Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Children's Society

Glad to be supporting the Children's Society at our #Christingle service this morning.

There's no sermon to share, as I spoke off the cuff at this, but we thought about the importance of listening and being listened to. Mary, a teenage mother who no one would have thought was important, found that God had taken notice of her when the angel came to her. He had listened to her and people like her, who needed his help in a world where they were at the mercy of powerful people. She listened to God and understood that, though she might be frightened at the thought of bearing God's son, God loved her and was doing something good for her.
Listening is at the heart of the Children's Society's work - listening to children and young people, refugees and migrants, children who have run away from home or care, children who have disabilities or problems. If you don't listen, you can't help. The Christingle too, speaks to us (not literally - that would be rather worrying!) but through its symbolism. The orange reminds us that the world is in God's hands. The cocktail sticks tell us that whatever season of life, or corner of the world we are in (interpretations vary!) God is with us in them. The sweets remind us that God is the giver of all good things. The red ribbon reminds us that helping others, as Christ did, comes at a cost, but that suffering isn't a sign that something has gone wrong - God can be with us in that too. The candle tells us that God can shine in the darkness, however deep it is.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

December and January Parish News from Seal Church

Christmas is just on the horizon, and this month's parish news from Seal Church contains details of the services and events here at Seal over the coming weeks. We hope there is something for everyone, from the quiet small-scale services of "Breathing Space" Holy Communion on Thursday evenings (8,15,22 Dec at 8pm) , candlelit and containing times of silence, to the (probably rather chaotic!) Christingle and Crib services which attract large numbers of families with children.
There are also opportunities to reflect online through our "One Word" reflections, which you can find on the blog here.

To get you in the Christmas mood, here is a slideshow made last Christmas.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

At the time of writing, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and the rest are homeless on the nights of Dec 11, 12,13,15,17,18,19,20 and 21…

I’m referring to our church travelling crib set,which is currently making its way around Seal School. If you would like to host it for a night, let me know. It will be brought to you by whoever had it the night before and you will need to pass it on to the next person on the list. You can use it as a focus for prayer, for telling the Christmas story. You can sing, have a party... it's up to you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Messy Church for Advent and Christmas this Sunday

Come along and join us at our Christmas Messy Church this Sunday afternoon (27th) from 3-4.30pm. There will be glitter...!
All ages are welcome and it's all very informal, so whoever you are, you'll be welcome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ideas for parents and godparents (and others!) to mark Advent and Christmas

Welcome to Next Steps in Winter, when one of the biggest events in the Christian calendar is just around the corner.

“I Can’t Wait for Christmas!”

Discover why waiting for Christmas is an important Christian tradition, and how you can get involved at church and at home.
Discover Advent

Your Church At Christmas

From Christingle to carols, there’ll be lots happening at your church this Christmas. Join in the fun and learn about the greatest story ever told.
What’s on in Church

Counting Blessings

In a season of presents and lots of food, these simple ideas help children take time to say ‘thank you’ to God for all that they have.
See Ideas

Dark Nights And Starry Skies

Cold winter nights can be very clear, so it’s a good time to see the stars. It’s a wonderful way to let children experience awe and wonder.
Look For Stars

Wishing you joy and peace this Christmas,


The Church of England Christenings Team

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Remembrance Sunday at Seal

Great turnout for Remembrance Sunday today. Really good to have Seal Cubs and Beavers with us, with their standards. They did very well and made their leaders and families rightly proud of them. Thanks to Kevin Bright for the photo of them and Patrick Coffey for the picture of the church with the Union flag flying.

Sermons from St Peter & St Paul, Seal, Kent: Remembrance Sunday: Living among the ruins

Sermons from St Peter & St Paul, Seal, Kent: Remembrance Sunday: Living among the ruins: Audio version here Lamentations 1.1-4, Luke 21.5-19   Aleppo: Reuters, Hosam Katan   The picture I’ve printed on your service sh...

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Guess what came in the post today?

Remember this...?
Back in June Seal village came together to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday with a street party.
During the street party we made a giant poster, adding our own drawings and messages.

It was a bit big to send to Buckingham Palace, so I photographed it and made it into a big card, including some photos from the party and sent that instead with the birthday greetings of Seal village and church.

And today...this came in the post.

So it looks as though the Queen appreciated our efforts!
Many thanks to all who made the day such a success.
I will put the letter up in church this weekend.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Website trouble

The main church website seems to be down at the moment. The webhosting service is having some sort of upgrade, so I suspect it is related to that. I earnestly hope it will be back soon, but in the meantime you can check out what is going on here, or on our facebook page.

UPDATE : Angelfire, which host the website have had an upgrade that ran into problems, followed by some sort of cyberattack, according to the information I've been able to discover (not a lot).  They are working on getting things back up and running.

UPDATE FRIDAY MORNING: HOORAY! The website is back up and running.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Seal Choir in action

Click on the link below for a track from the Choral Evensong on Sept 25th. The choir decided to do this as a one off treat, for themselves as well as for others. Many thanks to Philip Le Bas, our choir director, and Nicholas Castell, who played the organ for us. The choir is recruiting, and would welcome more singers of any voice. An ability (however basic) to read music helps, but you can learn as you go along, so if you can't read music don't let this put you off!

Nunc Dimittis by T.T. Noble.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Harvest at Seal Church

 Here are some photos of Seal Church's Harvest decorations.

At Messy Church last week we made four giant pictures representing the four seasons to decorate the church. God is with us in every season of the year, and every season of our lives. This is autumn....



...and summer.

At Sunday school this morning, the children made hedgehogs out of bread. Well done! They look really spiky!
Sunday school meets on the first Sunday of every month in the vicarage. Babs Bartholomew has some wonderful ideas to help the children explore and grow in faith.

They also made apple pigs!

There was space on the back of the service sheet, so I included a picture to take away and colour to help us think about the seasons of our lives and look for God's presence in them all. There are plenty of spare service sheets on the table at the back of church. If you live in or near Seal and would like one, feel free to pop in this week and pick one up.

... and the winners are...

Many thanks to Christine Mackinnon who judged our Scarecrow competition for us. 

Drum roll, please...
The winners were.... (with some comments from Christine in italics )

1st - The scarecrow crow, 41 Zion Street. Clever use of black binliners; a crow to scare
crows - cunning!; a very smart idea.

2nd -  BFG, 4 Childsbridge Way. Scary face!

3rd Ninja Turtle, Church Street Green. The face is just perfect - I loved him!

4th Toady Tony, 4 Middle Lane. A brilliant traditional scarecrow

5th Peg Leg Pirate Pete, Flat 4, Bretaneby.  Love the plank wedged into the window - good use of upper-floor window.

Also, Christine particularly loved
Hungry Caterpillar, Church Yard.  
Chez Seal, 41 High Street.  
Banana Man, Top-Banana Pre-school.  
and commented that ...
The mermaid (4 Childsbridge Lane) was appropriately disturbing, 
and 'Donald' (5 Childsbridge Road) was almost as scary as the real thing. 

She said that : Choosing between these scarecrows was tough. They were all superb.  

Thank you for making these impossible decisions for us, Christine. We really appreciate the time and trouble you took.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Seasonal fun at Messy Church for Harvest

We made pictures of the four seasons to display in church for our Harvest Festival next week. This is spring .
"Summer" involved handprints...

"Autumn" gives lots of opportunity for really messy gluing. 

"Winter" is coming along nicely.

Sometimes just gluing is fun...

The shakers were a great success, and added to our music.We worshipped in the vicarage garden.