Benefice Diary

Here’s the monthly Diary for the A20 Benefice of six churches – Brabourne, Smeeth, Monks Horton, Stowting, Mersham and Sellindge. The Diary lists all the services and social events in the Benefice

Click here to download the Diary

Kathy’s monthly newsletter:

Dear All,

Think you’ll enjoy the opening paragraph this month as it’s from our new Priest in Charge, Reverend Chris Denyer:


Let me briefly introduce myself as I look ahead to join you as Priest in Charge of Stour Downs in September.

My family moved to Kent from Bedfordshire a few weeks before the Great Storm of ’87, and despite this rather dramatic welcome to the Garden of England, it has become my adopted home county. I have lived in the Ashford area since 2002. I have served as Curate at Bethersden, High Halden and Woodchurch for the past three years. Before training for ordained ministry, I was a primary school teacher at Kingsnorth, and latterly a supply teacher whilst studying. I initially studied history and politics at the University of Kent, and completed a Masters degree in primary literacy and language education. I love stories- reading, writing and hearing them- and have been known to tread the boards in pantomime. I have two sons at Norton Knatchbull Grammar school and a younger son and daughter at Kingsnorth Primary School. You will also no doubt at some point get to meet our Labrador, Lola, and spot me in my rather aged but beloved red sports car! I am also a huge fan of Formula One, The Beatles and Bowie.

I look forward to meeting you soon,

Rev Chris Denyer                                                                 

Thank you, Chris. We look forward to welcoming you to Stour Downs Parish and hope you and your family will be very happy here. And now for a brief summary of services and events in August. Our services follow their usual pattern this month and, as always, Holy Communion services are led by visiting priests – please check the Diary for details of where and when these will be taking place.  I’d also like to draw your attention to the many services taken by lay members of the congregation, not least our Family Services: the Family Service at Brabourne on 5th will be taken by Graham Lilley; Sian Hall will lead Smeeth’s Second Sunday Special on 12th and will be talking about Travel, and on 19th, Philip Richter will lead the Family Service at Stowting.

Morning Praise at Mersham on the first and third Sundays is also lay-led: on 5th the leader is Alec Cripps with the address given by Liz Richardson, and on 19th MP is led by John Selden with the address by Alec CrippsCelebration Praise on the first Sunday of each month (5th) is held at Sellindge Village Hall and is an informal non-denominational service where all Christians can meet together. This service is led by John Selden; Party Praise at Sellindge Church on the fourth Sunday (26th) is led by Sarah-Marie Sage, and Morning Praise at Smeeth on the fourth Sunday is led by Di Dawson. Taking these services represents huge commitment and a major investment of effort by local people so please support them by attending, if you are able to do so. 

Even though August is traditionally a holiday month, there is still a great deal going on in Stour Downs.  There are many regular events such as Mersham’s Craft Mornings (details in Diary) and First Friday at Brabourne which will be hosted by Caroline Hollis.  It’s always a good evening so please do come along. On Saturday 4th there’s churchyard tidying at Brabourne where all help is welcome, and Knit and Natter meets as usual in the Oak Room on Friday 10th. There’s a Coffee Morning in aid of Smeeth Church on 21st at Cirrus, Canterbury Road, Brabourne Lees, courtesy of Di and Paul Dawson, so please come along for what is always an excellent get together – and in a very good cause. And finally, Hurrah! what we’ve all been waiting for – Fridays@3 is back on 31st with a glorious Cream Tea.  Please don’t miss it!  

With warmest wishes to you all,


Kathy Embleton-Smith                                                      Chair Brabourne Church Management Team