Showing category "Children " (Show all posts)

New Vicar

Posted by on Sunday, November 18, 2018,
The Bishop of Rochester and The Dean and Chapter of Rochester Cathedral are pleased to announce that The Revd Ruth Peet, at present curate at St. Mary's Bromley, will be the next Vicar of Aylesford. Ruth began her career in the pharmaceutical industry and later became a partner in the family retail business. Ruth is married to Kevin, who still runs the family business, and they have one daughter, Corinne who is married to Danny, and a grandson, Michael. Ruth is delighted to be coming to Ayles...
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Vicar of Aylesford Job Advert

Posted by on Monday, September 10, 2018,

We are making progress! The vacancy for Vicar of Aylesford, along with our parish profile, has been posted on the Church of England website (see the following link). Thanks to everyone who has helped us get to this stage relatively quickly.

Vicar of Aylesford Job Application >>
https://pathways.churchofengland.org/job/pathways/444/vicar-of-aylesford

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Our Interregnum begins

Posted by on Tuesday, July 31, 2018,

Our Vicar, Jonathan Hall, has moved from Aylesford and will be officially licensed to his new parishes on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 18th August.

We are now in what is called an Interregnum, with no vicar. The appointment process for a new vicar will take some time and we don't expect to have a new one in post until 2019.

In the meantime we will continue to have our Sunday services as normal with the help of a number of visiting clergy, to whom we are very grateful.

The service pattern is as ...

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Junior Choir Leader appointed

Posted by on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, In : Choir 
 
We are delighted to announce that Dr Paul Richards has been appointed as our Junior Choir Leader commencing 28th June 2018. Paul’s role will be to engage with local schools to encourage singing in a Junior Choir, which will contribute to our 3rd Sunday of the month “Come and Praise” service. In time, we anticipate that Aylesford Junior Choir members will wish to progress to our adult choir.

The Junior Choir Leader position is funded for three years by the Ouseley Trust, and gives us a g...

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Moving On

Posted by on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, In : Vicar's thoughts 

It is with a mixture of feelings that I announce that I have accepted the offer of appointment as Priest in Charge and Team Vicar (Designate) for the parishes of St John’s Sandown and St Blasius, Shanklin within the Bay Team, on the Isle of Wight.

Although it will be a great sadness to leave the parish here, after only two years as Vicar, I am looking forward to returning to parish ministry on the Isle of Wight, and being able to support family more fully there.

My last Sunday will be Sunday ...

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Messy Church

Posted by on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, In : Children // family events 

On the first Friday of every month, Aylesford Church hosts Messy Church for families. Our next Messy Church will be held on Friday 6th July in the Brassey Centre on Station Road in Aylesford.

This is a chance for families to enjoy story time, crafts, singalong and sharing of a simple meal. (Sorry no unaccompanied children). There is a small charge of £1 per child on the day. In May, the children learnt about the Holy spirit and had fun icing cakes, making crowns, doves and a poster was displa...

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Something to Sing About

Posted by on Monday, February 26, 2018, In : Music 
St. Peter and St. Paul's Church has been awarded a grant by The Ouseley Trust, which supports the development of choral music in parish churches and cathedrals up and down the country.

This is exciting news for the musical life of our church!

The grant has been given for us to employ a Junior Choir Leader for three years. We hope to find an enthusiastic and talented musician who will inspire and enthuse young people to develop a love of singing, through making connections with local schools and...
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Jonathan our Vicar, was welcomed on 9th August 2016

Posted by on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : Vicar's thoughts 

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 wi...

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Aylesford's New Vicar

Posted by on Sunday, May 8, 2016,

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 wel...


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Murder Mystery Evening - Friends Event

Posted by on Monday, August 17, 2015, In : "The Friend's" events 

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 whe...

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Aylesford Organ Restoration

Posted by on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, In : Aylesford Organ 

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...

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St Peter's Festival Weekend

Posted by on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, In : St Peter's Week 

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...

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Parish visit to the Organ Builders

Posted by on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, In : Aylesford Organ 

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, read...

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A Murder Mystery in Church

Posted by on Sunday, November 16, 2014, In : "The Friend's" events 

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 192...

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Kidzpraise group bakes bread!

Posted by on Thursday, November 13, 2014, In : Children // family events 

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

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Aylesford Choir 'on the Map'!

Posted by on Sunday, October 19, 2014, In : Aylesford Choir 

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 Th...

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News from Kent Savers

Posted by on Saturday, October 18, 2014, In : Community 

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 cr...

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Organ rebuild news

Posted by on Saturday, October 18, 2014, In : Aylesford Organ 

Organ rebuild news


The work to restore the organ is now well underway, with work on parts of the organ (including the console) about to start in the organ workshops. Meanwhile, with the organ out of service for a few months, we are using a temporary instrument for services, eagerly looking forward to the main organ to being back again, fully rebuilt and modernised.

In the meantime, the angels which grace the top of the organ case have been removed, cleaned, repaired and repainted: This is the f...

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Visit by Young Dominican Pilgrims

Posted by on Monday, October 6, 2014, In : Community 

Visit by Young Dominican Pilgrims


I was contacted some months ago by a young man my son knew at the Math School Rochester. This "boy", Matthew Jarvis, had gone on to Cambridge and then, as he told me, had entered the Roman Catholic Dominican Order. He came to see me, now in a cream habit, to talk about bringing a group of pilgrims through Aylesford. So in mid August they arrived: 20 young men and women, mostly in their twenties and thirties, some in habits but mostly ordinary lay people, from ...

