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

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July Churchwarden’s letter:

Dear All,

To compensate for the extra long covering letter last month, this month’s will be shorter – or at least, I hope it will.  The walk to raise funds for the East African Crisis Appeal raised an excellent £668.46.  Congratulations to the organisers; to the 35 people who walked, and to those who provided such a lovely lunch at Brabourne and a sumptuous tea at Smeeth.  It was a great day and mercifully, the weather was kind.

Services in the Benefice in July are, as ever, many and varied with Family Services at Brabourne, Smeeth (Second Sunday Special) and Stowting on the first, second and third Sundays respectively.  There are other contemporary services such as Stowting’s Interactive Service; Celebration Praise at Sellindge Village Hall and Party Time at Sellindge Church.  Though these may be relaxed in style all are centred around the Christian gospel so please be assured that that’s a constant.  There are also more traditional services available and for details of all services kindly refer to the Diary (attached).  Even though Ian and Margaret have now retired I understand that Youth Group at Mersham will still be running so, young people please keep attending! 

Of particular note for your diaries this month are two services at Brabourne:  on Sunday 23rd the Benefice will gather there at 10am for a Holy Communion service led by Bishop Trevor, Bishop of Dover, and on the following Sunday – the fifth Sunday – there will be a Benefice Service with Holy Communion.  Bishop Trevor is an inspirational speaker so please come along to listen to him.

Regarding social events in the Benefice, please note that Brabourne’s churchyard tidying has been moved to 6pm on the first Wednesday of each month in the summer, so no more churchyard tidying on Saturday mornings for the moment.  On Friday 7th there’s First Friday at Brabourne with drinks, nibbles and chat.  All are very welcome.  A tidy churchyard on a warm summer’s evening is a perfect venue for watching the sun go down.  Look forward to seeing you there. 

On Friday 14th there will be a Coffee Morning in aid of Smeeth Church at 48 Mountbatten Way, Brabourne Lees, courtesy of Mary and David Hedges.  As usual, there will be coffee in abundance, friends to meet, and cakes, produce, plants and books to browse – and buy.  Hope to see you there.  Fridays@3 meets as usual on 28th, the last Friday of the month when a stimulating talk by the Diocesan Architect will be followed by a lovely tea and the opportunity to catch up with friends.  I have it on good authority that the Diocesan Architect is an excellent speaker so please try to come along.  And on the final Sunday, 30th, we are all invited by Alex and Richard to tea in the garden at Smeeth Rectory from 3pm to celebrate their 40 years of marriage.  Our warmest Congratulations to them both and as they will soon be on their way to a new home it would be lovely if as many of us as possible could make it to the Rectory on that afternoon.  I shall remind you nearer the time.  Donations of cakes and savouries will be welcome.

The August Diary which highlights Richard’s last service on 27th brings it home that we shall soon be a Benefice – or perhaps a Parish – without a priest. If our churches are to survive we shall all need to work together – and these are not words without meaning.  Rural churches in England have for centuries played a central role in village life and if they are to be sustained it can only be through nourishment by the community.  

Warmest wishes for the summer holidays,


(Kathy Embleton-Smith)                                                               Vice Chair, Brabourne PCC