WELCOME TO THE OCTOBER EDITION OF
GOOD NEWS FOR ASHFORD
TEAM RECTOR'S MESSAGE - OCTOBER 2021
Centred on Jesus
Last month, I wrote about how those who live by faith in the risen Christ can look forward in hope. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as we try to bring into focus our vision, goals, and priorities for the next five years, as part of Mission Action Planning.
At one level, churches are in the same boat as many other institutions in our society at the moment. Like them, we are struggling on (at least) two fronts. Long-term social changes, including a pervasive individualism that locates identity and value within the self, work against the cross-generational loyalty on which historic institutions rely. And then there are the much more immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving those still committed to such institutions both exhausted and drained of resources and in need of extraordinary energy to respond .......
A small number of people have been very generous with time, equipment and expertise to enable us to offer online Sunday services over the past eighteen months. That’s been of immense value to us as Christian communities. We knew, however, that ‘broadcasting’ Sunday morning services from our church buildings, once we were worshipping there again, would be something we would struggle to maintain indefinitely, because of the strain it puts on those supporting it.
At the same time, we’re also very conscious that there are people in our churches who are not able to come to a service in one of our buildings, or who continue to have concerns about the risk of Covid-19 infection through doing that. They remain valued members of our church family. We want to make sure they can continue to be part of our worship and our fellowship week by week.
Following discussion among the Parish Leadership Team and the PCC, what we’d like to trial in the next couple of months is providing an online service at 4 p.m. on a Sunday for the whole parish, which will be led by an ordained or lay minister from their home. That means they don’t need others to assist them with the technology, and also that we can make fuller use of the possibilities for fully online worship. We expect the service to be around.....................
A number of us got together at Kingsnorth Church on 8 September for a review of communications with Anna Drew, the communications officer for the Canterbury Diocese. One of the ideas to come out of that was to move this email bulletin from monthly to weekly, which should mean it gets shorter and easier to read, and also reduce the need for lots of extra messages going out from the office each month. We know the transition may not be easy and we’ll have to see whether it’s sustainable. If you have suggestions about this – or indeed items you’d like included – do let Phil Sibbald know.
23rd October – mini-conference for all LLT / LMT / Leadership Team members and PCC members, St Francis’ church [please note change of venue].
30th October – St Mary’s Community Centre, Kennington – Autumn Supper & Raffle. 2-course meal (Bring your own drinks), £8 adults, £5 school age or below.
Every Saturday – 10 am – 12 noon – Community Cafe, St Mary’s Ashford.
Every Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 1.00 pm – inSpire Café, St Mary’s Willesborough.
20th November – St Mary’s Willesborough, Christmas Fayre................
On Saturday 9th October, St Mary’s Kennington hosted a coffee morning to release a book of poetry on mental health and poetry reading. One of the parishioners at Kennington suffers from a mental health issue and is also an amazing poet. It was suggested that we put a book of her poem’s which was a mixture of dealing with mental health and other poems.
It was a very emotional and educational morning for all who attended. Over £400 was raised.
Copies of the book of poems titles “They call us Schizophrenics and other poems” is available for £5.00. If you would like to order a copy, please contact the parish office on 01233 620433
PRAYING FOR AND WITH ONE ANOTHER
Week beginning 17th October
Loving Lord, we pray for the Local Leadership Teams as they meet together on the 23rd. For each person present on the day, we thank you. Only you truly know what we are setting out to accomplish. We have an idea, a thought, a vision but only you have the complete picture.
As the season of flu jabs begins and Covid vaccinations continue to be given, we pray particularly for all those who work in medicine and those researching new treatments that help us to stay well.
Week beginning 24th October
For our children and youth activities, on Sundays and at other times during the week; for all of the children and families that attend, support and volunteer at these.............