Wednesday, November 06, 2019

A message from Bishops James and Simon on the General Election

View this email in your browser
Wednesday 6 November, 2019

A message from Bishop James and Bishop Simon on the General Election

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As Advent and Christmas appear over the horizon, so now we face a General Election on December 12.

We are writing to encourage you and your church members to engage with all three in a way that bears witness to the coming Kingdom of God.
Around the Election, specifically, to pray for generosity in debate, wisdom in policy forming, and to show hospitality in offering our buildings as places for hustings so the democratic process can be enabled.
The way we discuss issues of local and national importance has become bitter and divisive.

It is tempting to think this is a function of the impasse over Brexit, but there are signs it goes deeper and wider than this.  Social media has opened up a vista of nastiness where public servants are being threatened in the ordinary course of their duties.

We are also slowly waking up to the way those who want to undermine our democracy are using social media to set people against one another and to confuse and demoralise all.

Both may be evident in this Election.  Meanwhile, trust in the institutions that glue us together and help build community is being eroded at just the moment we can ill afford this.
We are called to seek the common good in our witness, as the prophet Jeremiah eloquently expressed when he encouraged the Babylonian exiles to ‘seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you’ (Jer. 29:7).

For the exiles, this would have been a hard pill to swallow, and it sets us a goal of praying for the welfare of all people, including those we disagree with and may also dislike.
As time passes, it feels like there is less of a coherent set of ethics with which to shape our common life.  The language of community is routinely deployed, but it feels evanescent, like the echo of a voice in a cave, rather than the voice itself. 
Our prayer is for the development of a vision in the UK which is rooted in the character of God and will stand it in good heart for the changes that lie ahead.

The local church is well placed to help in the necessary process of healing and reconciliation that we face; to encourage true community where the voiceless and the most vulnerable have their role.

We have included some resources below that you might find useful as you explore your place in this process.
Shortly after the Election, the Church will be into the season when it celebrates the Word made flesh.

Words are sacred because they find their origin in Christ.

The best witness we can make to God’s salvation in Christ is to live in truth ourselves, to reflect openly, honestly and with integrity on our own lives, that they may shine more brightly with the light of Christ.
Later on in the letter that Jeremiah sends to the exiles in Babylon, the Lord says:

‘For surely I know the plans I have you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope’ (Jer. 29:11).

This is our prayer for the UK and we would ask you to join us in this.
Thank you so much for the generosity and faithfulness you offer, and the daily sacrifices you make for the sake of the Gospel.    

Yours in Christ

Bishop James, Bishop of Rochester

Bishop Simon, Bishop of Tonbridge
Useful links and resources

You may find it useful to explore some of these resources as you reflect how you and your church can engage with the electoral process and with others:
  • Digital Charter - The Church of England has created a digital charter and some social media guidelines to encourage individual Christians and churches to help make social media and the web more positive places for conversations to happen.
  • Prayer for the General Election - Share this prayer on your social media channels and with your church.
  • Christians in Politics - This organisation has produced various videos around the role people of faith can have in allowing good debate to happen and being involved in politics.
Copyright © 2019 DIocese of Rochester, All rights reserved.

Friday, November 01, 2019

"Know Your Neighbours" in Seal: November update from Know Your Neighbours

Want to know what is going on in Seal in the coming months. The Know Your Neighbours blog has all the lowdown!

"Know Your Neighbours" in Seal: November update from Know Your Neighbours: We held our November 100 Club Draw this morning at the Friday Group in the Church Hall. This month we were playing with 56 numbers, so that ...

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Seal Ladies' Pamper Evening treatment list

OCT 24 – 3-9PM

Treatment Price List for the October event:
Facials with Tanya 20 mins £20
Mini Facials with Derryn £10
Back neck and shoulder Massage with Derryn 20 minutes £10
Leg massage with Derryn £10
Reflexology with Derryn £10
File, and paint fingers or toes with Derryn £10
Massage Indian Head with Claire £10
Swedish upper back with Claire £15
Seated Back neck shoulder with Claire 20 mins £10
Arm, leg, hand or foot with Tina £10 for 15 mins
Healing massage with Jo 15 mins £10
Dermoplaning with Sasha 40 mins £30
Indian head massage with Michelle £10 for 20 mins
Indian Head Massage with Derryn £10 20 minutes
Hand or foot reflexology with Michelle £10 for 20 mins
Reflexology with Angela
Reiki with Claire £15
Reiki with Angela
Mini mani polish or gel with Sarah Reflex Nails £14
Mini pedi polish or gel with Sarah Reflex Nails £14
Mini ped and mani with Sarah Reflex Nails £26 (full set of nail treatments for hands and feet)
Mini manicure with Zoe £10 normal polish / £13 gel
Mini ped with Zoe £15
Mini man with Sarah H
Mini ped with Sarah H

Monday, October 07, 2019

Seal Scarecrows round up (and results!)

