Sunday, March 31, 2019

About Time 26

For more information about this hymn, see this post from our Lent series, Singing the Faith from 2017.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


The services and activities of Holy Week and Easter help us to "walk through" the last week of Jesus' earthly ministry as we think together about his arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. All human life is here; friendship and betrayal, courage and cowardice, suffering and love, loss and new beginnings. These are things we all experience. They are as much a part of our world as they were of Jesus' world. Reflecting on them helps us to see our own stories, and the challenges we might face in a new way.  Why not come along to some of our Holy Week services this year to join with us in this journey of prayer and meditation?

You will be very welcome.

10 am Sunday 

Our Palm Sunday service begins with a procession from the lychgate, entering the church through the West Doors. We carry palm crosses as we walk, singing a hymn together. When we enter the church the crosses are blessed and we hear the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey a week before he died.

The crowds which shout hosanna and greet him as a king then will soon shout just as loudly for his death, and as the service goes on we begin to think about his coming death.
Instead of a sermon at this service a group of readers share in a dramatised reading the “Passion” story – the account of Jesus trial and crucifixion - this year from Matthew's Gospel.

8 pm Mon – Sat (not Thurs)

Compline is a short service (about 15 – 20 mins) each evening at 8pm in the Lady Chapel from Monday to Saturday of Holy Week (except Thurs.)
“Compline” means “completion” and it was, and is still, the last service of the day in monasteries, completing the day’s worship. We use a modern form of this ancient service of prayers, psalms, Bible readings and silence. There are no hymns, so you don’t need to worry about singing!
There is some music to listen to beforehand to help us be still, and everything you need for the service is clearly laid out in the service booklet.
It is a reflective, intimate service, ideal if you feel in need of peace and quiet!

8 pm Thursday 

Our Maundy Thursday service is an informal service of Holy Communion, recalling the Last Supper which Jesus shared with his friends on the night before he died.

We hear the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and telling them that they too must be the servants of others. We remember also his words of reassurance to them that whenever they eat bread and drink wine together in the future he will be with them, the origin the Christian practice of Holy Communion in which we share bread and wine.

The service ends as we all go into the Lady Chapel for TENEBRAE. The lights in the church are turned off, except for one at the back for safety. The only other illumination comes from 12 candles on the Lady Chapel altar.

We then hear 12 readings from the Bible, telling the story of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, of his arrest and trial. After each reading one candle is blown out until we are in darkness, reminding us of the darkness which Jesus faced.

The Maundy Thursday service lasts for just over an hour.


10 -11.30 am

Craft activities for all ages to help us think about Good Friday and Easter.

We meet in church, where there will be a variety of activities exploring various Holy Week themes. Some of the activities could be quite messy! Wear old clothes!
At around 11 o’clock we break for hot cross buns and a drink, and then we finish with a short, very informal act of worship to share what we have made and thought.
Everyone is welcome, but we can’t take unaccompanied children as we aren’t set up to cater for them. (Actually mums, dads and grandparents usually have as much fun as the children anyway…!)

2.30 pm Friday 

The afternoon service on Good Friday is a mixture of traditional hymns, readings and prayers reflecting on Jesus’ crucifixion. It lasts about 30 – 45 minutes.

During the service we reflect on the meaning of Christ’s death for today and pray for those who suffer from injustice and oppression as he did. There will be a short, reflective talk during the service and a chance to light a candle as your personal prayer.

12 – 8pm Friday 

During the afternoon and early evening of Good Friday there will be a number of different
reflective “stations” in church. These displays encourage us to reflect and pray on various themes relevant to Holy Week and Easter.

You can drop in at any time and go at your own pace – there will be leaflets to guide you around the stations, but the church is not manned, so you can have privacy to reflect as you want to.

Holy Communion and the lighting of the Paschal Candle
10 am  

This joyful service of thanksgiving for the Resurrection begins as we light the new Easter (or
Paschal) candle, a reminder of the light of Christ which even death could not put out. We light small candles held by the congregation – we all carry that light of Christ out into the world.

6.30 pm 
A small, traditional said service, with hymns to end Easter Sunday.

About Time 23

Saturday, March 23, 2019

About Time 18

Today's #AboutTime post. Timely words for worrying days. Jesus' times were even harder & more uncertain than our own, but his security & sense of self-worth were rooted in God's love, not in the circumstances he faced. We are eternally loved too.

Friday, March 22, 2019

About Time 17

A prayer #AboutTime , translated from a Latin original supposedly spoken by St Richard of Chichester on his deathbed. ( Richard of Chichester was a thirteenth century reforming Bishop. The most famous phrase in the prayer "know him more clearly, love him more dearly, follow him more nearly," seems to be a modern addition, or interpretation, though, only appearing in translations of the prayer from the beginning of the twentieth century. Whatever its origins, it is a beautiful reminder that our relationship with God needs to be nurtured "day by day", not just for an hour on Sundays!

