End, Broxted CM6 2BZ. Second in series of walks organised by the churches in the Deanery of Dunmow and Stansted following the theme of Singing with the Angels. This reflects various services and events held in the latter part of 2015 and the involvement of angels in spreading the word of God. Walkers meet at 9am at the church car park and walk for about 1 hours, returning to the church for refreshments. The walks generally follow footpaths and stout walking shoes/boots are definitely advisable. The walk is followed by a short time for prayers and singing, hopefully with musical accompaniment. People not wanting to walk will be most welcome to join in with refreshments at 10.15am. Everyone welcome as are dogs on leads please. Contact Terry Reed, telephone 07973 846195, e-mail broxtedchurch@gmail.com. Chelmsford Cathedral. 6.45pm. Theological Society Lecture and Chelmsford Singers Music for Passiontide. Harlow St Paul. 9am-1pm. Harlow Archdeaconry Vocations Day. Vocations Days are an opportunity to consider Gods call and find out more about the different types of ordained and licensed lay ministry direct from Church leaders. For more information and details of how to book, please visit www.chelmsford.anglican.org/vocationsdays2016. Althorne Church Hall CM3 6BY. 11-3pm. Bit of a Do! In aid of St. Andrews church repair fund & St. Clares Hospice. Easter Gifts, Soup & Rolls, Tombola, Crafts, Cards, Teas & Cakes, Raffle. Ingatestone Hall, Ingatestone Hall Lane, Ingatestone CM4 9NS. The Stondon Singers concert of East Anglian choral music. Tickets 12 and 6 (under 16) from James Dace & Son, Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, Allegro Music, High Street, Chelmsford, Post Office, Blackmore, Members of the Choir or on the door. Tel. 01992 522300 or e-mail stondon_singers@fsmail.net www.stondonsingers.org.ukSunday, March 20 Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Music & Readings. Baddow Essex Forest Church, the woods at the Rectory in Little Baddow CM3 4SY. 3-4.30pm. More information can be found on www.mysticchrist.co.uk/blog/post/essex_forest_church or email forestchurchinessex@gmail.com. St James' church, Beatrice Road, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1LE. 4pm. St James @ 4. A short, informal Service of Holy Communion, using modern music, and followed by refreshments. Suitable for all ages. Tuesday, March 22 Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group. Chelmsford Cathedral. 8pm. Holy Week Concert: Scarlatti Stabat Mater. A Deeper Walk - Lent Course. Emmanuel Church, Billericay CM12 9LD. 7.30pm. Find out more at www.billericaychurches.org/html/news.php.Wednesday, March 23 Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am-12noon. Baby & Toddler Group in St Cedds Hall. Tenebrae at Wickham St Paul's CO9 2PH. 8pm. A beautiful reflective service or words and music in Holy Week during which all the candles on the altar are extinguished one by one after various readings related to our Lord's Passion.Maundy Thursday, March 24 Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.45pm. Holy Week: The Eucharist of the Last Supper followed by the Watch. Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. The Welsh Society meets in the Chapter House. Good Friday, March 25 Chelmsford Cathedral. 12noon. Preaching of the Cross followed at 2pm by The Good Friday Liturgy St Mary's Maldon. 7.30pm. The Annual Liturgical Performance of Bach's St John Passion, including Bishop Stephen's Good Friday Homily. The congregation is invited not just to listen to the music but to participate by singing some of the chorales (hymns). Between parts one and two, Bishop Stephen gives a homily on the meaning of this most momentous day. St Johns church, St Johns Road, Epping. 7.30pm. Epping Church Choirs Association presents Faurs Requiem conducted by Simon Winters. Entry free. Retiring collection for charity.Easter Saturday, March 26 Chelmsford Cathedral. 7pm. Easter Vigil and Confirmations.Easter Day, March 27 Dawn Eucharist at Gravel Hill on the approach to the hamlet of Hickbush in Great Henny. 7.30am. A wonderful start to Easter Day: an outdoor Eucharist on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful Stour Valley while the larks sing above us - a short service with unaccompanied singing. Chelmsford Cathedral. 8.30am: Breakfast with the Bible led Revd Kate Moore; 3.30pm: Evensong.Tuesday, March 29 Kingsland Cafe (above Aldi), Lexden, Colchester. 12-2.15pm. Friendship Group.Wednesday, March 30 Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. Welcome on Wednesday in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. April 2016 diary deadline Submit event details at www.chelmsford. anglican.org/eventsform or call Sarah Newman on 01245 294443 by March 1 for inclusion in The Month and on the diocesan website.Latest events You can find the latest events online at www. chelmsford.anglican.org/faith/whats-on

  • 10 THE MONTH March 2016

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    bar (80g). Not available in Tesco this year. Can be ordered in singles.