Pictures of all the Scarecrow competition entries can be seen here, in a collection of pictures made by Robert Mitchell. Many thanks, Robert !

As a pdf file

And the winners are...

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

More Scarecrows

Some more magnificent Scarecrows! 
Stick Man

Maya, mermaid guardian of the ocean

A swimmer doing an elegant front crawl up the Allotment fence.

Where's Wally? He's here in Seal!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Great Messy Church today

We had a great time at Messy Church this afternoon exploring our five senses and giving God thanks for the world we perceive through them.
We made pew ends for the harvest service with all sorts of different textured things stuck to them, fruit kebabs and blind tasting. We played with lavender scented dough, and made chromatography pictures and musical instruments, which were used enthusiastically in our worship at the end. Many thanks to all who helped and all who came and enjoyed the afternoon.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Some of the scarecrows (so far)

Some great scarecrows so far - not a comprehensive collection, just those that people have spotted and taken a photo of so far - , and it's only the first week of our scarecrow competition - plenty of time to enter yours if you haven't made one yet. The details are here . Many thanks to Janetta and Jenny for the photos.

Santa has dropped in early to give a plug to our village "Christmas light switch on" on Sat 7th Dec and village party.

An elegant acrobat/dancer

This chap is taking off for a ride in a hot air balloon.

Spiderman will be along in a minute to help us out, if only he can get out of his own spider web!

Another superhero around the corner

Looks like someone's got a tiger coming to tea.

We're all puzzling about the Beaver encampment  and the 20 green (and other colours) bottles hanging on the wire. It's certainly a talking point!
Update: having just talked to Helen, the "Chip" (Beaver leader), apparently it's all about recycling, the Beaver's theme for this term. The bottles are recycled, and they've recycled a compost bin to make Chip (honestly, Helen doesn't look like this...) Thumbs up to the Beavers. Maybe we should introduce the Greta Thunberg scarecrow (below) to them...?

This scary looking chap is on the green too.

Fortunately Seal is under the capable supervision of this pair of farmers in Church Farm.

And we have the Good Shepherd watching over us too in the churchyard. This is mine!

A bear going for a bike ride.

Glad to see we have a man of science among us too.

This chap is set to dazzle in his stripy get up.

And we have our very own Greta Thunberg, reminding us to care for our planet.

And if you are feeling peckish after all this, Ganga restaurant have someone on hand to whip you up a delicious meal as ever!

Friday, September 06, 2019

September Newsletter from Rochester Diocese

Thursday 5 September 2019

Welcome to the September edition of Rochester Diocese's monthly e-newsletter
Events and Training

Communities urged to remember victims of knife crime as Knife Angel arrives

The Knife Angel has arrived at Rochester Cathedral, marking the start of a month of activity in the Diocese on the issue of knife-crime.

Standing at 27 feet tall, it is made of 100,000 confiscated knives and is recognised as the national monument against violence and aggression.

Recent figures show that there has been an 80% in the UK since 2014, with Kent witnessing the fastest rise in the country. Schools across Medway and beyond have been invited to special viewings and visitors are invited to sign a pledge, never to carry a knife.

A conference looking at solutions to knife-crime will also take place (The Point, 13 September) and a special service to remember the victims of knife-crime will be held in the Cathedral at 5pm on Saturday 21 September - all our welcome

Read more here or watch the short film above.

