WITHAM URCpasted-image.tiff




Our Vision: "To celebrate God and share the love of Jesus."



Love in Action


Jesus wants his followers to be bound, not primarily by service, command, family, nationality, pledge, race, interest of anything else, but love.


The commandment we have from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother (John 4: 19-11-21).  When the Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost people from all around the world, people from nations with varied interests and backgrounds (Acts 2: 9-11) once they were bound in Christ, they began to serve one another, pooling their resources and giving to those in need (Acts 2: 42-47).  This was love in action.


Showing love in action within our congregation is just as vital as it was in the days of Acts.  It is not easy for our elder members to try to begin conversations with the younger generation.  We all love and encourage the youth, and it is right that we do.  However, for an older member to approach others is something they would love to do, but simply cannot.  Just to say a friendly 'hello' would simply make their day and would be greatly appreciated.  I do know that there are members who find if difficult to pass them without speaking; this again is love in action.


I feel sure that we are all missing church and one another.  Regardless of what the scientists have to say about this dreadful virus, I believe that God will eventually step in, because He can.  Was it not obvious during the first couple of months of lockdown that the wonderful weather we have had was God saying "do not worry", I am still caring for you.


God bless.










Next month marks the first anniversary of the passing of a very unique lady.  Most of us knew her, her name was Irene Springett.


It is probably not far from the truth to say that during her 104 years, she most likely gave 75-80 years of dedicated service to Witham URC.  The most amazing lady: during her active church life held almost every position of responsibility.


Irene loved her Saviour with all her heart and if she was sure about anything at all during the wonderful chats we had, it was that she was certain beyond any doubt that she would one day look Jesus in the face.  At a 104 years she still did her nightly devotions until just one week before she so peacefully and beautifully fell asleep.

I would love to be able to speak to her now about the three days she was in hospital, before she passed away with pneumonia.  She was without doubt quite amazing, telling me things about her life that she had never mentioned in the eleven years that I visited her: I can tell you that in those three days she never complained about the pain she was in.


Irene had a certain grit about her only the older generation have, having been through two World Wars and the Spanish Flu and losing her fiancee in the Second World War.


Irene also had many good and true friends and she survived them all.  She never married, but lived with her parents until they passed away, supporting them with her teachers wage as neither had pensions.


I think that just one night each week I would help Irene to bed.  It was a single bed and she would shuffle over to be as close to the wall possible leaving just enough space for me.  I would hop in next to her and she was hysterical with laughter, especially when she would say: "I'm ready to go to sleep now" and I would reply, "so am I, shall I turn the light out now" (more hysterical laughter).  We truly had some wonderful and hilarious times together: we were so at home with one another.


Irene was the kindest and most loving person I have ever known.  How I wish that everyone in the church knew her as I did.  She taught me that it was not wrong to speak up, even when it was very hard to do so and always reminded me of my responsibilities as a church member and elder.


So, if I could say anything at all to Irene, I would thank her for loving me as she did, and for putting up with my always insisting that I knew best and laughing about it.


For being so incredibly brave and gentle at the end.  For being just like a mother to me; such an unlikely pair.  I would love to have just one more conversation with her, and pray with her one last time.



My Irene Springett moment - Bob Stibbards


A few years ago I was in the foyer at The Centre and Maureen asked me"did I know Irene" who was sitting alongside her.  I replied "of course I know Irene" whose immediate and direct response was '"you do not know me".  That put me firmly in my place and I carefully responded." You are right, I know of you but, I do not know you but you probably know my wife Jo", to which she replied "of course" and gave a very broad smile.



















Sorry, Gerry we know it is not true!










‘If theatre has survived, then go… and again look around you, at those hundreds of people sitting so close, sitting in the dark as a collective and listening to stories, and marvel at how mad and brilliant that is.


Brian Draper


Such evocative words from the playwright James Graham, composed recently as part of a letter that he (along with other cultural figures) sent to his ‘post-lockdown self’, sealed in an envelope to be opened next year.

What a great idea! It’s to remind him – and us, if we choose to participate – what life was like in lockdown; what we’ve missed, what we’ve welcomed, and what we’ve learned about how to live, beyond it.


Thinking about it, the last few weeks, for me, are filled with moments of awakening, like the seeds scattered in the parable of the sower.


I remember the initial, visceral shock of seeing empty shelves. No milk, no eggs, no bread. Note to self: be grateful for plenitude; think of your relationship with food, where it’s come from, and learn to grow some for yourself.


