Online Worship: 20th June 2021, Third Sunday after Trinity

This Sunday is the 20th of June 2021,
the third Sunday after Trinity.

West Malling Abbey

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.

Welcome to our Online Worship for this week. We hope you are well and not too downcast by the most recent announcement of a delay to the plans to re-open our nation fully in June.

Today is Father’s Day. We offer our thanks and prayers for good Dads everywhere and hope you will be celebrating today. We also offer prayers of solace and support to those for whom it’s a hard day. Some fathers are sadly absent, others we perhaps wish might have been. For some, there’s the unfilled longing to be a father and also there are dads grieving for the loss of children. Please remember them all in prayer today.

This week in our online Worship, Canon Alan Vousden shares a reflection to mark the 65th anniversary of the dedication of the modern Abbey Church at West Malling Abbey, home to our friends – the local community of Anglican Benedictine Nuns. Our thanks also to John for providing the Bible reading for us today.

With cases rising in the nation, there is obviously a lot of work going on to get as many vaccinated as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, if you need some support or help with practical things, or want someone to listen, please do contact us.

Notices

To catch up on the latest news and notices from both West Malling and Offham, please do take a look at our Notices page for this week.

Songs to sing today

Dear Lord and Father of mankind

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

All-Age: Tell me who made all of creation? (Everywhere around me)

Virtual Sunday School

4front Theatre and St Peter’s in Worcester are back and Nat and Rob are marking Father’s Day with some help from Theo and his dad Olly.

Alan’s video sermon for this Sunday

00:28 the Bible Reading with John, 01:39 onwards the Sermon with Canon Alan.

Prayers for today

Prayers of Intercession for Ordinary Time

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ,
let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you promised through your Son Jesus Christ
to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen James and Simon, our bishops, and all your Church in the service of Christ,
that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us…
[take a moment to pray for family and friends]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles;
and bring them the joy of your salvation.
[take a moment to pray for those you know who are unwell]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …;
according to your promises,
grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
[take a moment to pray for those you know who are grieving]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Michael & All Angels, and all your saints,
we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, 
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

A prayer for Father’s Day

God our Creator, the perfect Heavenly Father,
we give thanks for good fathers in our lives.
We pray for fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, teachers, pastors and coaches,
and remember single mothers who have to be both mum and dad.

Lord, we know that some fathers excel, while others fail.
We ask for Your blessings and for mercy and forgiveness where needed.
Give fathers strength in the sacrifices they make,
and bless the ways, big and small, they lift their children and their spouses to realise their dreams.

We pray also today for those for whom today is hard.
We pray for those who never knew their father, and for those who wish they had not,
and for those grieving today.
We pray for those whose Dad has died,
and we pray for men grieving for dreams of fatherhood never realised
or children they loved and have lost.
Perfect, loving, Heavenly Father,
hear our prayers today.
Amen.

The Collect for this Sunday

God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Blessing

May the peace of God, 
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God, 
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Be at peace. Love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers (Offham): Jim & Jean Brown, Ron Marchant, Cynthia & John Noble, Rob Stranack, Irina Walker, Hazel Watson.
  • Those who have asked for our prayers (West Malling): Jane Best-Shaw, Keith & Diana Bullard, Robin & Rosemary Law, Barbara & Graham Norton, Barbara Pallett, Stuart Richards, Eileen Vickers, Ann, Heather, William, Stephanie, Michael, Alice, Jennifer and Thomas, Hayley, Rene and Lauren.
  • For the families of Michael Reardon, Eileen Kearney, Gwen Cook and Neville Cording, who have all died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who work in financial services. For good stewardship, rebuilding of trust in our economy, and witness to Christ.
  • Giving thanks for our PCC members and praying for them as they steward our finances, manage our buildings and support Rev David in ministry.
  • Prayers for St Lawrence’s Church and the people of Mereworth.
  • As we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for the UK and world authorities; political, medical, scientific, civil and religious. We pray especially for those involved in caring for the sick and dying, and those who are working to distribute the vaccine.
  • For HM Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life.
  • For unity and reconciliation in our nation following our departure from the European Union.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy including all nations affected by Coronavirus. Especially we pray for India, for the USA, Brazil and Russia, for Myanmar, for Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Yemen. We pray also for the situation in Belarus.
  • For David & Robin Stearns, mission link partners in Uganda.