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Flesh and Blood

Posted by on Saturday, August 23, 2014, In : Community 

Flesh and Blood


Every day 7000 units of blood are required to meet hospital demand and 1000 people die each year waiting for an organ transplant.

Freshandblood is a campaign, aimed at churches, to increase the number of blood and organ donors in the UK.

The campaign aims to raise the profile of blood and organ donation within the church and encourage donation as a personal gift. It seeks to equip individuals and churches as advocates for donation helping them engage with family, friends and memb...

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£49,000 has been raised for our Organ Works!

Posted by on Monday, July 14, 2014, In : Aylesford Organ 

£49,000 has been raised for our Organ Works!


It has been quite a few weeks since the last update, and in time a lot has been happening:

  • We have received all permissions for the works (including the Faculty)
  • The contract for the works has been signed with F H Browne (organ builders)
  • We have had a preliminary technical meeting with F H Browne
  • We have completed the Phase 1 fundraising!

On the fundraising, first of all an absolutely massive THANK YOU to everyone who has done so much in so many differe...

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Latest creations from Kidzpraise group

Posted by on Thursday, July 3, 2014, In : Children // family events 

Latest creations from the Kidzpraise Group


The children and adults have created some new poster artworks at the Kidzpraise group. One of a Pasta style boat linked to the story "The Storm at Sea" and the other linked to "Thanking God for Food". Everyone had great fun creating these artworks together. It was lovely to see new Mums helping out too.

Our Kidzpraise group is held:

Time: Every Wednesday 1.15pm - 2.45pm
Venue: The Brassey Centre, Station Road, Aylesford, Kent
Hosts: Aylesford Church
Contac...

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Supporting Kent Savers

Posted by on Thursday, July 3, 2014, In : Community 

Supporting Kent Savers


Aylesford Church is now a keen supporter of our local credit union; Kent Savers. We hope to raise awareness of the scheme to help people save responsibly and borrow moderately. It is a mutual, not-for-profit organisation for people from all walks of life and can offer affordable loans at competitive interest rates for purposes large and small. Call Kent Savers on 0333 321 9050 or email info@kentsavers.co.uk. For more information on the scheme please click here



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Christian Aid

Posted by on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, In : Christian Aid 

Christian Aid

Many thanks to the valiant helpers who carried out the house-to-house collection in Aylesford and Eccles in Christian Aid week in May. Although the number of donations was rather less than last year, and the total correspondingly slightly lower, wa were delighted that it ended up just over £3000 - so a big thank you, too, to everyone who gave!

The final total we were able to send off included £43 from the Church in Eccles and after a few late contributions came to £3,2112.24.

Th...
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Thoughts from a Younger member of the Church

Posted by on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, In : Youth 

Thoughts from a Younger Member of the Church


When I was little I loved singing and my passion has only grown. Not just songs but adverts and jingles, anything with a tune would get stuck in my head. So when I heard there was an opportunity to join the choir it was an instant choice. I had a chance to sing with a real purpose
.

At first singing was the only thing I was interested in but as I progressed I really began to take notice of things. I started to listen to the readings more and enjoyed t...

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Sunshine and fun by the river

Posted by on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, In : Community 

Sunshine and fun by the river

The Big Lunch initiative has been running for several years throughout the country as a chance for people in towns or villages to get together for a social occasion, to get to know each other and to have fun. In Aylesford our first one was two years ago when we were allowed to close the High Street to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Last year we couldn't close the street, so we moved to the lawns by the river between the two bridges and this year we used th...

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Brassey Bazaar News

Posted by on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, In : Saturday Market 

Brassey Bazaar News

May saw a continuing successful month for the Bazaar in spite of the road closure for two Saturdays. Janet's extended opening on 31st May for her 'soup lunch' was well supported. Our special thanks to her and her team for all their extra effort.


Looking ahead our next key event will be our Summer Special on Saturday 12 July. We will be open 10am - 3pm with extra stalls, tombola, raffle, games and refreshments including 'all-day breakfast'. Contributions for the tombola stall...

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Large banner created at Kidzpraise

Posted by on Sunday, May 18, 2014, In : Children // family events 

Banner created at Kidzpraise

The first session of this Parent and Toddler Group was a great success. A 6 foot poster was created all in an afternoon's work! Well done to all involved!


The poster is combined from natural objects - leaves and grass with coloured art materials. It looks like they had fun getting into the 'hands on' art and craft fun.



The Church runs a Parent and Toddler group, open to anyone. It is called "Kidzpraise" and is held at the Brassey Centre in Station Road, Aylesford. It...

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Christian Aid Week 11 - 17 May

Posted by on Sunday, May 11, 2014, In : Christian Aid 

War, tears, lives apart

Love can help piece them back together


'The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer . . . in whom I take refuge.' Samuel 22:2-3

For a growing number of people across the world, the horror of war is a part of daily life.

Right now, fuelled by the devastating violence in both Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the numbers of people driven from their homes by war is on the rise.

It stands at 42 million people - an appalling statistic and a strain on the con...

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The Easter Experience - a Big Church Event

Posted by on Friday, April 4, 2014, In : Children // family events 

Easter Experience -
a Big Church event


Over two days, our church welcomed 130 local schoolchildren to experience Holy Week depicted at six 'stations' set around the building.

