Notices, 6 September 2020

Notices, 6 September 2020

Here are the latest notices and relevant information for the Benefice.

Our churches are now open again for Public Worship

Our two churches are now open once again each week for Public Worship. However, it is not quite as simple as just throwing open the doors and welcoming everyone back. Because of two metre distancing rules, our capacity is severely restricted. We have had to create groups in which people can rotate their attendance in the building and take part in Online Worship on the Sundays when other groups are in church.

Therefore, it helps enormously if you inform us ahead of each Sunday whether you wish to come or not so that we can work out whether we have capacity for you. Please click the button below for the correct page for your church to find out more about the changes, what we need you to know and what we need you to do.

Worship at
West Malling
Worship at
Offham
It may take you a bit of time to watch, read and work out what you want to do about worship in church. So we advise you to enjoy the Online Worship first and perhaps look at this information later!

BCP service this coming Wednesday, the 9th of September

During August, we have been hosting the 8 a.m. Sunday Book of Common Prayer congregation on a Wednesday at 9.30 a..m. and we said we would review at the start of September. Since David is just returned from annual leave, we will give a little more time for due consideration of how we move forward and continue with the current plan this coming week.

There will be a Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service this Wednesday, the 9th of September, starting at 9.30 a.m.

We are advertising for two new Cluster Administrators

It’s been a long time coming (because of the lockdown) but we are finally in a position to advertise for two new Cluster Administrators to work part-time with Rev David and other local Clergy.

Find out more elsewhere on the church website, including details of how to request an information pack and application form. Even if it’s not for you personally, please do share the news amongst your networks so we can get the word out.

Beirut appeal

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in support of Embrace ME and their work, as we sought to offer help and express solidarity with the people of Beirut after the recent explosion in the city docks.

In total, we were able to raise £2,450.04 between St Michael’s and St Mary’s. The money was wired to Embrace last week for distribution where it is most needed.

Ride and Stride, 12th of September

The annual fundraising Ride and Stride in aid of the Friends of Kent Churches takes place this year on Saturday the 12th of September. This year has seen many people dust off their bikes so let’s hope we may be able to get MORE people involved this year.

The idea is to either walk or cycle to a number of churches. You can decide how many or how few you want to visit. Riders and walkers seek sponsorship with money given for each church visited, planning their own routes and timings between churches. Half of the money you raise goes to Friends of Kent Churches, the other half goes to the parish church of your choice and we hope you will specify either St Mary’s or St Michael’s!

Last year, the event raised £140,602 across the county with over 700 churches represented amongst those who took part. Friends of Kent Churches give grant aid to Kent churches of any denomination or age to help them repair and maintain their buildings.

If you want to find out more, folk in Offham should contact Jane Jordan on 07973 817 883. Meanwhile, West Malling riders and striders should contact Mary Gibbins on 01732 870 643. The Ride and Stride website is also available here.

Women’s Refuge

Domestic Violence has been a major issue during lockdown. For women who live in fear of such violence, being closed off from the world has the potential to only make things worse. Our local Women’s Refuge is running low on dry goods and toiletries and has put out an appeal for fresh supplies. Gail Crutchfield is happy to collect them from you and take them to the refuge. Please phone Gail at 01732 845187.

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.

In both communities, the organisers are considering next steps as the lockdown is eased and there are fewer people in need of help. More and more of those who had asked the volunteer network for help are now getting out and about more and managing their own affairs once again.

We are continuing to run the networks for the time being as they have been run. We are conscious of the risk of a second wave and want to be ready if that should occur. We will be reviewing the networks as Summer turns to Autumn to see if they are still needed or not.

David’s day off

Rev David’s day off this week is Friday the 11th of September.

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