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.
From the Vicar
I wonder how many disasters or hilarious moments have begun with the thought, “How hard can it be…?”
Many things look easy till you try them. I recently found myself dangling over the side of a small motor boat speeding over choppy seas, a careful 2 metres distant from the skipper, with a large pump action water pistol in one hand and a bugle in the other, blasting out as much noise as I could manage while blessing the boats racing around us. All part of a defiant attempt at Brightlingsea’s annual Blessing of the Waters.
When Covid19 struck, it seemed one casualty would be our usual huge procession, open air service with various dignitaries from mayors to the Lord Warden, and a flotilla heading out to the nautical boundary to make a ‘din’ and lower a willow cross onto the waters. Its purpose? To pray God’s blessing for another year on the harvest of the sea and those who make their living – or spend their leisure time – on the waters.
Not wanting the virus to steal all our fun, I asked dignitaries to video message in, our shanty singers did a socially distanced recording, people gave their houses boat names or built boats on their driveways from sleds, broom-handles and sheets and at 1:00 pm Brightlingsea residents made the customary din from their upstairs windows to echo over the water. I toured first the coast and then our streets with the water pistol, blessing both our boats and our community. It all goes to show, nothing can block the blessing of God: where there is a will there is usually a way and God gave us imaginations for a reason. It’s all edited into a video you can see on YouTube at https://bit.ly/WaterBless20
And the most difficult part of the entire endeavour? Getting a sustained note out of that bugle! I thought it would be simple. It looked simple. Lots of things can be that way, looking on from the outside.
It can be so easy to judge, so hard to appreciate. I wonder how many parents who criticised their children’s teachers are now realising, after so many weeks of home-schooling, just how tough teaching is: and imagine it with an entire class! I wonder how many of us have found a new appreciation for all the others whose work holds up our lives and keeps things running, from the delivery driver to the cashier, the plumber to the workers at the tip. How many of us who moaned at salon prices would now, after giving ourselves a ‘Covid cut’, pay it gladly? And how many of us thought ‘alone time’ would be lovely and have ended up tired, depressed, anxious, fearful, lonely, suicidal, angry, bitter, guilty and feeling inadequate behind our brave ‘front’? I suspect that set of statements applies to most of us, at least in part: it does to me.
Many things look easy until you try them: haircuts, DIY, teaching, alone time, making and mending, technology and birthday cake making… We are all good at some things and not others. That’s why we need each other.
We are contemplating the end of lockdown soon. How hard can it be? I want to suggest, harder than it looks. At least, if we do it well. As we gradually mourn our losses, celebrate our learning, build a ‘new normal’ and emerge, bit by bit, from lockdown, those of us who are keyworkers will need more than clapping amid the exhaustion, and those shielding will need us not to forget them: they’ll still need the care and community spirit we managed at a distance long after the rest of us have resumed our day-to-day routines. All of us will have things to work through, and decisions to make. Like emptying out a junk cupboard, we don’t just have to ram it all back in: we get to choose what we put back into our lives. Some of those choices we have more of a say in than others, of course! Sometimes the choices we get are not the choices we want, but we still get to choose.
As I stood on the jostling boat, keeping my footing and holding out the cross over our town and its waters, I had a powerful sense of the arms of God around us at this time, as the sea wraps around the shore. No-one overlooked, no-one left out, no-one unimportant: all small and vulnerable, all valued and loved. And I was deeply glad of the support of friends Adrian and Judith Gibbons, on whose boat I stood. It would have been a bit hairy to be out there on my paddleboard. Though perhaps I’ll try that – sometime. How hard can it be?
Blessings to you all, Caroline
We are reopening for private prayer and for Sunday worship but in a very limited way for now
Worship in church on Sundays every fortnight
We are planning to re-open the church once a fortnight on Sundays starting on 12th July at 10.00 at St James. There will be an Evensong two weeks later on 26th July at 6.p.m. again at St James. If that works then services after that will follow that pattern.
Worship via Zoom.
On intervening Sundays you can still join us in worship via Zoom. If you would like to join in worship led by the Vicar at 11.00 next Sunday morning 4th July via Zoom then download Zoom by clicking here:
and send your email address to Rev’d Caroline at email@example.com
Private Prayer in church twice a week
Meantime St. James will be open for private prayer twice a week: on Wednesdays from 9.00 to 2.00 p.m., and on Sundays from 12.00 mid-day to 4.00 p.m. Please enter by the side door and sanitize your hands. Please use only the seats already which are set out at more than 2 metres, and when you leave please do so by the tower door after sanitizing your hands again.
Services broadcast by the BBC
You may like to listen to or watch the broadcast services on Sunday mornings. There is one on Radio 4 at 08.10 and on BBC 1 at 11.00
During lockdown we do encourage you to keep up your giving. Folk have asked for a ‘non-contact’ way of giving so please use the crowdfunding link here:-
Our churches may be closed….but the church is alive! Listen to The U K Blessing by clicking here:-
Postal Delivery of The Native
We are creating a new service so that people can arrange to have the magazine posted to them. please click on the link below to open a letter giving information about the new scheme.
Pastoral message from the Vicar:–
Although we cannot meet in person as church at this time, we can meet in spirit, we can pray for each other and we can care for each other. I encourage you to pray at 8.00 on Thursdays when I will ring the church bell whether you can hear the Church bell or not. We will try to ring the bell to let you know the Churches of Brightlingsea are praying for you.
Resources will be posted on the Church Facebook page @cofebrightlingsea
Those of you who live alone, please consider downloading a Next Of Kin Form from Church, to be returned in a sealed envelope to the Vicar at The Vicarage, Richard Ave, Brightlingsea CO7 0LP. In the event you are taken into hospital, we can open it and contact people for you and care for any pets you have. You can download it here:-
If you would like someone to check on your welfare as the pandemic continues, please also download a Wellbeing Form to fill out and return to the Vicarage. If you know anyone else who might benefit from this please take one and drop it through their door. You can download one here:-
Caroline’s monthly pastoral letter can be found in The Native on the News page
If you email Chris Bloor on firstname.lastname@example.org he will send you next Sunday’s Liturgy, hymns, readings and prayers in PowerPoint for you to pray through with links to recordings of the hymns on the web.
If you email Colin Singleton on email@example.com he will email you a copy of the prayers that we would normally use at 9.00 Prayers on a Tuesday
If you have questions, please contact the Vicar on 01206308726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can contact the Parish Office either by sending a letter to St James’ church, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0AB or leaving a voicemail message on 302378 or by sending an email to email@example.com
Telephone and email messages are collected and answered regularly.
Every blessing, Caroline.
If she can, Revd Caroline will put sermons talks and videos online with links to some music and the live broadcasts of other services
Vicar: Rev’d Caroline Beckett B.A. (Hons), The Vicarage, Richard Avenue Brightlingsea CO7 0LP Tel 01206 30 87 26 : firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Goodenough 01206 30 37 49 email@example.com
PCC Secretary/PCC Treasurer: c/o Church Office, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0AB
Parish website: allsaintswithstjamesb-sea.co.uk
Usual Services (All suspended until lockdown is ended) (For details click here)
1st, Sunday of each month from Feb. 2nd 2020: 8.00 said communion; 10.00 All-age worship; and 6.00 p.m. evensong – all at St James
2nd, 4th Sundays of each month (and 5th if there is one): 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist at St James
3rd Sunday of each month: 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist both at All Saints and 10.00 Sparklers 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 Jane Girdlestone who may be contacted via the church email address:
Or at this address and telephone no:
Jane Girdlestone 85 Colne Road Brightlingsea Essex CO70DU
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)