Monthly blog

From the Vicar_April 2015

April 10, 2015
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

To the Jews it was three days, but to us barely a day separates Good Friday from Easter Day - but what a turn-around! Despair and hopelessness turn to amazement and then to utter joy as the disciples realise what God has done. Jesus is alive! It takes them months to begin to take it in and to assimilate it.

In the Christian faith, as in our normal lives, there is a close link between negative and positive; despair turning to hope, hopelessness to confidence, pain to joy, weakness to a new strength, darkness to light. In fact from the Bible it seems that you can't have one without the other; you can't experience joy, strength, hope and light without having had a full and - perhaps - recent, experience of the opposite. The one gives meaning and intensity to the other. Even the climate in this country seems to echo this: it is the dark grey cold of Winter that makes the explosive joy of Spring all the more intense. And in UK we are often in the midst of spring fever at Easter time.

Of course, when we are in the midst of tough times in our lives, we ask the question, "Will I ever escape from this? Will it go on for ever?" That's surely where our Christian faith gives us enormous hope: that with God there WILL be an escape; He WILL get us through and out the other side. With God darkness, pain and sorrow WILL give way to hope and light.

At Easter the disciples found it too good to be true at first, they didn't dare believe it. We may well be the same; it takes courage to hang on to our faith in God in the dark times. But we often have evidence from the past of how God did bring us through. And we have the greatest proof of all: that if He did it for his Son, He will do it for us too.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

A happy, joyous Easter to you!

With best wishes
Chris
 

From the Vicar_March 2015

March 2, 2015
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

Recently a youngish man who had come to a church service after many years away from the Christian faith said that her had found hope there. In the rest of society he couldn't see any hope.

Now, hope is spoken of in the Bible. Christian hope is not the rather airy fairy optimism we usually mean when we use the word; Christian hope is strength for the future anchored in God's promises. It is also drawing on our knowledge and experience of God in the past to ...

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Vicar's letter_February 2015

February 23, 2015
Dear Friends,

What is it about a new year that makes people feel that everything is - genuinely - new? I am always interested how many people long to escape from the old year into a clean new one. One woman has told me for THREE years running that she can't wait to get into a new year, and she says the same thing to me long into each new year. I am one of those who quite likes the old year, that sense that, like a pair of old slippers which are scuffed but comfy, I feel at home in the old year...

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Vicar's letter_Dec 2014/Jan 2015

January 10, 2015
Dear Friends in the Parish,

"Tidings of comfort and joy" we sing in one carol. And yet Christmas is a time of so many mixed feelings: remembering our childhood Christmases which seem to gleam all the brighter as they recede further into the past; seeing Christmas in the eyes of children today; thinking of people who arenat with us now; keeping up with the Christmas card writing and posting, dealing with long queues in the supermarket; trying to avoid eating too much; seeing members of our fami...

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From the Vicar_November 2014

November 16, 2014
Dear Friends in the Parish and beyond,

This year we will be marking Remembrance Sunday as we always do, and of course this year we will be particularly remembering the millions who gave their lives in World War I.

I was interested to read an article in the "Church Times" newspaper suggesting that by holding Remembrance services the Church is helping to confuse people: suggesting that dying for your country is the same as dying for your faith. I've been mulling that over since reading it and I'd...

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From the Vicar_October 2014

October 5, 2014
Dear Friends,

I don't remember having Harvest festivals in Africa where I was brought up - or maybe it's getting too long ago for me to recall! But certainly in this country harvest seems to be part of everyone's memory from their childhood - perhaps because the seasons are so marked in Europe, unlike those in Africa. We will be celebrating harvest at the beginning of October, with a harvest supper, services and a concert. It's a time to be thankful for all that we have, and a time also to thi...

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From the Vicar_September 2014

August 30, 2014
Dear Readers,

Last month we marked the anniversary of the beginning of World War I, so for the next four years we'll be living in it's shadow. At the same time new areas of serious conflict seem to be springing up every few weeks, new ones starting without any finishing. People often tell me how worrying they find it watching the news and those living on their own seem especially prone to anxiety and despair at the international news. It's hard to watch pictures of suffering and devastation on...

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From the Vicar_July/August 2014

June 30, 2014
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

St. Peter's School have started holding their assemblies in the church, and this week parents were invited as well. I try to involve the children and adults as much as possible, especially through asking them questions; and the responses can be extremely interesting! The topic I had been given this week was Forgiveness, and I was impressed how many people put their hands up to say that they found forgiving people really hard. All sorts of difficult situat...
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From the Vicar_June 2014

May 31, 2014
Dear Friends,

I meet many people for the first time when they come to ask about having a baptism or wedding in this church because of family links. Their parents or grandparents were married here, or they used to attend services here when at St Peter's School, or they lived in Aylesford many years before. They can't really explain why the church has such a pull on them, but I've learned just to respect that rather than urge people to try to pin down their reasons more exactly. Sometimes people...
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From the Vicar_May 2014

May 18, 2014
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

I'm writing this near the end of the school's Spring term, so there is lots going on in the schools to do with the events of Holy Week and Easter. Elsewhere you will probably see what I have written about the very powerful week in Aylesford Sports COllege when the Prayer Room was open, and the deep questions and searching that was going on. Meanwhile, in church we took 130 children from primary schools, through the events of Holy Week, visiting interactiv...
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Church Parish Office
The Brassey Centre
Station Road, Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7QR
t: 01622 719366 (Tues & Thurs only)
aylesfordchurch@btconnect.com

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St. Peter and St. Paul's Church
Church Walk
Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7BB
Services: Sundays 8am & 10am

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