Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some of Seal's Scarecrows

Some of this year's Scarecrows. Many thanks to Jenny Bensted for most of these photos. I'm sure there are others I haven't spotted or which are still being made! It's not too late if you want to make one.
Worst witch.


Scarecrow with added ducks...

A day at the beach.

A useful message to passing traffic in the High Street

Part of a family of scarecrows.


This one is mine, in the churchyard.

Outside the school, made by one of the classes there.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Autumn ideas for families with children

Welcome to Next Steps Autumn 2017. Autumn is a big time for feeling thankful and being a blessing to others if we can. It’s also a season of remembering those who have died - those we knew and loved, and those who died in war. Families can be involved in it all, both at home and in your local church.

Huge thanks

Now is a great time to get involved in the big thank you celebrations of Harvest Festivals and learning more about why saying ‘thanks’ is more than just good manners.

Kindness counts

There are so many ways to be kind. Find out what Jesus said about it and try out some simple acts of kindness in everyday life.

Love, loss and remembering

All families face loss, but at this time of year, both at home or in church, there are lovely ways to be involved in remembering those who have died.

Loving and giving

Being generous isn’t always about money. We can help and bless other people with our time and talents too. Discover how giving makes a difference.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

A message from Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees

Hello, everyone. This is another invitation to our next meeting (28 September, details below), and a call out for specific support we’re looking for right now.

1.    The 4th meeting of Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees (SWR) will be on Thursday 28 September, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, at  the Vine Evangelical Church in Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 3AT. Many thanks to Stan and Guy for supporting us with the generous provision of their excellent meeting rooms. At the meeting, the SWR core group will update on the current situation, the support activity that has been provided since our last meeting, and our future plans. Please let us have suggestions for the agenda, and come along on the evening. 

2.    Please let us know if you can help with any of the following:
a.    Introductions to private landlords who might be willing to take part in the government-funded rental scheme and provide a house for a family of Syrian refugees.
b.    Some more people to help with running "out and about" visits for the family. This will require DBS clearance at enhanced level (to cover children and vulnerable adults). If you already have this DBS clearance within the last 12 months, you won’t need to submit a new application form as SDC can view your clearance online. If you do not, we will send you a form for completion and it only takes 2-3 weeks. [Thanks to those who have already volunteered for this].
c.    Some more people willing to do simple ‘taxi trips’ in and around the Sevenoaks area (including the next Syrian family social in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 23 September). This help does not require DBS clearance.
d.    Lawn mower
e.    Play Station
f.     Introduction to a qualified driving instructor who’d be willing to provide free lessons. This does not require DBS.
g.    A storage facility. This would help us with managing the generous amounts of donated items, and help us use those for the next families.

Finally, a message from Empathy Action. This organisation “aims to increase empathy and raise awareness of global deprivation thereby igniting a desire to take compassionate action”.

They say that “to begin to really understand another human being, you first need to walk a mile in their shoes.”  Empathy Action invites you to do just that in this new live interactive experience. Take part in this hard hitting race for refuge as we recreate the desperate and dangerous journeys refugees are enduring every day in the biggest crisis of our time.

Our challenging new piece is firmly based in facts, first hand accounts and case studies of this global issue to bring home to participants the human stories behind the headlines.

Empathy Action is now looking for volunteer cast members, backstage crew, carpenters and sign-writers to deliver this experience.  We plan to develop a pool of performers to prepare over the next few months and then take the experience to schools and other groups at various dates during 2018.  For the cast we need people of any age who are comfortable improvising around a core script, interacting with the participants, and delivering powerful personal stories. On the technical side, we need people with practical skills. For more information contact

Thank you. We hope to see you at the Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees meeting on the 28th September!

Humphrey Pring

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees