Our parish is an ancient one in the northern suburbs of Ashford, Kent. The medieval parish church of St. Mary is in the old village, while St. Mary's Community Centre is in the more modern part of the parish.
We hope you will enjoy your visit. Please feel free to contact us for further information about any of our activities.
Mike Wharrad reports: "This year we raised £1,000 from our Christmas collections which will be shared between Crisis and The Salvation Army with the proceeds from our Christingle Service going to the Children's Society. In addition donations totalling £100 were made to the Pilgrims Hospice by members instead of sending Christmas cards to other members of the congregation."
The Church of England has published the following prayer:
God our creator,
we thank you for the wonder of new life
and for the mystery of human love.
We pray for William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
as they prepare to receive the gift of their child.
We thank you that we are known to you by name
and loved by you from all eternity,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Did you know there's a way in which you can help charitable projects without actually spending a penny? Established ten years ago Charity Bank is the only bank authorised by the Financial Services Authority set up to lend depositors' money solely to charities and social enterprises. It started with just £6 million; it now has 3,000 depositors and during its lifetime the bank has distributed more than £165 million in loans to over 1,000 social ventures in the UK.
A Charity Bank account is not a conventional current account with cheque-book: it is a savings account. Your money needn't be tied up for long periods as a tax-free ISA account requiring just 33 days notice is available. A Regular Savings account and a Small Steps account for children (which is tax-free) can also be opened. For the minimum investment of £10 the bank offers a fair return and you know that your money is being used to help worthwhile causes.
Of the projects supported by Charity Bank 70% say that they would not have happened without the bank's support, yet Charity Bank has a very low default rate of 0.5 per cent (of borrowers). Details of the social impact of every loan are published and savers are invited to visit projects that borrowers have funded. For further information go to www.charitybank.org
Born in 1956 in London, the Right Reverend Justin Welby was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied history and law. For 11 years - five in Paris and six in London - he worked in the oil industry, becoming group treasurer of a large British exploration and production company. He focused mainly on West African and North Sea projects. During this period he became a lay leader at Holy Trinity, Brompton in London, having been a council member at St Michael's Church in Paris.
A major influence both on Justin and his wife Caroline was their experience of personal tragedy. In 1983 their seven-month old daughter died in a car crash in France. Six years later in 1989, after sensing a call from God, Bishop Justin stood down from industry to train for ordination.
He took a theology degree at St John's College, Durham, in which he focused on ethics - particularly in business. His booklet, Can Companies Sin? drawing on his experience in the oil industry, evolved from his dissertation at theological college. For 20 years, his ministry has blended deep devotion to his parish communities with Church work around the world, especially in areas of conflict.
After being ordained Deacon in 1992, he spent 15 years serving Coventry Diocese. His Curacy was at All Saints Chilvers Coton with St Mary the Virgin Astley, in Nuneaton. In 1995 he became Rector of St James, Southam, a small market town in the same Diocese - and also the next year of St Michael and All Angels, Ufton, the neighbouring parish. He helped revive both churches, growing their congregations and launching bereavement and baptism teams, among other things.
In 2002, he was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral, where he ran the reconciliation work based there. With Canons Andrew White and Stephen Davis, he worked extensively in the field in Africa and the Middle East. He has a particular interest in Kenya, the DRC and Nigeria, where he was and remains involved in work with groups involved in conflict in the north. In the Niger Delta, he has worked on reconciliation with armed groups. He met with religious and political leaders in Israel and Palestine, and on one trip to Baghdad reopened the Anglican Church with Canon Andrew White, shortly after the allied invasion. In 2006 he also took responsibility for Holy Trinity Coventry, the main city centre church, as Priest-in-charge.
He left Coventry five years later, being installed Dean of Liverpool on 8 December 2007, replacing the Right Reverend Rupert Hoare. Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in England. Its local area, Toxteth, is among the most deprived in north-west Europe. During his deanship, he brought the Cathedral into much greater contact with its local community, working with asylum seekers and in partnership with neighbouring churches. The Cathedral also hosted events from a TUC rally to royal services. Over his four years, during which he also continued to work on reconciliation and mediation projects overseas, the Cathedral's congregation increased significantly.
In 2011, he returned to the place where his journey towards becoming Archbishop began: on 2 June 2011, he was announced as the new Bishop of Durham.. He was enthroned at Durham Cathedral on 26 November, and drew parallels between Liverpool and Durham - noting both the struggles and the enduring spirit of the two places.
On 9 November 2012, the Right Reverend Justin Welby was announced as the 105th Archbishop of the See of Canterbury. He will be enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013.
He is married to Caroline, who studied Classics at Cambridge, where they met. They have two sons and three daughters.
Bishop Justin Welby said today (9 November): "I don't think anyone could be more surprised than me at the outcome of this process. It has been an experience, reading more about me than I knew myself. To be nominated to Canterbury is at the same time overwhelming and astonishing. It is overwhelming because of those I follow, and the responsibility it has. It is astonishing because it is something I never expected to happen."
Dr Rowan Williams, who is retiring at the end of December after ten years as Archbishop, issued the following statement: "I am delighted at the appointment of the Right Reverend Justin Welby to Canterbury. I have had the privilege of working closely with him on various occasions and have always been enriched and encouraged by the experience.
He has an extraordinary range of skills and is a person of grace, patience, wisdom and humour; he will bring to this office both a rich pastoral experience and a keen sense of international priorities, for Church and world. I wish him - with Caroline and the family - every blessing, and hope that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion will share my pleasure at this appointment and support him with prayer and love."
The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, welcomed the news saying: "I am delighted that Bishop Justin Welby will become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop Elect has a powerful vision for the Church in contemporary society and a breadth of experience in the Church and in the world and I can think of no one better to lead the Anglican Church.
"An experienced pastor, Dr Welby has demonstrated a deep commitment to all the communities he has served, including those struggling socially and economically in Liverpool and Durham. Through his extensive reconciliation work in Africa and the Middle East and through his work on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in the UK, Bishop Justin has shown his passion for Christian mission to this country and the world."
Mike Wharrad reports: Almost 50 people attended the "New" style Harvest Supper at St. Mary's Community Centre. After eating the first course of pork pie, ham and new potatoes with salad a Wallace and Gromit cartoon was shown before an excellent apple crumble and cream for "pud". And then...
As part of a magic show by Graham Nunn, Shelley - the vicar's wife - was "chosen" for 'Madam Guillotine' on the grounds that being Canadian she must have a "French" Connection. But all ended well with Shelley keeping her head. A splendid family evening was had by all!
The Church Urban Fund reports astonishing statistics: 13% of Ashford's working age people and pensioners and 19% of children live in poverty; this figure rises to 19% and 30% respectively in parts of South Ashford. The reality of life in poverty is harsher still.
Ashford Foodbank - a recently established local charity - aims to distribute 3-day emergency food packs (enough food for three meals a day for a minimum 3 days) to people in temporary crisis on receipt of a voucher from statutory and volunteer agency Foodbank Voucher Holders.
Thus far all the food received has been donated by churches, Premier Foods, and private donations - 1.4 tonnes of food have been handed out since March 31st 2012, feeding 116 adults and 51 children. With the exception of Waitrose, supermarket support has not been forthcoming.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) - the leading UK charity providing help and support to people with serious sight loss - is setting up local fundraising groups and the first of these in the south east will be in Ashford! If you would like to join in the FUN and help RNIB, or would like more information please contact Eileen Haffenden on 01892 730390 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Sunday drivers and map readers met up at St. Mary's Community Centre in Rylands Road to take part in our annual Car Treasure Hunt. At the end of a thrilling afternoon following the clues in beautiful weather the trophy went to our worthy winners Anthea and David! Thanks to Derek Sorrell for his photos.
The Friends of St Mary's have donated £2046 from their funds to pay for the restoration of two boards which hang in St. Mary's Church Kennington.