Diocesan Update
All you need to know this month from the Diocese and National Church

We are delighted to announce that Matthew Girt has been appointed as the new Diocesan Secretary.
Read more here

The autumn edition of Together magazine has now arrived! Creative outreach is at the heart of the stories in this edition, plus great interviews, reviews and resources. Look out for it in your local church, or read it online here
The Government plans to introduce a new system of registration for marriages, including church weddings, in England and Wales. Find out more here
A series of blogs and personal reflections celebrating women's ministry in all its forms will be posted on the Diocesan website throughout the Autumn. Read more here

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

Aylesford makes 'less plastic' pledge
Parishioners at St Peter and St. Paul’s Church are pledging to use less plastic this Creationtide. Read more
Parish overseas links flourish
Summer has seen a number of visits by parish groups to our overseas partnerships Read more
School's stella start to new term
St. George’s CE Primary in Bromley have had an amazing start to their new academic term. Read more
Festival fun thanks to fund
Young people from St. Justus benefit from Children & Young People Fund. Read more

Events and Training

View local and Diocesan events in our What's On Calendar. Add your own event too! You can also explore the full range of courses and events available at:
  • St. Benedict's Centre here
  • St. Augustine's College of Theology here
  • Diocese's Spiriitualty Network here
19 September, Diocesan Office

We're delighted to be offering another free practical day with the National Digital team, designed to explore how churches can make the most of social media and websites, with the aim of helping them reach their community.

Our goal is that everyone leaves feeling empowered to try out new features, and with plenty of ideas to put into practise.

More details 

26 September 2019, 10am to 7pm St Benedict's Centre, West Malling, 

A day offering taster sessions and access to a wide range of discipleship resources to suit different church traditions, settings, and groups.

Ideal for church and house group leaders working within the Diocese of Rochester looking to grow disciples. Including: The Bible Course Jesus Shaped People,The GOLD project, and Jesus Shaped Life from the Anglican Communion….plus more

Book your free place here
28 September, 9:30am, Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone

A one day conference to mark the recent consolidation of the archives of Kent’s two Church of England dioceses, Rochester and Canterbury, under one roof at the Kent History and Library Centre.

Speakers will exploring some of the rich diversity of material found in these collections.

Tickets: £12, includes buffet lunch. Booking essential: ring 03000 420673, email: or visit Kent History and Library Centre
5 October, 9.30 am to 4pm St Benedict's Centre, West Malling, 

A day conference looking at how churches can shape their practices and teams to offer authentic welcome.

Led by Archdeacon Andy Wooding Jones, Archdeacon of Rochester and the Rev Helen Burn, vicar at St. Justus Church, Rochester.

£20 incl. refreshments.
The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults in our churches is of utmost importance and the Diocese takes its responsibilities in this area very seriously. We have a range of policies, forms and advice notes as well as a regular programme of training to assist parishes with their safeguarding needs.
C2: Leadership safeguarding training 
  • Please contact the Safeguarding team for on information on future dates.
Online modules: A new version of C0 is now available - there is no requirement to retake if you have completed this previously. C1 is also available online.

They are both  recommended for anyone who needs a basic level of awareness of safeguarding.
C3 Clergy and Lay Ministers Safeguarding Training

  • Wednesday 04/12/19 at St John’s Church, 251 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3JN Book here
If you have any questions about Safeguarding, or need to report an issue, please contact the Safeguarding team here or call them on 01634 560 000.


Top resources to support you in your work, life and faith - or just to share with others.
Between now and 4 October, the Church of England marks the Season of Creationtide. Click here for free liturgical and prayer resources. Look out for #Creationtide posts including prayers, stories and podcast sermons on the Diocese's social media channels.
If you're already looking ahead to Christmas, sign up now to receive early notice of the national church's #FollowtheStar material. Composer Robin Mayhew has also composed a new carol, free for churches to add to their Christimas reptoire. Find more details here

Vision and Aims

RESOURCE -  Planning for Growth: Enabling parishes to establish local mission plans which give focus and energy to worshipping communities and achieve measurable outcomes.
  • Called To Grow is a new five step process to help parishes to review, plan and deliver mission. A toolkit to support parishes with the steps is now available.
  • Growth Enablers are soon to be appointed to each archdeaconry to support parishes during the review period, and as they implement their actions.
  • They will build a network of volunteers with different experience, who will offer to support churches through this journey.
To find out more and to view the toolkit visit:

Vacancies and appointments
Archdeaconry of Bromley & Bexley
Archdeaconry of Rochester
Lay and volunteer posts
Archdeaconry of Tonbridge
Volunteer & other posts
Copyright © 2019 DIocese of Rochester, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a role-holder within the Diocese of Rochester.

Our contact details are:
DIocese of Rochester
Boley Hill
RochesterKent ME1 1SL
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book