Notices, 29 March 2020

Notices, 29 March 2020

There are various things that might be helpful to know during these unusual times of social distancing and self-isolation.

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 create a network of volunteers who want to help and link them with people who need help during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hopefully you will have had a leaflet through your door about it, or seen something online already. 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.

Our two churches have been pleased to back this community effort of all sorts of different groups and to lend our existing infrastructure of pastoral care, safeguarding, GDPR and privacy to the effort to enable a collective effort and provide some reassurance to those seeking 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.

West Malling   Offham

Further suspension of church activity

Following the Prime Minister’s announcements of further restriction on movements, St Mary’s and St Michael’s were further restricted in what we can and can’t do. Rev David provided an update earlier this week. You can watch what he had to say on YouTube.

Do you need a Prayer Card?

Rev David has produced a short service of Prayer for those in isolation at home. Laminated, easy-to-wipedown, copies were distributed to a number of people earlier this week; especially those who are elderly, vulnerable, those in isolation or unwell and also a few people that David thought might like a copy. If you didn’t get one and you would like one, you can either ask for one or download it from this website (pdf file) and print it off.

Fraud warnings

Message from Community Safety Unit, Tonbridge & Malling Police:

You should all be aware that there have been reports of persons claiming to be from the Health Authority knocking on doors and offering to take temperatures of elderly people. Please tell elderly relatives/neighbours not to let unknown people into their homes.

Further to this there are also coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious ‘safety measures’, hereby making money out of exploiting people’s fears over COVID-19.

(Editor comment: In regard to our Volunteer Networks we’ve set up in West Malling and Offham, our Volunteers will have an ID badge that they can show you to prove they are legitimate.)

Spadework Vegetable boxes and Collection service

The wonderful people at Spadework do veggie boxes that could be a real godsend for those who are isolated. Why not ask about whether you can sign up?

Spadework have also said:

Call us with your grocery, fresh fruit and veg, wine, beer and spirit orders. We have stocked up with essentials such as eggs, meat, pasta, bread flour, part-baked bread, tins of soup and more, as well as baked goods, biscuits, snacks and our usual range of luxury items. We’ll call you back with a total price once your order has been entered onto our till, take card payment over the phone, and let you know when the order will be ready to collect. At the agreed collection time, one of our team will bring the order out to your car. You can then check the goods and load them into your boot, whilst we keep our distance in order to ensure your safety. We may even be able to arrange delivery (subject to a delivery charge) if you live in Offham, West Malling or Kings Hill.
If you’re fortunate enough to look younger than 25 and have ordered alcohol. we will, of course, have to see some proof of age! We have good stocks of most of our lines at the moment, but are limiting the numbers of each item purchased in order to give everyone a chance to get what they need. Spadework Farm Shop Direct Dial Number: 01732 879 088 Current opening hours 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Also, please note that Spadework’s Garden Centre is open for business as usual.

The Swan are doing deliveries and a free dish of the day if you’re over 70 and self-isolating

Call 01732 521910 to find out more. You’ll have to excuse the dark humour on the menu!

News from Brazil

Daniel and SarahDear Friends,

What a strange time we are living in.  I really hope you are well as I write this update.  We are all well, thank God and are all at home as Schools are closed and we are not allowed to go to Revive.  However we feel a call to spend quality time with God and each other and are praying that in this time God would do a transforming work in us and prepare us for whatever is coming. The message we are receiving from our church leaders is to hold on to the three greatest things, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.  It is so tempting to start to worry about the future etc but we need to keep our focus on Jesus in the storm and find ways to reach out to people in love.

We felt our first step of working in the community was to build relationships and pray.  We started building relationships and were happy to have local Pastors round for tea.  It was a very positive meeting and both pastors expressed a desire to work together and build God’s Kingdom.  This is very encouraging because in our local area, sometimes people do their own thing and we feel our role is to bring unity. At this time we will continue to build relationships, bring unity, network where we can through the Internet and of course keep praying!

The children are homeschooling and are doing well with that.  Please pray for us as a family that we can make the most of this time especially in seeking God and spending time with each other and to discern how God wants us to respond. Please pray for our church leaders too. Stay close to God and those you love.  Stay connected and pray God’s kingdom come!

Much love from,
Sarah and Daniel”

Notices, 22 March 2020

Notices, 22 March 2020

There are various things that might be helpful to know during these unusual times of social distancing and self-isolation.

All Public Worship suspended

Hopefully you have already got the message, but St Mary’s and St Michael’s are sadly not able to offer Public Worship at present or any of our other regular activities. Find out more about that news on this website.