I remember the day I had to rush my wife into hospital because she couldn’t breathe properly. I choose to remind myself of that scary afternoon, even as it already starts to lose its power. How quickly we forget. I will tend this seedling with extra care, with love.


And even as lockdown ‘eases’, we remain in ‘liminal’ space. We’ve a summer without the treasures of Glastonbury, Wimbledon, the Olympics, our Christian festivals… Will we merely lament their absence, or can we be present to what’s precious in their place? By next year, I’d love to be contributing more to life creatively, and consuming less. That’s possible, isn’t it?


‘Dear Future Me,’ wrote James Graham: ‘Stay connected to your friends… Call your mum for no reason. Keeping FaceTiming Dad. Not just a call. Look at his face.’


Wise words. What would yours be? For now’s the time to think on this, to tend these seeds, to keep the soil watered, sunlit. It makes me wonder, too, what words my ‘post-lockdown self’ might send me, here, in return. ‘This, too, is the day the Lord has made,’ he might say. ‘Don’t rush straight off. You may never see the likes of this again.’




Online services - Janice Hawkes


Many thanks to all those who  prepare the Sunday Services and the mid week messages, not only Mark, Lorna and all the others who contribute, but especially those who programme the computers.  As someone who would not know where to start in computer programming , I am very grateful to all of you who put together such wonderful services for the rest of us to  join in on a Sunday morning.


While we are not able to actually meet, this is a wonderful way to keep us all together, so I thank you all very much.


I believe that as a Church we would all wish to express our thanks to all those involved and also to Gavin for such a good job in transforming the WURC website.

Samaritan's Purse Shoeboxes 2020 - Lin Heather

It's Shoebox time again!


Until  the Church and The Centre are open getting the leaflets and boxes to you may be difficult.

We do have enough boxes in the Church loft, the printed ones that are easy to put together also some lovely covered boxes. Hopefully these will be available soon.

For those who regularly take part it is the usual mix of toys and practical items. Also there are some helpful ideas on their website.

Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan's Purse UK

www.samaritans-purse.org.uk › what-we-do › operatio...

If you are able to give on line it is easy and fun to do with a choice in each section and an amazing amount for the total price of £20 including transport. I found this useful for a box for a teenage boy or girl as this age group are harder to shop for so less boxes are given.

We have until the beginning of November so this is very early but I have had one enquiry already!

The message below is from their website


Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; sweets, chocolate or food items; toothpaste, lotions or liquids including bubbles; medicines; playing cards of the 4-suit variety; religious or political literature; sharp or fragile items; books with mainly words.

Thank you for your support.

Message from Emma King


I have now accepted a 10 month internship in Annemasse, France at an Elim Church, which is near the border of Switzerland.


I’ll be leading worship in French so I’m quickly learning the language!  I’ve just finished my degree in music and theology and am currently raising funds for living costs in France.  I will be living with a family and will be payed a little pocket money each month  They are supplying me with a work car so I am also having driving lessons!


I start my job in France late August/beginning of September.  So I was wondering if anyone is interested in any art commissions, such as paintings in watercolour, oil paints or acrylic on canvas.  Or would like to buy pieces I have already completed. (The example of my work below has just been sold.) 


If you are interested please contact me, my details are available on ChurchSuite.   God Bless.

















A note about Emma from Tony Deighton


A number of our young people have used the church premises to help raise funds to support themselves in ventures like Emma's, but with the church closed for worship, opportunities for Emma to raise funds are more limited compared with normal times.  In addition to the above, if you would like to support Emma by directly funding her you can do so via Ian Hardie.  You can contact him by email ianzhardie@googlemail.com


Bob Stibbards - I never thought that.......


Churches would be forced to close and we would move to  online services.


I would miss playing my guitar and singing with Pete!


All sporting events would be cancelled and on resumption would resume without spectators.


We would be required to wear face masks in certain situations.


Zooming would become a new word for some of us, and our cat would appear on it!


It would be difficult to use cash in many shops and where card payment is now preferred.  It seems to me that I  have the same amount of cash in my wallet as at the start of lockdown.!


Difficulty in remembering what day of the week it is as they often feel the same and some turning into ground hog days.


A dramatic change in the way that we shop (Jo was already a prolific online shopper and is now on first name terms with most of the delivery men!).  Noticing the amount of goods that come from China.


In our front line we would get to know our neighbours much better.


