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From the Rectory – February

loveitSome 85 miles away from the Taj Mahal lies the small Indian town of Kaser Kalan. It is here that 79 year old Faizul Hasan Qadri is building a monument in memory of his wife. The building has a rounded ceiling and archways has four tower’s on its perimeter and one day this will be his wife’s tomb. 

Qadri married his wife when they were teenagers, and they were together for 58 years before her death three years ago. The couple never had children, and one day Qadri’s wife asked him who would remember them once they were gone. “I will build a tomb that everybody will remember,” he told her. It was for her, he says, though one day he will also be laid inside it.  read more

From the Rectory – January

Saturn_V_RocketOn the 25th of May, 1961, President Kennedy stood in front of the US Congress and made a hugely significant announcement. He proposed the Apollo Program, a national goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to earth by the end of the 1960s. This aim wasn’t realised until July 1969, many years after President Kennedy himself had died. There were problems and setbacks, including the loss of the entire crew of Apollo 1 following a cabin fire during a pre-launch test. When Neil Armstrong eventually took the first step of a human being on the surface of another world, an estimated five hundred million people were watching on TV 384,000 miles away. read more

Christmas is Coming!

The Christmas Card from the churches of the Manningtree area will be dropping through your front door shortly. This is it if you live further afield

Mannnigtree Outside 2jpgManningtree Inside 2jpg

As always, we had this printed at Print24, who are greatly recommended!

From the Rectory – November

Earlier this year I was digging through some old documents concerning the work that was done in Lawford Church a few years ago, and came across a folder that contained two pieces of A4 that reported on the discussion about the removal of the pews.  

When it was decided that the ageing heating system was going to be replaced, and new underfloor heating installed, the pews had to be taken out to lay the tiled floor. That having been decided, the ongoing discussion was on what kind of seating would be put back in again. Some favoured returning the original pews. Others some kind of chairs. A third suggestion was to put the old pews back, but put them on wheels to make them movable. read more

From the Rectory – October

The 1970s science fiction film Logan’s run depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, under the guise of ‘renewal’. The story follows the actions of Logan as he tries to escape to a place called sanctuary.

In the film, ‘Sanctuary’ is a safe space, where everyone can live out their days in peace, without the threat of an early death. The reality for Logan turns out to be somewhat different as the one he had imagined. read more

From the Rectory – September

Some things really need to happen in the right order.

If you’ve ever followed a set of instructions for putting together a wardrobe from a well known Swedish furniture store, you’ll know that there is only the one successful way of doing it. The same can be said for driving directions. Follow the road for two miles and then turn right, and you’ll end up in a completely different place than if you turn right and then follow the road for two miles.

With cooking, sometimes you can afford to be a bit more haphazard. If you’re looking for the perfect sponge cake, then the recipe that gives the right ingredients at the right time will produce a masterpiece. Looking for a tasty casserole though, and you can just go ahead and throw everything in and not worry about it. A long slow cook will forgive a lack of attention at the beginning – the recipe is for guidance only. read more

From the Rectory – July

What exactly is the sound of summer? The changing seasons have long been part of the diet of musicians and songwriters – summer especially so. In 1990 the Beach Boys released a classic collection titled ‘Summer Dreams’ and just last month the ‘Now’ series of Albums produced a sixty-three track compilation ‘Now That’s What I Call Summer’. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince sang and rapped about ‘Summertime’, Michael Jackson told us to say ‘Farewell my Summer Love, and John Travolta & Olivia Newton John extolled the virtue of Summer Nights. read more

Medieval Fayre

Saturday June 7TH – 12 noon – 4pm

parachutingteddyCome along & join the fun!!

BBQ, cream teas, bouncy castle, Morris dancing, Medieval music, children’s story telling, coconut shy, archery, bowl-for-a-pig & much more!

 Parachuting Teddies read more

From the Rectory – June

I spent a bit of time in the Royal Albert Hall a few weeks back in the company of several thousand others as part of The Leadership Conference run by Holy Trinity Brompton. Over the course of two days we enjoyed some brilliant sung worship – which rather inexplicably and greedily involved six guitarists at one stage – several excellent keynote speakers as well as a couple of inspirational seminars.

Rick-Kay-Warren-res1The person whose words had the biggest impact on me was Kay Warren. Kay and her husband Rick are the founders of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. The church has a weekly attendance of more than 20,000 people. In a country where go big or go home seems to be a motto to live by, the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren stands out having sold more than thirty million copies in the five years following its publication in 2002. read more

From the Rectory – March

As a vicar you do get some interesting phone calls.

My favourite recent one was someone ringing to complain about the lack of Closed Circuit Television in the churchyard. This caught me a bit on the hop, and I ended up stuttering my apologies about the oversight and asked why he thought we might need it. He went on to say that he knew the police had been called to the churchyard several times recently and surely we should be taking security more seriously. It took a good few minutes before everything became clear – he’d rung the wrong church, and wanted an entirely different vicar in another parish some 200 miles from here. read more