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Vicars letter

May 2021

Click for the Vicars letter from April 2021

The joy of worship, together

The period of Easter is not just Easter Sunday. It is not just an early morning sunrise service. It is not just Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, and chocolate. It is a period in the church year that continues for another six weeks and includes the Ascension - when we remember Jesus returning to his father. At the end of the Easter period - nine days after the Ascension - we mark the gift of the Holy Spirit to all of us, as we celebrate Pentecost. So while we are still in the Easter period it is quite appropriate to continue to proclaim: “Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”

This is what we gathered together for on Easter Sunday. But joy of joys, we actually gathered together, in our churches, at the same time, face-to-face - public worship together for the first time in 12 weeks. And what joy it was. We celebrated collectively three times on Easter Sunday: a sunrise service, although the cloud did not cooperate - we were not rewarded with a glimpse of the sun this year - but we were singing as one outdoors.

Then we gathered again for Communion services in both parish churches. I cannot begin to tell you how good it was to be worshipping with real people in real time once again, rather than speaking to a camera on a smartphone. The joy of being able to preach and get immediate feedback. The power of being able to share Communion. The whole experience was incredibly powerful as we proclaimed together: “Alleluia. Christ is risen!”

At present we are living in this period where some restrictions are easing, some are not. We can enjoy the new freedoms that we have, but still need to be cautious - things are not ‘back to normal’ yet. If we all remain cautious, if we show some patience, then one day, one wonderful day, things will again feel normal. If we are not cautious then the worry is further lockdowns may result. So let’s rejoice in what we can now do, but not forget this is still serious.

For the month of May, and probably for all of June (hopefully Government restrictions will be lifted completely on 21 June) we plan to be open for worship every Sunday. (Not every church is doing so; some opened for Easter Sunday and have closed again.) Our service pattern will continue with the reduced format for the time being:

  • 1st Sunday of the month 8am St Nicholas, Sandhurst & 10am St George’s
  • 2nd Sunday of the month 8am St George’s & 10am St Nicholas, Sandhurst
  • 3rd Sunday of the month 8am St Nicholas, Sandhurst & 10am St George’s
  • 4th Sunday of the month 8am St George’s & 10am St Nicholas, Sandhurst

I invite you to come and praise and worship God - in church, at the same time, together. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do. Let us never again take it for granted.

Revd David Commander, Rector

T: 01580 240658 E: david@dc-uk.co.uk

Events

During Coronavirus period please check with organiser

Christian aid week - local donations online

Mon 10th May to Sun 16th May

Donate online Benenden & Iden Green
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Parish Council Meeting

Mon 17th May, 7pm

Email in advance to attend the meeting
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Open Garden for St Michael's Hospice

Tue 18th May, 10:30am

Beautiful garden near the church
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Parochial Church Coucil Annual Meeting

Mon 24th May, 7:30pm

Elections for PCC official posts
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Parish Council Meeting

Mon 21st Jun, 7pm

Email in advance to attend the meeting
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WI Summer garden party

Tue 29th Jun

For existing members only
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Open-air Jazz and Blues

Sat 17th Jul, 3pm

The perfect way to celebrate summer
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Parish Council Meeting

Mon 19th Jul, 7pm

Email in advance to attend the meeting
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Iden Green and Benenden WI

Tue 20th Jul, 2pm

A social afternoon for potential members
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Parish Council Meeting

Mon 20th Sep, 7pm

Email in advance to attend the meeting
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Parish Council Meeting

Mon 18th Oct, 7pm

Email in advance to attend the meeting
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See full list of events