I would continue with a daily walk with a weekly target of 100,000 steps, about 45 miles; oh yes, I am still doing this!



Kisumu Children Trust

Help for Today Hope for Tomorrow


Kisumu Children is dedicated to improving the lives of some of Kenya’s poorest children through a three-fold approach of running a Home, supporting other children within their own homes, and a broader, longer-term strategy of community development.


Kisumu Children’s orphanage, the Cherry Brierley Children’s Home (CBCH), has existed since 1995, starting with a few desperate children taken in by a Kenyan pastor and his wife. It has now grown to become a 72-capacity Home that is also becoming a hub for greater community involvement.


Located some 6 miles from Kisumu, CBCH provides a safe, comfortable home, ensuring clean water, a nourishing diet, clothing and medical care, all within a loving, Christian environment.


All the children receive primary education, going on to secondary education, apprenticeships, vocational training, college or university as appropriate. Education is a crucial step to self-sufficiency.

As well as looking after those admitted to CBCH, other children are helped with their schooling costs, or by the provision of meals, or having other basic needs met.About Us


Educating the community on issues such as healthcare, AIDS and agriculture is also a growing part of Kisumu Children’s ministry, transforming lives through information and training.


Kisumu Children’s projects are run by dedicated local Christian Kenyan staff.


THE PLEDGE - Carers Trust


We believe in the power of small to change the big picture.

Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers.We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.


We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives.


With locally based Network Partners we are able to support carers in their homes through the provision of replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks.We offer specialist services for carers of people of all ages and conditions and a range of individually tailored support and group activities.


THE PLEDGE - Practical Action


We put ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world

We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality.We do things differently so answers that start small can grow big  bringing people together in bold collaborations, combining knowledge with innovation to change the systems that keep people poor and vulnerable.


We work with communities to develop ingenious solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy access. Then we share what’s proven to work with others, so many more people can change their world.We believe in the power of small to change the big picture.

We are now ready to book appointments for NHS Hearing Aid Cleaning and Re-tubing at our Resource Centre in Central Chelmsford and at Plantation Hall in Heybridge.


We are able to offer appointments Monday – Friday 9.15am – 15.45pm at our Resource Centre on Moulsham Street in central Chelmsford. We have recently moved to larger premises with parking nearby, enabling us to adhere to the 2 metre social distancing rule at all times.


Please contact us on info@hearinghelpessex.org.uk or telephone: 01245 496347









Gardens in Bloom


For those of us fortunate enough to have gardens we have, for obvious reasons, spent more time in them this year.  On the following pages are photographs from some of our church friends.




Photographs from Denise and Philip Vinton





Sally Stracey's wild flower garden


Mary and David Goodwin's Garden






Gerry and Keith Moscrop






Church Garden from Muriel




       Maureen and Steve Barry








Bob and Jo Stibbards







We have since cooked the yellow patty pan and it was tasteless!



Text Box: Minister	Revd	Mark Ambrose	07564 168342
 Associate Minister 	 Revd	  Lorna Bantock	571757
Admin Assistant to Rev. Mark Ambrose	Mrs	Deborah Robinson	07564 168342
Youth Pastor	Mrs	Viv Solis	500958
Assistant Youth Pastor	Ms	Tracey Eagling	500958
  Centre Managers	  Mrs	  Rocio MacDonald	500958
	  Mrs	  Ana Martin	500958
Pastoral and Music	Mrs	Gerry Moscrop	
  Pastoral	  Mr	  Doug Sandles	
  Pastoral	Ms	Tracey Eageling	
   Pastoral	Mrs	Maureen Barry	
Property	Mr	 David Wellings	
Outreach and Mission	Mr	Gavin McCall	
Children and Youth	Mr	Keith Meredith	
Prophetic	Mr	Keith Moscrop	
Prayer	Mrs	Maria Anderson	
Church Secretary	Mr	Tony Deighton	500958
 Church Treasurer	  Mr	   Ian Hardie	
Worship and Music	Mrs	Sarah Campbell	
Worship	Mr	  Tunde Biyi	
Discipleship and Growth	Mrs	 Sarah Biyi	
Meeting Point Pastoral Co-ordinator	Mrs	Eve Murfitt	
Prayer Chain 
Co-ordinator	  Mrs	  Rosemary Stinson	
Magazine Editors		Jo and Bob Stibbards

















The deadline for the September magazine is

Friday, 22nd August 2020

by email to: bjstibbards@gmail.com