Welcome to the Manningtree Benefice

This is the website for the mission and ministry of Manningtree Benefice: St. Mary & St. Michael' Church, Mistley with Manningtree and St. Lawrence's Church, Bradfield, including service, group and event information, contact details, media, and information about Mistley Church Hall (Mistley Institute).

We're working towards making this our main website, so please forgive any slight maintenance issues we might have in the next few weeks. If you can't access the information that you need, or you can't find it, do contact the Church Office on info@manningtreebenefice.co.uk or 01206 392200.


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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Celebrating St. Michael's Church, Manningtree

Next time you are out and about on Manningtree High Street, you might notice that bang opposite Lucca is a mysterious piece of wall with a sign on it. You can even Google Street view it. It is not just a mysterious piece of wall, nor is it just a PokeStop. It is the last remaining piece of St. Michael and All Angels' Church, which stood on Manningtree High Street from 1616-1966.

If you've done your maths correctly, you'll realise that it is therefore 400 years since St. Michael's was built, and we want to mark the occasion. 

We will be holding a service of celebration and thanksgiving for the mission and ministry of St. Michael and All Angels Church, and we'd love for as many people to join us as possible. 

It'll be on Sunday 25 September, 5pm at St. Mary & St. Michael's Church, Mistley, with tea together from 4pm. 

If you have any photos or memories of St Michael's that you would like to share, please let us know! We'd love to include them in our celebrations. (see contact details elsewhere on the website or on the poster).

If you're wondering why the poster has a little angel on it, or maybe more why that angel has a massive sword, it's because St. Michael is traditionally thought to be an angel (an archangel if you want to get into angel-nitty-gritty) but not in the way that popular culture portrays them. He is not so much a floaty, gauzy girl, as is understood to be the protector of the people of God, and a fighter of the forces of evil. 

(I was at the National Gallery earlier this year, and couldn't move for paintings of Michael stamping on dragons and generally looking a lot like Thor.)

As we face into the unknown with Chris retiring at the end of October, and we enter into a new season, heading towards All Souls and Remembrance, let's not forget to give thanks to the God of Angel Armies, who has not left us alone or abandoned, who has provided over and over again, and who even things happen which we don't understand and when churches have been pulled down, He has still proved to be  faithful. 

Please join us on Sunday 25 September, 4pm for tea and 5pm for a service remembering and giving thanks for St. Michael's Church, celebrating that in every building, every space, and every place, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and He has every dragon on the run. 

Coming up...

Friday, 12 August 2016

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Walking into Spiritual Disciplines this August

This August, we'll be taking a rest from most of our usual activities, and simplifying our Sunday worship a bit with everyone looking at the same themes, and with generally shorter services.

We're going to take the opportunity to look at Spiritual Disciplines, focussing on Sabbath, submission, simplicity, solitude, silence and stillness in all our morning gatherings and at Quiet Communion.

Hopefully at least some of them will be available here to listen to again, so do check them out! Otherwise, we hope to see you there!

Battling Giants and Life Together

There's still time to come and learn the lessons of David, facing the giants of fear, temptation, failure (ironically, I failed to put that one on the poster) disappointment, an actual giant, and overcoming them.

This week we faced both temptation AND failure in our Sunday worship, and then ALSO tackled disappointment at Life Together. 

If you haven't heard about it yet, Life Together is our monthly chance to get together, going deeper into worship, into fellowship, prayer, discussion, discovery, and pudding. Elbow-deep.

We hold it on a week-night, normally starting with pudding, coffee, and catching up with each other. We then move into worship, normally of an informal, modern style. Then we gather together to dig into a theme, with thoughts posed and questions raised. Depending where that theme goes, we often end with prayer and/or more worship.

This has not so far been at all what we imagined it would be, but it has been a blessing to those who have come, opening eyes to each other's depths, resilience, bravery, differences, similarities...

We will be taking a break from Life Together in August as we rest, but we are talking about bringing it back in September and October, and looking for a way forward.

Look out for more notice of coming Life Together gatherings, and please join us! 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Life Lately: Messy Church

So we held Messy Church this month on a theme of the Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Despite certain team members dropping the ball (cough...me...cough), we had 36 kids with their adults, joining in with lovely crafts and activities, some of the liveliest worship we've ever had, and a great dinner together.

We hope to be back again in September for another Messy Church event, more crafts, more activities, more worship, more food, and definitely more Jesus.

Hope to see you then!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Big News

If you haven't heard our big, scary, exciting, sad news, Rev'd Chris Hills announced this weekend that she will be retiring at the end of October this year.

We are going to miss Chris and Geoff (and Dillon) immensely, but really feel that God has His hand on this situation, and that this is right for this season.

Please pray for Chris and Geoff as they prepare to hand over, pack up and move, facing leaving the Church family.

Please pray for the rest of us, preparing to pick up everything that needs doing, organising for the vacancy, and all of the discussions, decisions and plans that need to be made, not to mention saying goodbye to Chris and Geoff.

Please pray for all of us, that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.