Monday, 28 March 2011

Big Society - Small World

The title of this week's update comes from the lecture title of the lecture delivered by Archbishop Rowan at King's College, London last Monday. It was a privilege to be in the audience to hear him, to meet him afterwards and to rub shoulders with a number of the Anglican clergy I knew from my London past. It was an unexpected opportunity in a week of positive experiences. In Walmer, as ever, the week was busy. Deacons met and after transacting our business we had a useful discussion on Settlement options which helped them present options to a Special Church Meeting. (I'm grateful to Brian Curtis for coming from Broadstairs to help the church through the discussions and decision process necessary.) By all accounts the SCM was very well supported and a very positive and optimistic spirit was abroad. A strategy has been adopted which will explore whether the finance is available to sustain the ministry for the next five years. It will be exciting to see how God works through this process and how he chooses to reveal his plan. Home groups continue to be well supported and Kids Kingdom, our Parent & Toddler group on Wednesday afternoons is bursting at the seems. With a lovely photo and write-up in the local paper, and blessed with a glorious spring day, we held our Souper Soup Lunch on Friday filling the hall with eager diners who contributed almost £125 to the work of Christian Aid. It has been a glorious week weather wise which meant I could spend a morning mowing the church lawns and with the help of the Grounds Team, flower tubs and borders are bursting into colour and all looks well-loved and cared for in the church grounds. The week ended with a little bit of pain - necessary tooth extractions - a rather unpleasant experience but thankfully now past! Thoughts turn to Mothering Sunday next Sunday and a school assembly on betrayal next week. Oh, and of course, there are this week's lectures to participate in. All in all, with much going on in the life of the church and its past it worth remembering we are part of the Big Society in a Small World.

Monday, 21 March 2011

It's Spring

It's official, the sun is shining, the daffodils are gently swaying in the breeze and today is the first day of spring. British Summer Time begins next weekend so it will be a short season but as ever it promises to be a busy one.

Arthur's Tuesday Bible Studies are proving a popular addition to our weekly schedule and our 'new' Lent discussions - 'Confident Discipleship' were well supported as they began last week.
The Deacons meet this week and they have called a Special Church Meeting for Thursday evening to discuss the future ministry (whether or not to seek Settlement with me post September 2012!). We round off the week, before adjusting our clocks, with a Soup & Roll lunch on Friday supporting the work of of Christian Aid.

Last week was busy, as ever although the college days were quieter as we participated in Reflection Week with guidance from Rt Rev Nick Baines - Bishop of Croydon - on Tuesday.
The Deacons met with my Supervisor to complete the Annual Review document for the college, we had a photoshoot with the local paper to promote our Soup Lunch, the 'new' Lent Discussions began and on Saturday the hall was filled with stallholders and bargain hunters for our Table Top Sale. The bacon butties sold out fast and by the end of the morning we'd raised almost £170.

Sunday worship on a mild spring morning attracted a number of visitors - attendance exceeded 50 with a blended mix of young (inc one baby) and old. It would be great to continue like this as the (hopefully!) better weather arrives after the dark, grey days of winter. It's Spring after all!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Blogging for Prayer

I have offered my blog as an example to a fellow student who is looking at how best to update his friends on his journey. He has been sending the occasional e-mail to a select group but is aware other too may benefit fro news and value prayer points upon which they might pray.

Whilst it is not my intention to use this blog as a 'prayer letter' I know some choose to use it in that way whilst others, known and unknown, simply read it for the news it contains.

So to the news...
The QIF inspection isbehind us - doubtless we will hear from the college in due course how it went and whether the inspectors appreciated their interaction with both staff and students.

This week is reflection week so there are no lecture which afforded an opportunity to travel to college on Monday morning.

It is always refreshing to share in our informal evening worship and preside at communion for our small but faithful group of friends who gather in the church lounge.

With one of our members recouperating with relatives after a short spell in the Mayday Hospital, it was good to be able to take a detour to college and surprise her with the delivery of the church flowers.

We have begun our Lenten journey. Fourteen gathered in church on Ash Wednesday - and we looked at our response to temptation in our worship on Sunday.

A full coach enjoyed a day out to a large garden centre on Thursday whilst the deacons remained in Walmer to meet with our Regional Ministers to discuss the Settlement Process.

After reflecting, tomorrow guided by the Bishop of Croydon, I shall return to Walmer for a photocall on Wednesday to promote our forthcoming Christian Aid Soup Lunch. We start our ecumenical Lent discussions; Thursday is Quiz Night and Saturday is a bacon butty morning for our Table Top Sale.

Within all of this there will be time to pray and I trust you, if you are reading this, might do the same?

Monday, 7 March 2011


'Quality In Formation' is the catchy title for the college's inspection team who have us all on our toes this week helping Nigel and the college staff show the college off to its best. That Ruth (from Bloomsbury) is one of the inspectors means that doubtless, if asked for my opinion, she will see the subtext of any carefully crafted response.

Anyway, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the spring bulbs are starting to bloom and it promises to the a good week as we transition into Lent.

Looking back, it was encouraging to hear that the 'new' homegroups at Arthur's were well supported and well received, attracting participants that had not thus far joined our Manse discussions and we had some new faces on Thursday too.

The Women (and a few men) from our community filled St saviour's for the annual WWDofP service which it will be our turn to host next year.

With a good plug in the local paper our Fairtrade Coffee Morning saw us almost sell all the stock we had from Bloomsbury's Fairtrade Stall. It was good to raise the profile of Fairtrade in our community.

Sunday saw us try something new as I elected to go out with the children leaving one of our deacons to read a monolgue based on possible reflections of Simon Peter's wife to the events of Jesus' Transfiguration. This was well received, it was good to give the children some special attention and shows we are not afraid to experiement within our worship.

With the 'Alleluia' hidden in the pulpit now for Lent we prepare for Ash Wednesday with a brief penetential service. Everyone has been encouraged to participate in the Christian Aid 'Count Your Blessings' Lent Appeal.

On Thursday we have a full coach for out outing to Polhill Shopping Village which will again, I hope, show a different way in which we can be community together for our friends and neighbours.

Lectures for the week will start soon so I hust upload this. They promise to be perhaps a little more fun this week with the QIF team around - I hope Davinia has got her beard... (another story!)