Daily Prayer

It is now possible to pray each day via the Church of England website with Morning and Evening Prayer and Prayer during the Day all provided, along with the correct lectionary readings for each day.

There’s also an App you can download to get the same material direct to your smartphone or tablet device.

Since this facility is now available, we won’t be reprinting the lectionary readings each week here on this page.

Find out more here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Online Worship: 13th June 2021, Second Sunday after Trinity

This Sunday is the 13th of June 2021,
the second Sunday after Trinity.

Trinity detail from the Lancet
window at St Mary’s

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.

Welcome to our Online Worship for this week. We hope you are keeping healthy and safe, enjoying the sunshine, and feeling positive.

Both in our church buildings and here online, it’s an ‘All-Age’ worship week. The songs we sing are more reflective of the style of the All-Age, Rev David’s video sermon is suitable for all ages, and we have a couple of interactive prayer options for you to try.

Our reading today comes from St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians chapter 5. Our thanks to Naomi for reading it so beautifully for us today.

With cases rising in the nation, it’s starting to look a little tentative for June 21st. It’s good to see lots of people getting their two jabs. Nonetheless, if you need some support or help with practical things, or want someone to listen, please do contact us.

Notices

We’re not yet sure what will happen on June 21st, but for the latest on our thinking and other current news and notices, please take a look at our Notices page for this week.

Songs to sing today

All-Age: The Golden Rule (love your neighbour)

All-Age: Praise the Lord, every day

All-Age: Maker of the Moon

Thanks to Maddie from St Mary’s for telling us about this new song. We hope you like it!

David’s video sermon for this Sunday

00:28 the Bible Reading with Naomi, 01:15 onwards the Sermon with Rev David.

Prayers for today

Post-a-Prayer online

The 24-7 Prayer Movement is a UK-based but now international, interdenominational movement of prayer, mission and justice; a non-stop prayer meeting that has continued for every minute of this century so far, in over half the countries on Earth! As part of what they do, you can ‘post-a-prayer’ on their website. Nearly half a million prayers have been posted since its inception and you can either say it privately or, if you wish, say it publicly and other people can click to add their “Amen” to yours. Why not give it a go today?

Prayers of Intercession for Ordinary Time

Heavenly Father,
your desire is for us to be free 
and to live an abundant life,
but everywhere in our world we see people in chains.
Father, break the chains that bind us 

and set your people free.

Father, we pray for those who are caught in the chains of poverty;
those for whom the rains do not fall, 
whose land is taken from them,
whose leaders betray them 
or whose country is held back by debt.
Father, break the chains that bind us 

and set your people free.

Father, we pray for those in our nation caught in chains.
We pray for those trapped by their desire for more and more.
We pray also for those caught in poverty through addiction, helplessness or through no fault of their own.
Father, break the chains that bind us 

and set your people free.

Father, we pray for our families and friends.
Bless those bonds of love, laughter and joy 
that connect us to those lives that enrich ours.
Set us free from any chains that bind us, 
or of painful memories, of unspoken hurts or lack of understanding.
Father, break the chains that bind us 

and set your people free.

Father, we pray for those who are sick in body, mind or spirit,
for those grieving the loss of someone they love 
and for those who care, often at great cost to themselves.
Today, especially, we pray for …

Father, 
give your peace and in the midst of sadness and sorrow;
grant the gentle freedom that comes with knowing your presence.
Father, break the chains that bind us 

and set your people free.

