Blind Auction & Supper Evening

Unfortunately this planned event has had to be cancelled because ticket sales have not gone well due to prospective attendees’ prior commitments on this date.

Bonnie Hill is organising this fundraising event which is on Saturday 16 March, 7 pm at Toad Hall, 16 Colchester Rd.
TICKETS – £8.00 per person plus bring your own drinks and a wrapped gift.

If you haven’t enjoyed a Blind Auction before, this is how it works.
In addition to buying a ticket, which will include a lasagne & pudding supper, everyone is asked to bring a single small wrapped parcel, maybe an unwanted gift.
In the auction everyone has the chance to bid “blind” for each unknown item. All bids are limited to 20p.
If you have made a bid in that round and the numbered ball you were given upon arrival is drawn out, you are the winner.
There are only 30 tickets so please get your tickets sooner rather than later as you may be disappointed if you wait.

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Tony Forsgate: 90 not out

We tagged a celebration  on to the end of the morning service on 17 February.

Graham Wadley, Director of Music, said:
“We’re celebrating Tony’s 90th birthday and also marking his retirement, last Christmas, from St Mary’s choir after just over 50 years singing with us, man and boy – though I don’t remember the boy bit! He first sang here until his voice broke, then devoted part of his life to cricket and rejoined the choir in the mid 70s singing bass -just as his father Tom had done before him. When Tom retired Tony took over the family tradition of singing bass. Daughters Judith and Alison were also members (at that time we had a choir of over 20-odd children) and shortly afterwards Shirley joined as well. In those days we had two services and Tony was incredibly loyal. So thank you Tony, for all your time and devotion. You always said that you couldn’t read music but I think you underestimated your ability!”

Tony responded: “Can I just thank Graham for all the work he puts in for the choir. At that time we had 40 members and for those who are still singing: thank you very much!
Good memories!”

Erwin presented a bouquet to Shirley, thanking her for all her support over the years.
Cake and sherry were enjoyed by all.

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Music for Good Fridy 2019

Come and join St Mary’s Singers when they begin rehearsals on Thursday 21 February at 7.30 pm, to prepare for the musical event on Good Friday evening (19 April).

St Mary’s Singers is the augmented choir that 4 times a year provides the extra voice power for special choral events in the church.
Joining for one does not commit you to all of them.
On this occasion there will be a selection of pieces by Saint-Saens, Bob Chilcott, Stainer and others, together with some solo pieces by John Ireland and Pergolesi.

Singers for all voice parts are welcome; just roll up on 21 February or get in touch with Graham Wadley on if you’d like more info.

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Confirmation 2019

Candidates from both St John’s Colchester and St Mary’s Wivenhoe will be confirmed by the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, at St Mary’s Wivenhoe on Sunday 3 March, 10.30 am.

Meetings for those preparing for Confirmation will begin on Saturday 16 February.
They will be held at the Rectory, 44 Belle Vue Ave, Wivenhoe and led by Revds Viv Whitfield and Erwin Lammens.
If you were considering being confirmed but hadn’t yet decided to join the preparation sessions, call 01206 822511 for information. There is still space for a few candidates.
Sessions will start at 9.30 am and end at 12 noon.

The Church of England website has a page on Confirmation FAQs; here is the link:

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Electoral Roll renewal

A new Electoral Roll will be published on 20 March 2019.

Such renewal happens every 5 years. It means that we start from scratch.
So if your name was on the current Roll, you need to fill in a simple form to make sure it will appear on the new one!
If you wish to join the Electoral Roll for the first time, please complete and return the same form.

This does not involve you in any financial obligations, but only people whose name is on the Roll will be entitled to vote and take part in the proceedings at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 14 April.
Currently there are 126 names on the Roll.

Forms are available at the back of the church or may be obtained from Viv Howard, our Electoral Roll Officer. Viv’s contact details can be found here.

Completed forms must be returned before Monday 18 March 2019 to Viv Howard. Or they can be posted in the marked box at the back of the church.

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Holy Ground 17 February

The theme for February will be an introduction to the use of silence for prayer, reflection and peace, and to help us we will be looking at a famous piece of artwork and the Bible passage that tells the story of the Prodigal Son.

It starts at 6 pm as usual with a warm welcome and hot drinks, with the odd mini cheddar and sherbert lemon on offer too!

For anyone who doesn’t ‘DO’ church – though others are equally welcome 🙂

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Asante sana

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Seeds of Prayer at Holy Ground

Sunday 20 January at 6 pm will see another Holy Ground gathering at St Mary’s and ALL ARE WELCOME.

The Holy Ground service-that-is-not-a-service is an opportunity for us to celebrate and discuss our faith in a relaxed way, through discussion, reflection and creativity.
This week we will be looking at ‘wind’ as part of our elements series that started with earth, and with wind as the theme, some room for a bit of a laugh!
There will be nibbles/coffee and tea available and we will be taking a short walk to the river to plant some prayers as part of our gathering this Sunday! (We will be writing prayers on special seed paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it).

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During the Morning Service at 10.30 am on Sunday 20 January St Mary’s will host the Watoto Children’s choir.
The following information is from the Watoto website:

The Watoto Children’s Choir tours the world annually to advocate millions of African children currently orphaned by AIDS, poverty and war. The choir’s Concerts of Hope are held in churches, community halls and schools across the globe.
The Watoto Children’s Choir has performed before royalty and world leaders at Buckingham Palace, at the White House and at many national parliaments across the globe. Wherever they go, audiences are inspired as the children sing, dance and celebrate their stories of hope.

Watoto choir has been touring the Colchester area and it’s great that we have been included in the tour. Here is an example of their contribution to a service in Christ Church (not sure where in the world…).

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Bishop Stephen’s New Year message 2019

One of the joys of 2018 was returning to Spain to walk part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I first completed the northern Way of St James in the autumn of 2016. It’s deeply satisfying for the soul when prayer, solitude and the unrelenting tread of boot leather come together.  During the pilgrimage, yellow arrows painted on lampposts guided me through mountainous terrain. I came to rely on these arrows in this unfamiliar, beautiful place. Read the whole message

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