We are delighted to welcome Charlotte O’Neill as our Director of Music. Charlotte lives with her husband Richard and their family at our edge of Hawkhurst; she is a Durham University graduate and has led choirs in her college there and at churches in Houston Texas, Frittenden and Maidstone.
Charlotte has settled into leading choir practice, which is now on a Friday evening. Please do come along and meet her.
The Silent Auction is a very popular feature of the Fete (this Saturday 24th June from 12-4pm) and we have received some wonderful experiences and items including: A day return plane trip from Headcorn to Le Touquet for two; a day’s birdwatching with Charles Trollope; a signed England Rugby Shirt, and many more. Don’t forget to browse the full list and bid at the Fete!
ALL THE FUN OF THE CHURCH FETE – 12-4pm on the Village Green
This year’s Fete promises to be a perfect afternoon for the whole family. It starts at 12:00 when the Bar-B-Q and Hop Inn will be serving lunch and drinks and the Ukulele Band serenades visitors. Afternoon teas will be served in the Church and on the top of the Green, and all afternoon you can eat delicious strawberries and cream between browsing the Plant, Bric-a-Brac, Jewellery, Chic Boutique, Cake, Tool and Book stalls. In the arena, watch Maypole dancing, Tug of War, and the Fun Dog Show.
CHURCH FETE on 24th June – DONATIONS REQUEST
If you have good condition donations for the raffle and the plant, bric-a-brac, jewellery, Chic Boutique and book Stalls, then please leave them under the gazebos at the Rectory. Thank you!
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the village shop “Benenden’s”.
BENENDEN VILLAGE CHURCH FETE – 24TH JUNE,
On the Village Green and starting earlier at midday until 4pm
While the children play in the Kid’s Corner, dance around the Maypole, ride ponies and bounce on the Bouncy Castle – you can browse the many stalls, explore the Classic Car Display, bid on the Silent Auction, sample the BBQ, Beer tent and a Cream Tea while listening to our talented Ukulele Band. New this year is the Fun Dog Show. More details soon…
Easter is around the corner!
And so the year rolls on; the first two months are behind us, and now we move into the season of Lent once more (and the colour purple – which will mean something to some of the children in Primary School who’ve just visited St George’s and done colours and seasons!) Last month I wrote about my need to sometimes remove myself from all the day-to-day stuff of parish ministry, and “go up the mountain and pray” – to stay in touch with God. Lent is a very good time for us all to do this, metaphorically speaking; giving ourselves time to sit, think, reflect and look forward … looking forward to the joy of Easter Sunday. However, Easter Sunday can only be truly celebrated in depth and fullness if we are prepared for it by reflecting upon the darker parts of our lives and what Jesus went through for us and because of us. (Sorry if this is sounding too overtly Christian for some – but that’s what priests do!)
Wednesday 1st March is the start of Lent; we begin the season with an ‘ashing’ service at St George’s at 8pm – using last year’s Palm Crosses, burning them to create ashes, which are used in this reflective service. For our Lent Course, over a period of five weeks, we are exploring ‘Receiving Christ’; what it is to receive Christ in our lives: firstly as Children of God; then in the Stranger; in Holy Communion; through Prayer, and finally, in Ourselves. The course will be held on a Tuesday and a Wednesday evening; starting Tuesday 7 March at 7 Fuggles Court, Benenden at 8pm (telephone 241944), then Wednesday 8 March at The Mission Church, Back Road, Sandhurst at 7.30pm. Please come on the evening and to the place that suits you best. I would encourage you to spend just a few hours of your life exploring how we can receive Christ; how it makes a difference; then be ready to celebrate – really to live – Easter this year.
Your parish church is not a museum to the past; it is a living space, filled with people who get things wrong in life, but want to live life more fully. Come and join us. We have recently put up a display at the back of church which shows some of the changes that are taking place; come and see it. Also, put this date in your diaries, particularly if you on the church Electoral Roll: the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) is on Tuesday 4 April at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. If you are interested in what is going on in your church, this is the annual meeting to find out, to join in, to ask questions, to bring new ideas … to hear all that your church has done, and is doing, and to be an active part of it. Come and join us; start this Lent.
Revd David Commander, Rector