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
As the weather warms, I find myself rescuing the occasional tired bee: usually a simple matter of picking it up using the edge of my scarf and finding it a flower or giving it a little sugar-water on a saucer. It always gives me huge satisfaction to watch one recover and fly away.
All around us are flowers and blossoms that exist for one primary purpose. We tend to think they are for us, to look pretty and make us feel good, but really they are for attracting the bees so they will arrive seeking nectar and pollinate as they move on, ensuring fruit and seeds later as the bees’ hairy legs collect pollen, moving it from the male part of one plant to the female part of another.
Science has shown that trees visited by a lot of bees produce better fruit than trees visited by only a few. Without bees, we would not have a whole range of things we currently enjoy. Imagine no almonds, apples, asparagus, beans, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cherries, chestnuts, chives, cranberries, cucumbers, garlic, gooseberries, grapes, lettuce, onions, parsley, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, squash, strawberries….. you get the idea.
Sometimes I get lured into the idea that I’m the most important part of creation and that it somehow exists all for me, to make me happy and feed me and look pretty for me and give me the raw materials I need to have the life I want.
But what if the bees are more important than me? They certainly seem to work harder and do more good. Yet if we aren’t careful, they will die out because we are spraying the very plants that depend on them with pesticides that will kill them. Why? To get rid of other insects that might harm the plants – other insects whose worth we perhaps haven’t studied quite as much.
The moment we set out to manage nature, we engage in a difficult balancing act it is tough to get right. We live in an imperfect world where the right thing to do is increasingly hard to find or know because the good consequences of an action can be tangled up in lots of negative ones.
BUT there are some things we can do that seem so obvious it’s hard to justify why we don’t do them: reducing the amount of material, resources and energy we use; re-using things rather than just replacing them; recycling where we can; caring for our bees.
Our young people in this nation and other nations are crying out for this generation of adults to take seriously the damage we are doing to creation and to start changing our ways before it is too late. Whatever our feelings about some of the individual issues, it’s clear that there are easy steps all of us can take. Here are a few examples:
– Plant bee-friendly plants where you can.
– When you go on a walk, pick up 3 pieces of rubbish and put them in a bin.
– Make eco-bricks with the plastics you can’t recycle.
– Join your local Freecycle group or equivalent so you can pass on things you no longer need to someone else who wants them.
If we stop seeing our world as just a larder we can raid, or a disposable asset we can use up then throw away, things will change. But we also need to turn this perspective on ourselves and one another too, because we can start to see people that way – start to make judgements on what people are worth based on how useful they are, how much we think they are contributing versus how much we think they are taking from society.
That kind of thinking can lead us to mentally ‘throw away’ people who are less capable of the things we think matter, who make choices we think are wrong or stupid, or who are older or more fragile and need more care. One day, perhaps we’ll come to the realisation, as we are with the bees, that all of the types of people we have are there for a reason and are needed.
God does not make anything disposable: we do that. He has designed us for eternity, but we work that out on a day-to-day basis by caring for what (and whom) we have been given here and now.
Their value – the value of creation, and of another person – comes from the fact that they are; that they exist; that they were created by God. And so does ours. It’s not enough just to believe in life after death: we need to start believing in life before death and putting that belief into action.
So if you see a tired and struggling bee….. it’s one place to start.
Every blessing, Caroline
Vicar: Rev’d Caroline Beckett B.A. (Hons), The Vicarage, Richard Avenue Brightlingsea CO7 0LP Tel 01206 30 87 26 : email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
Bob Goodenough 01206 30 37 49 firstname.lastname@example.org
PCC Secretary/PCC Treasurer: c/o Church Office, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0AB
Parish website: allsaintswithstjamesb-sea.co.uk
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)