May peace and mercy 
and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us
this day and always.
Amen

A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

God of hope, love and mercy,
we pray for our sisters and brothers
in India, Brazil and other countries around the world
whose lives are affected by coronavirus.

We remember especially poor communities
struggling to find the healthcare they need.
Heal the sick, give eternal life to those who have died
and console families who have lost loved ones.

Help governments and health authorities
to make wise decisions for the good of everyone.
Hold us all in your merciful love.
Amen.

The Collect for this Sunday

Faithful Creator,
whose mercy never fails:
deepen our faithfulness to you
and to your living Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Blessing

May the peace of God, 
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God, 
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Be at peace. Love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers (Offham): Jim & Jean Brown, Ron Marchant, Cynthia & John Noble, Rob Stranack, Irina Walker, Hazel Watson.
  • Those who have asked for our prayers (West Malling): Jane Best-Shaw, Keith & Diana Bullard, Robin & Rosemary Law, Barbara & Graham Norton, Barbara Pallett, Stuart Richards, Eileen Vickers, Ann, Heather, William, Stephanie, Michael, Alice, Jennifer and Thomas, Hayley, Rene and Lauren.
  • For the families of Stephen Breeds, Michael Reardon and Eileen Kearney, who have all died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who work in communications and media. For a sense of God’s voice in their work, and their witness to Christ.
  • Giving thanks for our Churchwardens and praying for them in the responsibilities they carry on behalf of our church.
  • Prayers for St John’s Church and the people of Wateringbury.
  • As we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for the UK and world authorities; political, medical, scientific, civil and religious. We pray especially for those involved in caring for the sick and dying, and those who are working to distribute the vaccine.
  • For HM Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life. For unity and reconciliation in our nation following our departure from the European Union.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy including all nations affected by Coronavirus. Especially we pray for India, for the USA, Brazil and Russia, for Myanmar, for Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Yemen. We pray also for the situation in Belarus.
  • For Daniel & Sarah Brito Medeiros, CMS mission link partners in Brazil

Daily Prayer

It is now possible to pray each day via the Church of England website with Morning and Evening Prayer and Prayer during the Day all provided, along with the correct lectionary readings for each day.

There’s also an App you can download to get the same material direct to your smartphone or tablet device.

Since this facility is now available, we won’t be reprinting the lectionary readings each week here on this page.

Find out more here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Online Worship: 6th June 2021, First Sunday after Trinity

This Sunday is the 6th of June 2021,
the first Sunday after Trinity.

“The hospitality of Abraham”
by Andrei Rublev

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.

Welcome to our Online Worship for this week. We hope you are keeping healthy and safe and are in good heart. As we noted last week, the Trinity season (sometimes unfairly called ‘Ordinary Time’) gives us an opportunity for the study of Scripture and this year, we will be focussing on the Gospel of Mark and hearing from St Paul’s letters; especially his second letter to the Corinthians and also his letter to the Ephesians.

Rev David is taking a week’s leave at present and so Rev Jim Brown is back with us today to provide his reflections on our passage today from Mark 3.20-35. Our thanks also to Meelis for providing the Bible reading today.

We are all hoping for good news on June the 21st, but there are still pockets of infections in the nation and some will remain cautious and anxious. Please do ask if you are in need of support or help.

Notices

There was news last week of a new role for our Archdeacon! For this and other news, find out more by visiting our Notices page for this week.

Songs to sing today

Praise to the Holiest in the height

From heaven you came, Helpless Babe

All-Age: As for me and my house

Virtual Sunday School

4front Theatre and St Peter’s in Worcester are back and Nat and Rob are exploring Jesus’ parable about two people, one who built their house on rock and another who built their house on sand!

Jim’s video sermon for this Sunday

00:28 the Bible Reading with Meelis, 03:00 onwards the Sermon with Rev Jim.

