Monthly blog

From the Vicar_Dec/Jan 2017

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 Christmas Day, when the central white candle is lit.

There are several traditions about the meaning of each candle, but the one most commonly accepted is:

The first candle represents the Patriarchs
The second candle reminds us of the Prophets
The third candle represents John the Baptist
The fourth candle reminds us of the special role of Mary
The central white candle symbolises the birth of Jesus, the light of the world.

In this way, each of the four candles reminds us of those who had a special part to play in preparing for the coming of Christ. It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the part we are called to play in helping each other to prepare in a spiritual way for welcoming Christ afresh into our lives through our celebration of his birth. Abraham, David and the other Patriarchs were obedient to their call; the prophets spoke out against injustice and pointed towards God’s way of doing things; John the Baptist was not afraid to appear different to the rest and to challenge individuals to make a personal commitment; Mary humbly offered to serve God in response to his call.

What might God be calling us to do this Christmas? Is there an injustice or a need where we can help to bring his love? Is there someone we can encourage to make a commitment to faith? Are we prepared to offer ourselves fully in God’s service in response to his call? In answering these four questions as we prepare for Christmas, may God working in our hearts help us to share his peace and joy within the life of our homes and community.

Wishing you many Blessings at Christmas and for the New Year
Revd Jonathan Hall
 

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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From the Vicar_April 2015

April 10, 2015
Dear Friends in the parish and beyond,

To the Jews it was three days, but to us barely a day separates Good Friday from Easter Day - but what a turn-around! Despair and hopelessness turn to amazement and then to utter joy as the disciples realise what God has done. Jesus is alive! It takes them months to begin to take it in and to assimilate it.

In the Christian faith, as in our normal lives, there is a close link between negative and positive; despair turning to hope, hopelessness to confidenc...

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The Brassey Centre
Station Road, Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7QR
t: 01622 719366 (Tues & Thurs only)
aylesfordchurch@btconnect.com

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St. Peter and St. Paul's Church
Church Walk
Aylesford
Kent. ME20 7BB
Services: Sundays 8am & 10am

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