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

October 2018

We are pleased to announce that the Rev’d Caroline Beckett is to become our new Vicar. Caroline is a ‘local girl’ having been born in Alresford, the daughter of Ray and the late Christine Giles both life-long worshippers at Alresford church. Caroline’s first husband, was Rev’ Rhys Martin the son of Rev’d Glanville Martin and his wife Hazel, who live in Alresford. Caroline and Rhys had  a girl Dani now aged 15 and a boy Tom now aged 13. Rhys sadly died at too young an age. Caroline has since married Michael Beckett who is manager of Colchester Food Bank.  Caroline’s installation as Vicar will be on Tuesday 6th November at 7.30 p.m. in St James’. Caroline is noted for her love of and commitment to God and an ability to deliver rivetting sermons off the cuff without any notes. We look forward to her arrival and hope her stay with us will be a long one and bring many into the kingdom of Jesus. Do please pray for her, for Michael and the children.

So this is the website of All Saints with St James?

The parish churches of ‘All saints with St James, Brightlingsea’. What does this mean if you don’t go to church much, or if you go regularly: what does it mean? Of course they are the names of two buildings in the town, one old and loved by many, the other not loved so much. Those who don’t go to church often ask to be married in and buried from All Saints. Only a few go to St James for these events.

People who go to church regularly are often seen as a bit odd because they seem to believe they are slightly more holy than others. They talk of sin, repentance and redemption. They stress the importance of the Christmas and Easter narratives and the miracles Jesus did. Most of all they talk about his life, death and resurrection and the sacraments they believe he left to the church.

Jesus didn’t start the church though, or call his followers ‘Christians,’ this happened when he’d gone and his followers began developing their ideas of who Jesus really had been and what he had meant. Among the first was the apostle Paul, who had a row with Jesus’ brother James about Jesus’ message. Was it for everyone or just for the Jewish nation? Paul said ‘Yes,’ James said ‘No’. Even in the earliest days Christians argued with each other.

But surely Jesus’ proclaimed the possibility of the coming of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. A place where compassion, humility, justice and the equality of all are in control because all are seen as created and held in being by the pervading love of God. Then ‘repentance’ comes to mean recognising this and trying to live as close to the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ as we are able to get.

This sounds far removed from paying mortgages, daily work, difficult or broken relationships, shopping, getting children off to school and all that makes up most of our daily lives. But a Franciscan priest called Richard Rohr cut through all this word making. He said, ‘However named, God is the ultimate reality. Language does not serve us well to describe this ultimate reality …. which is the foundation of existence, not set apart from the world of humans but deeply connected to everything that is.’ He says that Jesus showed that we can live in this ultimate reality. ‘…when we awaken to this we see that we are already one with divine presence and with all that is. All that is missing is awareness.’  Is  it possible that when human beings begin to be aware in this way, the Kingdom will be very close?

In the meantime, some of us will go often to our parish churches. There will be problems.  If Jesus’ brother fell out with Paul, should we expect better of ourselves? But church is the best place we know to find the ‘awareness’ opening the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ to us. It was for this Kingdom that Jesus lived, died and was raised again.

Colin Singleton

London Community Gospel Choir Sat 13th Oct 7.30 St James

Gospel rocks local church…

The night of 13 October 2018 is one that will live in many memories for months, if not years, to come. The planning started way back in May; the excitement built steadily; and finally, on that memorable Saturday, the London Community Gospel Choir came to St James’.

As the day began, it looked like any other Saturday as the church hosted its busy coffee morning. However, behind the scenes volunteers were beginning to turn the building into a concert hall for the night. To the clink of mugs and the hum of conversation, the chancel was transformed into a performance platform with backdrops and stage lights carefully positioned to draw all eyes to the high altar’s cross and our beautiful Christos. We’d sold 300 tickets and their holders would all need a seat, so the balcony pews were cleared and cleaned whilst 164 chairs were squeezed in downstairs. Anything that could be moved (tables, book-cases, pianos, pulpits!) was moved to clear the view of the chancel and maximise the space.

Refreshments would be needed for the expected audience: a tea and coffee station, with biscuits galore; a bar offering beers, wines and soft drinks. Let’s not forget the choir, their band and their technical crew. They all needed a meal, a supply of drinks and lots of cake. (The singers especially relished the sugar boost after nearly two hours of high-energy performing.) Many volunteers put their shoulders to the collective wheel to ensure the night went without a hitch.

The doors opened at 7.00pm and the audience poured in. Within half an hour everyone was seated, the lights dimmed, and we welcomed the Rev Bazil Meade and his band onto the platform. The concert was opened by our very own ‘Gospel Singers’. Coming from various groups around the area, the 65 men and women had had their first experience of gospel singing at the July workshop. Their director, Alison Benz, and Rev Bazil gave an impromptu, and witty, demonstration of the conductor’s art as, with humour and skill, they drew a great performance from the ‘amateurs’! The audience loved it!

And then the nine LCGC professionals entered from the vestry. From then until 9.30pm, the building rocked! From almost head-banging choruses to delicate a capella harmonies, we were treated to the full range of gospel music at its best. These gifted musicians don’t just have a faith, they sing their faith and their energy was infectious. We were not a passive audience! Their warmth and enthusiasm swept out from the platform and embraced us all so we laughed, clapped, danced and even sang with them.

Before the final song, Rev Bazil summed up what many of us felt: that one (very large) family had gathered to share an amazing evening. He spoke of our common hope for the world’s future and our belief in the ultimate goodness of creation. “I feel part of this loving community tonight. Love is what brings us and binds us together.”

And as the audience went out buzzing into the warm evening, the volunteers turned to once more and restored our ‘concert hall’ to a space where 8.00am Eucharist could take place…

I sincerely thank all the volunteers who worked so tirelessly on the day. I especially thank the committee who prayed, planned, toiled and lost sleep in the weeks leading up to the event. And we all wish to thank Nigel Taylor, whose expertise was drawn on at every stage and who lit up the evening in his own special way.

Judith Gibbons

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

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 brightlingseaparish@btconnect.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          cawarren825@gmail.com

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