The boards (both dated 1777) detail ancient benefactions to the Parish of Kennington. Warped - in places quite badly - and with evidence of dry rot, our church architect recommended they should receive urgent attention.
The following is an almost exact transcription of the two boards:
Benefactions to the Parish of Kennington
A Field of about 1½ Acre called the Parish Field lying in this Parish purchased with £20 given to the Poor by Henry Watts by his Will bearing Date 19th July A:D : 1602. It is now in the tenure of Ann Nash
An annuity of 30s per Annum. It was vested in certain Feoffes by Mary Marshall and issueth out of a House and Lands in this Parish now in the Tenure of Thomas Allen, 20s part thereof to be yearly paid to ten of the Poor 10s other part thereof to be laid out, if necessary, in repairing the Tombs of George Marshall her Husband and George Marshall her Son. The remainder to be bestowed about the repairs of This Parish Church. (Date unknown.)
20s given to the Poor by William Piper by his Will Dated 10th November A:D : 1637 yearly to be raised out of his House and lands in this Parish now in the Tenure of Robert Spice
Benefactions to the Parish of Kennington
20s for Cloathing for the Poor given by William Brett by his Will dated 3 February A:D: 1704. To be paid yearly out of his House and Lands in this Parish and now in the Tenure of Richard Gillham.
20s given to the Poor by Richard Brett by his Will dated 26th October A:D: 1711 yearly to be paid out of his House and 21 Acres of Land in Kennington and Boughton Aluph and out of the Cut of 1 Acre of Land in Broadmead now in the Tenure of Thomas Willcock.
A Cottage and Hempspott lying in the South East part of the Lees William Dennier by Indenture Release dated 23rd June A:D: 1712 conveyed then in the only Use of the Poor. They are now in the Tenure of the Church Wardens and Overseers for the time being
A Cottage and Garden situate on the Lees and on the North East side of the Parish Church. They are now in the Tenure of the Church Wardens and Overseers for the time being.
NOTES ON THE TRANSCRIPTION
All spellings and punctuation are as written on the boards.
The Tombs of George Marshall (senior) died 1620 and George Marshall (junior) died 1623, are the two flat top tombs in the churchyard, located outside the main porch.
Feoffes are an historic means of conveying a freehold estate by a formal transfer of possession.
Hempspott is probably a piece of land devoted to the growing of hemp for agricultural use - for making ropes, twine and so on.
Thanks are due to Michael Thompsett for his exact transcription of the Boards!
Kennington Parochial Charities Trustees are interested to learn more about the Kennington people who set up the original Charities. If anyone has information on the following persons please would they contact the KPCT Clerk on 01233 628999 or by email at email@example.com
The individuals concerned, who we presume lived in the 19th century are:
Alfred John Burrows
Harriet Mary Lake
"In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Some words from St Paul: 'Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.'
There will be other occasions to remember the splendour and the drama of the Coronation; today's focus is different. What we remember is the simple statement of commitment made by a very young woman, away from home, suddenly and devastatingly bereaved, a statement that she would be there for those she governed, that she was dedicating herself to them.
'Dedication' is a word that has come to mean rather less than it used to. Those of us who belong to the same generation as Her Majesty's older children will recall a sixties song about a 'dedicated follower of fashion' - as though to be 'dedicated' just meant to be very enthusiastic. But in the deep background of the word is the way it is used in classical and biblical language: in this context, to be 'dedicated' is to be absolutely removed from other uses, being completely available to God.
And so to be dedicated to the good of a community - in this case both a national and an international community - is to say, 'I have no goals that are not the goals of this community; I have no well-being, no happiness, that is not the well-being of the community. What will make me content or happy is what makes for the good of this particular part of the human family.'
It is an ambitious, even an audacious thing to aim at. It is, of course, no more so than the ideals set before all Christians who try to model their lives on what St Paulsays about life in the Body of Christ. That doesn't make it any easier to grasp or to live out; but the way St Paul approaches it should help us see that we're not being encouraged to develop a self-punishing attitude, relentlessly denying our own goals or our own flourishing for the sake of others. What's put before us is a genuine embrace of those others, a willingness to be made happy by the well-being of our neighbours.
Outdo one another in showing honour', says St Paul. Compete with each other only in the generous respect you show to one and all; because in learning that respect you will find delight in one another. You will begin to discover that the other person is a source of nourishment, excitement, pleasure, growth and challenge. And if we broaden this out to an entire community, a nation, a commonwealth, it means discovering that it is always in an ever-widening set of relations that we become properly ourselves. Dedication to the service of a community certainly involves that biblical sense of an absolute purge of selfish goals, but it is also the opening of a door into shared riches.
I don't think it's at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our Queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others; she has responded with just the generosity St Paul speaks of in showing honour to countless local communities and individuals of every background and class and race. She has made her 'public' happy and all the signs are that she is herself happy, fulfilled and at home in these encounters. The same, of course, can manifestly be said of Prince Philip; and our prayers and thoughts are very much with him this morning. To declare a lifelong dedication is to take a huge risk, to embark on a costly venture. But it is also to respond to the promise of a vision that brings joy.
And perhaps that is the challenge that this Jubilee sets before us in nation and Commonwealth. St Paul implies that we should be so overwhelmed by the promise of a shared joy far greater than narrow individual fulfilment, that we find the strength to take the risks and make the sacrifices - even if this seems to reduce our individual hopes of secure enjoyment.
Moralists (archbishops included) can thunder away as much as they like; but they'll make no difference unless and until people see that there is something transforming and exhilarating about the prospect of a whole community rejoicing together - being glad of each other's happiness and safety. This alone is what will save us from the traps of ludicrous financial greed, of environmental recklessness, of collective fear of strangers and collective contempt for the unsuccessful and marginal - and many more things that we see far too much of, around us and within us.
One crucial aspect of discovering such a vision - and many still do discover it in their service of others, despite everything -is to have the stories and examples available that show it's possible. Thank God, there are many wonderful instances lived out unobtrusively throughout the country and the Commonwealth. But we are marking today the anniversary of one historic and very public act of dedication - a dedication that has endured faithfully, calmly and generously through most of the adult lives of most of us here. We are marking six decades of living proof that public service is possible and that it is a place where happiness can be found. To seek one's own good and one's own well-being in the health of the community is sacrificially hard work - but it is this search that is truly natural to the human heart. That's why it is not a matter of tight-lipped duty or grudging compliance with someone else's demands. Jesus himself says 'My food is to do the will of him who sent me', and that's what is at the heart of real dedication.
This year has already seen a variety of Jubilee creations and projects. But its most lasting memorial would be the rebirth of an energetic, generous spirit of dedication to the common good and the public service, the rebirth of a recognition that we live less than human lives if we think just of our own individual good.
Listen again for a moment to St Paul. 'We have gifts that differ according to the grace given us...the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness...Outdo one another in showing honour...extend hospitality to strangers...Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another...take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.' Dedication to the health and well-being of a community is all this and more. May we be given the grace to rediscover this as we give thanks today for Her Majesty's sixty years of utterly demanding yet deeply joyful service."
PCC Treasurer Mike Wharrad writes: "2011 was a busy year for St. Mary's, from the arrival of our new priest Richard at the start of the year, to our church being full with schoolchildren at Christmas, not to mention two new youth workers, a new youth club, Messy church, and much more in between ! The total cost of running our busy parish during 2011 was a staggering £361 a day. Happily our income, including grants and donations, was £376 a day with church members once again giving in abundance of their time, their talents and their money.
Income Planned: giving by parishioners of £163 a day, including tax recovered from Gift Aid, produced almost half of our total income, with rents and activities raising a further £105. The remainder consisted mainly of grants, donations and legacies.