    Dark (RRP 5.50)An egg made from premium dark Fairtrade chocolate (165g) with dark

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    Out of the 80 million Easter eggs sold in this part of the world every year, The Real Easter Egg is the only one which has an Easter story booklet in the box, is made of Fairtrade chocolate and makes a donation to charity from its sales.**

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  • THE MONTH March 2016 11

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    Cornerstone-compassion-ad2.pdf 1 11/02/2016 10:23

  • HOLY WEEK EASTER 2016

    Friday evenings in Lent and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, 7.00 pm Compline

    20 minutes of meditation with beautiful choral music.

    For more information visit www.chelmsfordcathedral.org.uk

    Palm Sunday 20 March8.00am Holy Communion 10.30am Sung Eucharist with procession

    of palms3.30pm Music and Readings

    Tuesday 22 March8.00pm Holy Week Concert

    Free entry

    Wednesday 23 March3.30pm Choral Evensong

    (Please be seated by 3.15pm)

    Maundy Thursday 24 March7.45pm The Eucharist of the Last Supper

    Good Friday 25 MarchNoon Preaching of the Cross2.00pm The Good Friday Liturgy

    Holy Saturday 26 March7.00pm Diocesan Service

    with the Bishop of Chelmsford

    Easter Day 27 March8.00am Holy Communion 9.30am Parish Eucharist 11.15am Choral Eucharist3.30pm Choral Evensong

    followed by the Watch

    St Saviours sets eco-example

    THE month London Underground trains carry prayers

    12 THE MONTH March 2016

    Bishop Stephen pensprayers for the trains

    WESTCLIFF'S St Saviours church is facing up to the challenge from the Bishop of Chelmsford to reduce the churchs carbon footprint, and raise the profile of good environmental stewardship.

    Bishop Stephen Cottrell is leading the local campaign to put the Church of England at the forefront of efforts to reduce energy consumption, and slow down the rate of climate change.

    To meet the challenge, St Saviours hosted an innovative Eco Christmas Workshop as part of an Environmental Awareness Day. The emphasis was on using recycled materials.

    Visitors to the church were able to join in a craft workshop to learn how to create attractive and unusual Christmas decorations.

    In the church hall, four tables focused on demonstrating different types of craft involving recycled items Christmas crackers made from cardboard packaging and surplus wrapping paper; Christmas trees created from old paperback books; rag wreaths formed from scraps of material; and cone wreaths constructed from rolled pages of sheet music.

    Also demonstrated were craft items

    specifically created to be child friendly, and others using unwanted items such as buttons.

    In the main church, St Saviours showcased static displays focusing on environmental awareness. Topics included climate change and its causes; information on what happens to our kerbside recycled waste; advice on how to be more aware of how much energy is

    commonly used in the home; and information from the RSPCA on the dangers of waste to animals.

    Vicar Revd Lee Mullen is determined to make his church a focal point in the community for recycling and good environmental practice. St Saviours want to become a recycling centre for the local area, inviting parishioners to bring along items that cannot be disposed of through the normal channels.

    The church will gladly accept things like ink-jet cartridges, used batteries, old mobile phones, unwanted spectacles, used postage stamps and similar items.

    The Bishop of Chelmsfords initiative is part of the Church of Englands response to the damaging effects of climate change.

    The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of good environmental stewardship, with individual churches leading the way locally.

    Lee and his colleague, Revd Carol Palmer, wore green collars to promote the International Climate Change Conference in Paris. They want St Saviours church to be a beacon of light in the community when it comes to combating climate change.

    Trafalgar Square.Rt Revd Richard Chartres,

    Bishop of London, said: "Prayer, reaching out beyond ourselves, is something many people do without even realising it: praying for our team to win; begging for the health of a loved one. The comforts and benefits of prayer appeal to people who might never have thought of entering a church."

    SPCK published the results of a new YouGov* survey on the

    nations prayer habits, to coincide with the campaign launch.

