John Guest Rev John Guest is vicar of St Margaret's Church in Stanford-le-Hope.
One of the town's most recognisable figures, he is also chairman of its Hope Committee.

Spreading word of our mission

1:55pm Wednesday 16th October 2013

SO the Desert Rats have arrived in Afghanistan! I see on the news that the 7th Armoured Brigade of the British Army will be helping the Afghan Security Forces in Helmand province.

Big Brother is not such a bad thing

11:30am Wednesday 2nd October 2013

NOT only did George Orwell remind us in 1984 that Big Brother was watching us but in 2000 Davina McCall reminded us we were watching Big Brother (well, the more stupid among us, at least!). 

Some dreams can come true

12:23pm Wednesday 18th September 2013

YOU know they say if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Heroes and kindness are all around

11:25am Thursday 5th September 2013

HATS off to eight-year-old Connie McTaggart, from St Joseph’s Primary School, for keeping her wits about her and saving a toddler from drowning while on holiday in Majorca.

Do what's right and what you believe in

11:28am Wednesday 21st August 2013

IF your daily struggle to do the right thing in the right way has been making you feel “what’s the point?” recently, take heart!

Parents should always be there

10:12am Wednesday 7th August 2013

THE appalling murder of little Daniel Pelka by his mother and her partner has revolted and horrified an entire nation.

Schools shape the people we are today

2:42pm Wednesday 24th July 2013

THE long summer break begins this week and schools across the borough break up.

Building bridges to fight a bridge

1:47pm Wednesday 10th July 2013

GOLLY – that so-called crossing consultation has stirred up a bit of trouble, hasn’t it? It seems we have a choice of Thurrock, Thurrock or Thurrock!

Faith is helping our communities

12:33pm Thursday 27th June 2013

CONGRATULATIONS to my friend, Russell Godward, who has been appointed chairman of Thurrock Faith Matters last week.

Visioning event to promote borough's best

1:45pm Wednesday 29th May 2013

DO YOU remember a silly article in certain press last summer saying Thurrock was one of the most miserable places to live in England? Yes, I know – it got up my nose too!

Defibrillator campaign is heartening

11:17am Friday 17th May 2013

DO you know what a defibrillator is? And would you know where to find one or what to do with it if you did?

Unique ways to spread the word

12:09pm Wednesday 1st May 2013

DID you see the Bishop of Chelmsford’s headlines last month? They were all about vicars vacating churches across Essex to create congregations in the communities.

Time for forgiveness - and chocolate!

12:04pm Wednesday 17th April 2013

DID you have a good Easter? There were lots of Easter eggs doing the rounds in Hardie Park on Good Friday and more than few fried ones in St Margaret’s Church!

Speak up for what you believe in

1:32pm Wednesday 6th February 2013

I WONDER if you would be willing to stand up for what you believed in?

The years just keep on rolling!

1:03pm Wednesday 2nd January 2013

SO the world didn’t come to a dramatic end on December 21, 2012, did it? Looks like the Mayans got it wrong and all those folks who built bunkers in the hills or spent the run-up to Christmas stockpiling food and waiting for aliens to rescue them are looking a bit silly!

We're all shining lights

12:55pm Wednesday 5th December 2012

A WORD of thanks to all you lovely people who read my ramblings and are kind enough to tell me they appreciate them.

How your food can make a big difference

12:19pm Wednesday 24th October 2012

I'M starving! I’m absolutely famished! I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!

Fifty Shades can't match the good book

10:41am Wednesday 26th September 2012

SO what’s the most popular fiction flying off the shelves at the moment do you think? Catherine Cookson? John Grisham? Terry Pratchett?

Not all bankers are bad

12:19pm Wednesday 5th September 2012

HAVE you been asked about PPI recently? It means Payment Protection Insurance, but I think it should be changed to Pesky Pestering Interviewers.

Satisfaction survey paints the wrong picture

12:23pm Wednesday 15th August 2012

LET me ask you four simple questions.

Stop the moaning and be positive!

12:44pm Wednesday 1st August 2012

DID you manage to stay up last Friday and see the Opening Ceremony for the London Games? Wasn’t it awesome?

Olympics make heroes of many

12:00pm Wednesday 18th July 2012

ON July 6 the Olympic Torch came to our wonderful borough and the crowds turned out in Grays.

I can't wait for Stanford Festival

11:01am Wednesday 27th June 2012

IT'S that time of year again and plans for the Stanford-le-Hope Music Festival and Town Festival are well advanced.

Let's hear it for our volunteers

11:20am Wednesday 6th June 2012

WITH plans for lots of community events up and down the country now well in place, there’s going to be a call for a lot of volunteering in the next couple of months.