National Day of Prayer today!

The Presidents of Churches Together in England, including our Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, have issued a call to prayer in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is for all churches and people of prayer to join on Sunday 22nd March, Mothering Sunday. They write….

“This Mothering Sunday, 22nd March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds. At 7pm this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer. [Do be sensible when putting a candle in your window and ensure you can do this safely, without risk of starting a fire – preferably use an electric candle; if you don’t have one, please ensure that all draperies are kept far away from the candle and it cannot be knocked over by pets – or clumsy humans – and don’t leave it burning unattended for any length of time]

Community support

If you know of something that’s happening in West Malling or Offham to support those in isolation or those who are unwell, please let us know and we’ll happily publicise it here.

Offham Community Network is coming

St Michael’s is working with Offham Parish Council and eight other local clubs, societies and agencies to create a network of people who want to help and people who need help during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re very nearly ready to launch so watch out for an email or a leaflet through your door with details of how you can either ask for help, or volunteer to help others.

Spadework Vegetable boxes and Collection service

The wonderful people at Spadework do veggie boxes that could be a real godsend for those who are isolated. Why not ask about whether you can sign up.

Spadework have also said:

Call us with your grocery, fresh fruit and veg, wine, beer and spirit orders. We have stocked up with essentials such as eggs, meat, pasta, bread flour, part-baked bread, tins of soup and more, as well as baked goods, biscuits, snacks and our usual range of luxury items. We’ll call you back with a total price once your order has been entered onto our till, take card payment over the phone, and let you know when the order will be ready to collect. At the agreed collection time, one of our team will bring the order out to your car. You can then check the goods and load them into your boot, whilst we keep our distance in order to ensure your safety. We may even be able to arrange delivery (subject to a delivery charge) if you live in Offham, West Malling or Kings Hill.
If you’re fortunate enough to look younger than 25 and have ordered alcohol. we will, of course, have to see some proof of age! We have good stocks of most of our lines at the moment, but are limiting the numbers of each item purchased in order to give everyone a chance to get what they need. Spadework Farm Shop Direct Dial Number: 01732 879 088 Current opening hours 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Also, please note that Spadework’s Garden Centre is open for business as usual.

The Farmhouse are delivering (free to over 70’s)

They write “We are still open until we are told otherwise by the government and have taken the necessary steps to make sure all our staff and customers are safe when they are within our pubs. But if you, your family or a neighbour can’t visit us then your local is here to help! As of today (Friday 20th March 2020) we’ll be serving a take away menu of food and drink, all available at take away prices. Our menu will be available every day from 12pm to 9pm with 25% off food items and 50% off all drinks including bottles of wine. This will be available for a non-contact collection or delivery within five miles and our delivery service will be FREE to the over 70’s.

Find out more on their website www.elitepubs.com

The Swan are doing takeaways and a free dish of the day if you’re over 70 and self-isolating

Call 01732 521910 to find out more. You’ll have to excuse the dark humour on the menu!

Fraud warnings

Message from Community Safety Unit, Tonbridge & Malling Police:

You should all be aware that there have been reports of persons claiming to be from the Health Authority knocking on doors and offering to take temperatures of elderly people. Please tell elderly relatives/neighbours not to let unknown people into their homes.

Further to this there are also coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious ‘safety measures’, hereby making money out of exploiting people’s fears over COVID-19.

APCM News

St Michael’s, Offham had their Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) last weekend. Our thanks to Stephen Betts and Jane Jordan, our newly elected Churchwardens, to Associate Churchwarden Sonja Pitcher, to Deanery Synod reps Jane and Sonja, and to re-elected PCC members David Godfrey, Emily John and Becky Robinson-Hugill. The Annual Report is still available to take home and read from the back of church. It’s also available to download from the church website.

The Bishop of Rochester has recently written to confirm that for APCMs which have not yet taken place, he has signed a formal Instrument extending the time-frame for holding APCMs and Meetings of Parishioners to 31st October 2020. Current PCC members continue in office until the conclusion of the rescheduled APCM and Churchwardens now have to be admitted by 31st January 2021. St Mary’s will look to have their annual meeting after we’re allowed to hold public worship once again.

Concerning Coronavirus and Public Worship III

 

18 March 2020

Dear Worshipper

Further update regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Public Worship

I am writing to let you know that, as of yesterday, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have taken the difficult and extraordinary decision to suspend the Church of England’s usual pattern of Sunday services, mid-week gatherings and all other regular church activities until further notice.

