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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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Friday, 25 April 2008

Recognising the footprints of God

Both our churches have just had their annual meetings where the PCCs have represented their reports for the year 2007. If you have read either of these annual reports, you will, I’m sure, agree with me that 2007 was a very good year for the benefice. Both reports list the number of good things that are going on here; they witness to the fact that there is a great deal of life and vitality among us, and with the church extension going up fast in Bradfield we are on the brink of an exciting new chapter in the life of this benefice.

It is so important to recognise God’s goodness and provision for us. We must be thankful and remember to count all our blessings - not only because it would be rude not to, but also because our faith in God, both in the present moment and in the future, will not grow if we fail to recognise where God has been with us in the past. We need to look for the footprints of God in our lives and when we see signs of God’s activity then we should celebrate it, tell each other about it and thank Him for it. Reflecting like this will help to build up our confidence and trust that God is here with us now. Without confidence that God is with us now and that He is leading us we will be anxious and weak because we will think that we are effectively alone, that everything depends on us and our own meagre resources. We won’t have the faith to meet the times of trial that inevitably lie ahead.

I believe that three things are needful at this time: (i) that we recognise where God has been at work, (ii) that we remember to thank God for his goodness, and (iii) that we meet the challenges ahead with renewed faith that God goes with us. That will mean stepping out beyond our own limits and trusting that we will receive from God whatever is lacking.


Andy