Prayers for today

Prayers of Intercession for Ordinary Time

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ,
let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you promised through your Son Jesus Christ
to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen James and Simon, our bishops, and all your Church in the service of Christ,
that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us…
[take a moment to pray for family and friends]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles;
and bring them the joy of your salvation.
[take a moment to pray for those you know who are unwell]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …;
according to your promises,
grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
[take a moment to pray for those you know who are grieving]

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Michael & All Angels, and all your saints,
we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, 
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

God of all wholeness and healing,
we thank you with all our hearts
for those who are working
with selfless skill and dedication
to sustain our National Health Service.
Grant that they may receive
the resources they require
to meet the demands that each day brings.
Keep them safe and healthy while at work,
and bless their families and loved ones at home. Amen.
Amen.

The Collect for this Sunday

God of truth,
help us to keep your law of love
and to walk in ways of wisdom,
that we may find true life
in Jesus Christ your Son.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Blessing

May the peace of God, 
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God, 
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Be at peace. Love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers (Offham): Jim & Jean Brown, Ron Marchant, Cynthia & John Noble, Rob Stranack, Irina Walker, Hazel Watson.
  • Those who have asked for our prayers (West Malling): Jane Best-Shaw, Robin & Rosemary Law, Barbara & Graham Norton, Barbara Pallett, Stuart Richards, Eileen Vickers, Ann, Heather, William, Stephanie, Michael, Alice, Jennifer and Thomas, Hayley, Rene and Lauren.
  • For the families of Eleanor Marshall, Stephen Breeds and David Reardon, who have all died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who work with the police or courts. For strength, for justice to be done and for their witness to Christ at work.
  • Giving thanks for our Rural Dean, Archdeacon and Bishops and for God’s blessing on their ministry and family life. Praying for Archdeacon Julie and Bishop James as they move on.
  • Prayers for St Gabriel’s and the people of Kings Hill.
  • As we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, we pray for the UK and world authorities; political, medical, scientific, civil and religious. We pray especially for those involved in caring for the sick and dying, and those who are working to distribute the vaccine.
  • For HM Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life.
  • For unity and reconciliation in our nation following our departure from the European Union.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy including all nations affected by Coronavirus. Especially we pray for India, for the USA, Brazil and Russia, for Myanmar, for Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Yemen. We pray also for the situation in Belarus.
  • For Rev Peeter Kaldur, and our partner churches of St Michael’s, Jõhvi and Pühajõe church in Estonia.

Daily Prayer

It is now possible to pray each day via the Church of England website with Morning and Evening Prayer and Prayer during the Day all provided, along with the correct lectionary readings for each day.

There’s also an App you can download to get the same material direct to your smartphone or tablet device.

Since this facility is now available, we won’t be reprinting the lectionary readings each week here on this page.

Find out more here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Advent and Christmas 2020

The impact of Coronavirus on our world will have a major impact on our plans for Advent and Christmas 2020. Many of the time-honoured traditions of our worship and celebrations at Christmas will have to adapt to the changes in our circumstances.

We remain committed to celebrating Christmas, the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, as fully as possible. However we are also committed to being loving neighbours and responsible members of our local communities and want to ensure everyone is kept safe and healthy.

** update about Tier 4 **

Kent is now in Tier 4 and while Government have said churches can open for communal worship, Rev David has written a letter (and recorded a video) to provide some pastoral guidance and advice as you ponder whether to attend.

Dates for the diary

What’s happening and what’s not happening this year?

A photo of the choir from the Carol Service at Offham, 2012Wed 23 Dec, 8.00 pm
Live-streamed Carol online service from St Michael’s, Offham

St Michael’s, Offham
We live-streamed a special service on our YouTube channel for all those who wished to take part in our Carol Service for 2020. From the beautiful, ancient church of St Michael’s we hosted a candle-lit evening service of Christmas readings and carols with our Director of Music Stewart Biggs, guest Choirmaster Richard King leading a special guest choir.

If you missed the service on the night, you can still watch it on catch-up via YouTube. If you want to sing along, an Order of Service is available to download with all the words of the carols.

