Writing articles before an event is sooner or later going to catch you out!

Last month we thanked Canon Peter Leonard for preaching at the Triduum for us. He started his sermon series on Maundy Thursday and tantalised us with a theme and opening thoughts…. But the next day he contacted Father Bob to say he was not well (he had real flu!) and so was unable to complete the series. We are glad to say he is now better and back to duties at the Cathedral. Despite this our celebrations of the heart of our faith were, as they always are, uplifting and thought provoking. Canon Peter had encouraged us all to enter into the ‘experience’ of those days – and that is what we did. There were many highlights – the music enhanced our worship; the carrying of the Easter candle into the pitch black of the Church and leading us through the darkness was a memorable moment; the profound insights of our young people as they helped us reflect on the way of the cross on Good Friday and the sense of a community working together and enjoying being together as we cleaned polished and prepared the Church on Holy Saturday. Thank you to all who helped us in our worship and those who helped in transforming the Church to reflect the beauty and joy of the Risen Life.

At the end of the Easter holidays the Choir had the opportunity to sing Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral. There was a good ‘crowd’ of supporters who travelled with them – see elsewhere for some pictures. The Evensong had a congregation of 150+ – a bit different to our regular 5 – 10 ….and the Choir sang beautifully, with Matt providing his usual high standard of organ playing. Thank you to all of them for being such great ambassadors for the Parish.

The next day was the Church’s Annual Meeting. Last year’s experiment of having a lunch and then the meeting had worked well, so it was tried again. Thank you to Alan and Hester, and Sara for providing Lasagnes and to Rosie and a team of people who helped to set up the Hall and serve the food. There was a great atmosphere of a ‘family’ gathering together – we had 10 young children and around 40 adults – there was a lot of chatting and laughter. The meeting that followed was very relaxed. Thanks were expressed to all who had contributed to our community life; Jason and Jo were proposed as Deputy Wardens and David Hambrook will be a new representative on the DCC/PCC. The one message from our finances is that we do need to continue to reflect on our giving and if possible consider joining the Parish Giving Scheme.

The Parish Giving Scheme is a nationally provided scheme which manages regular giving and claiming of Gift Aid via bank payments. It is efficient and easy for the Donor and makes life considerably simpler and more efficient for the Treasurer and Gift Aid Secretary. If you would like more information, then please contact the Treasurer, Paul, via the Office (023 92 814444).

Finally, in the midst of our preparations for the May Fayre we marked a ‘significant’ birthday for Shirley Rudder …suffice to say there was a ‘0’ at the end and we ‘ate’ some cake in her honour! As she collates this Magazine we could not let the moment pass without wishing her many happy returns!

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