While we are without a priest please contact the church office on 01206 30 23 78 or brightlingseaparish@btconnect.com

All Saints with St James’ Church, Brightlingsea

December 2017

Mary … was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. –  Matthew 1 v 18

Yes, Christmas is the time when we call to mind Jesus being born in Mary. But is there something more than that to the Christmas message?

Well, behind the story of Jesus being born to Mary it’s about Jesus wanting to be born in you. No, not in the same way that he a was born in Mary, because he only did that once for all as the pivotal point in God’s plan to save us from death.

But this is what Jesus asks of us not just every Christmas but every day; to ask him to live in us, to ‘abide’ in us, to come into our lives. Do you remember the famous painting by Holman Hunt The Light of the World? It pictures Jesus about to knock at a door, but the door has weeds growing at the bottom and ivy and leaves growing round it. Significantly, it has no handle on the outside. It is the door of your heart and no-one can open it but you because the only handle is on the inside.

Phillips Brooks graduated from Harvard University in 1855. He was fired from his first job, so he decided to become a priest. It was the making of him. He became a noted preacher in his home country, America, so much so that when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, who did they ask to preach the funeral oration? Phillips Brooks. He wrote the famous carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. It came to him in 1868 on a visit to the Holy Land while he was sitting on a hill looking down at the village of Bethlehem. We sing it today mechanically, thoughtlessly, without realizing what the words are about. And yet it is probably the most important carol in the whole book. He knew exactly what Christmas is  about when he wrote:-

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is giv’n, So God imparts to human hearts the wonders of his heaven

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in

He got it right: we can still ask him in through the door of our hearts and into our lives. And what happens when we ask Jesus to live in us, to ‘abide’ in us, when we ask , ‘O holy child of Bethlehem descend to us we pray? We are asking him to

Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today

Have you asked him to enter into your heart and your life, to be born in you?

Chris Bloor, Authorised Lay Preacher

Please note that  the Vicar, Rev’d Anne Howson retired on 31st October . Please direct any enquiries to the church office either on 01206 30 23 78 or brightlingseaparish@btconnect.com

Alternatively you can contact one of the churchwardens: 

Carole Warren           825 027          cawarren825@gmail.com

Bob Goodenough      30 37 49                 bob.m.goodenough@gmail.com

13th August: V J Day Memorial Service

‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’…. thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Corinthians 15:55-57]

Contact details for parish personnel:-

Vicar: The Benefice is currently vacant.

Other Contacts

Church Office           Telephone 30 23 78 (out of hours answering machine)

e-mail:            brightlingseaparish@btconnect.com

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.

Churchwardens      Carole Warren           825 027          cawarren825@gmail.com

Bob Goodenough      30 37 49                 bob.m.goodenough@gmail.com

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

Parish website: allsaintswithstjamesb-sea.co.uk

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, including 17th December 2017. There will however be a Sunday School for 4-12 year-olds on the 3rd Sunday of each month at St James at 10.00.