I have also received reports from a couple of local households that the virus may be present already amongst some people who regularly attend our two churches. There are possible symptoms locally but no confirmation that it is COVID-19 because those people have not been tested.

Clearly, the decision to suspend activity in all parishes is not a decision to be taken lightly and it does not mean the Church of England has shut up shop. As the challenge of Coronavirus (COVID-19) grips the whole world, and as the British Government asks every individual and every organisation to rethink its life, the Archbishops are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve the people of England in a new way.

Here in our Benefice, several things will be happening with immediate effect.

  1. Both churches will remain open during daylight hours for anyone to visit and offer their own private prayers. Please observe all current hygiene recommendations.
  2. At 9.05 a.m. in Offham and 5.05 p.m. in West Malling I will be in church, I will ring the bell to symbolically let the Parish know I am praying and then say Common Worship Daily Prayer. Please don’t attend. However you may want to join in with me by saying the offices from home at the same time. Daily Prayer is available online from the Church of England website, or a copy of the book can be purchased online. You don’t have to join in every day, or twice a day. Join in when you can.
  3. I am preparing resources to feed your faith and spiritual life while at home. I am also preparing a Booklet especially for those who have been told to stay in self-isolation. Each Sunday, I will publish material on this website. I will provide written prayers, notices, a recorded sermon from me, and links to hymns to sing.
  4. We will also be taking steps to link people pastorally together. In particular I want to make sure those who are more elderly or vulnerable have support from someone younger amongst the church community who may be willing to offer help with shopping, picking up prescriptions, phone contact, encouragement and friendship. Even if we’re in isolation, we don’t need to allow anyone to feel isolated.
    If you are under 70 years of age and could volunteer to help others, let me know or keep an eye on the website for how to sign-up to help. Likewise, if you are over 70, or if your immune system is compromised and you’ve been told to self-isolate, or you are unwell already, please let me know or use the website to let me know so that we can offer you assistance and help.
  5. Finally, in coming days, some of the ‘machinery’ of our parish’s life will need to continue. I will need to work on a plan with the Churchwardens and our PCCs to make sure we can continue in ministry and mission, decision-making, attending to the fabric of our buildings, and managing parish finances. Provided you still have an income in this extraordinary global situation and you have the means to do so, I would strongly encourage you to continue your giving to your parish church. If our churches see a sudden drop in income, it does present a significant risk in the medium to long-term. If you don’t already give by Standing Order, I would ask you to seriously consider setting up a regular gift with your bank. Even if you don’t want to leave it in place long-term, doing so while this situation continues would really help while we are all unable to put anything into the collection Sunday by Sunday.
  6. On the other side of that coin, can I also ask that if you are in financial difficulty as a result of the Coronavirus situation, please do let me know in confidence. We would like to help you as much as possible. There are places I can turn for help and I suspect our Churches Together Foodbank and our vestry charity Relief in Need may need to be very active in the days to come.

Theologically-speaking, the Church is the Body of Christ and that is true whether we are gathered together on a Sunday or dispersed in our daily life. Regardless of these times, we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world. For a while, being Christian and being Church together will simply look and feel different. We have a calling now to private prayer and to humbly serve those in. I would encourage you to play your full part in the days, weeks and months to come.

This will most likely be the last Pastoral Letter for a while since the situation is now clear and most likely won’t change until such time as we are given permission to worship together again. Perhaps, with such freedom taken from us from a while, we will gain a new appreciation for the blessing of our amazing buildings, and the blessing we find when we gather as a community to praise God and pray. What a day that will be when we can sing in worship together once again!

Please do keep in touch. Let’s keep doing community together and being church together. Pick up the phone, send an email, use the website, Facebook or Twitter, get creative where you can. Whether we are unwell or not, vulnerable or not, I suspect we will all need one another, let alone the Lord’s everlasting grace and love, in the days that lie ahead.

Please be assured of my prayers for you. Please pray for me too.

Yours in Christ

Rev David Green
Vicar

Concerning Coronavirus and Public Worship II

13 March 2020

Dear Worshipper

Update regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Public Worship

I am writing with a further update and instructions concerning our activities at St Mary’s in West Malling and St Michael’s in Offham given the current public health concerns.

Firstly in regard to our local communications, what has become very clear is that this is a fast-moving and fluid situation and sending letters is a relatively slow way in which to try and communicate with everyone, even if it does ensure everyone gets the information. Therefore, while I will continue to write if there are major changes in guidance, I would ask you to keep an eye on the church website for updates. If you do not have any Internet access, please phone me so I can add you to a list of people I know I need to communicate with in other ways.

