Tendring is situated in North East Essex and is made up of villages, small rural towns and seaside towns.
There are eighteen churches in the Tendring Circuit of the Methodist Church of which three are in a Local Ecumenical Partnership with the URC and one church is in covenant with the local Anglican Church.
The Tendring Circuit is part of the Beds, Essex and Herts Methodist District.
Lots of events and services across the circuit keep an eye on circuit news
A Concert of Christmas Music St Pauls Church Clacton on Sea. Circuit news above has more details.
Mistley & Bradfield notice sheets can now be found under the respective church in Churches
Traditions. They’re all around us, aren’t they? Especially at this time of year – each community, each church, each family, possibly each person, will have their own traditions around Christmas and New Year. Landrake chapel just outside Saltash has the tradition of having a candle-lit carol service at 6pm on Christmas Eve. It is the village’s only carol service, in which folk from the chapel, from the parish church, and from the wider community all gather together to sing Christmas hymns and carols, reflect on the Christmas story, give thanks to God for what Christmas means – and roast in the heat of the candles in what is a modern, well-insulated building! It was always one of my favourite services, I made sure I was there every year, and for me it always seemed the first service of Christmas – I’d do plenty of other carol services, but they all felt like they were bumping along with Advent, whereas when I got to Landrake’s we were at proper Christmas, the beginning of the Twelve Days!
And, of course, mention of the twelve days reminds us of how some traditions move, change, or disappear entirely. For most people Christmas is now a season that runs from about mid-November (the big retail companies have all just started releasing their seasonal adverts in the week running up to my writing this) to the 25th or 26th December. Then all the decorations come down, and we’re into the New Year Sales! No longer is there a period of waiting, anticipating and preparing, before a lengthy celebration. And amongst all this change the Church is faced with the challenge of meeting people where they are (Christmas carols in mid-December) while offering a voice which is different from the world’s (“Have patience”, we might whisper in Advent, “for, as Mary knew, life is as much about waiting as arriving”). By the time we reach the end of February we bump into yet another mix-and-match of remembered and forgotten traditions – we all remember to feast on pancakes, but how many of us remember to fast in ashes the next day? And this year it will be complicated further because Ash Wednesday 2018 clashes with that most Holy of Hallmark Festivals – Valentine’s Day!
This is part of the challenge of faith – recognising that our relationship with God not only affects how we relate to people and events today, but also how we relate to people and events that happened before us – that which we call “Tradition”. So, whatever traditions you embrace in these coming months, I wish you joy and peace, and that through both traditions and new innovations you might meet with God, who comes among us in the person of Jesus, and through his life, death and resurrection impacted not just then, but now, and eternity!