Sunday, September 23, 2018

Messy Fun

We were thinking about gratitude at our Messy Church today. We made a banner by printing with leaves. Scroll to the end to see the finished article.

A good turn out of all ages - hard at work!

We made gratitude wheels, with things we were thankful for underneath the wheel to be revealed as you turned it.

And we made leaf lanterns.

The light shining through the leaves was very pretty. We sang our thankyous for the beauty of autumn later in our worship.

Somehow we always start fairly organised, but by halfway through the session all the activities are jumbled up together. We could have each activity on a separate table, but we like talking to each other, so we embrace the "messy" in Messy Church and work through the chaos!

We made place mats, which I laminated. Most had things drawn on them that we were thankful for, but this one was painted in autumn colours. There are graces to say before meals printed on the mats. We said (and sang) some of them later, before our tea. 

As ever, Ali wanted to show off her creations. Well done, Ali!

Tada! Here is the finished banner, with the tape peeled off to show the words. Great work everyone! It will go in church for Harvest on Oct 7.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

You are invited to a musical soiree

Come and join us for an hour's music, followed by cake and wine (or a soft drink) this Saturday at 4pm.

Messy Church this Sunday

Come and join us at Messy Church this Sunday. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Have you made your scarecrow yet?

Scroll down for the forms you will need to enter our scarecrow competition and (from about Oct 3rd) to vote for your favourites. Just click on the pictures and print out the form. You can also pick up these forms from Highland Printers in Church Farm and from the back of the church. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Children's Choir and Singing Starters start this week

If you have a singing child (and ever child is a singing child in my experience) why not come and join us. Pre-school children, including babies, are welcome every Wednesday morning for Singing Starters -  music and rhyme, followed by refreshments in Seal Church hall from 10-10.30am. Older children, from YR upwards, may enjoy our Children's Choir, with fun songs, singing games and the very beginings of learnign to read music. Both sessions are led by Anne Le Bas and are free. Singing is a great relaxation, and helps children's learning in many ways too.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Come and join us to make Seal a "Talking Village"

We had a great time at our first "Talking Village" session in Birch's Cafe in Seal Hight street. You can drop in any Monday between 1.45 and 3pm to join us for a chat. Just turn up, buy a drink and come and join us. The "talking village" table will have a sign on it, and there will be a couple of "hosts" there to welcome you.
As you can see, we are busy setting the world to rights, but need your help to finish the job...
Many thanks to Ashley at Birch's - Whole Good Food for allowing us to meet in her lovely cafe.

Friday, September 07, 2018

September news from Rochester Diocese

For a printed version to pin to your noticeboard please click here. 

Thursday 6 September 2018

Welcome to the September edition of Rochester Diocese's monthly e-newsletter.  

Archbishop of Canterbury to visit in October

We're delighted to announce that Archbishop Justin Welby will be making a pastoral visit to the Diocese on the 29 and 30 October. Full details of where he will be going will be published shortly, however his visit will culminate in a service at Rochester Cathedral on Tuesday 30 October, at 5.30pm, to which all are welcome. Read the letter to the Diocese from Bishops James and Simon here.

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

First 'Place of welcome' for Medway
St. Francis, Strood teams up with national project to ensure it offers a warm and inclusive welcome for all. Read more.

Church wins funding to tackle knife crime
Almost £30,000 has been awarded to a church in Rainham for a project to tackle knife crime across the Medway Towns. Read more
Dementia support for hospice
Eleven Anna Chaplains and Friends are commissioned ahead of a new partnership with Heart of Kent Hospice Read more

800 years young! St Lawrence Church celebrates
Church and community came together to celebrate 800 years of Christian witness at St. Lawrence, Bidborough. Read more.

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

All parishes are invited to take part in a consultation about the proposal to introduce Indicative Offers, as developments to the way funding for the shared mission and ministry of the Diocese are considered. The consultation closes on 2 November, so to read the full proposal, download a summary leaflet, or find to out how to submit your views, click here

What do a former financial adviser, health visitor, diplomat, weights enthusiast and a probation officer have in common? They all make up some of this year's cohort of ordinands! Look out for our series of social media posts on Twitter and Facebook as we introduce our #newrevs to you ahead of ordinations on 29 September. Please do support these posts by liking, sharing and re-tweeting them using #newrevs. 

Hurry! The deadline for the latest round of applications for the Children and Young People Fund is fast approaching. You have until the 14 September to apply for up to £5,000 to support work with young people in your area. For full details and forms click here

MaintenanceBooker, is a new service to help churches keep in good repair. Using a dedicated website, churches can obtain quality building services from accredited and experienced contractors for essential maintenance tasks such as gutter clearing. Always make sure you chat to your quinquennial inspector, or consult with the DAC Secretary to check whether any approval is needed. Read more here.

All are invited to join a special service taking place at St. John’s, Meopham on Sunday 16 September at 6pm to celebrate our Companion Diocesan Links. Along with a Swahili choir, Bishops Jacob and Given from Tanzania will be present, as well as Bishop Chad from Harare who will preach; his last opportunity before he retires in December. It promises to be a very special occasion.