Expenditure: 2011 was an exceptional year where, as a result of substantial contributions from grants and support from the Friends of St Mary's, projects such as the St. Mary's Community Centre car park, new audio- visual equipment and repairs to the church roof were able to be completed. Our contribution towards the running costs of the diocese, which includes the cost of a priest and the training and support for laypersons, totaled £175 a day. In addition we continued our usual practice of donating to good causes an amount equal to 10% of our Regular Giving. This came to £20 a day with the remaining £58 a day accounting for such things as admin support, printing, the minibus.
Results: In Summary, we had a good year but it is important that we continue to match expenditure with funding if we are to maintain reserves that will provide for that "Rainy Day". We must also challenge expenditure to ensure that the best use of available funds is achieved. It is also worth noting that we received over £10,000 (£28 a day) in tax refunds from the Gift Aid scheme so if you can, please ensure that you use the Gift Aid scheme. WE DID WELL!
In 2011 we supported: The Church Army, Christian Publishing & Outreach, Open Doors, World Vision, USPG, MAF, Pilgrims Hospice, Church housing Trust, Diocese Aid Fund, Christian Aid, Phoenix school Breakfast Club, Cruse, Kent Air Ambulance, Angel tree, Salvation Army, Kennington Junior school, Demelza Children's Hospice and Crisis."
To climb up where the breezes blow
And see the freshness down below;
To stand beneath the green beech trees
Among the pure anemones;
To see the bluebell's shady hue
Excel the distant waves of blue;
To smell the faint sweet scents of Spring
When everything is blossoming;
To hear a cuckoo's call nearby
And thrill with joy to hear his cry;
I would not, these best gems of spring
Exchange for any other thing.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams says that the ultimate test of the Christian religion is not whether it is useful, beneficial or helpful to the human race but whether or not its central claim - the resurrection of Jesus Christ - actually happened.
Delivering his Easter morning sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Williams said that no other understanding of Easter morning made any sense:
"Easter makes a claim not just about a potentially illuminating set of human activities but about an event in history and its relation to the action of God. Very simply, in the words of this morning's reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we are told that 'God raised Jesus to life.'" Any understanding of the significance of the resurrection which fell short of this truth would be to misunderstand it:
"We are not told that Jesus 'survived death'; we are not told that the story of the empty tomb is a beautiful imaginative creation that offers inspiration to all sorts of people; we are not told that the message of Jesus lives on. We are told that God did something - that is, that this bit of the human record, the things that Peter and John and Mary Magdalene witnessed on Easter morning, is a moment when ... we see through to the ultimate energy behind and within all things. When the universe began, prompted by the will and act of God and maintained in being at every moment by the same will and action, God made it to be a universe in which on a particular Sunday morning in AD33 this will and action would come through the fabric of things and open up an unprecedented possibility - for Jesus and for all of us with him: the possibility of a human life together in which the pouring out of God's Holy Spirit makes possible a degree of reconciled love between us that could not have been imagined ... for the Christian, the basic fact is that this compelling vision is there only because God raised Jesus"
Hostility towards faith and religion in public life might recently have become tempered with an appreciation of the part that religion plays in shaping and sustaining human existence, he says, and this is to be welcomed:
"...there is plenty to suggest that younger people, while still statistically deeply unlikely to be churchgoers, don't have the hostility to faith that one might expect, but at least share some ... sense that there is something here to take seriously - when they have a chance to learn about it. It is about the worst possible moment to downgrade the status and professional excellence of religious education in secondary schools - but that's another sermon..."
Even so, this was not the measure of its real significance:
"Easter raises an extra question, uncomfortable and unavoidable: perhaps 'religion' is more useful than the passing generation of gurus' thought; but is it true?"
The answer was found, not in instant scientific analysis but in a longer measure of the effect of belief in the lives of believers:
"How do we know that it is true? Not by some final knock-down would-be scientific proof, but by the way it works in us through the long story of a whole life and the longer story of the life of the community that believes it. We learn and assimilate its truth by the risk of living it; to those on the edge of it, looking respectfully and wistfully at what it might offer, we can only say, 'you'll learn nothing more by looking; at some point you have to decide whether you want to try to live with it and in it.'"
