Category Archive New Events

Weekly Parish News


In time it is hoped that we will together develop the content and style of this Parish News. But for now, with the constraints on time and resources we have, I hope you will tolerate my simple attempts to pass on some news in this way.

The plan is we will send a PARISH NEWS (posted on the website, emailed out and printed and posted specifically for those identified by the Pastoral Team as not having access to email) on a Monday each week, as often as is humanly possible. I will also be doing my best to ‘present’ the notices at each of the services on Sunday mornings in the churches (so they can be heard online as part of our regular streamed services and in person as well when we are able to once again come together to worship).

If you would like something specifically mentioned in the Parish News, then please do email me at However, we do hold editorial control so no rude jokes (no names mentioned) or adverts for winning raffle tickets for sale please.


St Mary’s 9am – Communion Service – Public Worship (restricted numbers) (and Livestreamed)
St John’s 11am – Communion Service – Public Worship (restricted numbers)

To Book a place please email or call Nikki (the Parish Administrator) on 07720 089260. Please note that we will need to allocate seats and on a first come first served basis (but priority will be given for the next weeks service to anyone who we were unable to accommodate).

THE READING FOR THE 9am and 11am SERVICE 18th July

Mark 6: 30-34 53 to end

Both services will be led by Revd Barry Johnson and I (Nik) will be preaching.


A huge thank you to all the children in our church family. They have been a true example of resilience, taught us how to show Joy, shone a light into the dark moments, raised us up when we felt down and distracted us when we were in danger of becoming bored.

They are a true blessing to this church, this parish and this world. So please do hold them all in your thoughts and prayers this week.

This course has proved popular, and I intend to repeat the course very soon and possibly during the day. So, if anyone is yet to express an interest in attending the course then please do let me know.

We intend to open St Marys Church as a drop-in Tea Room over the Summer Holidays, hopefully on a Wednesday day time. If you would like to volunteer, to make tea and coffee, bake cakes, welcome people etc it is not too late to offer so please just let myself or Eddy the Evangelist know.

Some advanced notice so that you can put the date in your diaries. Eddy our Evangelist will be holding an Outreach Meeting on Saturday 24th July at 10.30am.

The Parish Walk will once again be hold on the 24th July meeting outside St Johns Church at 9.30am.

We have all been so patient and I know that we are all hoping and praying things can get back to normal on the 19th. But please do know that whilst as a church we too are desperate to get things back to normal, we must do things in a measured way to ensure that we meet all the rules and more importantly continue to do all we can to protect and care for each other.

I hope and pray that I will be able to offer a little more information about what will and will not be possible in the Notices next Sunday as we need to wait until the government publishes it’s specific guidance for places of worship, the Church of England produce its National response to the guidance and the Diocese let us know. Please do be patient for hopefully just a little while longer.

Please also remember that we might not be able to do all that we once did and much will depend on people volunteering to continue with tasks they did before the pandemic and new people also stepping up.

I am working hard at the moment to discover who did what and who is able to continue that work and also identify tasks that we need to fill. So please if you did tasks for the church before COVID and would like to continue please do contact me. Also, a little pre-warning I will be asking for volunteers for other tasks in the very near future.

I am very pleased to let you know that from last week, it is hoped that a member (or members) of the Prayer Ministry Team will be available in the Chapel at St Johns after our public worship services on a Sunday and whenever possible a member of the Prayer Ministry will also be available at the end of the Sunday service at St Mary’s.


Lord, thank you for all you do in our lives
We are truly grateful for your provision for us
From our friends to our family, you are always blessing us in ways we cannot imagine
We feel blessed today Lord as we lift up our Church to you
It is the place we go to worship you
Where we learn about you
We ask your blessings on our Church
We ask that people will come forward to fill in the vacancies that we have
That those with any musical ability will come forward for our St Johns music group
Most of all we ask you Lord, to bless us with the resources to fulfil your mission for our Church
And that you give us the ability to be great stewards over those resources and that you guide our hand in using them
In the name of Jesus
It has been a week of real contrasts. A week full of hope, a week with disappointment, with challenges and with so many blessings. At times many of us may have felt out of control, simply spectators and at other times been called upon to lead, take decisions and consequences.

But throughout it all we have been unified, proud to be part of a team, part of a family, part of the most amazing journey. A journey of transformation, of belonging, purpose and love. Together we have been and will continue to be children of Christ, a Church of One Body, One Mission and one true goal to love and be beloved.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this week, know you are loved and we are praying for and with you all.

God Bless you all

Morning Prayer

Weekday Morning Prayer

It is intended that morning prayer on Zoom will continue at 9am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays after Easter (excepting bank holidays). The link to access morning prayer will change after Easter. If you would like to have the link please email your request to

Interregnum Arrangements

Interregnum arrangements.

