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, 19 December 2013


It's nearly Christmas. Don't panic. 

I particularly enjoyed how the Coop this year had this (or something approximating it) as their slogan, starting in November. You tell me in November that it's nearly Christmas, and I'm going to panic. That's just a given. Then there's a few weeks when you might get on Christmas and get organised and maybe, just maybe, you're feeling cool and calm. However, then we reach this point when someone points out that this time next week, it's Boxing Day, and you think about hitting them, and realise that you're probably panicking again. 

I realise that today, I am that person. Sorry about that.

Here's the thing though. The big secret. The one that no one with a million pound advert on this year would like you to know. If you overcook your sprouts, if you forget to buy that present for that person, if your Christmas tree is wonky, if that decoration just will not hang where you thought it would, if you don't get to go carol singing, if your crackers don't crack, if there's someone there who you'd rather was not, if there's someone missing who you'd rather was there...Christmas will still happen. Not only that, but neither can you stop it happening, nor can you ruin it. 

It happened already. Jesus was born. Nothing that can ever happen will ever change that. 


Not even if you don't feel Christmassy. Even if you're having a horrible time. He was still born.

And not just born. Born for us. 

What a relief. 
 From www.freebibleimages.com

I hope you have a very happy Christmas.