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All Saints Church, Writtle

Church Life

Here in your parish church our vision is to respond to God’s love and live our lives in ways that bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ at work in us. We try to follow the example that Jesus set of accepting everyone who came to him. So we try to be an inclusive church where anyone can feel welcome.

OUR PARISH PRIEST

At the moment we do not have a Parish Priest and and so are 'in a vacancy'.

Fr Tom Page and the Revd Faye Bailey from the Church of the Ascension are leading much of our worship, assisted by other local clergy from time to time. Until we have a new Parish Priest, with Fr Tom, the churchwardens are responsible for ensuring worship, pastoral care and mission, and supporting the All Saints team'.

OUR PCC

Our Parochial Parish Council (PCC) is the executive body at All Saints.

The PCC has a mixture of functions  - spiritual, legal, financial, pastoral and missionary. It is usually led by the Parish Priest, but in a vacancy it continues to function. It comprises churchwardens and lay members, who are trustees. Please feel free to talk to any of our PCC members as well as our churchwardens.

We believe that a church is not a private club – it’s open to and for everybody.

It’s for those who have faith and those who don’t know if they have any, those who have made mistakes, those who are trying to make sense of life and those on whom everyone else has given up.

We know we’re not perfect and we don’t expect you to be. Like Jesus and his followers, we too are called to serve the community in which we live. Here you’ll find all sorts of ordinary, real people with all sorts of hopes and challenges, but we hope and pray that you’ll also know the presence of the extraordinary God.

The Bible is the unfolding story of God’s relationship with his creation. It is a collection of books spanning stories, history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom, Psalms and proverbs. The Old Testament is the story of how humanity lost its way from being in an intimate and trusting relationship with God and God’s never-ending efforts to rescue us from the consequences of that separation. These are also the Hebrew Scriptures, the holy books of the ancient people the Jews, chosen and blessed by God to share his love with the whole world.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth was a Jew, and the New Testament books record his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, and the birth of the early church through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples (Jesus closest friends and followers) and then into all the world. Jesus is the Messiah or saviour, the son of God who is both fully divine (God) and fully human, the one who shows us who God is and who invites us into a restored and everlasting relationship with God through him.

A good place to start is with the gospel of Mark which is short, action-packed and easy to read in one go. Luke’s gospel is a more complete picture of Jesus’ life and mission, so perhaps read that one next. The Acts of the Apostles (the people ‘sent out’ by God to share his message of salvation in Jesus) tells of how the small band of followers of ‘The Way’ (as Christianity was first described) began to be the Church, building God’s kingdom on earth.

Many people find the poetical verses of the Psalms a good book to start with in the Old Testament – our common human experiences are recorded here in conversation with God – good and bad, heartfelt and painful, joyful and sorrowing.

The content of the Bible was agreed by the early church – known as a ‘canon’ of books. There are some which weren’t included but still have value in teaching wisdom and understanding about faith and life – the ‘apocrypha’. Christians differ in their approach to the literal truth of all the scriptures in the Bible. But most agree that the Bible is where we find the true source of all we need to start our journey of faith. Through what we read there, the action of God’s Spirit and our own hearts responding to God in prayer, we can come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord, and follow his way of love in our own lives.

The life of a churchwarden

Life as a churchwarden is varied and full of surprises when you answer the phone you never quite know what the next question will be. It could be a happy moment such as a baptism or wedding or arranging a funeral with an undertaker.

It is our job to maintain order in the church that is why you normally see one or both of us at services held at All Saints.

As we head into a vacancy, awaiting the arrival of a new Parish Priest, the task grows considerably -arranging cover for services even to taking the service if we suddenly find the cover for the service has not arrived. (Yes it has happened, but thankfully it is a very rare event.)

The wardens are sworn in every year by the Archdeacon at the Visitation Service so we have a legal duty to the church. We are expected to be the fount of all knowledge on many matters including canon law, the laws governing the Church of England which are passed in parliament and approved by the Queen.

Some of our pleasurable tasks include welcoming people to the church, including our visitors and children from the local schools for events such as their Harvest Festival and Christmas services. We also welcome the uniformed groups from the village and they sometimes join us for a parade service.

During the vacancy we will work to ensure that All Saints keeps growing with new families coming along to join in our worship. So please do come and visit us - we will do our best to give you a warm welcome!