Vicar: Rev’d Caroline Beckett - 01206 30 87 26 -

All Saints with St James’ Church, Brightlingsea

‘God is love’: (1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16). God loves us not because of who we are but because of who God is.

December 2019 

From The Vicar
Advent: a waiting time. Waiting for Christmas, celebration, holiday. Waiting in the time between Jesus’ coming as a helpless baby, making his home with us in our poverty and Jesus returning in power and glory and making our home with him in eternity. Waiting.
Waiting can be passive or active: both have their place. There are times when the best course is to rest, be still and listen and there are times when the best course is to prepare thoroughly. The wisdom lies in knowing the difference.
We live under the tyranny of ‘be prepared for everything’: advertisers encourage us to be independent and equipped for every eventuality (however improbable) and why not? After all, they make a lot of money out of selling us things most of us are probably never going to need, by making us worry about things that are probably never going to happen. There is nothing wrong with being prepared: it can make us better equipped to help others, too. But sometimes life’s best encounters spring from not being prepared or having it all together and needing help from others along the way.
Mary and Joseph were probably prepared for the arrival of baby Jesus in their Nazareth home. Being a carpenter, Joseph had probably made a crib. Mary would have prepared baby clothes. There might well have been gifts given. But suddenly they have to leave and travel to Bethlehem, leaving their careful preparations in ruins.
They cannot even plan ahead for where they will stay and certainly they have few resources, only what they could carry. But God provides: a manger becomes a cradle, shepherds bring hope, wise men bring gifts to finance their next trip to safety in Egypt. Things happen as they are supposed to.
As we wait, and as we worry over being prepared for Christmas, or for life, it is worth asking, ‘What’s the worst that could happen if I am not fully prepared?’ It might be worth remembering times you helped, or were helped by others in a moment of unpreparedness. Consider being open to surprises, unexpected encounters or opportunities, new thoughts or directions, gifts of all kinds and the kindness of others. God likes to surprise us from time to time, as we are waiting.
There is a saying, ‘Your life is what happens while you are making other plans.’ So I encourage you to plan but be open, accepting that this, here, now, is your life and you are living it and it is yours – good and bad – and it is not meant to be lived alone or even always in control, but with others and in love. May the wonder of Christmas be born in you as you wait to feel God near and may you recognise him when he comes to you at odd times and in unexpected ways. Every blessing, Caroline

Vicar: Rev’d Caroline Beckett B.A. (Hons), The Vicarage, Richard Avenue Brightlingsea CO7 0LP Tel 01206 30 87 26 :

Caroline’s day off: Friday. Please respect this: Caroline needs time to re-charge too!

Enquiries may be directed to the church office either on 01206 30 23 78 or There is an out-of-hours answering service: telephone and email messages are collected and answered regularly. The Church Office is open on Mondays 10-12pm. Letters can be posted through to the office when St James is open 8am-2pm each weekday.

Alternatively please contact one of the churchwardens:-

Sheila Crow    01206 30 65 74                   

Bob Goodenough      01206 30 37 49       

PCC Secretary/PCC Treasurer:  c/o Church Office, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0AB

Other information

Parish website:

Services (For details click here)

1st, 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month: 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist at St James

3rd Sunday of each month: 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist at All Saints and 10.00 Sparklers at St James.

5th Sunday: 8.00 communion and 10.00 All-age worship at St James.

Tuesday: 9.00 a.m. informal prayer at St James

Wednesday: 10.00 said communion at St James

Thursday: 8.15 informal prayer at St James

Friday: 10.30 Prayers for the sick at St James.

Events (For details click here) 

Baptisms Weddings and Funerals Click here

For News and Information click here

For all contact details click here

Our Mother Church, All Saints’, although no longer the central place of worship, is an integral and essential part of our life together. We seek to enhance its role within the affections of the community and to worship there regularly. The Sunday services (8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist) are held at All Saints every third Sunday in the month. At the same time there is a ‘Sparklers’ Sunday School for 4-12 year-olds on the 3rd Sunday of each month at St James at 10.00.

Safeguarding: We are committed to safeguarding children, young people, victims/perpetrators of domestic abuse and vulnerable adults. The PCC has adopted ‘Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy statement’ which can be seen if you click here:

This is issued by the Bishops of the Church of England which sets out policies and best practice on safeguarding, and which may be found on the Church of England website:-

Our Parish Safeguarding Officer is Catherine Graham who may be contacted via the church email address:

Or you can contact the Chelmsford Diocese Safeguarding Team:Tel: 0345 603 7627 (Children & Families Hub)
Tel: 0345 606 1212 (Urgent and 24-hour contact)

Alternatively you may contact either of our churchwardens whose names and contact details are given above.

If you need to report abuse to someone in authority or to talk about an incident of abuse the following telephone numbers may be helpful:

Childline: 0800 1111

National Domestic Violence Freephone : For women: 0808 2000 247 For men: 0808 801 0327

Essex County Council Social Services: 0345 603 7630 (vulnerable adults) and 0345 693 7627 (children)