The Church of England has now issued further advice to churches to both replace (in some cases) or supplement all that I shared with you before. The key new information is:

  • Do not attend church if you are unwell or asked to self-isolate.
    Please phone me if this is the case so that I am aware and together we can make suitable arrangements for your inclusion and pastoral care.
  • The administration of the Chalice at Holy Communion is suspended.
    Holy Communion will be offered in one kind only (the bread) and the Priest alone is to receive the wine.
  • Everyone should stand at the Communion Rail.
    Please do not kneel at the rail or touch the rail with your hands.
  • Shaking hands, or other direct physical contact is suspended.
    During the Peace, simply greet those in your immediate vicinity with a smile and the words “Peace be with you”. Don’t move around the church to greet others.
  • Priestly blessings or prayers with the laying on of hands are suspended.
    Prayers will be given in such circumstances without physical touch.
  • Refreshments are suspended.
    There will be no tea and coffee after services until further notice.
  • Passing around Collection Plates or Bags is suspended.
    There will be a collection plate at the back of church as you enter. Please place your offering in the plate as you come in (or if you don’t already do so, take this as an opportunity to start giving by standing order instead). There is an important side point here in that I would ask that you do make sure you continue to give, as best as you’re able and within your means. Our churches cannot easily withstand a massive drop in giving if people are not in church and therefore are not making any financial contribution.
  • Use of the Chasuble is suspended and other robes are to be regularly cleaned.
    Because I lack confidence that our historic and somewhat elderly Chasubles and Stoles would survive regular deep cleans, the only other option is not to use them. Clergy will be responsible for regular washing of their own cassock albs, cassocks, surplices, stoles and preaching scarves (as is always the case anyway).

Where it does not contradict what is written here, all of the previous advice I passed on to you still applies. The most key bit of advice remains that the best way of protecting everyone from the spread of a virus is for everyone to use universal good hygiene, – this means everyone, all the time, effectively disrupting the virus.

  • Catch it – sneeze into a tissue.
  • Bin it – bin the tissue.
  • Kill it – wash your hands.
  • Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands.

Could church services and other church events be cancelled?

At this time there is no guidance to do that. Parishes have been asked to prepare a contingency plan should government advice change. I am now preparing that plan with our Churchwardens, other Clergy and Lay Ministers and PCC. Everything I said before about the benefits of meeting still applies and it is in times of adversity, that our community strength gives testimony to our faith in Christ, provides encouragement to all, and supports the weak, the vulnerable and the isolated. If the Government does ban public gatherings, the contingency plan will cover what happens next but, amongst other things, I intend to try and use our website to try and provide worship, prayer and a sermon each week for you to engage with from home.

Pastoral Visiting

Church of England guidance is now that those who are told to self isolate and/or are unwell, cannot receive pastoral visits. Instructions are for Clergy to do pastoral care over the phone in such circumstances. When I am visiting others who have decided not to attend church as a precaution, other ministers and I will continue to observe all sensible precautions in personal hygiene myself before and after such visits. Of course, if I or other Ministers get unwell, our contingency plan will need to cover that eventuality as well.

Keep talking!

It’s obviously vital that we keep a good flow of communication. Keep an eye on the website. I will write when appropriate. If you are one of our older members and decide to stop attending for a while, please let me know you’re doing that so we can support you. If your immune system is compromised for any reason, please let me know. If you become unwell and are told to self isolate, please let me know.

As we do each week, please join me in prayer for all those in authority, for our medical services and those on the front line, and for those who are unwell and their families.

Yours in Christ

Rev David Green
Incumbent

Concerning Coronavirus and Public Worship

5 March 2020

Dear Worshipper

You will be aware of the media coverage of the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and our own Government’s recent announcements aimed to limit the spread in the UK and mitigate the risks to public health.

It is always important to keep things in balance and not to feed unnecessary fear. More people will die around the world this year because of influenza, while many people who get Coronavirus may not even realise they have it. There is a sense in which this is primarily a moral panic. However, on the other hand, as fragile beings, we tend to be better off over-interpreting rather than under-interpreting danger and the disease does appear to present a particular risk to elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Therefore it seems timely, to write to everyone on the Electoral Roll and to provide a reminder of best practice in public worship. This is not just to combat Coronavirus but to avoid the spread of any infection. I think it is also important to stress that we need not avoid divine worship out of fear of infection, even as we balance the needs of fellow worshippers who are may be physically vulnerable and who may need extra support.