Friday, March 15, 2019

About Time 10

In the Middle Ages many people prayed using Books of Hours, prayers that took them through the day, based on the daily cycle of prayers used by monks and nuns. They were precious books, sometimes richly decorated, sometimes plain, and often people added prayers they particularly liked.  People often had their portraits painted holding their Books of Hours and the Virgin Mary is often portrayed reading from one. Here  are some prayers which would be in my Book of Hours, prayers I use to pray through the day. The prayers by J.Philip Newell come from his lovely book of Celtic Prayers, Each Day Each Night . What would be in your Book of Hours?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Support and Advice for Armed Forces Veterans

Kent Veterans Support (RBLI Hall Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7NL) is holding an event at The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Andrew Paddock Wood (Tuesday 16th April 2019 10:30 to 14:00 hours).
The co-ordinator is Michael Bishop ( 07827 943609)

They would like to invite all those who have served in the Armed Forces and their families to the event in Paddock Wood. The event will provide an opportunity to meet new people and talk to organisations providing health advice and social activities.

Unfortunately the RBLI have no records of veterans and therefore cannot send out personal invitations.
I should therefore be grateful for your assistance by passing this information on to any veteran or family member that you are aware of in your parish.
Janice Keen
Bishop's Adviser for Safeguarding

Children and Vulnerable Adults

About Time 6

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Lent Lunch

We enjoyed a lovely Lent Lunch for Christian Aid today.  I suspect that we need to work on the whole Lenten penitential thing though, it was all far too delicious -beautiful home made soup - and lots of it. Many thanks to the caterers!

About Time 5

Thursday, March 07, 2019

March News from Rochester Diocese

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Thursday 7 March 2019

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

#LentPilgrim  -  Resources, app and weekly film launched

LentPilgrim is the Church of England's Lent campaign for 2019. Drawing on The Beatitudes, it invites us to explore the unexpected and often challenging vision Jesus sets out in this crucial part of his teachings. A booklet, daily reflections and a downloadable app offer easy ways to get involved. Visit
To tie in with the campaign, the Diocese will be sharing a film and reflection every 5 days, highlighting a local story from the Diocese that complements each Beatitude.

In the first film, we meet Marion. She's a volunteer with the Anna Chaplaincy initiative, a scheme in the Diocese that trains chaplains and 'friends' to support those with dementia, as well as their carers. How does the beatitude, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' speak to her experience? 

Find the film and accompanying reflection at:

For more ideas on how to live Lent , find lots of ideas on the centre-pages of our latest Diocesan magazine - Together - here

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

Historic Roman Villa sees first act of Christian worship in 1,600 years. Read more

Lent begins 
Pancake parties and ashes mark the start of Lent in parishes. More here
Football stadium provides venue for ministry team launch. Read more

Learning how to respond to domestic abuse in Tunbridge Wells. Read more

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

Read a brief update of what happened at Synod at the beginning of March. Including links to the live stream of Bishop Simon's Presidential address, details of some of what was on the agenda, and photos from the day.

Read more here.


Following his recent surgery for bowel  cancer, Bishop James is pleased to share the positive news that he requires no more treatment.

Read more here.

There are lots of important updates this month about safeguarding, including a head-ups on improved Diocesan safeguarding webpages, a reminder of the requirement for parishes to display safeguarding arrangements on their websites, and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook on its ways to parishes now.  Please read this important information here


We want to improve the support and encouragement we can give to churches on environmental matters. To help this we would like to find out more about the range of environmental activities already taking place in churches. Could you take our short online survey? Find it here


The Spring edition of Together magazine is now out!  If you don't see it in your parish please contact the Communications team to find out where your deanery delivery point is. Don't miss out!

You can also read it online here


If you are responsible for your church's online presence then book a place on our FREE social media training, Led by the national Church's Digital Team, it's a practical day for anyone wanting to know how their church can use social media more effectively. Book here

  • A CHURCH NEAR YOU: ADD YOUR EASTER SERVICES: One million people will visit A Church Near You this Lent and Easter - have you added your events and services to If you need help, visit our Editor Help Centre here

Video of the month: Dean shares Lent message

As we enter the season of Lent, the Dean of Rochester Cathedral, the Very Rev Dr Philip Hesketh, shares a seasonal message with the Diocese.

