Pulpit Swap - 12th May 2013
On Sunday 12th May Rev Gary and Rev Angie (Vicar of our link church Christ Church in the Mead) pulpit swapped, with Gary preaching at Christ Church and Angie preaching in Farningham at 9.30am and Lullingstone at 11.00am.
It was good to hear a little about the work of Christ Church on the Kingsmead housing estate. Members of the church run a social club for the elderly, a gardening project encouraging healthy eating and support undocumented migrants who otherwise have no means of support.
Thirteen parishioners joined Angie for lunch in the Malt Shovel. In Hackney Gary and his family were entertained by lunch in Weatherspoon's; and growing friendships were deepened.
We now look forward to joining Christchurch for a BBQ in their garden project on Saturday 13th July.
Ascension Day - 9th May 2013
On Ascension Day, our Archdeacon, Ven. Clive Mansell joined us for our 7.30am Benefice communion service. Clive reminded us that at Jesus' ascension to heaven 40 days after his resurrection Jesus:
Was GONE – his earthly work complete.
Was GLORIFIED – exalted to a throne in heaven as King, taking our humanity with him.
Said "GET GOING" – Jesus is still at work in the world through the church, his body on earth today.
Click here to hear Clive's sermon.
The service was followed by bacon butties in the Rectory. Thanks to Norman’s butchers for the tasty bacon.
Easter Celebrations 2013
This year we held three Easter morning services, one in each of the three churches. Here the children are seen acting out the Easter story in the family service with Communion at St Martin’s.
Musicathon in aid of Murumbina Hospital, Zimbabwe
Well done Jack and Hannah Barker for organising a 24 hour musicathon in St Martin’s in aid of Murumbina hospital in Zimbabwe. The event kicked off on Saturday 23rd March with a concert of opera and show songs. Music continued through the night, moved under the litch gate during the 8.00am Sunday Communion (see below), before the bell ringers took over. Afternoon entertainment was provided by Anthony Roper School and DVYM. The 24 hours closed with a 'come and sing' evensong based around the Messiah. Over £5,000 was raised.
Visit of Bishop Brian
On Thursday 28th February Bishop Brian visited the Benefice for the day. After saying morning prayer in St Martin’s, he lead a group of parishioners on a prayer walk through Eynsford to Farningham via the Anthony Roper School, where he spoke to and blessed the children. In Farningham we climbed the tower and blessed the village. A walk back to Eynsford via Sparepenny lane took us to the Malt Shovel for a well deserved lunch.
It was a most encouraging and worthwhile way to spend a day, and we trust a blessing to the villages as we upheld them in prayer.
Those who could manage it, walked to Lullingstone via the villa (see above) and then were joined by several car loads of people at the World Garden for an hour of 'praying round the world'. The day ended with a beautiful sung evensong in St Botolph’s.
Rev Hazel Salmon dedicated two new brass candlesticks, here being lit for the first time by churchwarden Gerald Roome, in memory of Deliah Jermain, a much loved member of Farningham church, and warden between 1995 and 2001 died in February 2012.
Pancake Party and AGM
Farningham Cricket Club was the venue for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party and AGM. The annual pancake tossing competition was declared an honourable draw between the three churches after a number of pancakes disintegrated and it was discovered that no one was counting Eynsford’s efforts.
Rev Gary’s AGM report can be read here.
Members of St. Botolphs’ celebrated candlemas with a special service followed by mince pies and mulled wine. We know how to do feast days ...
Bring & Share Lunch at St. Botolph's - 29th July 2012
Sunshine one minute, dark clouds and pouring rain the next ... pretty normal then! But even the rain couldn't spoil the bring & share lunch after July's United Benefice Service. Thank you to Joanna and George and anyone else who helped.
Book of Common Prayer 350th Anniversary
On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July St Botolph's hosted an exhibition about the Book of Common Prayer to celebrate the 350th anniversary of its publication. Many ancient prayer books were on display as well as articles about the BCP and its influence on British religion and culture. Archdeacon Clive Mansell was guest preacher and celebrant at a special service on Sunday morning. The BCP continues to be used for worship each week at St Botolph's, nourishing and inspiring a growing congregation.
The Bishop of Rochester Visits Lullingstone
At the invitation of our Rector, The Right Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, came to St Botolph’s on Wednesday 21 March. The Bishop led a service of Choral Evensong in commemoration of the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, the instigator of the Anglican 'Book of Common Prayer'.