The following guidance is widely accepted in the Church of England as best practice and was recently re-endorsed by the Bishop of Rochester for all parishes in this Diocese. I would ask everyone to be mindful of the following:

Advice for Holy Communion

Washing hands: Myself and other ordained Priests presiding at the Eucharist, those handling the Chalice and servers will continue to follow proper hand washing and hand sanitizing techniques prior to the start of the service. We also use hand sanitizers immediately before the Preparation of the Table and the Eucharistic Prayer. We always do this anyway, and will continue to do so during the current scare. Congregations are also asked to follow general public health advice concerning washing your hands. Rather than sing “Happy Birthday” twice as you wash your hands, say the Lord’s Prayer instead! It takes about the same amount of time and will be of more spiritual benefit to you.

Intincting is not ideal: Intinction (dipping wafer into wine) is often felt to be preferable if you do have a stinking cold or other illness since it avoids the Communicant placing their lips on the Chalice and is sometimes seen as a courtesy to your fellow worshippers. However, it can be counter-productive if, by dipping, your fingers go in the wine! Those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be hazardous are also at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine.

The answer is to receive Holy Communion in one kind: If you feel unwell or are concerned about sharing the Chalice, the solution is not to to intinct (dip) but to remember that Anglican teaching and theology agrees that it is “valid” to receive the Sacrament in one kind since to do so is to receive the Sacrament in its entirety. If you do not wish to drink from the Chalice, simply receive the consecrated bread alone.

The Peace: In welcoming and greeting each other in church and as we exchange the Peace we will often shake hands. By washing hands thoroughly and by using clean tissues we can help to reduce the risk of infection significantly. It is perfectly fine not to shake hands with others if you are concerned about a spread of germs and simply to greet one another with the words ‘Peace be with you’, a smile and a wave. I have also asked our Churchwardens to ensure there is handwash available at the rear of church.

Advice for Pastoral Visiting

It is possible that we see a rise in the number of requests for Pastoral Visits at home and it is really important not to avoid any of our brethren who are unwell and in need of our love and support. Some may be ill themselves and told to self-isolate. Others, particularly those who are elderly or physically vulnerable in some way, may do so as a precaution and wish to avoid attending on Sunday for a period of time.

I want to reassure anyone in such circumstances that I will be very happy to conduct such pastoral visits and/or to do Home Communion with you. I will, of course, observe all sensible precautions in personal hygiene myself before and after such visits.

However, I will also need to call on the help of those who have been trained to operate in Pastoral Ministry as well and I would ask for your understanding if you are visited by someone from the Church but don’t get to see the Vicar. Particularly at this time when I am without administrative support, a rise in requests for visits will need to be carefully managed and fitted around my other commitments.

A final word…

Whether we are talking about Coronavirus or any other infectious illness, there is a balance to be struck in how we engage with the church community we call home when we, or people around us, are sick. I would encourage those who are not vulnerable to infection and are not unwell not to make decisions about their attendance at public worship on the basis of fear or panic. The Scriptures exhort us not to neglect to meet together, but to encourage one another (Heb 10.25) and faced with the panic of our society, the apostle John reminds us that there is no fear in love and God’s love casts out fear.

Furthermore, our Christian community gathering on Sundays for divine worship can be a helpful bulwark against difficulties and should, therefore, be embraced rather than avoided. Gathering for worship enables us to support one another, spot those who are missing for pastoral follow-up, organise ourselves to support the sick, and to pray.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns about the contents of this letter, have questions about our practice within worship or wish to arrange for a home visit.

Yours in Christ

Rev David Green
Incumbent

Annual meetings 2020

Photo by idono from FreeImages

Between March and May, it is the time of year when our parishes host their Annual Meetings*, sometimes known as the APCM.

In line with Charity law, the churches report on the year previous and publish their financial accounts. In addition, various officers are elected to serve in the coming year.

If you attend worship at one of our churches, please do make this meeting a priority. Even if you can’t be present, do take the time to read the reports (provided on this website as downloads) so that you can review all that has taken place in the last year, see how we are doing financially and (hopefully) be encouraged by the many good things that have been happening.

In each of the churches, we are also looking for new people to join our Parochial Church Councils (or PCC). PCC is a great opportunity to serve the church and to be a key part of the decision-making processes for our community. If you want to be a part of the key discussions affecting our future life, help to manage our building and finances, and get stuck in to seeing things happen, we would love to have you involved. Please consider standing.

St Michael’s Offham host their APCM on the 15th of March. St Mary’s West Malling host their APCM on the 17th of May.

Annual Report downloads

  • St Mary’s, West Malling Annual Report 2020
    (including Church Activities separate report) – not yet published.

* – Technically an ‘Annual Parochial Church Meeting’ or APCM.

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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