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The United Benefice of Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon-on-the-Hill
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During the course of my ministry, I sometimes have discussions with people about the Lord’s Prayer. Most of us know this prayer in one form or another or, indeed, in different forms. Some people prefer the contemporary version and others the traditional version. Recently, however, I have been encouraging people, within our main acts of worship, where the service book makes provision for this, and with the exception of the Book of Common Prayer, to use the contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer. The reason I have chosen to do this is whilst the traditional words are beautiful, Jesus, whose life and example we follow, was committed to making God’s word and message relevant and accessible for the people at the time and for this purpose he spoke in Aramaic- the most common language in Judea in the first century A.D. Similarly, the New Testament was written in Greek, because it was the most far- reaching language of the day. And since that time, the Bible has gone through many translations to make the message more understandable and, hence, relevant for all.

I have recently given each child in all three schools in the Benefice a lovely concertinaed card with the contemporary words of the Lord’s Prayer and a picture relating to each phrase, and asked them to try to learn it. On a recent visit to one of the schools, I was thrilled to discover that many children had done this.

The Lord’s prayer was taught to the disciples by Jesus and the words encompass so much, yet it is so easy, isn’t it, to rattle through it without giving the words the attention they deserve and without wrestling with what the prayer’s implication might be for our lives at that particular time.

Recently we had a Benefice Away Day, at the Othona Community, Bradwell on Sea, photos and a few reflections, about which, you will discover later in this magazine. The theme of the day was God’s Creation and our stewardship of it, with a focus on climate change. During the Eucharist at the end of the day, we used a responsorial version of the Lord’s Prayer, from Eco Congregations in England and Wales, requiring us to interpret the words as a call to care for the world in which we live. I thought it would be good to finish my reflection by sharing it with you.

Our Father in Heaven…

You are also at home in the air, the soil, the forests and the oceans,

Hallowed be your name…

By the care we take of your creation,

Your kingdom come…

All that you see is good.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

Your will to till and care,

Give us this day our daily bread…

That all may have sufficient to live in fullness

Forgive us our sins…

Our greed, our exploitation, our lack of concern for other species and future generations,

As we forgive those who sin against us…

By reconciliation with justice and peace,

Lead us not into temptation…

The temptation to equate dominion with exploitation,

And deliver us from evil…

The evil of destroying your gift of creation,

For yours is the kingdom…

Yours Lord, not ours,

The power and the glory…

In the cross and resurrection,

For ever and ever…

You were the beginning and you are the end.

Amen and so it be.

God bless,




Revd Sue Mann

Tel. 01375 891254

Associate Priest

Revd Max (Steven) Blake

Tel. 01375 360522