Happy Summer

Hello friends!Isn't the summer zipping by? I think that can be the only explanation for why I have somehow managed to go so long without posting here on the website!We're currently enjoying a (slightly) quieter August- we hope you have been too. That said, we did have the Pet Service down at Mistley this month, and we couldn't let it pass without at least one photo!There are many more photos up in Mistley- go and have a look, and have a lovely rest of the summer. Long may it last!...
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Who we are…

Have you heard about Tea & Support?   We are really proud to say that this is a definite part of who we are.It was designed to meet a need for people in the community who might have been bereaved, or are alone, and having to cope with tasks that feel like a struggle.It doesn't just meet practical needs (changing a fuse, a battery, a light bulb...contacting electricians, gardeners, accountants...filling in forms, dealing with brown envelopes...) but also is here to provide emotional support, making friends and having a listening ear.Tea & Support meets on the third Wednesday of the month, from 2.00pm-4.00pm at Mistley Church Hall in New Road. Transport can be arranged and meetings are free of charge.We're really grateful for Hunnaballs (Paskell's Funeral Service) who have worked with us on this since the beginning.But if all that wasn't enough, they also go on outings. Yes. Below is a picture from their most recent outing on the Felixstowe...
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Coming soon…

Come to Messy Church! I've lost count of how many we've done now, but they've all been really fun, and since there are plans that involve ice cream and cones, I can't see how this will be anything less than marvellous.The poster really says it all. Come along for crafts, games and activities all on our theme of building on the Rock, then join us in a time of celebration with a story and songs, and then finally, all sit down together for a meal.We charge £2 per child aged 3+ (younger brothers and sisters and cousins are welcome, and for free!) but all children must be accompanied by an adult.Now to tune my ukulele and work out what we're going to sing...hope to see you there! ...
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Eurovision and Pentecost and why we should keep on keeping on

Dear friends,If you receive the weekly email you'll probably have had the one a few weeks ago, when I might possibly have mentioned Eurovision once or twice. And a lot of you spoke to me over the next week with an expression of genuine concern that I might have finally lost it. Eurovision? Really? You actually like that?Uh, yes. Yes, I do.If you have half an hour free, take some time to listen to the complete winners. It's brilliant. Not least to note how much has changed since 1956. And how we used to favour mullets more. The hilarity of Eurovision that we are just so good at noticing here does however detract sometimes from the brilliant message that is going on behind it all: it's not about the winning. Thank goodness for that. No, it's genuinely about the taking part. It's a visual (and delightfully audible) sign of what we can do together....
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Oh, hello!

May is here! And suddenly, April has passed and I haven't posted. At all. In a month. Sorry about that, friends.April was a little nutty, and the nuttiness thereof had inspired several posts on:- the results of the Away Day- Easter- Spring Harvest- APCMs- the fact that the sun finally came out- the fact that I am wearing flip-flops today- the fact that I might regret that laterExcept I didn't write any of them. There are pictures, languishing on my phone, waiting to leap onto here, and they just haven't made it yet. So I'm very sorry.I will get round to it. May appears to be a blissfully quiet(er) month, so I might actually catch up with myself.For the time being, here are some things for you to enjoy.First:Second, Pete James led worship this year at Spring Harvest, and sung this lovely, lovely song:Finally, I came across this a while ago, and now am singing it all the time:I hope...
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Ready, steady…

Here's your one-stop-shop for getting ready for the Away Day, this Saturday.1) Pray. And then pray again. And then pray some more. And again.2) Look at our seriously condensed Hopes for the Future, which we compiled about two and a half years ago at the last away day.Things to think about:how are we progressing on these points to your knowledge?are there points that we don't appear to be working on?are there points that really should have been there from the start?anything else?3) Pray some more.4) Look at the Transforming Presence website. It's the priorities, outlined by Bishop Stephen for the Chelmsford Diocese for the next ten to fifteen years, and we, as part of the Chelmsford Diocese, will be held accountable to it. At the very least, please watch the video below which outlines the Transforming Presence priorities. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OHQaWBhKLb0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>5) Pray a bit more.6) Either:a) pack your lunch, get in the car and come to the Away Day, orb)...
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God loves the Church…no, really

So. I don't think that anyone would deny that the Church takes a pummelling from the media. Daily. If it's not that numbers are going down, or that we're fighting amongst ourselves, it's that we don't possibly understand the rest of the world and are massively outmoded, outdated and out of time.But here's the thing. About twenty of us went to Spring Harvest last year where the theme was the Church: God's brilliant idea. And it turns out, it is!In his book Church Actually, Gerard Kelly wrote:"...the church is, in its origins, God’s brilliant idea.It is his plan; the Creator’s way of reaching and redeeminghis creation. It is a sparkling idea, a concept radiant withlight and joy. Words like “brilliant”, “bright” and “beautiful”can legitimately be used to describe it."See here for more!  I'm not sure that we always act like this though, and I'm not sure that we always believe it. I'm not sure that I had even thought about it...
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Be mine!

Did you enjoy Valentines Day? Are you now grumbling that it isn't a real holiday? Are you wondering where on earth I got heart sequins from?We had the Wedding Workshop this last Saturday. All the couples who will be getting married this year were invited along to learn more about marriage, meet the Weddings Team, meet each other and eat cake. I know. I was given the last piece. And two heart sequins. This is what you get if you turn up just as they're packing away. Anyway. It was a great day, had by all. Hopefully we'll put up some more information about weddings here on the website soon. In the mean time, if you're interested in getting married but have no idea where to start, email the church office (info@manningtreebenefice.co.uk) and we'll get you on the right track. This morning, the Lent Course started. Session One was really good, and if you missed it, we're doing it again on Thursday!...
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