“Interregnum” is the name for the period between the departure of one Rector and the arrival of the next. This is likely to be a period of around one year. Some arrangements have already been put in place to cover this period.

Sunday Services

These arrangements are, of course, contingent on what happens with regard to the lifting of the current restrictions. Our provisional plans for services for April to June allow for the current lockdown to continue or for us to return to the situation immediately before lockdown (i.e. broadcast services form St. Mary’s and limited services at St. John’s). There will need to be some revision of our plans if the situation differs from this.

We are delighted to report that Rev. Barry Johnson, a retired minister in Basildon, has volunteered to undertake many of the “priestly” duties during the interregnum. This means that he will preside at many of our communion services and will take many of our weddings, baptisms and funerals. Our Area Dean, Rev. Jane Richards and her team (who are based at Holy Cross and St. Andrew’s in Basildon) will also provide cover, along with various other ministers from time to time.

Our own preaching team of Readers Ron Gough and Kennedy Rath, authorised preacher Eddy Lee and churchwarden Nik Wright (who is exploring a call to ordination) will also preach more regularly than in the past.

Rosters have been planned for April to June with the intention that we will broadcast live communion services from St. Mary’s at 9am every Sunday except for one Sunday in each month (to give our dedicated technical team of Roger McArdell and Ian McNally a well-deserved break!). On that Sunday the broadcast service will come from St. Andrew’s in Basildon where we will join in worship with the congregation there. We are very grateful to Rev. Jane Richards for offering this. Initially these services will be on the last Sunday of each month.

Provisional plans are also in place for 11am worship to recommence at St. John’s when it is judged to be safe and practicable so to do. Duties have been assigned but no opening date has yet been decided upon. It is anticipated that when worship recommences at St. John’s it will initially be on the same basis as just before lockdown i.e. said communion with no singing and people will have to book in advance in order to attend. Watch this space for further information!

Rector Colin Hopkinson

Sunday Streaming Church Service

Join us for a broadcast service on Sunday.

When you follow the link you will be taken to a Facebook page. You do NOT need to have or create a Facebook account to view the video. To watch go to the videos section and click on the video you want.  Previous services will also be there.

You can find the service in the video section by following this Link

If you would like an order of service follow this Link


Dear Church Family

The Parish needs your help!

Our Churches have closed and our collection plates are empty…

But in the background life goes on and for many work continues.

Prayers, bible readings, quiet reflection, streamed services and group support are all happening in our Parish and country wide.

People are showing love, kindness, generosity and compassion to those they know and those they don’t. What a blessing…

When our Churches do re-open, we must continue to spread the Good news and love of Jesus Christ in our communities and welcome people into our Churches.  Having financial stability will enable us to do this.

If you normally give weekly via the plate collections, please consider if you are able to set up a regular monthly donation via Standing order.      STANDING ORDER FORM

You can also make a one off donation to our Parish via this website.    DONATION

Debbie and I can also send you the standing order forms. Please email us.

Thank you so much for your kind generosity and support at this difficult time.

May God bless you and your family

Debbie Porter (Finance Manager) -


St John’s Kids Online

Come and join us today for the first St John’s Kids online

Follow this link to the churches videos

Copper Kettle Virtual Cafe

Wednesday’s at 10am

A chance to meet up online and have a chat

For a zoom link please email:

Morning Prayer Online

Just the Mon and Tue after Easter Sunday there will not be any morning prayer.

Join us for Morning Prayer online at 9am from this Thursday 26 March and thereafter on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

It is very easy to join us. Just send an email to me at requesting to join. I will add you to the group and send you an invitation email to join a “Zoom meeting”. Click on the link on the email a few minutes before 9am to join the meeting. (The first time you do this Zoom will download and install the Zoom app. It is safe to install this).

To be able to join in with the words you will also need to download the Daily Prayer app (search your app store for “Daily Prayer Church of England”, it has a blue logo with Daily Prayer in it) and when you open it should take you straight to the words for that morning. You will need one screen (e.g. phone) to look at the words and another (e.g. laptop) to join the Zoom meeting.

If you would like a prayer request to be included please be sure to have the consent of any person named in the request and send it to me at on a separate email titled “prayer request”.

Bishops Crook – Virtual Pub

Every Saturday at 7.00pm

For a lively chat and catch-up with your friends or an opportunity to make new friends come and join us.  Bring you own bottle!

For a zoom link please email


Hebrews 13v16:

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

In these troubling times which is causing anxiety for many, it’s time to reach-out and support one another.

We want to encourage people to join a new WhatsApp group ‘Reaching-Out’ to provide a simple way to connect folks so that they can ask for support, ministry, advice or give your time to support others.  You just need to give us your name and mobile details.

We also are encouraging folks to subscribe on our web site so you can receive information directly on what’s happening in our church.

Don’t feel you are alone – our church wants to help.

Please hand your details to one of our church wardens or email or text 07754 540005

Name: _________________________________