ASK – Passiontide

Vicar’s Blog ~ March 29th 2020 ASK – Passiontide Dear friends, This weekend it is Passion Sunday – the Fifth Sunday of Lent, which falls between the respite of Mothering Sunday and the beginning of the agonies and ecstasies of Holy Week. There is little respite for us, hunkered in our bunkers. I do hope and pray that everyone is … Read More

ASK On being at home this Lent….

Vicar’s Blog ~ March 24 2020 March 24 2020 My dear friends, We are united in spirit and connected in prayer. Sadly the church is closed and we are stuck at home, for better or worse. Weddings are cancelled, and the thought of funerals unbearable. Spare a big prayer for David Cater, who sings with our choir frequently, whose dear wife Diane died … Read More

Distance yourselves and stay close to God…

ASK for help poster

Vicar’s Blog ~ 18 March 2020 ‘Distance yourselves and stay close to God…’ Dear friends, Distance yourselves and stay close to God… It was not my plan to write daily, but then plans are not quite where we are at at the moment! I’ve been writing this on and off all day, and things change from one hour to the … Read More

The ASK Force – Do not be afraid to ASK!

The ASK Force – Do not be afraid to ASK! My dear friends, Warm greetings of care and prayer, In this evolving situation, and in response to some responses and suggestions, I am hereby creating the ASK FORCE: Action Supplication Kindness Basically we are asking and inviting folk to volunteer to be asked to do things for others who might … Read More

Vicar’s blog Coronavirus Special

Vicar’s Blog ~ Coronavirus Special 16 March 2020 Dear beloved friends, This is a time of anxiety and uncertainty, we all know. I am writing, firstly to assure you of support and prayer and love. Some people are self-isolating, or are simply a bit worried, or indeed are not worried! In any event and wherever you stand in the field … Read More

Vicar’s blog March 2020

Dear friends, By now you will probably have heard our news, announced on 23rd February, that after 17 years as Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s, I have accepted the invitation from the Crown to take up the post of Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral. Such a decision and all it entails yields a mixture of emotions for us all, inevitably, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2020

Dear Friends, Perhaps you saw the harrowing and shaming couple of programmes about Bishop Peter Ball and his high crimes and misdemeanours on television recently. They were not happy watching by any means, and it may only be small comfort to know that nowadays any appointment of any clergyman or woman is also accompanied by rigorous safeguarding checks and compliances. … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2020

I hope you had a good Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for all the cards we received. It was a good Christmas in Church too, attendances at the Christmas services were up, as was the generosity from congregations, and indeed so too was the amount of money we raised for external charities, mostly Crisis at Christmas. We … Read More

Vicar’s Blog December 2019

Dear friends, What a wonderful production the Drama Group put on of Dorothy L Sayers two plays He that should come and Kings in Judea recently. Described by one member of the audience on the Friday night as ‘nativity plays for adults’ these were great dramas and explored the hidden depths and theological meanings behind the stories of the nativity … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2019

When we commemorated the end of the First World War last November we looked back at the parish magazines from 100 years earlier to see what people were saying at the time – particularly what the vicar wrote in the magazine and other parish records. Since then I’ve been very aware that what one writes now is not just for … Read More

Vicar’s Blog August 2019

Well what a Patronal weekend we had! A stunning and well-attended Organ Spectacular at which John Rippin, Keith Beniston and Jonathan Marten played wonderfully, including a topically themed improvisation on ‘Blue Moon’ by Keith. After delightful fizz on the lawn, we adjourned to the Hall, where Judy Smith had prepared a bumptious dinner of cold salmon and wicked deserts, which, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog June 2019

Dear Friends, There isn’t much room for me in this month’s packed magazine! I don’t mind – as the American Composer John Cage once said, ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it’! To be serious, we congratulate and welcome Annaliese Fenwick on her election as new Churchwarden and, for the second time and thank Alison Reeve for … Read More

Vicar’s Blog May 2019

Dear friends, Happy Easter! You will know that we have been spending time and money on the organ, and while we had hoped it would be ready for Easter Day, it wasn’t quite ready, but it very soon will be. The weekend of 18/19 May will be the time to celebrate its inauguration, and we have a free concert and … Read More

Vicar’s Blog April 2019

Dear friends, We must congratulate the ladies on the choir, who have now been singing with us for a hundred years! In the Parish magazine of April 1919, our predecessors reported: “An innovation has been introduced into the services at S.Mary’s by the admission of ladies into the choir in place of boys, and we are very pleased to say … Read More

Vicar’s Blog March 2019

Dear Friends, It is the time of year again, but this time in a year that only comes around every six years, when we revise and reconstitute the Electoral Roll of the Parish. From what follows, dug up by Joy Heywood from the Parish Archives, you’ll see that this is the centenary of our Electoral Roll, which was introduced here … Read More

Vicar’s Blog February 2019

Dear Friends, As well as telling us how many days to next Sunday there are, or what date to write at the top of the page, our calendars remind us of which secular, religious or family festival is approaching. As we near someone’s birthday or wedding anniversary, we think of them, perhaps pray for them, at the very least we … Read More

Vicar’s Blog January 2019

Dear friends, It has been another good Christmas, for which we welcomed congregations of our usual increased numbers for Crib and Carol Services, and had a wonderful orchestral carol concert with readings too. As always, feedback is useful in terms of what we do in future years, although I cannot see us changing our hugely popular and successful Christingle offerings … Read More

Vicar’s Blog November 2018

Dear friends, Here are the words of a hymn written by Canon Rosalind Brown, who recently retired from Durham Cathedral: ©Rosalind Brown 20/10/2000 Four years ago we began a period of Remembrance which brought into focus a series of events that encompassed the significant and tragic milestones of the Great War. In 2014 we ‘marked’ the beginning of hostilities, avoiding … Read More

Vicar’s Blog October 2018

Dear Friends, Dear Friends, Here’s a little conundrum for you: The police are looking for a suspected murderer – they know his name is John, but they do not know what he looks like. But they do know where he lives. They raid the house, and find a poker game in progress, being played by a fire officer, a mechanic, … Read More

Vicar’s Blog September 2018

Dear Friends, It’s five years now since Archbishop Justin Welby declared what the press decided to call the ‘war on Wonga’. You probably remember – Wonga were in the habit of advertising short-term unsecured loans with their 2 little old people saying in their cartoony way that this was the solution to all their problems. Ironic that they were shortsighted, … Read More