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

Colchester church invites residents to have their say

12th Jul 2018

A rural church is inviting villagers to have their say about what they need and how their lives could be improved.

All Saints’ Church in Great Horkesley, near Colchester in Essex, began its consultation at the village show.

We are asking people for their views and we are actively listening to what they have to say,”

explains Mandy Elmes, the priest-in-charge.

"Many people are surprised and delighted the church wants to know what they think. All I can say is this is your church and we are here for you.

Understanding the needs of the community and learning how best to support people are things Christians have been doing at All Saints’ ever since the church was built 900 years ago.”

It is too soon to tell where this consultation will lead, although supporting worship at All Saints’ and making the building more comfortable are among the early ideas being discussed.

All Saints’ recently strengthened its support for families with the recruitment of a children’s and families’ worker, Jo Jeffery, who has been preparing children in the last year of primary school for the transition to their new schools in September.

Members of All Saints’ in Great Horkesley and St Luke’s in Colchester have helped the children to reflect on their past years at primary school and look forward to their new schools.

Five people from St Luke’s Church were commissioned to serve at All Saints’ on Pentecost Sunday in May, the day Christains celebrate as the birthday of the Christian Church.

Historic All Saints’, in the Dedham Vale countryside, and modern St Luke’s in Colchester town may look completely different but they have formed a promising partnership.

“All Saints’ is a work in progress without a known destination as yet,” says Mandy, “but that is what makes this an exciting time. We are travelling in hope and are joining God in what he is doing in the parish.”

The excitement is shared by St Luke’s, where Hannah Cooper is priest-in-charge.

We believe God is at work in this partnership with All Saints’ and God is calling people to serve,”

Hannah says. “St Luke’s is benefitting from the wider experience that working together brings.”

Image: Anne Mason from St Luke’s Church, Colchester, talks with Hannah Musa (left) at the Great Horkesley Village Show (credit: Chelmsford Diocese)

More information

The All Saints’ consultation started at the Great Horkesley Village Show, held at the New Village Hall and the Village Green, on 7 July 2018.

Revd Dr Mandy Elmes has been Priest-in-Charge of Langham St Mary with Boxted St Peter and West Bergholt St Mary with Great Horkesley All Saints since 2014.

Revd Hannah Cooper has been Priest-in-Charge of Colchester St Luke since 2016.