After a question and answer session with Chris, and split into groups of six, the children moved around the scenes. Palm Sunday was first, then the washing of the disciples' feet. The last supper became the favourite because there was bread to eat!

Gethsemane was a night time scene depicting aloneness. Using play dough, the...


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Good Friday - Fauré's Requiem sung by Aylesford Choir

Posted by on Monday, March 24, 2014, In : Music 

Good Friday - 
Fauré's Requiem sung by Aylesford Choir


For many years it has been the tradition of our choir to mark one of the most important days of the church calendar - Good Friday - by performing a major choral work and this year is no exception. Under Michael's expert guidance and Helen's patience at the piano, we have been learning, or relearning for some, Fauré's Requiem. This year, almost all our Junior choir will be taking part and they really help to boost the soprano line. We are ...

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Where is Your Treasure?

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Children // family events 

Where is Your Treasure?


The Church Holiday Club is by now a regular fixture and the show must go on, even though Chris and Kathy were away. Jenny Relf was the moving force and Janet Holdstock the leader on the day, Monday 17th February.

The theme chosen was "Where is your treasure?". it wasn't surprising that black hearted pirate hats and feathery parrots were turned out by the dozen as well as bread being kneaded and baked (ships biscuits?), treasure chests manufactured and pictures and a trea...

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Candlelit Dinner

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Social Evenings 

Candlelit Dinner


An invitation to supper . . . how lovely! On Saturday 1st March, Gordon and I went to a sharing supper for Church Welcomers, Side persons and Servers of coffee. The Brassey Centre looked just as normal outside, but inside was a transformation scene. Lit only by candles, the hall had a romantic atmosphere that I had never noticed before. The buffet tables were soon filled with hot and cold savoury treats and very tempting puddings. Move over Mary Berry, we have plenty of culina...

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What a lot of Talent!

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Aylesford Organ 

What a lot of Talent!


A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the Talents scheme in aid of the Organ Appeal - which is actually just about everyone, in one way or another! We raised almost £2,000 from this initiative (with a couple of initiatives still to complete), but more importantly discovered so many things with people can do - from rabbit racing to plant selling, from Christmas cakes to Christmas cards, garden tidying to energy savings, jewellery and clothes alterations to flow...

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A Trip to the Shetland Isles

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Community 

A Trip to the Shetland Isles


Claire, Iris and Frances shared with us all who "took up the challenge" to take a trip to the Shetland Isles. A holiday they went on last July - 'enjoying' strong winds, mist, rain and a little sunshine in temperatures not reaching much more than 14° whilst we here in the South East were enjoying temperatures between 26
°C - 33°C!

They shared their magnificent photos of places they stayed at, walked to and sailed to, plus significant and interesting details of roc...


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Lest We Forget

Posted by on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : War 

Lest We Forget


This year we remember the sacrifice made by our armed services and many civilians in the First World War. It is 100 years since this war started. Many countries were similarly affected.

Should we collect memories from the few who do remember or have stories from family? Shall we all plant red poppies in our gardens this year?

My mother was 8 when the war started and she remembered the young men from her village all marching off to war. Did they have any idea what ...

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The Joy of Music and Worship at Aylesford Church

Posted by on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : Music 

The Joy of Music and Worship at Aylesford Church

MUSIC

Our music was abundant over the Christmas period! Our acoustics were just right for both events:


  • Christmas Brass Band afternoon concert - a hugely popular part of our Christmas at Church.
  • The 9 lessons and carols service with orchestra on a late Sunday afternoon
We had our usual Christmas Carol singing in the Village Square - there were over 100 people and it finished with a walk up the hill to the church for hot mince pies and mulled wine. Th...

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Carol Singing in the Square

Posted by on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : Christmas 

Carol Singing in the Square

On the Friday before Christmas, over 100 adults and children congregated in the village square to sing carols, accompanied by Pauline Fisher who played the cornet, helping us to keep in tune and up to speed - thank you so much for playing . . .  After half an hour of hearty singing most of us went to the church to have a delicious glass of mulled wine supplied by Ron and Jan Cogger and a mince pie. The choir and friends then went to The Chequers, Sherlocks, the Bush...

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Saturday Market reopens for 2014

Posted by on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : Community 

Saturday Market reopens for 2014

Following our seasonal break in January, we are now back open every Saturday in February and of course every Saturday (10am - 12noon) for the rest of the year.

Last year was again successful both socially in providing a pleasant place to meet on a Saturday morning, to find a bargain and financially in raising £3,479 for Aylesford Parish Church.

We would remind you that we have a wide range of stock including new items, good quality bric-a-brac, books, ladies clo...

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New Garden of Remembrance

Posted by on Sunday, February 2, 2014, In : Garden of Remembrance 

New Garden of Remembrance in the Churchyard

Our old Garden of Remembrance is full, and at last we have a new one, just down the slope from the hard standing. "The Friends" of the church have paid for the whole of the new garden: a cost of over £6,000! Because of new regulations, individual stones are not now permitted, but the names of those interred in the garden will be inscribed on two large upright stones, and there are vases for flowers. A big thank you to "The Friends" and also to Brend...

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Day of Prayer for Africa

Posted by on Friday, January 24, 2014, In : Day of Prayer for Africa 

Day of Prayer for Africa

WIf you have an interest in Africa, we hope you will join us on our Day of Prayer on Saturday March 8th 2014 at the Church between 10am and 4pm, with a lunch break between 1 and 2.15pm. There will be a short time for coffee after 11.15am and a light lunch at the church for anyone who would like to join us.

We will be hearing from organisations and individuals directly involved in Africa - in the morning from Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and in the afterno...

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Organ Appeal Update at the end of 2013

Posted by on Sunday, December 22, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 

Organ Appeal Update at the end of 2013

We have had an excellent finish to the year, with fundraising being given a HUGE boost by donations from both The Friends of Aylesford Church and the Brassey Trust. The Appeal Fund now stands at £41K, against the £50,000 target, with further funds expected from the Talents initiative, as well as a couple of concerts planned for 2014. We are now in discussion once again with both the Diocesan Organ Advisor and the potential organ builders, with a view to...

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A happy and enjoyable Christmas to Everyone

Posted by on Sunday, December 22, 2013, In : Vicar's thoughts 

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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Green services

Posted by on Friday, December 6, 2013, In : Environmental Group 


Green Services

On Sunday, 17 November, we had the pleasure of a visit from Professor Sam Berry, who is a retired Professor of Ecology.

At both the 8 o'clock and the 10 o'clock services, he was interviewed by the Vicar, the Rev Chris van Straaten.

During this informal interview, Chris was able to acquaint the congregation with the Prof's Career in working towards making the world at large more aware of the way we were squandering all the riches that had been heaped upon us b...


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Organ Appeal edges nearer to our target of £50,000!

Posted by on Monday, November 11, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 

Organ Appeal edges nearer to our target of £50,000!

There has been a lot of activity recently around the Organ Appeal, with some new initiatives raising much needed funds towards our target of £50K. With an excellent £1,425.50 (including Gift Aid) raised in a Sponsored Fast by 10 people, and a further £583 from the Brook Concert Orchestra concert and raffle, plus ongoing income from book sales, coins in a bottle, and general donations large and small. We have now raised a shade over £34K,...

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Aylesford Tower Outing

Posted by on Monday, November 4, 2013, In : Music 

Aylesford Tower Outing

Once more the ranks of Aylesford ringers sallied forth on their annual outing on 28th September, this time crossing the water to South Essex. Our ranks were somewhat depleted for a variety of reasons so we were glad to have Barry Evans and (for the afternoon) Alan Phipps with us. It was good, too, to have the company of non ringers Diane Evans and Julie Hambelton. 

Thanks to the customary (but never to be taken for granted) hospitality of other ringers we were able to r...


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Food, Glorious Food

Posted by on Monday, November 4, 2013, In : Harvest 

Food, Glorious Food

The Harvest Supper on Saturday 5th October had a real celebratory atmosphere and was well attended. Cheerful and relaxed, Barbara Sladen and her catering team showed no signs of what must have been a very hardworking day preparing both the food and the Brassey Centre venue, where tables were set out café style and beautifully decorated with Autumn foliage.

As more and more people arrived conversation increased the noise level, which was only quietened briefly while Chris ...


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Maidstone Day Centre

Posted by on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, In : Charity work 

Maidstone Day Centre

Each Sunday in church we collect non-perishable food to take to the Day Centre for homeless or disadvantaged people in Maidstone. At Harvest time we make a particular effort to collect any donations.

Any non-perishable food donations welcome.

A big thank you!

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A Paradise on Earth

Posted by on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, In : Vicar's trips 

A Paradise on Earth!

I’ve found the closest thing to a desert island paradise: Ilha Grande, on Brazil’s Emerald Coast, just south-west of Rio de Janeiro. A 2 ½ hour coach trip from Rio brought us to the town of Angra Dos Reis, a small town on this stunning coast, studded with hundreds of tropical islands. From Anga we took the local ferry to the island, with a couple of hundred other people, mostly locals who had done their shopping on the mainland. So they had bags and bags from supermar...


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Fair Trade - A talk by Nick Hunt

Posted by on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, In : Fair Trade 

Fair Trade - A talk by Nick Hunt

I found Nick's talk very interesting and it provoked several subsequent discussions with friends. He started by describing Free Trade as that which follows the laws of supply and demand with an underlying profit motive. Supply can be manipulated in international markets to the detriment of small local producers. Supply can be enforced when there is demand even against the best interest of the recipients - he cited the Opium Wars of the 19th Century when Britain...

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Summer Fair success!

Posted by on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, In : Summer Fair 
Summer Fair success!

I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who turned out to help at the Summer Fayre on the Friday 
evening also on the Saturday {the BIG day}. Everyone worked really hard to make it the wonderful success and enjoyable day we had, even the weather behaved itself!!!! There wasn't the large amount of public we expected but nevertheless the amount raised was just over £1,000. A special thanks to the young people who freely helped by being runners, also raising mon...

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Children's Holiday Club

Posted by on Monday, August 5, 2013, In : Children // family events 

Children's Holiday Club

It's that time of year again when the children break up for the school holidays full of hopes to enjoy themselves. And just to give them a good start we have the Holiday Club. They come along at 10am on the first Monday of their holiday, and this year our theme is "Trusting God". We start with some time all together, with a song, hearing about Jesus in the Bible and thinking about trusting him, and then we spend the rest of the day having lots of games and making all so...

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Children's Party and BBQ

Posted by on Monday, August 5, 2013, In : Children // family events 

Children's Party and BBQ

The church held a children's party on a Saturday in early July, followed by a BBQ for them and their families. What a wonderful time everyone had! Even the weather was lovely. All the Children had such fun with water games and other games organised by Chris; we had ball games and all sorts. A BIG THANK you to Janet Holdstock and Jenny Relf for arranging the party. Also to Chris who did so much with the children; there was lots of laughter. Then we had a very good BBQ c...

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That Big Band Sound

Posted by on Monday, August 5, 2013, In : Music 

That Big Band Sound

The Aveley and Newham Brass Band returned to the church at the end of June, this time for an evening of music from stage and screen. I love the way they set the church ringing when they get into their stride, the three percussionists racing from one instrument to another, and wind players blowing for all they are worth. The band have a huge repertoire, from quiet, delicate pieces to big and bold, from classical gems to today's musicals, like "Bring him home" from "Les Miser...

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Christian Aid Week 2013 total

Posted by on Sunday, July 14, 2013, In : Christian Aid 

Christian Aid Week 2013 total
| June 2013

Thank you for an amazing Christian Aid Week. Thank you to the people who gave and those who collected, as well as the people who organised and gave concerts in Eccles (and those who went to them).

The grand total is:

£3745.95

which with Gift Aid should increase to

£3995.44

I hope people were able to enjoy doing the house-to-house collection. I know that this is probably the only occasion in the year when I have the opportunity to meet many people in the p...

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Organ Appeal reaches a fantastic £30,000!

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 

Organ Appeal reaches a fantastic £30,000!


We have now just reached the £30,000 mark in the Organ Appeal. Very many thanks to all those who have supported us so far in whatever way - every pound raised goes directly into the fund (- there are no admin fees on this Appeal!). We are edging closer to re-engaging the Diocese to gain formal approval for works, and the organ builders to draw-up contracts, both of which we hope to undertake later this year as the first step in actually getting the r...

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Aylesford Church Junior Choir

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Aylesford Choir 


Aylesford Church Junior Choir

The Junior Choir has been built and led over the last few years by Helen, assisted by Brenda, Tina and Lizzie. At first, the enthusiasm of the Junior Choir was somewhat restrained when it came to services, but now they are full of confidence and provide a fantastic lead week in, week out. Whilst this has been a gradual process, particular note should be made of the solo work done by "The 3 E's" - Ellie, Elouise and Emily - as part of this year's Good Friday orator...

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Saturday Market - Spring News

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Saturday Market 


Saturday Market  - Spring News

The market has continued to welcome new customers and achieved some pleasing results in recent weeks. It was good to open all weekend at the end of April in conjunction with the Cobdown Art Club which was once again very mutually beneficial.

As the Summer months approach we hope even more local people and passing visitors will drop in to see us on Saturday mornings. It is worth remembering we do have some real bargains in, for example good quality bric-a-brac, boo...

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Wickham Lodge National Garden Scheme

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Community 


Wickham Lodge National Garden Scheme | June 2013

We are delighted to report that the garden has started to grow and there is hope for "The Day". As if sorting things out at this stage (and in these conditions) is not enough, we have received a visit from an I.T.V. television crew and Alan Titchmarsh filming for the new series of "Love your Garden". They, having decided that how we have coped with this sloping garden, is of interest to others.

However, by far the greatest interest around the Gar...

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Learn to be a bell ringer

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Music 


Learn to be a bell ringer

Aylesford Church has a happy band of bell ringers who practice every Tuesday evening in the church tower and who ring for church services on Sundays, for weddings and for special occasions like the Queen's Jubilee. Ages range all the way from children to people in their 80s. They are happy to welcome new members and to train them, anyone from 10 years old and upwards. Primary aged children might like to be accompanied by a parent or even a whole family might like to t...

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Africa Day of Prayer

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Charity work 


Africa day of Prayer | March 2013


Saturday 16th March was our 11th Day of Prayer for Africa, and I found it uplifting and inspiring. From 10am - 4pm we heard about many, many small-scale projects being run all over Africa by people in this country. Being small projects, they are closely supervised by the wonderful individuals who have started them, so money and goods sent out are carefully monitored and administration costs cut to a minimum.

Many of the projects bring schooling to children who ...

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Our Church's priorities 2013

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Church priorities 


2013 Church Priorities | January 2013


1) Find ways to encourage each member of the church to grow in their faith

Emphasis particularly on prayer, home groups and study groups. Also, people to be called to be Readers, Pastoral Assistants, Evangelists and ordained ministers.

2) Find more ways for the Church to be active as part of the community

We want to build on the success of events like Back to Church Sunday, the Jubilee Street Party, carol singing in the square and school mentoring.

3) Support ...

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Friends of Aylesford Church Champagne Tea at Anchor Oast

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : "The Friend's" events 


Friends of Aylesford Church Champagne Tea | January 2013


On 27th January we held our Champagne Tea event at Anchor Oast. We were very concerned about the weather beforehand but on the day the sun shone and parking cars presented no problems.

The two sessions were well attended and all the guests were looked after extremely well by our team of waiters all in Dress Suits. The 'back room' staff were kept busy ensuring everything ran smoothly and judging by the constant chattering all our guests ha...

