Music at Malling 2017

Polly Gibbons and James Pearson perform at Music@Malling 2013

Visit the Music at Malling website

The seventh Music@Malling Festival returns to West Malling this month. Outstanding artists will be performing an eclectic mix of great music in historic venues from the 21st to 30th September.

The festival kicks off at The Farmhouse in West Malling with Lizzie Ball and friends performing music ranging from Bach to Bluegrass.

James Pearson, Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott’s, makes a welcome return performing Bachology with his legendary trio and James will be also be a soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the fabulous Callum Au Big Band.

Bach features in seven concerts including the complete Violin Partitas and Sonatas with virtuoso violinist, Thomas Bowes, and a concert given by the internationally renowned organist Kevin Bowyer at the Chapel of St. Augustine, Tonbridge School.

Classic FM Artist, Craig Ogden, will be performing a guitar recital in Birling and Finnish flautist, Sami Junnonen performs Bach alongside the music of our time in the spectacular setting of St.Peter and St.Paul’s, Trottiscliffe.

We commemorate the First World War this year with concerts at Pilsdon Barn Chapel and The Control Tower, Kings Hill with works written during the conflict.

The outstanding cellist Richard Harwood performs the cello suites of Max Reger at Malling Abbey. These rarely heard works are a fascinating, modern take on Bach. Richard is also the soloist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto in a concert alongside works by Vaughan Williams including The Lark Ascending. Chamber Domaine perform side-by-side with musicians from across Kent.

The music of contemporary composers Alexander Goehr and Paul Patterson are programmed across the festival.

Hundreds of primary school children will be involved in a project based around Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. The concerts are the culmination of a groundbreaking education project engaging young people with creativity and performance. The concert includes a performance of Paul Patterson’s Little Red Riding Hood.

All Saints’ Church, Tudeley, with its Marc Chagall windows, will be the spectacular setting for a performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. James Pearson opens the concert with an improvisation and Chamber Domaine, with composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson, perform this iconic work which was written in a concentration camp.

Music@Malling are very grateful for the help of a wide range of national, regional and local supporters. The festival promises to be a memorable series of events!

Thomas Kemp – Artistic Director

Alan Gibbins – Chairman

Holy Week and Easter services 2017

We thought you might like to take note of the Holy Week and Easter events and services taking place in Offham, Kings Hill and West Malling.

Sunday 9 April, Palm Sunday services
in all churches at the usual start times.

Tuesday 11 April, 7.30pm
Stations of the Cross
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Maundy Thursday, 13 April, 7 for 7.30 p.m. start
A Seder Meal to mark Maundy Thursday
St Lawrence’s Church, Mereworth

Good Friday, 14 April, 9.15 am
Morning Prayer
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Good Friday, 14 April, 10.00 am
Interactive Easter Family Service
St Gabriel’s Church, Kings Hill (Discovery School main hall)

Good Friday, 14 April, 11.00 am
Churches Together Good Friday Walk of Witness
Begins at St Thomas More RC Church, Lucks Hill, West Malling

Good Friday, 14 April, 2.00 pm
Quiet Hour
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Good Friday, 14 April, 3.30 pm
X-plore Easter – Children’s Easter craft activities
St Mary’s Church Centre, West Malling

Easter Sunday, 16 April, 6.15 am
Easter Dawn Service
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Easter Sunday, 16 April, 8.00 am
Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 9.15 am
Easter Sunday All-Age Holy Communion
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Easter Sunday, 16 April, 10.00 am
Easter Sunday All-Age Holy Communion
St Gabriel’s Church, Kings Hill (Discovery School)

Easter Sunday, 16 April, 10.00 am
Easter Sunday Holy Communion
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

St Mary’s Church Centre sold

A photo of St Mary's Church Centre, West MallingSt Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) have announced the sale of St Mary’s Church Centre. The building, which until 2014 was used by a local Pre-School but has since been mostly vacant, has been sold to Oberon Prime LLP.

The PCC set a number of conditions for the sale and, following a busy bidding period, the PCC accepted an offer from Oberon. Based on the information available, the PCC judged Oberon’s bid to be the most secure in meeting all the conditions of the sale.

The building was put on the market after Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council approved a planning application from the PCC to redevelop the existing building with the intention of protecting its sense of history for the community. The plan protects the current structure which will be redesigned to accommodate three homes with the construction of an additional dwelling at the rear.

Rev David Green, Priest-in-Charge of St Mary’s West Malling, has said:

“Throughout this process, we have worked hard to ensure a sustainable future for a building that we cannot afford, which nevertheless is an important landmark to many residents in West Malling. I am thankful to the local community for their positive engagement throughout this process. As new neighbours, we will continue to be interested in Oberon and how they take the site forward.”

