Latest News

Jonathan our Vicar, was welcomed on 9th August 2016

December 3, 2016
Jonathan our Vicar, was welcomed on 9th August 2016

It was a joy and privilege to join the parish in August as Vicar. Having spent the last 6 years as a Chaplain at Burrswood Christian Hospital, it is good to return to parish ministry and be involved in the full spectrum of community life. Previous parish ministry included over 7 years on the Isle of Wight and 4 years in Weymouth. I was ordained in 1999, after a career in Personnel Management.

I am so grateful for the warm welcome that everyone has given me, both within the Church family and wider community. I have already greatly enjoyed becoming involved with the four schools in the parish, and look forward to developing my role as Branch Padre to the Royal British Legion Village Branch.

The beginning of Advent means that Christmas is fast approaching! I am greatly looking forward to sharing in all the special services and events as part of the Christmas celebrations.

Looking ahead to the new Year I know that there will be many opportunities for us to learn and grow together in our faith and the sharing of God’s love in the life of the community.
 

Aylesford's New Vicar

May 8, 2016
Aylesford's New Vicar

We are delighted to announce that the Bishop has approved the appointment of Revd Jonathan Hall as the next Vicar of Aylesford. Jonathan is currently the Acting Senior Chaplain at Burrswood Christian Hospital. Jonathan is married to Erica, and they have two grown up sons, Richard and Christopher. Their family Labrador is called Barley.


He will be instituted (on behalf of the Bishop), inducted and installed by the Archdeacon of Tonbridge on 9th August at 7.30pm in the Parish Church. All are welcome to attend.

We are very much look forward to Jonathan's arrival and hope the parish church will be full to welcome him. 


Gordon Hunt

 

Murder Mystery Evening - Friends Event

August 17, 2015
Murder Mystery Evening - Friends Event

Murder Mystery Evening Friends Event 'Till Death Do Us Part '

8th August 2015

Till Death Do Us Part (A Vow to Murder) was the title of a splendid play presented by the Balancing Act Theatre Company. Lighting provided by the Southend Shakespearean Company enhanced the performance as did Wedding Music provided by Michael Keays.

The Acts were interspersed with hot soup (3 varieties for choice), and a well presented ham salad with hot new potatoes. The dessert course was summer pudding and cream when additional clues and information was given out to each table which were a help when we got down to deciding who the murderer was, over our tea and coffee. Our table had much fun and laughter deciding "who dun it". There were prizes for the table who got the correct villain also for the best dressed 70s style in the audience.

The whole evening was pleasurable and all credit must go to the cast; the co-ordinators; the waiters and waitresses; the cooks for giving hot food in a kitchen-less church to the 80 odd people present; the washers up in fact heartfelt thanks to the whole band of Friends of Aylesford Church who gave guests such a happy evening.


Daphne

Photograph: Three members of the audience who won the 70s style fancy dress.                                                                                    

 

Aylesford Organ Restoration

August 4, 2015

Aylesford Organ Restoration


The organ is now 150 years old, and the restoration project is complete! Many thanks are due to all those who have supported this in so many different ways; it has been a real inspiration seeing what can be done as a team!

The opening service took place on 28th June, and the organ is settling down nicely now. We are therefore planning a weekend of organ activity in November, with an opening recital by a visiting organist (to be announced) on the Saturday evening, and activities including "Discover the organ" on the Sunday. The dates to put in your diary are: Saturday & Sunday 14-15 November 2015. Further recitals will follow in 2016 - we already have some of the top UK organists lined-up!

The updated History of the Organ book is currently approaching final draft, and should be on sale (or nearly so) for the organ weekend - it covers much, much more than just the history of Aylesford organ, and at around 100 pages, plus photographs, will cost about £15.00; pre-order your copy now, or even copies for Christmas presents!
 

 

St Peter's Festival Weekend

August 4, 2015
St Peter's Festival Weekend

St Peter's Festival Weekend


At the end of June we marked our church's Patronal Festival as St. Peter and St. Paul's Day falls on 29th June. On the Saturday evening "The Friends of Aylesford Church" organised another concert with The Aveley and Newham Brass Band. This year the band accepted our suggestion of music around the world and we were treated to a marvellous variety of music ranging from jaunty Mexican dance music to a wonderfully atmospheric setting of Respighi's "The Pines of Rome".

On the Sunday morning our guest preacher was Alex Clark, the young, newly appointed Director of The Family Trust, a Christian charity which goes into schools all over the Maidstone, Medway and Swale area. He challenged us to lead lives which are fruitful for God even if exhausting and cluttered. But we also rededicated our organ after it's £50,000 rewiring, clean and renovation. It was over 20 years since its last makeover, and when Michael Keays started playing it, you could feel the pews quiver - as one member of the congregation exclaimed to me delightedly afterwards! Many people had given sacrificially over the last 5 years, so it was thrilling - and quite an emotional experience - to hear the organ played at full throttle and rededicated to God.

In the Sunday afternoon we had a new event: a Family Treasure Hunt round places of interest in Aylesford. This was organised by Archie Mitchell, a secondary school student, and there was a stream of families coming in and then heading off to hunt round the village for the answers. When they came back, most of them chose to enjoy home-made jam with cream, all made by members of the Social and Fund-raising Committee.

It was an excellent weekend!