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Organ Appeal is over half way to £50,000 target!

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 


Organ is over half way to £50,000 target! | January 2013


We are now well over 50% of the way to our target of £50,000, towards essential works on the Organ. Thank you to everyone who has done so much so far. In the last few months, Brenda's Parachute jump and the Community Concert (organised by Tina and Sally) have helped push our current total to £28,365.12, including an estimate of recoverable tax. We are getting close to formalising this project - obtaining the necessary approvals from t...

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Pastoral Thoughts page

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Pastoral Thoughts 


Pastoral Thoughts webpage | January 2013


Just a reminder to all about the new feature on the website. The 'Pastoral Thoughts' section contains regular 'thoughts', prayers, reflections, stories and poems from the Pastoral Team at Aylesford. Most of the items will be original and we hope the variety will be of interest and help to us all wherever we are on our journey in faith. The features can be downloaded so that they are easy to access and print if required.

Hopefully these Pastoral thoughts...

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Aylesford Community Concert

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Aylesford Choir 


Aylesford Community Concert | November 2012


On Saturday 10th November 2012, the church hosted a community concert. Not a fundraiser but rather an excuse to look at some of the major events of 2012. A mixture of readings from the works of local author Charles Dickens were mixed with a variety of musical times which in the main were written since 1952. All of the musical items had some relevance to the Dickens works that had been selected.

Given that it was the London Olympic and Paralympic year ...

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Christmas Fair

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Christmas 


Christmas Fair | December 2012


The Saturday Market Christmas fair was a most pleasant, vibrant and colourful affair. We were well supported, including many new visitors and took over £1,038! Thanks go to all our supporters and helpers on the day which made for a good result.

We would especially like to thank the following businesses that donated items for our main raffle: Hever Castle; The Bush, Aylesford; The Village Hotel and Leisure Club; Gossip Hairdressing; Beauty Bank; Reflections Hairdr...

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'Care for Creation' Services

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Environmental Group 


Care for Creation Services | November 2012


Aylesford Church Environmental Group prepared two morning services on November 18th on the theme of our responsibility as Christians to care for God's Creation.

At the 8am service, four members of the group each said a few words (download 8am talk), and at the 10am service we had an interesting talk (illustrated with a quilt!) from Helen Longley, a Reader from St. Peter & St. paul's Church in Tonbridge (download 10am talk). She referred to the Pilgrim ...

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Gurkha Soldier speaks at Remembrance Sunday Service

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Remembrance Sunday 


Young Gurkha Soldier gives an interview
Remembrance Service 
| November 2012


About 300 people, including many children and teenagers from the uniformed groups, packed the church for Remembrance Sunday and Act of Remembrance.

We were thrilled to have a young Gurkha soldier, LCpl Jit, stationed in Maidstone. A very young man endeared himself to us by telling us that this was the first time he had been interviewed in front of so many people, so he felt nervous. However, he was a marvellous interview...

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Back to Church Sunday

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Back to Church Sunday 


Back to Church Sunday | Sept 2012


To mark Back to Church Sunday there were special services at 8.00am and 10.00am with a breakfast provided between the services. The church was full at the 10.00am service. Pupils from two year groups at Aylesford Primary School took part in the service, sharing through stories, drama and song, some of the activities they had been involved in, at school, at the beginning of term. The choir sang a short anthem and the hand bell ringers played a fanfare at the en...

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Branda's Parachute jump brings Organ Appeal funds to half way

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 


Brenda's Parachute jump brings Organ Appeal funds to half way | Sept 2012


The appeal to raise £50,000 for essential works on the organ has now passed the halfway point, with a steady stream of donations boosted by sponsorship in excess of £1,000 of a parachute jump undertaken by Brenda Sladen, one of our churchwardens:

"The weather was perfect and lots of people came to support. About 14 of us crammed into the plane, sitting on the floor. At 4,000 feet, the first person left to make his solo ...

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Summer Fair review

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Saturday Market 


Summer Fair review | August 2012


Like all the rest of the country who had events booked on the 25th August, we all watched the weather and prayed. We got half our prayers answered!!! It was very wet until 1pm, my heart was in my boots, as stalwart people in true British style got gazebos up, tables out and games/stalls ready to do business. People started to come into the fair and it was up and running.

A lot of stalls didn't turn up but those that did, raised our spirits and a good atmosphere ...

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Summer Holiday Club

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Children // family events 


Summer Holiday Club | July 2012


Our theme for this event was the Olympics and being like athletes in our Christian faith.

The children and the helpers all seemed to enjoy themselves but the helpers seemed slightly more tired at the end of the day than the children!

We started with prayers and a chat from Chris, followed by some games to get rid of the surplus energy (in the children). The children often split into groups for various artists/craft activities.

After lunch more games inside and out ...

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St. Peter's Week

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : St Peter's Week 


St. Peter's Week
 | July 2012


The events we organised for this special occasion were really successful.

Sunday - Chris included an Olympic theme to our family Service

Wednesday - we enjoyed an excellent dinner in the Brassey Centre, thanks to the hard work of our catering ladies and another first rate talk from Peter Smith. A sincere thanks go to all involved.

Thursday - there was an "away day" at the home of Mr & Mrs Nigel Cooke in West Malling. We are very grateful to them for their generous hos...