The PCC expect to use the proceeds of the sale to invest in the main church building at St Mary’s where facilities for children, the elderly and the disabled are particularly needed.

St Mary’s Church Centre sold

A photo of St Mary's Church Centre, West MallingSt Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) have announced the sale of St Mary’s Church Centre. The building, which until 2014 was used by a local Pre-School but has since been mostly vacant, has been sold to Oberon Prime LLP.

The PCC set a number of conditions for the sale and, following a busy bidding period, the PCC accepted an offer from Oberon. Based on the information available, the PCC judged Oberon’s bid to be the most secure in meeting all the conditions of the sale.

The building was put on the market after Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council approved a planning application from the PCC to redevelop the existing building with the intention of protecting its sense of history for the community. The plan protects the current structure which will be redesigned to accommodate three homes with the construction of an additional dwelling at the rear.

Rev David Green, Priest-in-Charge of St Mary’s West Malling, has said:

“Throughout this process, we have worked hard to ensure a sustainable future for a building that we cannot afford, which nevertheless is an important landmark to many residents in West Malling. I am thankful to the local community for their positive engagement throughout this process. As new neighbours, we will continue to be interested in Oberon and how they take the site forward.”

The PCC expect to use the proceeds of the sale to invest in the main church building at St Mary’s where facilities for children, the elderly and the disabled are particularly needed.

Media enquiries

Please note Diocesan press contact information as follows:
Lindy Mackenzie, Diocesan Office, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL
Phone: 01634 560000
lindy.mackenzie@rochester.anglican.org
www.rochester.anglican.org

Beyond the Referendum

Leaver & Remainer stand before the AltarOur Priest-in-Charge, David, and our Licensed Lay Minister, Becky, discuss the recent result of the Referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

D: We are both Christian people, living in West Malling, worshipping and sharing together in our local community. You voted to Leave the EU. I voted to Remain. What was it that was most important to you about voting to leave?

B: It’s a very complex situation, so there are no simple answers. I think the more distant a parliament is from its electorate, the more likely it is that the legislation they propose will have unintended, negative consequences. I think there is a very strong case for structural reform, limiting the scope of EU powers. This is not just about Britain: there are other countries within the Union (Greece and Cyprus for example) where there is a great deal of disaffection with the EU. I was quite aware that voting ‘Leave’ was a risk and there were likely to be financial repercussions. Sometimes risks are necessary to effect change. I hope it will be change for the better. Why did you vote Remain?

D: I tried to consider both sides carefully but ultimately, I felt that a lot of the Leave arguments relied on things that I felt weren’t true. The £350 million figure, the supposed loss of Sovereignty. I do think we have a problem of population capacity and we do need control, but that was outweighed for me by the economic side of things, worries about a political vacuum or major swing to the Right and I felt certain politicians were telling half-truths or lies. So I decided to Remain. Any regrets?

B: I absolutely regret that some Europeans who now live in this country suddenly feel that they are no longer welcome. I’d feel the same way about any immigrant, whatever their nationality. I’m aware just how important these people are for many successful businesses including, for example, some of our local farms – we can’t do without them. Equally, I’m appalled that those on the Far Right feel liberated to make xenophobic protests; they’re divisive and hurtful. I’m less concerned about the financial side of things because market volatility happens and will calm. But the Press doesn’t tell stories like mine – I guess it’s just not just newsworthy. But no, I don’t regret voting the way I did. What about you?

D: No regrets for me but plenty of hurts. It does feel raw and painful. Especially when it started to emerge that some Leave voters had done so either because of racism, or because they wanted to give David Cameron a black eye but didn’t think Leave would win, or because they really didn’t understand the question. That upset me greatly. One thing we can agree on though is that racism or xenophobia or ugly treatment of those from other nations is simply not acceptable, and as Christians, we need to be brave and stand up to resist that.

I think the penny dropped for me a little when I was teaching about bereavement on a pastoral care course this week. The shock and disbelief of Remainers, their denial of the result (and wanting to do it all again), the anger and abuse are all typical symptoms of grief. There’s a mourning going on for something that has died for them – rightly or wrongly, they feel like part of their identity as Brits, as Europeans, has died. It’s a loss and like any loss, people will grieve.

B: They may feel that way now; I understand that feeling. But we can be European without being in the EU. I see myself as European as much as I am British (and probably quite a lot of other stuff as well). We are still a country in Europe – we can’t not be. I’ve recently come back from Montenegro which isn’t in the EU (so Montenegrins have to obtain a visa to visit the UK) but they trade in Euros. Croatia, next door, is in the EU but trades in Kunas. There were border controls between the two but no problem with passing between. There are a lot of different ways of being in Europe which don’t necessarily entail being part of the gigantic bureaucracy that is the EU.

D: Absolutely. That’s the thing all Brits need to embrace now – how can we be outward looking, European, and so on, but simply not part of the EU. I wrote in last month’s parish magazine that regardless of the result, the key would be how we come together as one nation again when we have had to vote on a question that inevitably polarizes everyone – regions of the UK, towns and communities, older and younger voters, even families. Reconciliation and healing is vital. Remainers, like myself, now need to do their bit to prove we were wrong and the Leavers were right.

B: Thank you. For Leavers I think it’s vital we voice our opposition to xenophobic and racist actions. It’s important not to gloat, to act with integrity and good grace. It’s all going to take time: we’ll need to be patient. Within the church, to continue to pray for the political process, for the politicians and all involved in disentangling. We need to pray for the EU itself, and for those within the UK who are in deep despair at the result. I don’t like language of winning and losing because that mentality won’t help, but it’s quite hard being on the ‘winning’ side when a) you know your actions have produced deep distress and will continue to do so and b) you suspect you are being tarred with the brush of being a non-thinking bigot.

D: There’s no excuse for Remainers to be abusive – misdirected anger and abuse is not healthy grief. But if I may offer something for Leavers – if Remainers are grieving – then like any bereavement, there’s good things to do and say, and things to not do or say. A grieving widow doesn’t need to hear that ‘time is a great healer’ or ‘I know how you feel’. It doesn’t help. Saying ‘it will all work out’ doesn’t help Remainers right now. I also wonder whether, like any bereavement, the Church can help with that by providing space for such thoughts and prayers in the way we would at a funeral.

The former Bishop of Tonbridge, Brian Castle, is a bit of an expert in reconciliation and he’s written recently that the UK can’t reconcile yet. He says “reconciliation can only happen when the roar of battle has died down, when all involved regard themselves as equals (there can be no victims when pursuing reconciliation) and when people can talk about their hopes, aspirations and fears.” He also says it needs all parties to be open to change for the sake of the other. If we rush to reconcile, we won’t let the wound truly be clean before it heals over.

B: My prayer is that our churches will be able to model how to disagree well: how to keep our hearts, minds and arms open to embrace others despite the uncertainty and despite the hurt. We need to build a future now in which Remainers and Leavers can come together as one nation. I can only promise to try to do my bit.

D: Amen to that.

The big worship survey

Dear Worshipper

Worship survey for St Mary’s

I am writing to everyone who worships at St Mary’s to ask for your help with a very important survey of opinions.

With the growth of St Gabriel’s, Kings Hill and subsequent appointment of Rev Mark Montgomery, alongside the welcome expansion over the last five years of our available ministry team, there is a fresh opportunity for St Mary’s to consider the timing, pattern and content of our Sunday services.

The previous pattern for St Mary’s of 8am and 10.45am (shifting to 11.00am in 2012) was dictated by a situation where I had to cover three church communities on a regular basis and with only Margaret Moore to support in her role as a Reader. We now have some of Mark’s time as well as mine, two lay ministers in Margaret and Becky and one retired clergyperson in Alan. Across the wider Cluster, there is a total of three stipendiary ministers, three lay ministers and four retired clergy (ten people) to care for the five churches!

Alongside this major shift in our circumstances, I have been acutely conscious for some time that the 11.00 am start time is very difficult for a few people and it eats into Sundays in a way that is hard to manage and makes regular attendance difficult.

In order to inform the PCC’s discussion about the timing of services, the monthly pattern and the content of our worship, and to help the PCC and I to make decisions, we would be very grateful if you could fill out this anonymous survey.

A paper questionnaire can be picked up from church and then returned to the Vicarage or placed in the box at the back of St Mary’s Church. You can also fill the survey out online by visiting www.bit.ly/WMWorshipSurvey

If you want more copies of the survey for different members of your family, you can pick up extra copies from the back of church. The deadline for the return of surveys is Monday 4 July 2016.

This is a really important opportunity to have your say, so please do make sure you take part.

Yours in Christ
David Green
Priest-in-Charge

Holy Week and Easter events 2016

A photo of a chalkboard that reads 'Resurrection is making a comeback'We thought you might like to take note of the Holy Week and Easter events and services taking place in Offham, Kings Hill and West Malling.

Tuesday 22 March, from 12.30pm
Easter Experience
(for children and parents)
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Maundy Thursday, 24 March, 1.30 p.m.
West Malling CEP School End-of-Term Service
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Thursday 24 March, 7.30 p.m.
A Seder Meal to mark Maundy Thursday
St Lawrence’s Church, Mereworth

Good Friday, 25 March, 9.15 am
Morning Prayer
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Good Friday, 25 March, 9.45 am
Interactive Easter Family Service
St Gabriel’s Church, Kings Hill (Discovery School main hall)

Good Friday, 25 March, 11.00 am
Churches Together Good Friday Walk of Witness
Begins at St Thomas More RC Church, Lucks Hill, West Malling

Good Friday, 25 March, 2.00 pm
Quiet Hour
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Good Friday, 25 March, 3.30 pm
X-plore Easter – Children’s Easter craft activities
St Mary’s Church Centre, West Malling

Please remember the clocks go forward on Easter Sunday morning!

