Finding peace in a busy life

June 13, 2019
Ruth's article from the June edition of the parish magazine.

As I write this (mid-May) we are enjoying some wonderful weather. I have just returned from three-days’ training, near Northiam, where I have been reminded once again of the crucial importance of stopping every so often to smell the roses … or stand awe-struck at the beauty of the Kent countryside, or to simply close my eyes and turn my face toward the warmth of the sun. The challenge now, of course, is to retain such times of balance and peace and restoration, despite being back in the busyness of daily life. And this is a challenge for all of us. We may have summer holidays planned, but if we’re not careful, they can lead to more stress and tension, as we try to complete everything on our to-do list so that we can go away with an unburdened heart and mind. And when we get to the place of our dreams, the first week is spoilt, not just for us, but for everyone around us, as we literally depressurise. Surely we must, somehow, find life-giving times of quiet and contemplation within the usual structures of daily life. Some people manage it – yoga, sailing, mindfulness maybe – there are all sorts of tools to help us, but there’s one more I would suggest. That is prayer.

Prayer might already be part of your pattern of life, or not something you have ever thought about. Prayer doesn’t have to be elaborate or complex. Prayer often includes spoken words, but need not. Prayer can simply be time spent with mind and heart focused on our loving creator, God. Prayer opens up a space in life, in which all the questions we have can be wrestled with, gently mulled over or allowed to drift away for a while as we connect with God and bathe in his peace.

We take our example from Jesus. The stories of Jesus in the Bible, record, many times, the importance he placed on prayer, on time focused on his father, God. One instance is recorded by the Gospel writer Mark:

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. (Mark 1.35)

If you’d like to look them up, some other examples are Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 6:12 and Jesus himself, talks about the importance of never giving up with prayer in Luke 18.1-8.

Possibly the best-known story of Jesus related to prayer, is his teaching of The Lord’s Prayer – a simple prayer, but of such depth, that it has been the prayer of millions throughout the ages.

The Lord’s Prayer contains the words ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – a prayer that the promised time of wholeness, flourishing and peace under the reign of God will indeed come.

As I mentioned in last month’s magazine Thy Kingdom Come is the title of the Church of England initiative that St. Peter and St. Paul’s will be taking part in, between May 30th (Ascension Day) and June 9th (Pentecost). 

My prayer is that Thy Kingdom Come will provide precious space in busy lives for you. This is an invitation to you, wherever in life you are, to come, just as you are, and spend a little while in the peace of your beautiful parish church, or, if you’d like to explore prayer and maybe grow in confidence with it, visit the prayer stations or come to any Morning or Evening Prayer (8.30am and 7pm) between 31st May and 8th June.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

More news …

Magazine Editor
This June edition of the magazine is Allan Card’s last one as editor. We owe him a huge debt of thanks for continuing with this task for many years, despite the usual frustrations and challenges of an editor’s role. We will be thanking Allan formally during the 10am service at church on 9th June. In the meantime, I’m sure I speak for everyone in saying THANK YOU ALLAN! Your dedication to the magazine has been greatly appreciated.

We have not yet had any luck in finding a new editor. If you, or someone you know would be excited by editing a church and community magazine with lots of potential for growth, please talk with me. In the meantime, the magazine will continue!

Families and Children are very welcome in Church
It was wonderful that so many families with children were in church over Easter and we are being very intentional about continuing the invitation and welcome. At present we have all-age worship with activities for children on the first and third Sundays of every month, but we are praying about and aiming to provide activities and, we hope, an exciting Sunday Club for younger ones on the other Sundays, possibly from September.

The children’s area in church needs some TLC, some new furniture, toys, books etc and we are going to apply for a grant for this. We will also be providing material to help you support your children on their spiritual journey through life.
The Thy Kingdom Come prayer stations will include stations for children, so please come and spend some time as a family exploring prayer or simply visiting your wonderful church.

Please bear with us as we develop this area of ministry. Your prayers for it will be greatly appreciated. If you would like to help with it just let me know and in the meantime, please spread the word … children and families are very welcome in St. Peter and St. Paul’s! 

St Peter and St Paul’s Celebration Weekend
Saturday 29th June is what’s called our Patronal Festival (the day on which we honour the patron saints of our church – St. Peter and St. Paul), and we will be making the most of it over the whole weekend. The timetable looks like this:

Saturday morning – one of Peter Smith’s wonderful ‘study’ (more like interesting and absorbing) mornings. 10am – 1pm in church.

Saturday afternoon – Cream Teas. 2-5pm in church.

Sunday morning – Breakfast in church from 9.15am. Followed by an All-age Celebration Service at 10am.

Sunday afternoon – Barbecue in the Vicarage garden, 12 noon onwards.

All these events are for everyone who is interested, and we hope it will be a wonderful weekend of church and community celebrating together.

In the meantime, may you find quiet times in the midst of life, for restoration of body and soul.

Every blessing,


01622 717434     07803 902319

Introducing the Revd Ruth Peet

February 11, 2019

I was born in Beverley, East Yorkshire. My late father was Organist & Choirmaster at St. Augustine's Hull, and one of my earliest memories is of the thrill of that building seeming to shake while Dad thundered out Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. So began a life never very far from the Church and its music.

A few years later the family moved to Kent, and wherever Dad went music-wise I followed, singing in various choirs. Eventually we ended up at St. Martin's, Eynsford, with my daughter, C...

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New Vicar

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

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 >>

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Our Interregnum begins

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

June 27, 2018
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

June 27, 2018

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

June 27, 2018

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

February 26, 2018
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

December 3, 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 wi...

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