This he said, led Christians to search for deeper answers in response; exploring far more dangerous intellectual and physical territory in the search for the love of God at work, especially where easy answers are in short supply:
"A visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, will convince you why the state of Israel exists and must go on existing. A visit to any border checkpoint will convince you that the daily harassment and humiliation of Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds cannot be a justifiable or even sustainable price to pay for security. Listening to a rabbi talking about what it is like to witness the gathering up of body parts after a terrorist attack is something that can't be forgotten; neither is listening to a Palestinian whose parent or child has been killed in front of their eyes in a mortar bombing."
That commitment would involve hard conversations:
"If we believe in a God who acts, we have to go beyond this. We have to put immense energy into supporting those on the ground who show that they believe in a God who acts - those who continue, through networks like One Voice and the Bereaved Families Forum, to bring together people from both sides and challenge them to discover empathy and mutual commitment .... We have to prod and nag and encourage the religious leadership in the Holy Land on all sides to speak as if they believed in a God who acts, not only a God who endorses their version of reality. We have to pray, to pray for wisdom and strength and endurance for all who are hungry for peace and justice, pray that people will go on looking for a truly shared future. And we Christians in particular have to look for ways of practically supporting our brothers and sisters there through agencies like the Friends of the Holy Land or the Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association - to help them stay in a context where they feel more and more unwelcome, yet where so many of them remain because they want to play a full part in creating this unimaginable shared future - because they believe in a God who acts."
But even when the contribution faith can make is acknowledged within the secular context, that shouldn't distract from the reality that it is the truth of the resurrection that counts, not its effect:
"When all's said and done about the newly acknowledged social value of religion, we mustn't forget that what we ultimately have to speak about isn't this but God: the God who raised Jesus and, as St Paul repeatedly says, will raise us also with him. Even if every commentator in the country expressed generous appreciation of the Church (and we probably needn't hold our breath...), we'd still be bound to say, 'Thank you - but what matters isn't our usefulness or niceness or whatever: it's God, purposive and active, even - especially - when we are at the end of our resources."
Prince Philip and I are delighted to be with you today to pay tribute to the particular mission of Christianity and the general value of faith in this country.
This gathering is a reminder of how much we owe the nine major religious traditions represented here. They are sources of a rich cultural heritage and have given rise to beautiful sacred objects and holy texts, as we have seen today.
Yet these traditions are also contemporary families of faith. Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives, and for the way in which we treat each other. Many of the values and ideas we take for granted in this and other countries originate in the ancient wisdom of our traditions. Even the concept of a Jubilee is rooted in the Bible.
Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation's life. The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.
It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society - more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths.
This occasion is thus an opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith in creating and sustaining communities all over the United Kingdom. Faith plays a key role in the identity of many millions of people, providing not only a system of belief but also a sense of belonging. It can act as a spur for social action. Indeed, religious groups have a proud track record of helping those in the greatest need, including the sick, the elderly, the lonely and the disadvantaged. They remind us of the responsibilities we have beyond ourselves.
Your Grace, the presence of your fellow distinguished religious leaders and the objects on display demonstrate how each of these traditions has contributed distinctively to the history and development of the United Kingdom. Prince Philip and I wish to send our good wishes, through you, to each of your communities, in the hope that - with the assurance of the protection of our established Church - you will continue to flourish and display strength and vision in your relations with each other and the rest of society."
A selection of photos taken after Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and before New Year's Eve. Browse the pictures at our Flickr photostream (go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/stmaryskennington/) or click below to enlarge the images. Thanks to Mike Wharrad for his photos.