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 

  • Monday 08/07/19 at St John’s Church, 251 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3JN Book here
  • Saturday 12/10/19 at Christ Church, 40 Lubbock Road, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 5JJ Book here
  • Thursday 12/12/19 at St John’s Church Centre, Foxbush, Hildenborough, TN11 9HT Book here

S1: Safer recruitment training

  • Wednesday 27/03/19 at Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL Book here
  • Wednesday 27/03/19 at Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL Book here
  • Saturday 01/06/19 at St John’s Centre, St John the Baptist, Wrotham Road, Meopham DA13 0AA Book here

C3 Clergy and Lay Ministers Safeguarding Training

  • Wednesday 19/06/19 at St Peter’s Church, College Road, Hextable BR8 7RH Book here
  • Tuesday 13/08/19 at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT 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

Find even more Safeguarding training dates online 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.

The new range of Real Easter Eggs has been launched and this year the Original and Dark eggs are plastic packaging free.  Available to buy from Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Waitrose, all eggs come with an Easter story activity book. More here

Home for Good, the Christian charity dedicated to finding a home for every child who needs one has launched some new resources for Mother's Day to equip churches to be great places for anyone to come to on Mother’s Day – whatever their experience of motherhood.  More here

Now available to order and download is the new Thy Kingdom Come Family Prayer Adventure MapThe nine days of global prayer return from 30 May to 9 June). In the Diocese, we encourage every church and church member to take part. Visit our dedicated webpage here 

Events and Training

View local and Diocesan events in our What's On Calendar. Add your own event too! Explore the courses available at the St. Benedict's Centre here and St. Augustine's College of Theology here.

Modern Slavery Awareness Event - Saturday 9 March, 4pm to 6pm, Tonbridge Parish Church, Church Lane, TN9 1DA Happening all around us: learn more about this global and local crime, and find out what you can do to help end it for good. Session is in the upper lounge at St Peter & St Paul. Tea & cake provided.

  • How do I make decisons with God? Decision making in the Ignatian tradition with Revd Susanne Carlsson - Wednesday 13 March and 20 March, 6.30pm to 9pm, St Augustine'sTheological College, West Malling. A workshop to look at making decisions through prayer drawing on the insights from Ignatius of Loyola and his spiritual exercises. (£30 for 2 sessions).  Contact: or ring 01732 252 656.

  • Messy Fiesta - Saturday 16 March, 10am to 4pm, Christ Church Orpington  A day of celebration, conversation, creation and inspiration for anyone involved in, or looking to start, a MESSY CHURCH. With lots of opportunity for learning from other local groups. Led by Director and Founder of Messy Church, Lucy Moore. Cost £15 BOOK BY MONDAY 11 MARCH Book here 

  • Boost - Tuesday 26 March, 6.45pm to 9.30pm, Christ Church, Chislehurst. An evening session for anyone connected to children and youth. Topics relating to 'Gender and Sexuality' (led by Gemma Dunning, Baptist minister)and 'How to create an all-inclusive church', Cheryl Trice, Diocese of Rochester. Cost is £5 per person. Bookings at

  • The Eight Words - Sunday 7 April.,7.30pm, Rochester Cathedral Acclaimed Jazz musican and priest Rev’d Dr Tim Boniface performs his jazz suite The Eight Words joined by Phil Merriman, Ed Barbar and Jon Ormston.  Tickets £15 Concession £10 Book here

  • Readings and Music for Holy Week - 15 to 17 April, 5.30pm, Rochester Cathedral. Share in a daily service of readings and music for Holy Week. All are welcome to join the major services of Holy Week too, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Visit:

  • Hospitality in Church and Community - 27 April, 9.30am to 4pm, St. Benedict's Centre, West Malling.  A day exploring hospitality in the Bible, the local church and in community and discover how we can shape our practices and teams to enable authentic welcome, connection and relationship.Ideal for hospitality and welcome teams. (£20) Email

Vision and Aims

GROW - PRAYER: To make prayer the fundamental basis for life in the Diocese, to harness the power of prayer to transform lives; to encourage every individual to pray for five people to come to faith
  • THY KINGDOM COME: Thy Kingdom Come is a global wave of prayer from Ascension to Pentecost (May 30th - June 9th 2019). In the Diocese of Rochester we want to encourage every church and church member to take part. 
  • SAVE THE DATE for a diocesan-wide event on Saturday 8 June from 12pm to  4pm  called 'Come and See' in Rochester Cathedral. Details will be updated soon on our dedicated Thy Kingdom Come page
  • You are also invited to pray with others around the Diocese, where ever you are, for the successful preparations of Thy Kingdom? Offer a prayer every Tuesday at 5pm – if you’re active on social media, why not let people know what you are doing by using the hashtag #TKCTuesday.
Find out more about our Grow aim and the latest work on this area here

Vacancies and appointments


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