Electoral Roll 2021-2022
We are currently updating our Electoral Roll, if you are not currently on the electoral roll or would like to amend your entry on the electoral roll then please in the first instance email Nikki (Parish Administrator) email@example.com
3 Meditations for Good Friday
In a normal year we open St Mary’s church for 3 hours between noon and 3pm, the hours when Jesus was on the cross. We offer a series of meditations followed by silence. We cannot open the church this year but below are links to 3 meditations for you to use in your own time, as you think upon Jesus death on the cross. Each meditation includes a bible reading followed by a reflection from Colin. (The length is indicated in brackets).
Jesus arrested: John 18: 1-27 (10 minutes)
Jesus before Pilate: Mark 15:1-15 (5 minutes)
Jesus is dead: John 19:31-42 (6 minutes)
ONLINE ANNUAL MEETING OF PARISHIONERS AND
ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING
Sunday 25th April at 7pm
All resident in the parish and on a Register of Local Government Electors are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of Parishioners (AMP) at which we will be appointing churchwardens for 2021/2022. This will be followed by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM – where only members on the parish electoral roll can vote) at which we will be appointing PCC members for 2021/2022.
I HAVE NOW RECEIVED GUIDANCE from the Diocese on how proceedings should be managed to enable this meeting to proceed online, including the process for nominations and elections:
If you wish to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org and Nikki the Parish Administrator, will send you a Zoom link together with instructions on how to use the link to join the meeting.
Nikki will also send you electronically the agenda and minutes of the 2019 AMP and APCM together with the reports that have been submitted for this year’s APCM. At the APCM, there will be presentation of reports on the activities of the church, submission of the electoral roll and presentation of financial statements and a report from the Treasurer.
If you wish to see a copy of the revised electoral roll please ask specifically for this and a copy will be sent to you.
At the AMP there will be elections for 2 parish churchwardens. If you wish to stand for election as churchwarden please contact Nikki urgently at email@example.com because there is a form that must be completed and submitted prior to the meeting.
At the APCM there will also be elections for deputy churchwardens at St Mary’s and St John’s; and members of the Parochial Church Council. If you wish to stand for election to any of these posts please send an email to the PCC Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org, clearly stating which post you wish to stand for and including the names of a proposer and a seconder who are themselves on the church electoral roll. (Please ensure that the proposer and seconder will be at the APCM so that we can confirm their consent).
For further information please contact :
Easter Services 2021
Sadly, continued restrictions and safety concerns mean that we will not be opening our churches for public worship over Holy Week and Easter this year. However, we will be broadcasting live services on Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. Good Friday meditations will also be available on the website. The live services will be available through our usual Facebook link
Maundy Thursday 1st April. 8pm Holy Communion (including the stripping of the altar).
Good Friday 2nd April. Recorded meditations available through our website.
Easter Sunday 4th April. 9am Holy Communion. (This will be Colin’s last service before retirement).
Rob Aley’s funeral.
Rob’s funeral will take place at Basildon crematorium on Wednesday 31st March at 11.30am. Due to the current Covid restrictions only invited guests can attend. The service will be broadcast and if you would like to be able to join the broadcast please email Colin on email@example.com and he will send you the link.
Please keep Rob’s wife, Sue, and the rest of the family in your prayers.
Rector Langdon Hills Parish
Lent 2021 in Langdon Hills.
Due to the current restrictions we will not be able to offer our usual Ash Wednesday service this year, nor will we be able to run our Lent course in our usual way. However, we can offer a meditation for Ash Wednesday (see the link below) and the opportunity to join our online Lent course on Zoom (more details below).
Ash Wednesday meditation
Follow this link to hear Colin’s recorded meditation on “The seven deadly sins of the keen Christian”! The bible reference is Matthew 6:5-8; 19-21.
Lent course: “Let’s Talk About Race”
The death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have brought the issue of race to the fore this year. I am very grateful to our own Paula Sofowora, who has adapted the “Let’s talk about race” course for our use. Please see the details below. Some of our existing small groups are already using this course. Paula and I are offering the opportunity to any who are not in existing groups to join us for an online Lent group using Zoom. We intend that the course will start during the week beginning 1st March.
If you would like to join us, please let me know by email to:
Please specify any times when you are not available. One of the few upsides of doing this course online during lockdown is that we can be flexible! So, we have deliberately not set a day or time in advance because we hope to set the day and time to suit the maximum number of participants. We can also be flexible about how many sessions we run to complete the material (see below).
The resources for the course will be emailed to participants.
Racism and any form of discrimination is an affront to God and as Christians we must each play our part in eradicating all forms of racism and discrimination in our communities. This course aims to help us understand what the Bible says about race issues, and can be used as a practical check list for each of us to discuss and measure our own behaviour. Are we truly inclusive in our hearts and how we behave, at home, in the work place, church and society as a whole? Do we understand the meaning of Mark 12:30-31 ‘love your neighbour as yourself?’ ‘in our respective areas of influence?
There are 3 modules which may take 3 to 5 sessions depending upon the level of interaction and discussion.
1. Black and immigrant in the Bible
2. All one in Christ
3. Compassion and justice for all.
Open to anyone.
Please read the resources prior to each session, consider incidents where you or someone that you love may have been discriminated against, reflect on the issues raised, how it made you feel and what if anything, you or they did about it.
Led by Paula Sofowora & Colin Hopkinson
As I announced in the online service on Sunday 24th January, I am to retire as Rector of Langdon Hills. My last working day will be Easter Sunday, 4th April.