Congregation, St Mary's, Christingle 2011Thu 24 Dec, 4.00 pm
Pre-recorded Christingle online service with nativity from St Mary’s, West Malling

St Mary’s, West Malling
Although the highly popular Christmas Eve Christingle cannot take place in church this year, we hosted a special Christingle service on our YouTube channel on Christmas Eve.

Rev David spoke about the Christingle, our Sunday School presented their special Zoom nativity, while Richard Hammond-Hall and St Mary’s Choir recorded the Christmas Carols for us to sing along.

The words of the Carols will appear on screen but, if you want to do so, you can download an Order of Service so you can sing along from home.

Fri 25 Dec, 8.00 am
Holy Communion (BCP) in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
Traditional language, reflective and quiet Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Small girl, St Mary's, Christingle 2011Fri 25 Dec, 9.15 am
All-Age Communion service in church

St Michael’s, Offham
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day. The children are encouraged to bring one of their presents to ‘show and tell’ as part of the service. This service will be ticketed. 8 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Fri 25 Dec, 10.00 am
All-Age Communion service in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
Child-friendly Eucharist service to celebrate Christmas Day. The children are encouraged to bring one of their presents to ‘show and tell’ as part of the service. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

Fri 25 Dec, from 7.30 am
Christmas Day Online Worship

For those unable to come to church in person this year, an act of Online Worship will also be available on Christmas Day. You can log on anytime from 7.30 a.m. onwards to take part.

Sun 27 Dec, 10.00 am
Benefice Service for first Sunday after Christmas in church

St Mary’s, West Malling
There is no 8 am at St Mary’s or 9.15 at St Michael’s on this Sunday. Instead, we come together as one congregation for a joint Benefice service. Canon Alan Vousden will be leading and we gather at St Mary’s, West Malling. This service will be ticketed. 21 households maximum capacity. To book, please contact us.

There will also be an act of Online Worship available from 7.30 a.m. for those who are unable to come to church in person.

 

What is not happening this year

For the avoidance of any doubt, here’s the list of things we are sadly unable to host in 2020.

  • The Christmas Tree Festival (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • The West Malling Community Choir Christmas Concert (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • The Heart of Kent Hospice Christmas Concert (St Mary’s, West Malling)
  • Carols in the Pub (Kings Arms, Offham with St Michael’s, Offham)
  • Christingle services in both churches (although there will be a service online)
  • Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve (St Mary’s, West Malling)

Welcome back to St Mary’s, West Malling

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are re-opening St Mary’s for Public Worship from Sunday the 26th of July.

However, there are a number of things that we need you to know and a number of things we need you to do. To start with, can we encourage you to watch this short two minute safety video to give you a brief rundown of how things will work and what we need you to do.

What will services be like?

  1. Every service will a service of Holy Communion. If, as we expect, you may only be able to attend two, three or four weeks, it is important that when you do attend, there is the chance to receive Holy Communion.
  2. Every service will be somewhat child-friendly. We cannot run Sunday School for the time being. Neither can children use toys or busy bags (other than ones they have brought from home). Neither is it appropriate to make every service an All-Age service. So every Minister leading or preaching will need to account for the fact children will be present and sat in a pew alongside their parents.
  3. Every service will be 30 to 40 minutes maximum. The risk of infection goes up the longer we stay together in the building, so we’ll keep services short.

What services will there be?

  1. Initially there will be one service on a Sunday in Offham at 9.15 a.m. and one in West Malling at 10.00 a.m. There will be a sermon. Both services will be based on Common Worship Holy Communion.
  2. There will be a Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service at St Mary’s at 9.30 a.m. every Wednesday during August. There will not be a sermon. We will review again at the start of September as to whether this service can return to Sundays at 8 o’clock.
  3. Christenings will not take place in the Sunday service for the time being.
  4. If there is a Christening in a lunchtime slot on a Sunday, the congregation present that morning will be asked to help sanitise after their service.
  5. Online Worship will continue as pre-recorded videos and pre-prepared web pages to be published each Sunday. Each week, the rota will allocate ministry leadership to the online environment; separate to offline leadership for that week.