    Rt Revd John Pritchard, Chair of SPCK, said: "I was fascinated to discover that, even in our supposedly irreligious society, 41 per cent of Londoners pray, and more than 17 per cent of Londoners pray every day.

    "The prayers we are placing on the London Underground are designed to enable people of all faiths or none to give praying a go.The result from London is

    broadly in line with the national result, which found that 42 per cent of people pray.

    "Londoners are most likely to pray to give thanks (69 per cent), followed by praying for a loved one (63 per cent).

    John added: "The survey results show that peoples prayers are fundamentally unselfish; they see prayer less as a tool for getting what they want and more as a way to align themselves spiritually."

    BISHOP Stephen has contributed three prayers (see panel on right) to SPCKs Prayers on the Move campaign.

    Supported by a booklet and an app, this campaign has placed prayers in 3,000 London Underground train carriages from February 15.

    The national campaign is seeking to encourage more people to give prayer a go by placing thousands of thought- provoking posters on public transport.

    This campaign was launched despite recent challenges faced by other religious organisations seeking to promote similar initiatives.

    Prayers on the Move is also supported by a a dynamic website, and a host of exciting events, including a public Prayer Walk with the Bishop of London from Westminster Abbey to The survey also looked at what

    annoyed people most on public transport. People taking up more than one seat came top this habit annoyed 69 per cent of Londoners followed by people having their music on too loud (64 per cent), littering (60 per cent), not moving down inside the carriage or vehicle (58 per cent) and having phone conversations (52 per cent). For more information, see www.prayersonthemove.com.

    SIR Barney White-Spunner will give the fourth annual Gepp Lecture on Wednesday May 18 at Holy Cross church in Felsted.

    Sir Barney (right), who recently stepped down as Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, is a passionate advocate for rural churches and

    the important role they play in local communities.

    In his talk, entitled Sharing the Space, Sharing the Spirit, he will also explore the potential for more inter-denominational places of worship.

    The time of the lecture will be 7.45 pm following the Friends of Essex Churches Trust annual

    general meeting at 7pm for 7.15pm. Light refreshments will be provided free of charge. All are welcome. No charge is made for admission but it would help us to know if you plan to attend, by email to events@ foect.org.uk, or by post to Mrs Rachel Grainger, Rockhills Farm, Willingale CM5 0QG.

    Sir Barney to give Gepp Lecture

    Encouraging tourists to become pilgrims PILGRIMAGE has become a big theme in the contemporary Church but you dont have to travel to Jerusalem or Compostella (or even Canterbury or Walsingham) to go on pilgrimage.

    Martin Webster, Archdeacon of Harlow, has convened a group encouraging congregations to see their church buildings as places of pilgrimage, places where tourists can become pilgrims.

    Martins group are planning three days when people can learn, try things out, share ideas, and listen to things that have worked elsewhere. The venues are Canvey Island, (May 7), Barking (June 11) and Coggeshall (October 15) (all 9.30am to 12 noon). To find out more and to book, please email pilgrim@stepbeyond.org.uk.

    ST Paul's Harlow and St Mary's Little Parndon have both held an ecology ser-vice. The services included a presentation on the basics of the ecological systrem, a mime on the efects of climate change performed by Revd Martin Harris.

    At the end of the service at St Paul's, a panel answered questions from the congregation. The panel included the vice-chair of Harlow Council and the Diocesan Environment Champion, Susan Latchford.

    Ecology services

    IN BRIEF

    THE Cathedral hosted an experimental clergy well-being day last October built around simple times of prayer and silence, gathering around the Word of God and sharing in ways of working and reflecting together.

    In response to excellent feedback another opportunity to journey together in prayer and reflection will be offered on April 27.

    The day will run from 10am to 2pm and can be booked by visiting the website at www.chelmsfordcathedral.org.uk, clicking on 'Worship' and following the link to 'Clergy Well Being'.

    Dean Nicholas Henshall says: "In the many demands clergy face, taking time for refreshment and renewal is hugely important.

    "There are many ways to do this, and this day is offered simply as a spiritual support to enable the journey."

    Clergy well-being days in demand

    THE Bishop of Chelmsford's prayers appearing on London Underground trains are:

    I am bone dry, refresh me.I am careworn, restore me.I am heartache, revive me.I am outside, include me.

    My heart. It still keeps beating. But what for?Show me how to measure my life in something other than years.

    I have everything I want, but I dont know what I need.Show me what matters.

    TUBE LINES

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