Welcome

Welcome to our website. Whether you want Weddings or Word from Wormingford, to find out about or services or to take a tour of our Churches, we hope you enjoy touring our website - and we look forward to meeting you in person.

Richard on May 18th, 2017

Come and visit Wormingford’s annual flower festival over the Spring Bank Holiday. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 27th to Bank Holiday Monday 29th May. The theme for 2017 is…”Essex Is The Only Way!” celebrating all things Essex 🙂

There will be wonderful and imaginative floral displays in St. Andrew’s Church, a tombola with many exciting prizes, and down at the nearby Wormingford Community Education Centre, a bric-a-brac sale, teas, cakes, lunches and refreshments.

Find us here: http://www.wormingford.com/find-us-3

Richard on May 18th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 21 May 2017.

Richard on May 12th, 2017

Ronald Blythe talks to Paul Handley of the Church Times about a long literary innings

AFTER more than 24 years, 1250 columns, and three-quarters-of-a-million words, Ronald Blythe is retiring from his weekly Word from Wormingford. He has recovered from a recent illness, and is generally fit and well; but delivering his copy, week in, week out, is a task he is now ready to lay aside.

The column began on 19 November 1993, as “Letter from Wormingford”. Ronald had already written several Diary columns for the then Church Times editor, John Whale. His column has been inhabited by a large cast: favourite poets such as George Herbert and John Clare; former acquaintances and employers such as Benjamin Britten; the scores of countrymen and -women with whom he has conversed (conversations that were the basis of his most popular work, Akenfield); and the creatures who shared his corner of north Essex, including the white cat, who died a year or two ago. (Two young black-and-white cats have since taken its place.)

I went to see him last week, in the company of the Revd John Chandler, Priest-in-Charge of Wormingford and Mount Bures with Little Horkesley, and found him in good spirits, and as welcoming as ever. Parishioners regularly make the trip down the rutted lane, which dates from Saxon times, to his house to ensure that he is well.

He spoke fondly but modestly about the column: “I’m just a writer who doesn’t go anywhere nowadays. I’m a naturalist and a poet; rather bookish. I’m essentially a contemplative. If you live alone, you become meditative, especially as you read and write.”

He recalls being pressed to consider ordination, but he has remained stubbornly lay. “I have always enjoyed being a Reader. It has been part of my life. But what I have done is not get caught up with the Bishop. I’ve just lived alone, writing books. “Church politics is not my thing — though it amuses me. But I shall always be grateful to the Church, particularly because of the friendships in it.”

He spoke calmly about his age: “I’m now 94, but feel just the same as I did ages ago. “I am very conscious of the brevity of life, of things coming to an end. I don’t feel remotely unhappy about it. I read, garden, people come and see me, and it just goes on.” “I live very much in the present. I wake up in the morning feeling ever so well, and feeling today is the big day.”

All of Ronald Blythe’s past columns are published in book form by Canterbury Press: Word from Wormingford: A parish year (£9.99); Out of the Valley (£9.99); Borderland (£10.99); A Year at Bottengoms Farm (£8.99); River Diary (£12.99 hardback); The Bookman’s Tale (£12.99); Village Hours (£14.99, hardback); Under a Broad Sky (£14.99 hardback); In the Artist’s Garden (£14.99 hardback); Stour Seasons (£14.99 hardback). In addition, there are his reflections on old age, The View in Winter (£14.99). A final compilation of his columns is currently in preparation.

Richard on May 12th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 14 May 2017.

Richard on May 12th, 2017

The only time I had anything to do with a Maypole, I was ten. Our Junior School practised for weeks for the annual event on the village green, so that the colourful display could be the centrepiece of the May Day celebrations. Well we thought it was the centrepiece – others may have come for the games, the food or the beer tent!