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2012 Olympic experience

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : Olympics 2012 


Janet's 2012 Olympic experience
 | July 2012


On arriving at Victoria station I was immediately aware of people in bright pink jackets welcoming travellers and directing them to the correct train, tube or bus for each event. They all had a smile and time for a quick chat, wishing us a great day! The excitement of the olympics was catching and it was really great to be part of such a special occasion. 

Janet Holdstock



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"The Friends" of Aylesford Church

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, In : "The Friend's" events 


"The Friends" of Aylesford Church
 | July 2012


We held our 4th AGM on 15th July. We learned that we have had another successful year both financially and actively. The Aveley and Newham Brass band returned for a concert in the church which was well attended and much appreciated by those that came. We are putting together our programme of activities for the next year. We will be donating a further £1,000 to the church organ appeal fund. Our next event is a concert by the Blue Archadians Jazz ba...

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Organ Appeal reaches £24,000!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 


Organ Appeal reaches £24,000!

After rapid progress at the end of 2011, the Organ Appeal has grown steadily in the first half of 2012. We have had major contributions (including £1,000 from the Family Funeral Service and further donations relating to the Organathon back in December 2011. We are now totalling £24,000! What a credible achievement!

Michael keays



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Wildflower Churchyard Garden

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Wildflower garden 


Wildflower Churchyard Garden

Our "Wildflower Area" has had a wonderful show of flowers over the main part of the churchyard, including cowslips and blue speedwells. A wildflower mat has been laid to the South side of the church containing a variety of wildflower seeds. Watch this space to see which ones flourish!



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"The Friends" Jubilee Church Garden Party

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Queen's Diamond Jubilee 


"The Friends" Jubilee Church Garden Party
| June 2012


"The Friends" of Aylesford Church decided to join in the Royal celebrations by moving their annual garden party and it was held on Sunday 10th June. Unfortunately the weather was not kind and so we held the function in Aylesford church, but everyone helped make the church look festive with bunting etc. 51 guests attended before the rain started, many ladies in hats and the dress code was red, white and blue to mark the occasion.

A very big t...

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Aylesford and Eccles Church raise £3,350 for Christian Aid!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Christian Aid 


Aylesford and Eccles Church raise £3,350 for Christian Aid!


Thank you to everyone who helped with Christian Aid week this year - delivering and collecting envelopes, or helping with the counting. There were 40 helpers altogether, and about 2280 houses in Aylesford and Eccles received an envelope.

We were mainly members of St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Aylesford, but were again joined by people from the Church in Eccles, one from the Friars, and a couple of others.

To our amazement, the total...

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Saturday Market News

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Saturday Market 


Saturday Market News
| June 2012


June was indeed a busy, yet rewarding month. Our Jubilee Market was a colourful, pleasant day and fortunately dry. However the numbers attending were rather disappointing, knowing how many people live locally.

Then the following weekend we opened both days in conjunction with the Cobdown Art Club. This is always a very useful boost to our income and further contact with our local community and passing visitors.

We will of course be open every Saturday during the ...

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The Queen's Diamond Jubilee - A personal View

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Queen's Diamond Jubilee 


The Queen's Diamond Jubilee - A Personal View
| June 2012


What a mixture of things: the grand and the little, the national and the local, the wonderful and the wacky, the things which tugged at your heartstrings, and the ghastly!

Aylesford Church was full of white flowers, all containing photos of the Queen over her 60 year reign; and in the main service we marked the occasion and the National Anthem, which after all is a prayer for the Queen.

On the TV in the afternoon the marvellous spectacle ...

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Queen's Diamond Jubilee dates

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Queen's Diamond Jubilee 


Queen's Diamond Jubilee dates


Saturday 2nd June
The Queen will attend the 23rd annual Epsom Derby

Sunday 3rd June
Large flotilla of boats sail down the Thames led by a barge carrying the Royal family. 1,000 boats will sail from Hammersmith to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.

Monday 4th June
Major concert from the Victoria memorial outside Buckingham Palace televised by the BBC. In the evening 2012 beacons will be lit across the UK with 60 along Hadrian's Wall celebrating each of the 60 years r...

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Wickham Lodge National Garden Scheme open day

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Community 


Wickham Lodge National Garden Scheme open day
| May 2012


Saturday 26th May 2012 | 11.00am - 5.00pm

This is the fifth year of opening and our 'once a year day', so we should feel confident and relaxed (we wish!).

What a Winter! We worried about the damage of snow and freezing temperatures which didn't happen (well maybe a bit of frost) but what we did lack was the rain (hence the hosepipe ban). This means that with toil and commitment the gardens should be looking their very best for this Open Da...

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Christian Aid Week 13th-19th May 2012

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Christian Aid 


Christian Aid Week
| 13th - 19th May 2012


Thousands of churches will stand together this Christian Aid Week to speak out for change. Some 100,000 committed volunteers will go out and put their faith into action, raising funds to help some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. This includes Britain's largest house-to-house collection - an extraordinary act of witness, demonstrating to our communities that we care about poverty and justice.

This year Christian Aid Week tells the stor...

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Church website six months on . . .

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Church website 


Church website six months on
| April 2012


Have you visited the church's new website yet?

It is still new even though it is six months old! It went live on September 25th 2011 and was officially launched on Back to Church Sunday.

In these six months there have been over 4,000 viewers which is really good for a church website. 53% of these hits have been new visitors while 47% have been returning visitors. So it is really evenly balanced.

