All Saints with St James’ Church, Brightlingsea
January 2018[Please see below for our Parish Profile and an update from the churchwardens about progress in looking for a new Vicar]
Thought for the month
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth: Genesis 1:1
Sally and I spent a week at Lee Abbey on a course devoted to “God, the Big Bang and Biology”. All of it was fascinating but some of it (the maths especially) was challenging. Many of the other attendees were themselves scientists.
The sessions were presented by two scientists: John Bryant, a geneticist, and Graham Swinerd, an astrophysicist.
It is one of these sessions which is summarised here. Please bear in mind that I have written a simple account, stripped of the mathematics and Einsteinian theory which underpinned Graham Swinerd’s presentation:
We are all made of stardust. It sounds like a line from a poem or song. It’s actually a statement of scientific fact.
All life is carbon based. Carbon is made in the incredible heat of an exploding star. It is the only way that carbon can be made.
The universe was created (scientists believe it to have been about 13.7 billion years ago) in a “Big Bang”. In that moment all matter (energy and mass) was created and flung outwards by the colossal force of the big bang. The expansion of the universe was slowed by the gravity that also came into being. The amount of gravity was a result of the amount of the mass. If there had been more gravity it would have slowed it down too much and it would have contracted so that the galaxies and stars would have never formed. If there had been less gravity the expansion would have been too rapid and the stars and galaxies wouldn’t condense. The size of creation was precisely balanced. The chance of that precision to have been random has been calculated to be one in a million billion.
So creation was not a random event.
Early in the process of the development of the universe, there were collisions which caused the supernova which created carbon and the other elements which were later to become the building material for all life. Another one in a million billion circumstance.
So the creation of life was not a random event.
Many of the scientists who have contributed to our understanding of creation have been at a loss to explain the precision involved without acknowledging God. Even the atheists have talked about it being “almost as if someone was mucking about with the laws of science, fine-tuning them to achieve a result”.
For 50 years, Graham Swinerd was an agnostic – but he found himself unable to resist the conclusion that his scientific research had led him to: that the whole of creation follows God’s precise plan!
To discover that we are made of stardust was spine-tingling; to glimpse the evidence of the work of the creator of the universe was humbling!
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8
Bob Goodenough, Churchwarden
For our Parish Profile click here:-
News from the Churchwardens
Reverend Anne and Eddie moved into their new home in Dorset on 13th Dec. The vicarage is now empty and, assuming that a new vicar will be in place before too long, the next person to occupy it will be the new vicar – with, perhaps, a family.
The PCC has worked very hard to produce a Parish Profile that will be used in the procedure to choose a new vicar. An advertisement should be published in The Church Times in January. Any clergy who are interested can look at the Parish Profile to get a full picture of what the town, churches, people and congregation are really like. If they like what they see, they will apply. You can see how important the Parish Profile is!
The patron of the parish is the Crown and, therefore, the Ecclesiastical Secretary of the Cabinet Office is involved in approving all stages of this process: Parish Profile, advertisement and will take part in the interviewing – which has an effect on the time scale involved.
We pray that the process will have a happy and successful result!
Meanwhile, all of the planned events and services continue to take place. This is a very busy time for our church, with a huge number of special services and we are doing their best to keep everything on track.
Please be patient with us and hold us in your prayers.
Bob and Carole, churchwardens.
Contact details for parish personnel:-
Vicar: Please note that while we are without a Vicar, any enquiries should 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:-
Carole Warren 825 027 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Goodenough 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
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. There is a ‘Sparklers’ Sunday School for 4-12 year-olds on the 3rd Sunday of each month at St James at 10.00.
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]