Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

2019 Christmas messages

11th Dec 2019

Download or listen to the 2019 Christmas messages from our Bishops.


Have a peaceful and colourful Christmas

The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell Bishop of Chelmsford

I visited New Zealand in the summer – their winter. I was speaking at a conference on mission. My wife, Rebecca, came with me and like a couple of teenagers we hired a camper van and went exploring. Because it was winter many of the sites we visited were delightfully quiet and peaceful. One of the most unusual places was Wai-O-Tapu Park.

It has all of the ingredients you might expect from a beauty spot; unspoilt rocks, ferns, and trees nestled around lakes. What makes this place remarkable are the weird colours. 

Download Bishop Stephen's Christmas message

A Christmas full of contact

The Right Reverend Roger Morris Bishop of Colchester

If ever there is a word that is synonymous with the twenty first century, then it is the word ‘contactless’. We now pay for so many things – from bus journeys to drinks at the bar – by simply waving a card around. Even buskers on the London Underground now have a contactless pay point – and some churches pass around a card reader with the collection plate. Now I love technology and I am always paying for things by using my phone rather than even going to the trouble of getting out my wallet – but I was struck by something that Helen Rumbelow wrote in the Times:

Listen to the message:


Download Bishop Roger's Christmas message

Christmas can give us more than any election!

The Right Reverend Peter Hill Bishop of Barking

As I write the General Election lies ahead of us, but by the time you read this you will know the outcome. Whatever the result we all need some of the light and love of Christmas afresh in our lives, especially after the tragic events in London and Essex lately. 

Christmas is a time for celebration, gifts and fun - of course it is, but it’s also a time of wonder and challenge if we will allow it to be.

Download Bishop Peter's Christmas message

Seeking joy this Christmas

The Right Reverend Dr John Perumbalath Bishop of Bradwell

For many of us, Christmas is about the candles, stars, gifts, carols, good food, and worship in safely built churches. In all our extravaganza and paraphernalia of festivities, we lose sight of the harsh realities in the nativity story: a stable, the cold night, the closed door of the inn, a family’s flight to Egypt, and the brutal killing of innocent babies.

Christmas challenges us to talk about all those who are vulnerable, homeless, reliant on the foodbank and those on the run fleeing persecution and seeking protection. 

Download Bishop John's Christmas message