Maypoles have been a tradition for many centuries, in several European countries including England, but they briefly fell out of favour in 16th Century as the Church was worried that they had pagan undertones – but they didn’t know its origins, and we still don’t. What we do know is the reason that they flourished, and still do in many places – they are an excellent demonstration of the power of Community. They bring the community together, with multi-coloured ribbons signifying our differences, and the dance requires complicated interaction in various directions to create the satisfying pattern on the maypole, time and time again. I found that the interesting part is when the pattern is nearly complete – the ribbons are shorter, people are closer, activity is faster and it’s much more fun!

Churches, the Bible, Jesus Himself, have always stressed the importance of community – because the ultimate aim is one community, one family of people, all acknowledging the Creator God of earth and heaven: ‘They will be my people, and I will be their God’ (Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16… and 28 other places in the Bible!). And if God’s aim is for us all to be in fellowship and friendship, that’s my aim and I hope yours too. It’s perfectly possible, even with our different skills, views and the directions we take.

There are many opportunities to demonstrate that in every village, with people joining together as friends, for Flower Festivals, for interest groups, for local events – but it’s really good when we can find activities in which everyone can share. The Church is one of those inclusive activities – and we invite you to discover that with us. And as I found with the Maypole, the closer you get the more exciting and satisfying it all is.

Whatever you choose to do and however you do it, may the Lord bless you as you work towards that vision of unity in community.

Yours in Jesus

Richard on April 27th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 30 April 2017.

Richard on April 20th, 2017

To find service times, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 23 April 2017.

Richard on April 13th, 2017

Easter will be celebrated in the Benefice at the following services on Sunday 16 April:

09:15 – Family Communion, Mount Bures

11:00 – Family Communion, Little Horkesley

11:00 – Family Communion, Wormingford

18:30 – Evening Service, Little Horkesley

For readings, prayers and NEWS, click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Easter Sunday.

Richard on April 8th, 2017

To find service times for Holy Week and Easter, readings, prayers and NEWS , click the image below to open the Benefice Bulletin for Sunday 9 April 2017.

Richard on March 31st, 2017

Potential

Isn’t this a lovely time of year to be walking around the village or driving in the countryside? Daffodils brighten the view and our spirits; green replaces brown, and freshly cut lawns and verges show that humanity joins nature in its annual spring-clean. It happens every year – soon it will be the turn of bluebells, and before long those tidy lanes will be narrowed by cow parsley!

We expect it, but it’s all still a miracle. Science can show how it all happens, and why – but it’s still amazing how an intricate daffodil can grow from a bulb, a whole field or wood can change colour with bloom, whole plants emerge from the tiniest of seeds – and all on cue. May we never lose that sense of awe and wonder as we take in the sights and scents of spring.

Easter, 16th April this year, is a Christian’s happiest day, and that arrives on cue too. Many events in the Bible can’t be tied down to a specific time of year or date, but Easter can – the first Easter Day was the Sunday after the Passover (the night of the full moon after the vernal equinox) and it still is! It’s great to fill the Church at Easter with spring flowers as a reminder of emerging life, and to give & receive Easter eggs too.

Eggs and seeds are so simple to look at, yet they are powerful signs of great potential. Jesus said “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). That was in the context of preparing his followers for his death on the cross, by which He demonstrated the potential for eternal life. You’d remind me that when a seed goes into the ground, it may look dead, but it actually isn’t; the potential is still there. Now Jesus knew that. He was certainly killed – the Romans saw to that – but his point is that nothing can kill the spirit, and by His resurrection proved that our spirits too have the potential for eternal life.

Yes, we are all people of great potential. Just as our intellect, our talents, our energies can be considered dead or dormant until they emerge to brighten the community around us, so also our spiritual lives can be ‘fed and watered’ in a relationship with Jesus for the benefit of those around us now, and for our own lives – on this earth and for eternity.

So as we enjoy the beauty of the natural world, let’s thank the Lord for humanity’s potential too; pray that leaders will realise the potential to bring peace, that we work to realise the potential for a thriving community, and that all the hidden goodness in us will blossom and brighten the spirits of all around us.

Yours in Jesus,