Worshippers from all three parishes as well as members of the Rochester Diocese Branch of the Prayer Book Society and a visiting clergyman and his wife from Rochester USA packed the church.
The Benefice Choir, under the direction Dale Wills, sang S.S. Wesley’s splendid anthem, “Lead me, Lord” as well as settings of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis. Mendelssohn’s 'O for the wings of a dove' was beautifully and movingly sung by soprano soloist, Anya Williment. In his sermon the Bishop spoke about the life, death and enduring achievements of Thomas Cranmer.
Before the service Guy and Sarah Hart Dyke welcomed everyone into the great hall of Lullingstone Castle, where wine and canapés were served by the Friends of St Botolph’s.
To mark the occasion the Bishop was given a presentation copy of the Book of Common Prayer by a representative of the Prayer Book Society, which he used to conduct the service.
Rev. Gary Owen, Guy and Sarah Hart Dyke, Bishop James and George Comer (Churchwarden).
Daffodils for Marie Curie
4th March 2012
After being sponsored to grow their own daffodil for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Sunday School raised £185.55. Their acheivement was celebrated at 'Worship for All' on 4th March. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
Chess Club Opens
The EFL Chess Club opened its doors on Friday 13th January.
These Friday evenings are proving popular at the Olive Seal Hall, with around 12 children gathering to learn and play chess. Parents join in and provide stiff opposition for the kids. Younger siblings play dominoes and snap.
After half term some of the children will be taking their 'EFL certificate of merit grade 1' as they work towards an English Chess Federation award.
New members (children of all ages) are welcome to attend, for the small fee of £1 per family per week.
Fridays, 6.00 – 7.15pm in the Olive Seal Hall.
More details from Rev Gary, email@example.com or 01322 863050
A Service at Westminster Abbey
16th November 2011
'The Trustees of the King James Bible Trust request the pleasure of your company at a Service of Celebration to mark the 400th Anniversary of The King James Bible; Westminster Abbey, Wednesday 16th November 2011, Noon' was the invitation received by Gary and nine Friends of St Botolph’s who had put together the church’s week-end of events to mark the anniversary at Lullingstone. Unfortunately Gary had another engagement and Guy and Sarah Hart Dyke were away but Doreen Spence, Valerie Wells, Kass Pateman, Peter and Mary Hill and George and Joanna Comer were delighted to accept the invitation. 'Ladies do not have to wear hats but they would be in keeping with some senior attendees' was the cryptic addition to the dress code. It was only a few days before going that we learnt just how senior these attendees would be: the Queen, Prince Phillip and the Prince of Wales.
Four historic copies of the King James Bible and the “People’s” digital Bible were ceremoniously placed on the altar at the start of the service. In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster reminded us that two of the six companies of divines charged with making the translation had worked in the Abbey. The Marquess of Salisbury, a Trustee of King James Bible Trust, and the Archbishop of York read from the Bible and the Archbishop of Canterbury gave the Address. Dignitaries representing other denominations included Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
Of course there was marvellous music including an Anthem and words to a hymn written especially for the occasion. We left the Abbey to the joyous sound of the bells. Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers, conducted by David Hilling, who is also Ringing Captain at Eynsford and Farningham, rang a peal which took ten ringers over three hours of concentrated effort. A peal has a minimum of 5,000 different changes. On this occasion the peal comprised 5,400 changes, reflecting the significance of the commemoration.
Our tickets scattered us around the Abbey but after the service we were pleased not only to meet each other but also the members of the 'In Voice And Verse' Trio who had been such an important part of our celebrations back in July. It was a truly wonderful occasion.
Bring Your Car to Church
Fathers' Day 19th June 2011
On Sunday 17th June the Benefice held a special "bring your car to church" day, aimed especially at men but welcoming all. Around 30 cars were brought to the Market Meadow in Farningham, including everything from a 1930's Rolls Royce to modern people carriers.
Around eighty people, including a number of visitors, enjoyed an All Age morning service and then shared a picnic in the meadow. There was much checking out of one another's cars, especially the older or sportier models.
George Comer's 1930's Rolls Royce won the newly inaugorated 'EFL Classic Car Trophy' and Jane Gray's Polo won best daily drive.
The heaven's then opened. Most people ran for home, but a few hardy souls took part in a car treasure hunt, which was won by the Saunder's family.
Farningham Village Fete
11th June 2011
Bring & Share Lunch at St. Botolph's, Lullingstone
29th May 2011
Holy Week and Easter
Click here to download a pdf describing Holy Week and Easter Weekend in words and pictures.