How many people can come?

Sadly, because of the regulations concerning physical distancing and maintaining two metres distance, our maximum capacity is based on 14 households. If you’ve watched the video (above) and are coming on your own, we may be able to take more than 14 households with individuals sat at either end of a pew.

If more people want to return to church services than we accommodate, we will need to allocate people into groups and then inform each group which Sundays they can attend. It may be that we have a group on the first Sunday and another group on the second Sunday and so on.

If you don’t want to return to church now and are happy to continue worshipping online, you will be able to let us know later when you do want to come to church. If need be, we will allocate you to a group. Hopefully, the physical distancing regulations will relax in time and we will be able to welcome more people into the same service until such time as we can all be in church together.

How do I let you know what I want to do?

At present, we are conducting a survey. We would be really grateful if you would click on the link for the survey and complete your details to let us know what you would like to do.

The more households that let us know their plans and wishes, the better we can fairly and equitably enable as many people as possible to return to church.

What do I need to bring when I come to church?

You don’t need to bring anything, but you might want to think about bringing the following items:

  1. A face covering.
  2. Your own pen (to fill out a sign-in slip if you’re asked to do so).
  3. Your own Bible (spare Bibles will not be available to pick-up and use in church).
  4. If you have young children, you may like to bring a busy bag for the children. We can’t provide any of our materials at present because of the difficulties sanitising those items.

Welcome back to St Michael’s, Offham

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are re-opening St Michael’s for Public Worship from Sunday the 26th of July.

However, there are a number of things that we need you to know and a number of things we need you to do. To start with, can we encourage you to watch this short two minute safety video to give you a brief rundown of how things will work and what we need you to do.

What will services be like?

  1. Every service will a service of Holy Communion. If, as we expect, you may only be able to attend two, three or four weeks, it is important that when you do attend, there is the chance to receive Holy Communion.
  2. Every service will be somewhat child-friendly. We cannot run Sunday School for the time being. Neither can children use toys or busy bags (other than ones they have brought from home). Neither is it appropriate to make every service an All-Age service. So every Minister leading or preaching will need to account for the fact children will be present and sat in a pew alongside their parents.
  3. Every service will be 30 to 40 minutes maximum. The risk of infection goes up the longer we stay together in the building, so we’ll keep things brief.

What services will there be?

  1. Initially there will be one service on a Sunday in Offham at 9.15 a.m. and one in West Malling at 10.00 a.m. There will be a sermon. Both services will be based on Common Worship Holy Communion.
  2. There will be a Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service at St Mary’s at 9.30 a.m. every Wednesday during August. There will not be a sermon. We will review again at the start of September as to whether this service can return to Sundays at 8 o’clock.
  3. Christenings will not take place in the Sunday service for the time being.
  4. If there is a Christening in a lunchtime slot on a Sunday, the congregation present that morning will be asked to help sanitise after their service.
  5. Online Worship will continue as pre-recorded videos and pre-prepared web pages to be published each Sunday. Each week, the rota will allocate ministry leadership to the online environment; separate to offline leadership for that week.

How many people can come?

Sadly, because of the regulations concerning physical distancing and maintaining two metres distance, our maximum capacity is based on five households. If you’ve watched the video (above) and are coming on your own, we may be able to take more than five households with individuals sat at either end of a pew.

If more people want to return to church services than we accommodate, we will need to allocate people into groups and then inform each group which Sundays they can attend. It may be that we have a group on the first Sunday and another group on the second Sunday and so on.

If you don’t want to return to church now and are happy to continue worshipping online, you will be able to let us know later when you do want to come to church. If need be, we will allocate you to a group. Hopefully, the physical distancing regulations will relax in time and we will be able to welcome more people into the same service until such time as we can all be in church together.

