Monthly blog

From the Vicar_April 2014

March 30, 2014
Dear Friends,

The Christian faith is full of apparent contradictions and paradoxes: Jesus was a man but God as well; Mary was a virgin but a mother; the Cross is a symbol of death but also of victory; "The first shall be last"; we find life through death, freedom through denying ourselves, etc . . .

Of course, these paradoxes should make us ask questions to try to help us understand our faith. But they don't need to make us doubt our faith; such paradoxes are surely to be expected when a super-natural God breaks into our natural world and also challenges our deepest attitudes.

So here we are this month approaching Holy Week, the Crucifixion and then the Resurrection, the crux of our faith - and "crux" means "cross". How can it be Good Friday when it marks the torturing and unlawful, barbaric killing of someone innocent of any crime? It takes a miracle-working God to bring something wonderful out of that, to turn that into a mechanism by which we can be forgiven our sin and become friends with our God.

Of course it's largely beyond our understanding. And so, for many people, it passes them by. Many of us only turn to God through desperation, without much faith at all - and then gradually and wonderfully find Him to be there and that the paradoxes are true. That's another paradox: that it's often through desperation and despair that we find joy, hope and meaning in our lives.

Happy Easter to you!

With best wishes to you,
Chris
 

From the Vicar_March 2014

March 10, 2014
Dear Friends in the Parish and beyond,

Most of us find it very difficult to slow down; sometimes it's comforting just to keep on with the rush of life to avoid stopping. And yet, as we know, people who never stop, eventually run out of steam and have to stop. Just slowing down or altering our routine can be wonderfully liberating and renewing.

Lent is one of these times. It lasts 40 days and goes back to the 40 days Jesus experienced in the wilderness before He began his main ministry. It was a...
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From the Vicar_February

February 2, 2014
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

Recently I was stopped at the railway line by a couple of trains. Usually I get irritated as the trains always seem to see me coming and choose to put the barriers down. But this time I found myself looking at one of the biggest trees near the line. All the leaves were off, so I could examine its whole structure, and I was interested to see how many branches had obviously lost their ends and then regrown. The tree wasn't a perfect shape either; one branch...

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From the Vicar Dec/January

December 22, 2013
A happy and enjoyable Christmas to Everyone

I want to ENJOY Christmas this year! So often I hear people say, "Well, it's really for the children, isn't it." And obviously it's a busy time for me, as it is for us all. Sometimes I only enjoy it by mistake, as it were, when I catch sight of it in the face of a child, or when I let myself stop to enjoy the Christmas tree in somebody's bay window (the curtains drawn back for once), or when we let rip with everything we've got in the descant of a ca...

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From the Vicar_November 2013

November 5, 2013
To all you readers of the magazine or looking at the website,

Sometime in August the weather just begins to tip and you realise that we're on our way into Autumn. Then the days start shortening fast, the first frosts come, the heating goes on, and we brace ourselves for another Winter. Quite often, especially when it's cold and miserable, I'm asked which of the places I've lived in I like most, either in this country or abroad, and whether I wouldn't like to go back somewhere exotic and warm. ...

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From the Vicar_October 2013

September 30, 2013
Dear Friends,

Kathy was telling me enthusiastically today of something she's been doing over the last few days: making a list of things to thank God for one thing for each year of her life. She'd read an article by a Christian writer who said how thinking through her life and remembering things to thank God for, for each year had opened up all sorts of good memories and begun to fill her with thankfulness to God. "I felt stronger, closer to God. My brain had engaged . The passivity I try not t...

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From the Vicar_Sept 2013

September 1, 2013
Dear Friends in Aylesford, Eccles and beyond,

Over quite a few months we have been wondering whether to start a Food Bank for people going through tough times, and if we did, how we would administer it. This has led us to make inquiries at doctors' surgeries and schools to try to find out whether there is a need. There certainly does seem to be some need amongst families, but I suspect that those most in need are some elderly people, who will be the last to ask for help! 

In the end we have dec...

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From the Vicar_July and August 2013

July 14, 2013
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,
People sometimes tell me that they have trouble sleeping because they lie awake mulling over the events of the previous day and worrying about the future. 

I have found it helpful to me to make sure I put the past day to bed before I go to bed myself. It's all too easy to rush up to bed, my head in a buzz, and then not be able to switch off. So before I head for the shower at night I try to spend some time - just a few minutes - reviewing the day just gone...

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From the Vicar_June 2013

May 30, 2013
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,
 
Recently I was speaking in church about "Random acts of kindness". It was something that I had first heard about through the radio and TV: people experiencing kindness from people they had never met. For example, one person leaving a car park was told that the driver in front had paid her parking charge. Another person, again in a car park, returned to his car to find a note: "I saw that your ticket was about to run out, so I bought you a new one." You c...
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From the Vicar_May 2013

May 10, 2013
Dear everyone,
 
In May this year Christians celebrate Pentecost (it used to be called Whitsun), the coming of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus called "the One alongside".

Like many of you, I know, I'm not very knowledgeable about my computer. I have to use it, and I know how to do basic things, but more complicated things, or if it decides to misbehave, and I'm sunk. Fortunately, Kathy is quite knowledgeable and much more patient! When computers first came in and neither of us knew much about how to...

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The Brassey Centre
Station Road, Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7QR
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Church Walk
Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7BB
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