Christine and I will be moving to Otley in Yorkshire, close to our daughter Sarah. Christine’s mother, Mavis, will also be moving nearby.
We already intended to retire this year, but when Mavis had a bad fall and an operation it became clear that it needed to be sooner rather than later. She is making a good recovery, but she needs a level of support which is not sustainable at our current distance.
When the date was set we had hoped that the Covid crisis would be receding by Easter, and that we would be back in church and progressing towards normality. Sadly, that now seems less likely. Our farewells will probably have to be virtual rather than face to face!
The Church Council (PCC) was informed at our zoom meeting on 18th January. The Diocese has been cutting back on clergy numbers due to financial constraints, but Archdeacon Mike Lodge was in attendance at PCC and was able to reassure members that I will be replaced. However, there will be the usual interregnum (i.e. a gap between appointments). He and the Area Dean, Rev. Jane Richards, will help the church to manage the interregnum and to seek a new Rector.
In the next two months I will be working with our churchwarden, Nik Wright, and others to cover the period immediately after my retirement. I hope and believe that all of you will do what you can to support those who will be maintaining our church’s life during the interregnum.
We first came to Langdon Hills in a previous century, in 1998! We have been here for over 22 years and our children grew up here. Sarah attended Lincewood Primary School and then followed David to The Billericay School. It has been a great privilege to serve the parish and the churches of St. Mary’s and St. John’s. We have made many friends and it will be a wrench for us to leave. Nevertheless, we believe that it is the right time to go, both for us and for the parish. The church needs fresh leadership to move on to the next stage of its mission and ministry.
Change is never easy and it is particularly challenging in the current circumstances. However, God uses such times to shape us and to mould us. In particular, He often uses interregna to raise people up and to grow churches spiritually and in discipleship. It will be our prayer that God will continue to bless St. Mary’s and St. John’s in the months and years ahead. May we also ask for your prayers that God will bless us as we move on to pastures new.
May God’s grace and peace be with you,
Colin and Christine.
Across the Diocese, leading up to Good Friday, there will be a series of courses offered under the title Lent Modules. The courses are open to anyone and with the exception of modules 2 & 5, will be carried out using Zoom. The cost has been kept to a minimum, starting at £15 for a two session course, rising to £25 for 5 session courses.
Please use the following link to view details of the Modules
Please use the following link to view a copy of the booking forms
Booking forms should be returned to, Diane Hardy, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Places on some modules are limited, so to avoid disappointment early booking is recommended and payment should be made electronically wherever possible, details of how to do this are on the booking form.
St John’s and St Mary’s services (30th December update).
Sunday services at St. John’s
Following Diocesan advice, there will be no public worship at St John’s on the 3rd January or thereafter, whilst we remain in Tier 4 and infection rates in this area remain so high.
Sunday services at St. Mary’s
Sadly, St. Mary’s still cannot be safely opened for public worship in compliance with the current guidelines. We plan to broadcast a live service from St. Mary’s at 9am on Sunday 3rd January. From that date services will be available online from St Mary’s at 9am each Sunday. Follow the link to our Facebook page to join us live or on delayed viewing.
Rev. Colin Hopkinson
These are very difficult times for all of us and, as a church, we are doing what we can to respond to people’s needs. But in order to continue our mission and ministry we do need the resources to do it and this includes having people in certain key positions.
The Bible describes the church as the body of Christ and makes it clear that every Christian is a part of that body and has a role to play (1 Corinthians 12). That is not primarily about jobs that need to be done in church. It is about spiritual gifts like wisdom, helping, encouraging and serving and there are many different ways of playing our part in the church family. Nevertheless, there are certain tasks that need to be done to enable the church to operate effectively, and God will call some people to exercise their spiritual gifts in those roles.
Following elections at our Annual Parochial Church Meeting in September some key positions in our church leadership were left unfilled. I am pleased to say that all the positions for Deanery Synod and ordinary Church Council (PCC) members have now been filled, but there are still vacancies for church and deputy wardens (described below) who are essential to the smooth running of our church and Sunday services. Ironically, the covid regulations have masked the problem because it has been possible to run the very limited activities that are currently allowed. However, when we return to “normal” it will be very difficult to run even basic services without people in these key positions.
I want to ask all church members to pray that God will provide the people and resources that we need to fulfil God’s calling to us in all areas of mission and ministry, and to pray especially for God to call the people He wants to these particular positions:
We elect two churchwardens. They are both wardens for the whole parish but one takes special responsibility for St Mary’s and the other for St John’s. We currently have only one churchwarden, Nik Wright. In normal circumstances Nik would focus on St John’s, but he is currently covering both churches. Please pray for a churchwarden for St. Mary’s.
The churchwarden has an important leadership role within the church and also has certain legal responsibilities for the church building. He/she works in close co-operation with the clergy and other leaders on matters of policy and detail. He/she takes responsibility for certain practical aspects of the running of services, including overseeing the preparation of the building for worship.
The deputy churchwarden has a supportive role in assisting the church warden to carry out his/her duties as outlined above. We elect 4 deputy churchwardens, 2 for St Mary’s and 2 for St John’s. We currently have one deputy warden, James Macbean, at St Mary’s and the other posts are vacant. Please pray for deputy wardens at both churches.
All wardens are members of the PCC and therefore trustees with responsibility for overseeing the business and finances of the church. The PCC meets bi-monthly with sub-committees meeting in the intervening months. Wardens are members of the sub-committee for either St Mary’s or St John’s and may join the Childcare and/or Finance committee if they wish.
If you are interested in knowing more about any of these positions please contact Colin (email: email@example.com. Tel: 01268 542156).