These visitors have come from 43 different countries. Apart ...

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Aylesford Church Alpha Course

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Alpha course 


Aylesford Church Alpha Course (Summer 2012)


Many of you may have heard of this excellent course which looks at the basics of the Christian faith and allows plenty of space for questioning and discussion. It's very suitable both for people inquiring about the Christian faith and for people who have been believers for years and want to shake-up their faith. After a break last year we will be holding a course again this year if there is a demand, and we will start in the early Summer 2012. The co...

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Day of Prayer for Africa

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Charity work 


Day of Prayer for Africa
| March 2012


We held our 10th Day of Prayer for Africa on 3rd March 2012.

In the morning we prayed about the importance of treating African countries justly: we considered the influence of debt, and money movement out of Africa, exploitation (especially of raw materials), the effect of land grabs by non-African countries on the food supply of the continent, and, finally, the importance of overcoming malaria and the significance of this for future population growth.

We he...

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Children's Holiday Club theme of "LOVE"

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Children // family events 


Children's Holiday CLub theme of "LOVE"


There was an air of excitement as helpers busied themselves preparing for Holiday Club. The theme for the day was LOVE; what things children love, who they love and then how Jesus loves each one of them with a special love.

Chris' games are always a favourite part of the day, some of them fast and furious, all of them enjoyed immensely. A special treat was the puppet theatre from Larkfield. As they showed the children the love of Jesus through songs and a...

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Saturday Market News

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Saturday Market 


Saturday Market News


We are now back each Saturday and pleased to see regular and new supporters visiting us again. It is also pleasing to welcome some new helpers to our team.

Our coffee area has been enhanced with extra seating and more colourful table coverings. We are still the most competitively priced place for tea, coffee and cake. It is the venue to drop in any Saturday between 10am - 12 noon to enjoy a beverage. We maintain a wide range of stock including greetings cards, books, new it...

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Sparkling Christmas tree festival

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Christmas 


Sparkling Christmas tree festival


Aylesford Church sparkled with 65 traditional and wacky Christmas trees for the first two weekends of December 2011. Trees came from local businesses, all the four schools in the parish, local organisations and clubs and from individuals and families. They ranged from a working Thomas the Tank engine model made from Knex (Royal British Legion Industries) to a flock of angels made from balloons (the church's Friendship Afternoon group). Simon Parkin from Meridi...

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Aylesford Church Christmas Fayre!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Christmas 


Aylesford Church Christmas Fayre


December was a very busy month leading up to the Christmas Fayre. This was once again a most happy and pleasant occasion on a fine, crisp, sunny day. Visitors were able to browse over a great variety of stalls and try their luck on several games and of course our fantastic main raffle with thirty six prizes. This was a great success and special thanks are extended to Suzanne Shuter and Ann Butterworth for all their work in contacting and obtaining many of the g...

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Organ Appeal reaches over £16,000!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Aylesford Organ 


Organ Appeal reaches over £16,000!


We have now reached the one-third point in our fundraising, thanks to the very generous efforts of very many people, through individual donations or sponsorships. Our total fundraising is now well over £16,000 and with a small push, we can break the £20,000 barrier: The Organathon on 10th December 2011 is one such sponsored event to help achieve this target: Do come along (any time between 10am and 4pm) and hear a continuous playing of the organ by 15 orga...

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Bread making, fun and games at the Children's Holiday Club!

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Children // family events 


Bread making, fun and games at the Children's Holiday Club!


Each half-term holiday Aylesford Church holds a one day Holiday Club for primary school children. It lasts from 10am - 3pm and takes place in the Brassey Centre, Station Road in Aylesford village. The club in October was typical: 20 children piling in with their lunch boxes, some timid because it was their first time, some marching in confidently, ready to play dodgeball; we usually begin with that!

We sang, did crafts, made bread and ...

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Children's Church Wedding

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, In : Children // family events 


Children's Church Wedding


We had a great time in Aylesford Church recently: 100 excitied children from Aylesford Primary School arrived on a Monday morning for a pretend wedding. The children were all dressed up for the occasion: smart party dresses for the girls, suits, waistcoats and bow ties for the boys and all the teachers wore rosettes - one even wore a hat!

We sorted out who everybody was - bridal couple, parents, best man, ushers, numerous bridesmaids and page boys, guests, official pho...

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Fun-filled Back to Church Sunday

Posted by on Sunday, June 23, 2013, In : Back to Church Sunday 


Fun-filled Back to Church Sunday


Children from St Mark's CEP School, Eccles helped Aylesford Church celebrate Back to Church Sunday at the end of September. They introduced a variety of extra curricular activities ranging from drama and netball, to speed stacking. The latter was expertly demonstrated by some of the children at the front of Church.

Also in the service, June Williams told us how she had come back to Church recently after a long time when she didn't go. It was interesting to hear ...

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Brand new Church website launch!

Posted by on Sunday, June 23, 2013, In : Church website 


Brand new Church website launch!


I am delighted to announce the launch of our brand new Aylesford Church website www.aylesford-church.org.uk. The site was officially launched on Sunday 25th September 2011 at our Back to Church Sunday service. Many people attended to celebrate the launch in style.

The website aims to be a warm welcome to visitors with accessible resources and features for finding out about St Peter and St Paul's Church, Aylesford and what we have to offer.

Please visit the websit...

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