Monthly blog

From the Vicar_March 2018

February 27, 2018
By the time you read this, you may already be struggling to resist the temptation to unwarp a surreptitiously hidden bar of
chocolate, or to accept the piece of cake offered (so as not to offend the person who has made it)! Lent is often approached
with a certain amount of fear and trepidation. It is usually seen as a time of self-discipline and self denial. A time of “sack cloth and ashes,” with self-examination and feeling guilty about the many ways in which we fall short of the standards that God calls us to live by as followers of Christ.

The word “Lent” however has its roots in an Anglo Saxon word “Lencten” meaning “spring.” Spring is one of my favourite
seasons. The long cold and dark days of winter are passing and the world is re-awaking with new energy and colour. As trees come into bud, and snow drops, daffodils and many other flowers push up through the soil, there is a real sense of
expectation and promise of what is to come.

Like the season of the year, Lent is a time full of expectation and promise. It is a time for re-awakening our spiritual senses, as we look forward to a joyful celebration of the new life offered through Christ’s Cross and Resurrection. Just as in the garden, things don’t come to full fruition unless we put in a little effort, digging over the soil and rooting out the
weeds; if we wish to experience the full joy of Easter, we need to put in a little work during Lent to prepare the ground.

Seen in this light, a little extra time in prayer study and reflection doesn’t seem so bad?

Lent gives us a chance to rediscover the wonder and beauty of God’s love for us. Everything that we do – prayer, study, and
self-examination, is offered as a loving response to the love that he first offers us. As we journey through Lent this year, may it be a time of growth and renewal, so that we may indeed know the joy of Easter.

Wishing you every blessing,
Jonathan Hall, Vicar of Aylesford and Eccles
 

From the Vicar_Dec 2017 /Jan 2018

December 6, 2017
Although carols on Classic FM, decorations and festivities in our schools, shops and offices are telling us that Christmas is here, the bulk of December falls within the season of Advent – a time of preparation for Christmas. Many churches during this season have an Advent Wreath. This is a ring of four red candles around a central white candle, usually decorated with holly and ivy. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday, and an additional candle is lit each Sunday, until Christmas Eve or...

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From the Churchwardens_April 2016

April 30, 2016
As we have no vicar at the present time, it falls upon the two churchwardens to make sure that everything we do during this time continues in the same way as it has during Chris' time with us. It is emphasised by the Diocese that we should not change or introduce new things but just carry on as before. In this regard, we see this as keeping our readers informed.

On the 9th March, Chris was installed in his new parishes of St. Andrew, Sutton Park and St. Peter, Wawne with a population of some 2...

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From the Vicar_Dec 2015 / Jan 2016

December 14, 2015
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

I was in the building society yesterday and was asked by the woman at the counter, "Are you looking forward to Christmas?" I suddenly realised that I wasn't sure what to say or what I felt; in the end I said, "Well, I'm a vicar, so I suppose I just take a big gulp and then get on and enjoy it." I expect most of you are in the same boat as the Christmas machine grinds faster and sweeps us all up inside it, before dropping us, exhausted, on the other side i...

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From the Vicar_November 2015

November 10, 2015
Hello all,

I have been attending some Harvest Services in the local schools recently, and of course we have had our own Harvest services in church. Over the last week I have sung "Autumn Days" three times, and this includes the lines:

"So I mustn't forget, no, I mustn't forget
To say a great big thank you,
I mustn't forget."

It's such a simple thing but it means so much - if it's sincere! It means making an effort to look away from ourselves, to notice what other people are doing, often for us, an...

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From the Vicar_October 2015

October 11, 2015
Hello all,

I am writing this in the midst of the huge migrant crisis in Europe at present. Thinking a lot about it, I believe it is not for me to preach at the people and government of this country about what should be done. After all, I am a guest in this country. I have a foreign passport and was born and brought up abroad. I first came to this country as an overseas student, and yes, I paid higher fees than British students, but my years at university were still subsidised by the UK. Then s...

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From the Vicar_September 2015

September 1, 2015
Dear readers wherever you are,

I never know when the weddings are going to come in the year. Sometimes it's June and September; this year it seems to be more during the school holidays. So at present I am in the middle of the wedding season: rehearsals, hyped-up families, joking ushers, grooms trying to stay cool . . . I am always struck by the words in the introduction to the marriage ceremony:

"Marriage is a way of life made holy by God."


In other words, it isn't just the institution of marr...

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From the Vicar_July/August 2015

July 12, 2015
Dear Friends,

I am very interested that almost without fail when I ask a wedding couple why they want to get married in church, the one who is insistent on church is not the woman but the man. We all imagine that the bride will want a wonderful setting for her wedding, and often she does agree that the church is the right place, but the one who usually insists on church is the man. This may well be from someone who says he has very little religious belief at all - he doesn't know if God exists...

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From the Vicar_June 2015

May 30, 2015
Dear Friends,

There is a wonderful passage in the Bible:

"For I know the plans I have for you, 'declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek with me all your heat." Jeremiah 29: 11-13

I read this to some of the Mums and helpers who attend our small Kidzpraise (Parent and Toddler) group, and asked them whether they thought th...

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From the Vicar_May2015

April 30, 2015
Dear Friends,

Many of you will be deciding who to vote for in the coming general election. I have to be more than usually careful what I say about the election since I can't vote in parliamentary elections as I do not have a British passport (I can vote in local and European elections). Here are a few guiding ideas.

Firstly it is good to exercise our right to vote. We may well be cynical about politics and politicians and we won't find any party which wholly matches our views, but I think we do...

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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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