Sunday, 30 March 2014


1234459_354281271372038_1966897606_nToday I presided at St. Augustine’s where we had a full church as Father Martin presided at the Parish Mass  at St. Lawrence, Upminster;  . At the beginning of the service the flags from the Uniformed Organisations were paraded and presented. Our Intercessions were led by the Brownies. I talked about the different names for this Sunday and then pointed out that we all had 3 mothers: our own Mums, Mother Mary and Mother Church. What linked these together was “love” – you couldn’t see “ love” but you knew it was there. I produced a stick with 2 coloured balls at each end; as you pulled one – one at the other end went up (or down) He then opened the stick into two pieces to show that the coloured balls were not linked.

At the Peace, flowers were blessed and distributed, or votive candles lit for those whose mothers had died. Leaflets detailing all the services for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter were distributed and they included an invitation to the annual Easter Parish Breakfast on Easter Day. Cost for adults: £3,  £1 for children between 5 to 11, children under 5 free. Fruit Juice, Cereals, toast and marmalade, Boiled Eggs and Sausages, tea or coffee. All breakfasts must be pre-booked – no one will be served who hasn’t reserved a place. Having been to this for several years I can thoroughly recommend it.

We hope to hold a Flower Festival on 24th and 25th May as part of our Mission Week ; volunteers to arrange flowers or sponsor an arrangement are needed by NEXT SUNDAY when we are holding our Annual Vestry and Parochial Meeting..

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Talking points on same-sex marriage

From the Coalition for Marriage

The democratic deficit

With the first same-sex weddings set to take place this weekend to much media fanfare, it’s important to remember how undemocratic and illiberal the redefinition of marriage is:

  • Marriage was redefined over the heads of the 24 million married people in this country.
  • None of the three main political parties at Westminster made redefining marriage part of their election manifesto. It was not even in the coalition agreement.
  • Three days before the 2010 General Election, David Cameron told Sky News he had no plans to change the law of marriage.
  • There was no green paper or white paper. The only consultation was on 'how' to redefine marriage, not 'whether' to.
  • The Government ignored the 500,000 names and addresses of UK residents on our C4M petition. They weren’t accepted as responses to the consultation.
  • Since the Government’s online response form was anonymous, anyone anywhere in the world could submit a response, as many times as they liked.
  • The consultation ruled out religious same-sex weddings. But when the Bill was published religious ceremonies were included.
  • This exposed religious organisations to the threat of hostile legal action, with one gay couple already publicising their intention to go to court to get a C of E wedding.
  • Though he still backs gay marriage, David Cameron has admitted he would never have gone ahead had he known the level of opposition that would be stirred up.
  • Parliamentary scrutiny was wholly inadequate. At Second Reading, backbench MPs were limited to four minute speeches.

Inadequate safeguards

The implications of redefining marriage have not been thought through. The Government agrees that people’s careers shouldn’t be damaged just because they believe in traditional marriage – yet the protections in place are completely insufficient.

A parent complained to her school that her six year old daughter had had two lessons on same-sex marriage in a week.

A teacher was threatened with disciplinary proceedings because she said in the staff room that she believed in traditional marriage.

A couple wanting to adopt children were told they were unsuitable because they supported traditional marriage.

Thankfully all these cases have been resolved, but they should never have arisen at all.


Further redefinitions

If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined again? Some campaigners are now calling for polygamy to be legalised.

Just recently the Government stripped familiar words like husband, wife and widow from a raft of our laws simply because these words don't line up with the Government's new definition of marriage.

For another example of what could happen, you have to look no further than the recent comments of a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Lord Wilson, in a speech he gave supporting gay marriage, suggested that marriage to the dead was an option. He said “if it really helps the broken-hearted, we have at least to ask: why not?”

No nation on earth had legalised same-sex marriage until 13 years ago. Only 16 out of 193 nations have done so.

The truth is that same-sex marriage is a social construct, a social experiment. Parliament can change the law, but it cannot change the reality that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Marriage – between a man and a woman – is the greatest partnership in history. It reflects the complementary natures of men and women.

Time and time again the evidence has shown that children do best with a married mother and a father.

So let’s keep standing up for marriage. 

Colin Hart
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage

Tuesday, 25 March 2014



Today we celebrate   THE ANNUCIATION

Pray for for us O Holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the promises of  Christ

Sunday, 23 March 2014



Today I was the principal celebrant and Father Martin read the Gospel and preached the sermon at St. Augustine’s, Rush Green. Father Martin began the sermon by recalling how he had been approached by a television production company to appear in TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) a few days ago; he had to decline as he had a prior engagement at the time of filming. We were a little disappointed that we won’t be seeing Father on our TV’s just yet. 