How do I let you know what I want to do?

At present, we are conducting a survey. We would be really grateful if you would click on the link for the survey and complete your details to let us know what you would like to do.

The more households that let us know their plans and wishes, the better we can fairly and equitably enable as many people as possible to return to church.

What do I need to bring when I come to church?

You don’t need to bring anything, but you might want to think about bringing the following items:

  1. A face covering.
  2. Your own pen (to fill out a sign-in slip if you’re asked to do so).
  3. Your own Bible (spare Bibles will not be available to pick-up and use in church).
  4. If you have young children, you may like to bring a busy bag for the children. We can’t provide any of our materials at present because of the difficulties sanitising those items.

“Walking in the way of the Cross”; doing Holy Week online

Walking in the way of the Cross

A guide to resources in order to pray your way through Holy Week

This Holy Week will be one like no other. With our church buildings unavailable to us, we’re having to be a little more creative in how we choose to mark the run-up to Easter Sunday.

Here in West Malling and Offham, the grid below will fill out day-by-day with clickable links so that you can choose how you wish to walk this year ‘in the way of the Cross’.

Monday
A service for Monday of Holy Week
from Rochester Cathedral
Tuesday
A service for Tuesday of Holy Week
from Rochester Cathedral
Wednesday
A service for Wednesday of Holy Week
from Rochester Cathedral

Maundy Thursday

 

Seder

Using a Zoom conference call, Rev David will host a live act of prayer
on Thursday at 6.00 p.m. BST adapted from both the Jewish Seder and the Christian Agape liturgies. If you would like to take part, please contact Rev David and he will send you details of all you need to prepare via email.

 

Tenebrae

Rev David has recorded an adaptation of a Tenebrae service.
“Tenebrae” is a Latin word for “shadows”. In this service we use increasing darkness to dramatize the increasing sadness of Holy Week.
Premieres ‘as live’ on Maundy Thursday at 8.15 p.m. BST.

Good Friday

 

The Walk of Witness

We cannot gather to do the physical Walk of Witness this year.
However, the service book is available to download (pdf file) so that you can use it at home, or to accompany your daily exercise.

Quiet Hour

Rev David has recorded a special version of the Good Friday Quiet Hour
via SoundCloud. Mixing Gospel readings, silence, prayer,
the Good Friday anthems and music.

 

Holy Saturday

All will be quiet on Holy Saturday. No services and no provision made
Heaven is silent. Jesus is dead. The tomb is sealed shut.
 

Easter Sunday

 

Dawn Service ‘as live’ stream

Because of technical difficulties, we are not able to live stream from the church in Offham on Sunday. However, Rev David has recorded an adaptation of the service which premieres ‘as live’ on Easter Sunday at 6.30 a.m. BST.

The liturgy is available to download if you want to follow along.

 

Online Worship

As we have done in recent weeks, there will be hymns to sing, written prayers, notices and a video sermon from David. It will be available to encourage you in worship from 7.30 a.m. BST this Sunday.

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Remembrance 2019

A photo of the St Mary's war memorial, taken early morning 2011For each of our three communities, please find below details of the Remembrance Sunday services.

Offham, 10.00 a.m.

The Sunday service starts at the slightly later than usual time of 10.00 a.m. and will follow the pattern for Churches Together services of remembrance. Rev Jim Brown will be leading.

After the service, just before 11.00 a.m. we will make our way outside to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance and the two minutes silence.

The congregation will be invited to join the Minister outside the church at the War Memorial where the names of the dead will be read aloud and wreaths laid.

West Malling, 10.00 a.m.

The Sunday service at West Malling will be a simply service of Remembrance, led by Rev David Green. Following the service, the congregation will make its way outside to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance and to observe two minutes silence at 11 o’clock.

Kings Hill, 10.30 a.m.

