Notices, 24 May 2020
There are various things that might be helpful to know during these extraordinary days.
Ascension Day service still available online
If you missed the Ascension Day service on Thursday, you can still watch it back online by visiting our YouTube channel. Since we could not be together in person this year, several Clergy and lay people instead participated in a pre-recorded service of prayer for Ascension Day, with Rev Jane Winter (pictured right), who works for our Diocese, as our guest speaker.
Thy Kingdom Come taking place now
Between Ascension Day and Pentecost, many churches will be praying as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. It’s not too late to get started and take part.
To find out more about how you can take part, we’ve created a page on our website and we’d encourage you to take a look and find out more about how you can be involved.
Ladies’ Meal Zoom Call
In recent months and years, our Benefice has run both a Men’s Meal and a Ladies’ Meal for socialising and fellowship across the churches. The Ladies group have started meeting on Zoom each Friday for a drink and a chat to help break the boredom and support one another. If you would like to take part, please contact us using the form on this website and we’ll put you in touch with the organisers so you can be included to receive a Zoom invite and the password.
Encouragements from Malling Abbey
The Sisters of the Anglican Benedictine Community at St. Mary’s Abbey in West Malling have been busy lately offering encouragement to our local communities and letting us know more of their life. They have recorded a video, published on YouTube, which is very much worth 20 minutes of your time to watch. You might want to make a note and watch it later when you have some time.
In the video they reflect on their calling and the joys and difficulties of cloistered life. It’s both poignant and beautiful and leaves the wider church with an interesting challenge to consider in the future.
With less traffic about, more people are hearing the bells of the Abbey when the Nuns pray. Conscious that many in West Malling may not know the meaning of the bells, the Sisters have contributed a Haiku to the window in the flower shop.
Nine strokes: the nuns’ bell
sounds across the air, lifting
minds and hearts to prayer.
Volunteer Networks in West Malling and Offham
St Mary’s in West Malling and St Michael’s in Offham are working with the respective Parish Councils, local clubs, other churches, community groups, societies and agencies to provide a network of volunteers who want to help, and link them with people who need help during the Coronavirus pandemic.
We now have approximately 150 volunteers in West Malling and about 70 in Offham and, so far, we are supporting around 80 people across the two communities with a variety of requests for help.
If you are fit and healthy and under 70 and are willing to support neighbours with picking up groceries or prescriptions, or running errands to the Post Office or similar, or you can help with befriending and speaking with people on the phone who otherwise live alone, please let us know.
Similarly, if you need help because you are elderly or vulnerable in other ways, or unwell, or needing to self-isolate and not leave the house at all, please let us know and we will fix you up with some people who live near you, who we have vouched for, and who have been given some basic training to help.
To sign-up to help or ask for help, please click the respective button below to find out more about the West Malling Volunteers if you live in West Malling. Or, if you live in Offham, click the button to sign-up to the Offham Community Network.
David’s day off
For the duration of the lockdown, David has decided to move his day off each week to Saturday. Without weekend commitments because of the lockdown and to help support family life, Saturdays will work better as a day off for now.
David’s annual leave taking place at present
Although David did not take his planned leave after Easter, he is taking the May half-term as a week of annual leave, as originally planned. Including his usual day off, he will be unavailable until this coming Friday, May the 29th.
Despite what it says above about his day off, he will be working on Saturday the 30th of May in the coming week to ensure all is ready for the Sunday’s online worship.
Amy Rutland writes about Fields of Life
Many people in St Mary’s congregation will know Amy Rutland. Both our churches will also remember the trip that Amy and other members of St Mary’s and St Michael’s undertook with Fields of Life last year to find out more about their work in Uganda. Amy has recently written a piece for the Fields of Life website about the situation in Uganda during this pandemic. She encourages us to think globally and act with compassion for those in other parts of the world where the impact of coronavirus is compounded by the lack of resources or economic resilience. Please do visit the site and consider whether you could offer any support.