Chris van Straaten
 

Parish visit to the Organ Builders

April 1, 2015
Parish visit to the Organ Builders

Parish visit to the Organ Builders


22 members of the congregation assembled at F H Browne's for a tour of the works on a bright Friday morning. Much of the work on Aylesford organ is now complete and ready for shipment and reassembly in church over the next few weeks: The console rewiring and general renovation is at an advanced stage, the new mobile plinth for the console is nearing completion, new wind chests have been made and wired, and even the new Great mixture was in the workshops, ready to take its place in the organ to add much-needed brightness. Organ building is one of those very specialist old crafts, and it was good to see it still flourishing in the capable hands of skilled craftsmen in an age when so many things are built to last for just a few years. Modern technology is in evidence though with the new solid state control and capture system, widely used in the organ building world.

We are all eagerly looking forward to the organ being back in service again in a few weeks time!

Michael Keays
 

A Murder Mystery in Church

November 16, 2014
A Murder Mystery in Church

A Murder Mystery in Church


Several of us were busy at the back of the church pottering around putting food on tables when there was a blood-curdling shriek from nearby as someone died a gruesome death! It was a Murder Mystery performed in church in late September. The play had been specially written by a group of professional actors, Balancing Act Theatre, to have its premiere in our church, part of it performed in the chancel and part of it in the chapel. "Murder is Tolled" was set in the 1920's, and many of the guests arrived in spectacular 1920's dress, feathers, cigarette holders and all. Between each act the guests enjoyed a starter, main course and sweet, with coffee at the end while they tried to work out who the killer was. The play was superbly performed - I'm told, as we were too busy with our waiter duties to see much of the play. It was a marvellous evening, and superbly organised, all in aid of "Friends of Aylesford Church".

A HUGE thank you to the actors and to all involved in organising the evening, especially the caterers from the church. Rumour has it that there may be a murder at a wedding next year!!

(You might wonder whether this was an appropriate event to hold in church, but it was totally inoffensive, a harmless piece of fun, and a great evening.)

Chris

 

Kidzpraise group bakes bread!

November 13, 2014
Kidzpraise group bakes bread!

Kidzpraise group bakes bread!


The children and adults had fun baking bread at the Kidzpraise group at the beginning of November. Everyone had great fun.

Our Kidzpraise group is held:

Time: Every Wednesday 1.15pm - 2.45pm
Venue: The Brassey Centre, Station Road, Aylesford, Kent
Hosts: Aylesford Church
Contact: Chris van Straaten 01622 717434
 

Aylesford Choir 'on the Map'!

October 19, 2014

Aylesford Choir 'on the Map!


It was with great pleasure that a number of our choir attended the RSCM Festival Evensong at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 11th October. The weather did nothing to dampen our spirits, and we became part of the choir of around 150 drawn from across the entire region. The music included John Ireland's wonderful anthem "Greater love hath no man" (words from John's Gospel and other parts of the New Testament), and the setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Thomas Walmisley. Included in this service was a presentation of certificate to choristers who have undertaken RSCM singing exams at the Cathedral over the last year: Aylesford presentations were made first and last (!), with Ellie Robinson (Bronze with Merit) and Lizzie Cook (Silver with Highly Commended (Distinction in the old syllabus)). Very well done to both Ellie and Lizzie - and with Tina Bastow already having the Gold award we now have Gold, Silver and Bronze in our ranks!

The choir is always looking out for new members - particularly men - so why not join us! Even if you don't fancy any singing exams yourself (-if they are not compulsory!), you will find fantastic opportunities to enjoy singing in a lively group, and support Aylesford church in another very practical way: Just have a chat with me, or anyone from the choir - we look forward to welcoming you!
 

News from Kent Savers

October 18, 2014
News from Kent Savers

News from Kent Savers


Aylesford Parish Church is supporting Kent Savers, our local Credit Union, in response to the Archbishop of Canterbury's call.

Kent Savers have recently introduced new services as part of its drive to serve people from all walks of life in Kent, and to be a real alternative to expensive banks and high interest lenders. More than 400 new members have joined on line, which is quick and easy.

Since September, Kent Savers are working in partnership with credEcard to give you credEcardplus, a current account with a difference. There are no credit checks and no overdraft charges with this account and it is available to anyone, whatever your credit score or financial history. Plus, you get a Visa debit card and cash back rewards as standard.

You can pay bills and shop online with the Visa debit card, and use it anywhere you see a Visa logo. Also, save money on treats and everyday shopping with cash back rewards.

Prepaid cards look like credit/debit cards and can be used in shops and over the internet to buy goods. Members can also use them to withdraw funds from ATMs and gets cash back in shops.  However, the advantage of prepaid cards is that you can't go overdrawn or build up huge debts. You must first "load" money onto the card in advance, and then you can only spend the money that is loaded on the card.

With credEcardplus, we will be able to transfer loans or share withdrawals onto the card. Once members have a card they can contribute to use it for further loans or withdrawals.

CredEcardplus also acts as a budget account designed to help with managing money to pay for essentials. More details can be found on the Kent Savers website.

The card is available to members of Kent Savers. Until the end of October 2014, there is no cost to acquire a card. From November the card will cost £10 to purchase.

For more about membership visit www.kentsavers.co.uk or call 0333 321 9050. By becoming a member as either a saver or a borrower, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping your community.

Gordon Hunt