We are hosting another social media and writing for the web session on Tuesday 13 November at Diocesan House. The training will be delivered by the national church Digital Team via a live stream from Church House Westminster. Twenty-five places are available, and limited to one place per parish. Great for anyone who runs their church digital presence, more details and bookings can be found here

Over a year ago, the Diocese launched an innovative partnership with Home for Good and Diagrama, to find homes and communities for those in the care system.  To celebrate, if you are an adopter or foster carer, or if you're interested in adoption or fostering, you are invited to come and join a special afternoon tea on 15 September, hosted by Bishop James, with a bouncy castle, magician and family fun games!  More details here
COULD YOU HELP RIDE AND STRIDE? - With the annual fundraising event taking place this weekend, the Friends of Kent Churches are looking for a new Area Organiser for Rochester. It involves 2 meetings a year and distributing paperwork to around 19 churches in the are. Anyone interested should contact Carolyn Millen on:


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 

  • Thursday 04/10/18 at St Peter’s Church, College Road, Hextable BR8 7RH Book here
  • Monday 15/10/18 at St Margaret’s Church, High Street, Rainham ME8 8AN Book here
  • Tuesday 06/11/18 at All Saints’ Church, Bark Hart Road, Orpington BR6 0QD Book here
  • Wednesday 21/11/18 at The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Andrew, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6DZ  Book here
  • Thursday 06/12/18 at St John’s Centre, St John the Baptist, Wrotham Road, Meopham DA13 0AA Book here
  • Thursday 13/12/18 at The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Andrew, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6DZ Book here

C3 Clergy and Lay Ministers Safeguarding Training

  • Tuesday 15/01/19 at St John’s Church, 251 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3JN Book here
  • Tuesday 05/02/19 at St Justus Church, The Fairway, Rochester, Kent ME1 2LT Book here
  • Wednesday 27/02/19 at St Nicholas Church, Rectory Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1JA Book here
Online modules: The C0 and C1modules are available online and are recommended for anyone who needs a basic level of awareness of safeguarding

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.

The Creationtide season runs from 1 September to 4 October every year. ChurchCare has assembled lots of resources to help those who wish to celebrate and cherish God's gift to humanity. Also make sure you see details of an Environment Conference taking place in October in the events section below. 

Our daily lives are often very full. Full of things to do. Full of meetings and deadlines. Full of places to be. Full of things we don’t want to face. A new national church campaign is inviting us to ask 'Where is God in our ordinary, everyday life?' Sign up for daily prayers, reflections and stories. Read more here


Hope 100 has compiled an excellent range of Centenary resources which include Church of England liturgical resources as well as those from other denominations. You can also sign up to their 100 days of prayer. Click here Do let us know about your events as we hope to compile a list of events:


Video of the month

In our September video, Bishop Simon reflects on the pressure in society for people to project an image of perfection and the 'mantle' of perfection Jesus has given us through his sacrifice on the cross. Bishop Simon has a new Twitter feed -  @BishopTonbridge - where he will be posting a regular written blog.

Events and Training

A range of courses can be found in the Diocesan Online Course Directory hereYou may also be interested in exploring the courses available at the St. Benedict's Centre here and St. Augustine's College of Theology here.

  • Prayer Festival - 22 September, 10am to 2.30pm, Rochester Cathedral. A day of prayer in which you will be able to take part in worship and learn about prayer, experience different ways of praying and learn how to help others to pray. More here

  • 70th Anniversary of NHS -  28 to 30 September. St Mark’s, Bromley will be hosting a series of events to mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, including a lively discussion on NHS history, an uplifting concert with canapĂ© reception and a Service of Thanksgiving, alongside an interesting exhibition on 70 Years of the NHS at St. Mark’s Church and varied activities. All are welcome. More details here.

  • The Recovery Course Annual Conference 2018 - 6 October, 10am to 3pmTonbridge Baptist Church. Join founder Justyn Larcombe and others who are passionate about recovery from addiction at this year's Recovery Course Conference. Enjoy worship, teaching, training, workshops, seminars, fellowship and refreshments, and hear what's happening here in the UK and further afield. Book here

  • Faith and the Environment - 6 October,  Holy Trinity Church, Sittingbourne, 9.30am to 4pm. Find out more about how we as Christians can live a more environmentally friendly life both day to day and through our churches. A day conference organised by the Diocese of Canterbury, with national  and international speakers. More here

  • TLG, The education charity Workshop - 11 October, 7pm, Gravesend. The TLG Early Intervention programme is helping churches bring hope and a future to children and their families, by providing one-to-one coaching support to those who are struggling to cope with school life. Come and find out more about how your church can be involved in outreach to your local school(s) and families. More here.

Vision and Aims

GROW: Discipleship - We want to build confident disciples, who have deeper relationships with God and are more confident for evangelism and mission.
  • WATCH: This film follows the experience of Allie and how his personal relationship with God was developed through the ‘Closer’ course at Attic retreats in Chatham.
  • LEARN: The two-year Bishop’s Certificate course, aims to give people the knowledge and skills they need to express their faith and explore their Christian life and service. Find out more about the channels available in the Diocese for you to explore your relationship with God here.
  • The Fellowship of Pray-ers exists to provide prayer support to the work and worship of the Diocese of Rochester. Members of the Fellowship commit to a regular pattern of prayer around the issues that are shared with them. New members are always welcome. Read more here

Vacancies and appointments

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