A special joint service takes place at 10.30 at the Running Airman Memorial on Gibson Drive with use of the Italian Market for larger crowds. Uniformed organisations will parade from the Control Tower to the Memorial for the service. Rev Matt Ross of Kings Hill Christian Fellowship and Rev Mark Montgomery of the Church of England will be leading the service.

West Malling, 2.30 p.m.

The Civic Service for Remembrance Sunday will take place at 2.30 p.m. in the afternoon. A parade will make its way up the High Street from about 2pm onwards. Please note the High Street will be closed to traffic while the parade is going on.

This year we welcome Ven Julie Conalty, the Archdeacon of Tonbridge as our guest speaker. Rev David Green will also be on hand to lead the service alongside other ecumenical guests.

After the service, wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial while the uniformed organisations form up in the road. Once again, the High Street will be closed around 3.30 p.m. in order for this to take place.

More details are available in the Events section of this website.

 

 

Harvest 2019

A photo of produce from Harvest Festival 2012 at St Mary's, West MallingOctober means it is Harvest Festival season for West Malling and Offham.

All-Age services will be taking place at West Malling and Offham as we celebrate all of God’s goodness to us in the food we eat and all that the earth provides.

This page provides some brief details for those interested in joining us for the Harvest celebrations.

Services

  • Offham Harvest All-Age Service, St Michael’s Church
    Sunday 6 October, 9.15 a.m. till 10.15 a.m.
  • West Malling Harvest All-Age Service, St Mary’s Church
    Sunday 13 October, 10.00 a.m. till 11.00 a.m.

Offerings

As usual, everyone is very welcome to bring a donation of food as part of their act of thanksgiving. Dried and tinned goods with a ‘best before’ date a good way into the future are ideal, but all and any gifts are welcome. This year, the donations will be passed on in equal shares to Pilsdon at Malling, the Kenward Trust in Yalding, and the West Malling Churches’ Foodbank (based at Pilsdon). All do fantastic work amongst those in need of extra help.

 

 

Remembrance Sunday 2018

A photo of the St Mary's war memorial, taken early morning 2011For each of our three communities, please find below details of the Remembrance Sunday services.

Offham, 10.00 a.m.

The Sunday service starts at the slightly later than usual time of 10.00 a.m. and will follow the pattern for Churches Together services of remembrance. Rev Jim and Rev David will both be on hand to take part in the serviec.

After the service, just before 11.00 a.m. we will make our way outside to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance and the two minutes silence.

The congregation will be invited to join the Minister outside the church at the War Memorial where the names of the dead will be read aloud and wreaths laid.

West Malling, 10.00 a.m.

The Sunday service at West Malling will be a service of Holy Communion, led by Canon Alan Vousden. Following the service, the congregation will make its way outside to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance and to observe two minutes silence at 11 o’clock.

Kings Hill, 10.30 a.m.

A special joint service takes place at 10.30 at the Running Airman Memorial on Gibson Drive with use of the Italian Market for larger crowds. Uniformed organisations will parade from the Control Tower to the Memorial for the service. Rev Matt Ross of Kings Hill Christian Fellowship and Rev Mark Montgomery of the Church of England will be leading the service.

West Malling, 2.30 p.m.

The Civic Service for Remembrance Sunday will take place at 2.30 p.m. in the afternoon. A parade will make its way up the High Street from about 2pm onwards. Please note the High Street will be closed to traffic while the parade is going on.

This year we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, and also the centenary of the beginning of the RAF with our local links to RAF West Malling. Rev David Green will also be on hand to participate in the service alongside other ecumenical guests.

After the service, wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial while the uniformed organisations form up in the road. Once again, the High Street will be closed around 3.30 p.m. in order for this to take place. This year, Rev Dave Baxter of West Malling Baptist and Rev David of St Mary’s will re-dedicate the memorial following the renovations that took place this year. In so doing, they will mirror what took place in 1921 when their predecessors first unveiled and dedicated the memorial for the people of West Malling.

More details are available in the Events section of this website.

 

 

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