The Gospel relates how the Samaritan woman had approached Jesus who was able to supply her immediate needs. Father pointed out that the Samaritan woman represented us; Jesus came not only for the Jewish people as their expected Messiah but to us, non-Jews/gentiles, as well. Jesus provides our needs; he provides us with “living water”. I led the Intercessions today.

The Samaritans are an interesting people and now number only around 751 divided into 5 families. Recently males have been given permission to “marry” out provided the bride converts. In view of the Samaritans strict observance of Levitical law many have found this very difficult.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


I was a little surprised when, returning home yesterday afternoon, I had an e-mail informing me that our Organist & Choirmaster had sustained some nasty injuries following a fall in his garden and would I play the organ for the Parish Mass today. So this morning it was of to church a little earlier than normal to have a look at the anthem and to take Choir Practice. During Lent it is the custom to only use the organ to accompany the hymns service setting so I didn’t have to play anything before or after Mass.

I was also preaching today and in my sermon suggested that Nicodemus might have thought Jesus had taken leave of his senses when he said that a person needed to be born again. How could some one re-enter the womb of their mother? However Nicodemus totally missed the point as Jesus was talking about being born by water and the Spirit referring to the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. It was just before the crucifixion and afterwards that Nicodemus reappears in the Gospel when it seems he now understood the point Jesus was making.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014



Unquestionably Bob Crow was one of the greatest Trade Union leaders, possibly the last of the true socialists, and whether or not you agreed with him, you had to admire both his tenacity and his outstanding leadership of the RMT. At a time when Trade Unions have been loosing membership the RMT were increasing theirs. Bob Crow managed to obtain above inflation settlements for his members which other Union  seemed unable to do. Tributes are being made to him from both friends and opponents alike.

May he Rest in Peace.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


I presided at the Parish Mass at St. Augustine’s, Rush Green today:  Father Martin read the Gospel, preached and Concelebrated. We had a good congregation for this  the start of the Holy Season of Lent. It is the custom to read out to the congregation the Ten Commandments on the 1st Sunday in Lent  which I used as the introduction to the Confession.  It seemed quite strange to have no voluntary either at the beginning or the end of the service, and this will be the case now, until Easter. The Choir sang an arrangement of “God be in my head” during the Communion.

In his sermon Father Martin talked about temptation. He pointed out that we were all subject to temptation; some here at Mass might be tempted to have a snooze or think about their next shopping trip instead of concentrating on the sermon. He gave an example of how people could be tempted and actually sin but not realising initially that they were doing so. Helping yourself to stationary or pencils/ball points from the cupboard at work was breaking the commandment not to steal. He briefly talked about parents letting their children go hungry so that they could buy drinks or drugs. We might be tempted to gossip about people. Fortunately we have a way to put matters right by coming and making our Confession, a sacrament which is mentioned in the Book of Common Prayer and it was pointed out the either he or I were always ready to hear confessions.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


FATHER MICHAEL HORE 12th May 1950 - 19th February 2014


May he Rest in Peace

Today I attended the Requiem Mass for Father Michael which was taken by the Bishop of Chelmsford and supported by many clergy. The church was packed and the choir magnificent. They sang three solo's Justorium Animae by William Byrd, And I saw a New Heaven by Edgar Bainton and God so loved the World by John Stainer. In a fitting tribute to Father Michael who had suffered from Motor Neurone Disease The Bishop of Chelmsford preached an excellent sermon on the text "Be still and know that I am God". At the end of the Requiem Bishop Steven blessed the coffin with Holy Water and Incense and we sang that wonderful Easter Hymn "Thine be the Glory". The cortege left the church to that great triumphal organ piece Nun danket alle Gott by Sigfrid Karg-Elert.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


untitledToday I presided and preached for the Solemn Parish Mass at S. Paul’s, Goodmayes who have recently started their Interregnum. I am going to be there again on Ash Wednesday. In my sermon I talked about how brides and grooms would come to the Vicarage to put up their banns. Often one would wonder what he saw in her or conversely what she saw in him. On the day of the wedding you would see a lovely, radiant bride walk up the aisle and you would realise that you were witnessing a transfiguration and experience the true person. Moses came down from the mountain and he had a radiant face and Jesus was revealed in his full glory when he was transfigured in front of the Apostles James, John and Peter. As we prepare to begin Lent we should try to see the face of Jesus in our fellow Christians and we should experience a true meeting with him when we come to Mass.

ASH WEDNESDAY at s. paul’s, goodmayes.

SOLEMN MASS with the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes 8.00 p.m.