Seeing is believing!

11:51am Wednesday 4th April 2012

WOULD you believe it? The weather forecast said this morning we were going to have snow!

Janice is alive and Lent is here!

11:50am Wednesday 29th February 2012

JANICE White is not dead! She is actually very much alive and enjoying a happy retirement in Suffolk.

A week of beginnings and ends

11:15am Wednesday 15th February 2012

SO – did you think we’d got away with a winter without snow? Wrong! Last week I found myself motoring at 15mph down the A13 at midnight in driving snow!

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

11:37am Wednesday 1st February 2012

JONI Mitchell used to sing “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”.

Lessons in life to help your new year

12:04pm Wednesday 11th January 2012

MY wife sent me this. It was written by a 90-year-old. Enjoy!

Celebrate Christmas, regardless of your viewpoint

11:52am Wednesday 14th December 2011

WELL, Santa’s little helpers have popped up again at Lakeside so we are well into the silly season, or “Winterval” as the PC brigade would have us call it.

Encourage people and give a bit of joy

11:07am Wednesday 16th November 2011

WHEN was the last time someone patted you on the back and said “thank you” or “you really made a difference”?

Forget about evil, let's celebrate goodness

12:03pm Wednesday 2nd November 2011

HAVE you heard about the skeleton that walked into a bar and asked for a pint of beer and a mop? OK – enough with the Halloween jokes!

Thanks for all we have

10:58am Thursday 6th October 2011

MANY churches and schools celebrate harvest at this time of year.

Let's all row in the same direction

12:10pm Friday 9th September 2011

WE have just had a wonderful weekend of fellowship and fun in St Margaret’s Church at the end of the summer holidays.

Bring back our country's unity

10:42am Thursday 25th August 2011

WE have all been deeply shocked and saddened by the events of the last few weeks taking place in the major cities of our land.

Getting the right priorities in life

4:21pm Wednesday 3rd August 2011

A notorious skinflint won £10million on the National Lottery. “What are you going to do about the begging letters?” he was asked. “Oh”, he replied, “I shall keep sending them!”

Festival was a great success

4:37pm Wednesday 6th July 2011

ONE of the constant themes I keep banging on about is the need to develop a “gratitude attitude” in everything we do.

Make dates in your future memorable

10:52am Thursday 23rd June 2011

DID you hear about the guy who stole a calendar? He got 12 months!

Forgiveness can be heartwarming for all

4:28pm Wednesday 1st June 2011

THERE have been some pretty horrendous headlines in the press recently.

Award in honour of our Tony

3:58pm Wednesday 11th May 2011

I HAVE been helping to organise the Stanford Festival for some 13 years now and it has gone from strength to strength.

Don't forget to keep faith fit

4:55pm Wednesday 20th April 2011

I’ve been writing quite a bit about what we remember and what we forget recently.

Don't forget the plight of the Japanese

10:29am Thursday 31st March 2011

Having just written in the last Fresh News about the importance of memory, can I now encourage you to remember something?

Wedding's an invitation

11:25am Thursday 24th February 2011

My post has been a bit haphazard recently – yesterday it didn’t turn up at all!

Let's hear it for our schools

3:30pm Thursday 27th January 2011

HAVE you ever read the poster that says “If you can read this, thank a teacher”?

Don't be let down by the New Year

10:20am Thursday 13th January 2011

HAPPY New Year everyone! VAT has gone up to 20 per cent. You’ve missed that bargain at the Lakeside sale.

The real meaning of Christmas

11:59am Friday 17th December 2010

It’s that time of year again and I find my diary full of carol services and nativity plays – even more so this year as the ice and frost have caused many to be delayed so they have piled up.

Forgiveness needed, not condemnation

4:35pm Wednesday 1st December 2010

THERE'S an old story about a Zulu king whose ceremonial chair was so large it took up the whole interior of his hut, so he had it pulled up on to the roof on jungle vines when it was not being used.

How it's right to remember

10:18am Thursday 18th November 2010

AS I stood in the downpour amongst hundreds of others around the cenotaph in Stanford-le-Hope last Sunday, I couldn’t help thinking about what the soldiers at Paschendale and on the Somme suffered as they slipped and slid through the mud and torrential rain.

It's always good to talk

10:42am Thursday 4th November 2010

The older readers among you may remember the old British Telecom ad vert where Bob Hoskins’ famous gravelly voice reminded us “it’s good to talk”.

New branch of our family

10:44am Thursday 14th October 2010

MY wife got thrown out of church last weekend! Imagine – the vicar’s wife being turned out onto the street. What a scandal!

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