Urgent need in Namalemba

Our link person Rachel Butterfield has alerted us to the plight of our brothers and sisters in Namalemba.

The rains were two months late, attributed in part to tropical cyclone Idai in southern Africa, which drove moisture away from the East Africa region. Planting has not been completed in most of Uganda, while crops in the south are currently experiencing poor germination and moisture stress.*

In Namalemba the drought made it impossible to plant crops; crops that would normally be grown as the mainstay of both nutrition and trading ability.
We were told that many people are starving.

This Sunday there will be a short presentation at the start of the morning service.
Donations can be made by cash or cheque (payable to St Mary’s church Wivenhoe) to help the people of Namalemba to buy staple foods.
A little money goes a very long way in Uganda…



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Wivenhoe Open Gardens

Ann and Len, who began it all in 1987

The weekend of 18 & 19 May will the the 32nd year of Open Gardens in Wivenhoe.
The event, started by Ann and Len Horner so long ago, has gone from strength to strength and this year 30 gardens will be opening to visitors.

The programme costs £5 and gives admission on both the Saturday and Sunday. It also contains a numbered map with short description of the gardens, e.g. if they are wheelchair accessible, serve refreshments, sell plants and other helpful information about opening times.
You might want to plan your route so as to include refreshment stops and remember that St Mary’s church is one of those watering holes; coffee/tea and home-made cakes will be available.

This joint fundraising event by St Mary’s and Wivenhoe Society is one of the highlights of Wivenhoe’s summer calendar. Please support it.
Proceeds of the weekend will be shared between the organisers, with St Mary’s share going to the church and Wivenhoe Society’s distributed amongst its chosen charities.
Programmes are available at the following outlets:

  • Wivenhoe Bookshop
  • RSVP (corner High Street/StationRd)
  • Fleur Parfait (Vine Parade)
  • Michaels Estate Agents
  • Lifestyle Express (formerly Crossways Stores)
  • Wyvern Food Store (the old Post Office)
  • and at 89 High Street on the days.
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More about the Transformation Project

The Transformation Project team prepared a splendid 3-D model -with removable roof- of the Annexe and it is currently on display in the church. It  gives a real feel of what the planned extension will look like. The photos below hardly do it justice so make sure you don’t miss the ‘hands-on’ experience while it is there!

On the same day that the model went on display, Anastashia Jones launched her  Transformation fundraising initiative in the form of delicious cupcakes to accompany the after-service coffee! Big thanks to her – and her mum 🙂 !

£47 raised!

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Church bells for Notre Dame

As always when there is unusual ringing activity, we tell our neighbours why by posting.
Today, at 7 pm for  7 minutes, St Mary’s bells will ring in common with those of cathedrals and churches nationally.

The bells will be rung ‘open’ rather than tolled, as Maundy Thursday is also a major festival of the church.

Tonight at 8pm there will be a Sung Eucharist with stripping of the altar.
Afterwards the church will remain open until 10 pm for private meditation.

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Vestry repairs

When Erwin mentioned the vestry repairs last Sunday, not everyone would have been aware of the extent of the work that had to be done. So here are some photos of the work in progress. Bakers (the contractors) will return on 24 April when the plasterwork has dried sufficiently to begin the painting.
The cracked coping stones that allowed the ingress of water have also been replaced.

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Children’s Easter activities

Saturday 20 April 2-4 pm in the church

For the making of the Easter Garden we would very much appreciate contributions of small greenery and tiny/small flowers or blossoms.
If anyone can provide some, please bring it to the church at 1 pm on Saturday 20 April.
Many thanks!

Other activities will include art and craft work; no doubt something to do with chocolate as well; and the five Easter Stations where ‘witnesses‘ to the occasions will tell of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

And then we’ll have our party 

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Annual Parochial Church Meeting

The APCM will be held on 14 April at 12 noon, following on from the morning service (after coffee!)
Copies of the Annual Parish Report have since 29 March been available to be picked up from the large table in the North aisle of the church.

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St Mary’s Lent Charity 2019

St Mary’s PCC has chosen LIFE Trust as our LENT CHARITY
The LIFE in LIFE Trust stands for Let It Flow Engineering, a small charity that, as its website explains,’ has been established to support the ongoing work of delivery of projects, chiefly those concerned with the provision of safe water and sanitation,
to some of the world’s poorest communities.’

St Mary’s in particular wishes to support the Kisya Kagaana project in Uganda, as we already have the link with Namalemba in that country.
On Sunday 24 March, during the morning service at 10.30 am, Douglas McCormick will give a presentation with slides about this project.

If you cannot be there, you may want to listen to an interview with Douglas in which he speaks about the project. .
The most up-to-date project information is on this link to the LIFE Trust website

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Confirmation service 2019

In a wonderful service, conducted by the diocesan bishop the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, 10 candidates from St John’s Colchester and St Mary’s Wivenhoe confirmed their commitment to a Christian life and discipleship of Jesus.
At the end of the service the bishop and newly confirmed processed out of the church, carrying candles to symbolise taking the Light of Christ out into the community, before returning inside for the group photo. Here’s a glimpse.

Rosemary, who is our link with Namalemba in Uganda, had told the community there about the forthcoming Confirmation and had passed on the names of the candidates to her correspondents, with the request that they pray for them. Today we had their email response:

Greetings from the Christian women of Namalemba to our sisters of Wivenhoe U.K.
We want to assure you that we joined you in the prayers of our brothers who were confirmed on 3rd March.
We prayed at 09:00 hours East African Standard Time. The prayer was led by our Vicar, Lastone Bagaga for 20 minutes. We hope that your people had a peaceful prayer, which will guide them in executing their work.
Please convey our love and greetings to them and to all our brothers and sisters with much hope that they will have a peaceful Ash Wednesday on 6th March.
God Bless You.
Betty Mafuko, Betty Kakya, Charles.

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Visiting bellringers

A touring band of ringers will visit St Mary’s tower on Sunday 3 March and are expected to ring the bells between 3.15 and 4.15 pm.
The band’s members hail from all over the country, from Dundee to Wiltshire, and are touring the Essex/Suffolk borders over 5 days, ringing 8 churches each day.

To properly understand such dedication is probably beyond most non-ringers but it’s a big thing within campanology circles.
We hope our neighbours will bear with this event with tolerance – as we hope the Wivenhoe ringers would be indulged when they visit elsewhere.

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