"I'm glad to share with St Mary's congregation the program we had during Christmas event. On Christmas vigil, the 24th, at 2.30 in the afternoon, we had 15 children baptised and later on at 7.30pm we had a Holy Communion service followed by a drama played by some young people of All Saints'. It lasted at 11pm. Then on Christmas day I had to run 2 Holy Communion Services, one at St Michael's at 7.30am and the other one at All Saints' at 9.30am. The pupils' christmas party began at 2.30pm and ended only at 6.40pm. 250 pupils alternated on stage. The whole moments were, though tireing, very blessed. I join then some photos of these moments and I hope you'll enjoy them. With love in Christ. Revd Steven"
Robin Britcher - News Editor for Kennington Community Forum and a leading light in the Forum's ongoing Memorial Shelter and Garden Of Remembrance restoration project - has very kindly sent us a recent version of his research into Kennington War Memorial. A few years ago Robin investigated the stories behind all the names on the memorial and held an exhibition in the Church Hall on Remembrance Sunday 2008; a presentation Book is held at St. Mary's Church Kennington. Download and read the copy Robin prepared for Kennington C of E Junior School here. Thanks Robin!
Mike Wharrad writes: "On Sunday 23rd October 75 people attended the Annual Service of Light where we remembered those loved ones who have departed, especially those who have died in the past year. Before inviting everyone to light a candle and place it on the altar, Richard King reminded us that grief must not be rushed, nor must we let it stop our lives. He said that it is important that we recognise the various stages of grief so that we are able to move forward and eventually resume our lives, even though they can never be the same again. We must also remember that God is with us and loves us. He too has felt grief when Jesus mourned the death of his friend Lazarous."
The first photos of this year's Harvest celebrations at St. Mary's Kennington are in! View Hilary Evers' colourful selection on our Flickr photostream (go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/stmaryskennington/) or click the pictures below to make the individual images bigger...
Earlier this month Bishop Trevor returned to Ashford for the Service of Rededication at our town's renovated St. Mary the Virgin church (click here for map.)
Recent images of the reshaped interior can be found at http://revelationstmarys.tumblr.com/ or by clicking the arrow below to view a short YourKentTV.co.uk report about the renewal of this centre for worship and the arts.
"The Friends of Kent Churches Sponsored Ride and Stride takes place on the second Saturday in September each year. 50% of sponsorship money raised goes to the church or chapel of your choice, with the other 50% going to the Friends, who use it to help the most needy churches and chapels in use in the County."
Visiting 22 churches Mike Paddy, Marianne Hughes, Ted, Methild and friends rode 40 miles and raised £341 - half of which comes to St. Mary's. Thanks to Mike Paddy for photos from Sevington, Bilsington, and Warehorne!
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has launched an appeal for funds to help sustain Christian communities in the Holy Land. "I returned from a visit to the Holy Land last year with a very, very strong sense that we had to do more to express our solidarity with the Christian communities there...We know our brothers and sisters there are suffering; and we don't always ask ourselves often enough what our response needs to be."... "I want to appeal for your support in creating a fund with which we might assist projects of community development and work creation, especially among Palestinian Christians." The rate of emigration from Christian populations in the Holy Land has been growing steadily for a long time. Dr Williams commended to Synod this summer the work of the Friends of the Holy Land, a small ecumenical charity. He hopes that a substantial fund can be established from which regular income could be derived for channeling into simple but effective projects with partners in the Holy Land. Details at: www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk.
A massive thanks to everyone for making this year's Fayre our best. The Church sold a record number of raffle tickets, beat our previous record for takings on the stalls and had over 50 people helping. After reclaiming tax on some of the takings, the Church will receive just over £2,000 from the event. From those who gave goods to sell, to those who cleaned up at the end and to everyone in between, including those who spent money, we thank you all. A special thank you to Rev. Richard King who received 120 wet sponges thrown at him during a session of twenty minutes in the stocks.
On a lovely July Sunday £156 was raised for church funds from 26 visitors who were treated to an enjoyable tour of our church, followed by cream tea and cakes. Thank you.
If you would like to take away a free copy of the latest sermon to listen on your computer or MP3 player, click "Sermon from St. Mary's" at the top right of this page.
The sermon is also available on the Apple iTunes store. If you wish to find the sermon on iTunes, download and install the iTunes software at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/, register then go to the iTunes Store and search for St. Mary's Kennington.