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 6.00 am
Easter Dawn Service
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 8.00 am
Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 9.15 am
Easter Sunday All-Age Holy Communion
St Michael’s Church, Offham

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 9.30 am
Easter Sunday All-Age Holy Communion
St Gabriel’s Church, Kings Hill (Discovery School)

Easter Sunday, 27 March, 11.00 am
Easter Sunday All-Age Holy Communion
St Mary’s Church, West Malling

Christmas services 2015

A photo of the choir from the Carol Service at Offham, 2012

Richard King and friends, Carol Service Offham

We thought you might like to take note of the Advent and Christmas special events and services taking place in Offham and West Malling.

Sun 13 Dec, 4.00 pm Christingle service,
St Michael’s, Offham
An afternoon candle-lit service for all the family with carols, a family-friendly talk from our Vicar and Christingles for all the children.

Wed 16 Dec, 7.00 pm Heart of Kent Hospice Christmas service
St Mary’s, West Malling

Fri 18 Dec, 9.30 am West Malling CEP School Christmas Service (to be confirmed)
St Mary’s, West Malling

Fri 18 Dec, 8.00 pm Carol service
St Michael’s, Offham
An evening candle-lit service of Christmas readings and carols with guest Richard King and friends leading a special choir to complement the congregation’s singing!

Sun 20 Dec, 4.00 pm Christingle service for Kings Hill
Community Hall, Kings Hill
A joint St Gabriel’s and Kings Hill Christian Fellowship family-friendly service of Christingle-making and carol singing.

Sun 20 Dec, 7.00 pm Carol service
St Mary’s, West Malling
Readings and carols telling the Christmas story.

A photo of the Nativity play from St Mary's, 2012

Nativity, West Malling

 

Mon 21 Dec, 7.30 pm Carols in the Kings Arms
‘Carols on the Green’ moves inside for the second year in a row with the Kings Arms, Offham playing host to an evening of carol singing.

Thu 24 Dec, 3.30 pm Christingle service with nativity,
St Mary’s, West Malling
Candle-lit Crib service with a Nativity play from St Mary’s Sunday School and lots of carol singing. Christingles will be distributed at the end for children. Come early to avoid disappointment. If you miss out, you may like to come to the second service at 5 p.m. Often attended by families with pre-school children but all are welcome.

Thu 24 Dec, 5.00 pm Christingle service with nativity,
St Mary’s, West Malling
A repeat of the 3.30 p.m. service. Candle-lit Crib service with a Nativity play from St Mary’s Sunday School and lots of carol singing. Christingles will be distributed at the end for children. Doors will not open until after 4.30 p.m. when the previous service ends. Often attended by families with primary-age children but all are welcome.

Thu 24 Dec, 11.15 pm Midnight Communion
St Mary’s, West Malling
The first service of Christmas Day is a traditional Midnight Mass with Carols and Holy Communion.

A photo of the Christingle Service from St Michael's, 2012

Christingle at Offham

Fri 25 Dec, 8.00 am Holy Communion (BCP)
St Mary’s, West Malling
Traditional language, reflective and quiet Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service.

Fri 25 Dec, 9.15 am All-Age Communion service
St Michael’s, Offham
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day.

Fri 25 Dec, 11.00 am All-Age Communion service
St Mary’s, West Malling
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day.

Wed 6 Jan,7.30 pm Epiphany service for the Malling Cluster
St Dunstan’s, West Peckham

St Mary’s Church Centre planning application

With the departure of various tenants in 2014, St Mary’s Church Centre currently has an uncertain future.

St Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) has responsibility for the building and we are currently exploring our options for the building’s future. Until all the research and exploration has been done, the PCC cannot make a firm decision on the building but one of the three main options is to sell it.

As a charity, subject to charity law, the PCC is obliged to seek the best value if they ever dispose of their assets. As a result, if the PCC were to decide to sell, they must do so for the best value for the site which, in the current market, means residential use. To that potential end, the PCC has recently submitted a planning application that sets out a plan for five residential units on the site of the Church Centre – three units within the existing building and two additional units to the rear. This application was delivered to TMBC on the 21st October. The Planning Reference Number is TM/15/03389/FL.

Whether the application is approved or rejected, the PCC will know they have sought to seek best value in the event of a sale. Of course, if planning permission is rejected and the building still has to be sold, the PCC will lose control of whatever may happen to the site thereafter.

The paperwork is now available on the TMBC planning portal website. To scrutinise the designs and see associated paperwork and comments, the reference you will need is 15/03389/FL.

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