- Services & Prayer
- Children and Families
- People & Groups
- News & Events
- Buildings & Hall Hire
This week the Church begins a new Christian Year. The wreckage of the streamers and party from the last Sunday of the year, Christ the King, have been put away. Instead the Church looks sober dressed in purple and the season of Advent has begun. The word Advent comes from the Latin ‘Adventus’, meaning ‘coming’, itself a translation from the Greek ‘parouisa’.
Advent is a time in which we prepare for two mysteries. The first is obvious, very simply the coming of Christ at Christmas. There is nothing more special that the concept that God chooses, of his own free will, to become a human being as we are. Advent allows us through prayer, attendance at Mass, and acts of kindness and mercy, to get ready for this feast.
The second mystery we ponder is the life to come. Here we think about our own deaths, and inevitable judgement in the life to come. We are encouraged to think about how we have used our lives so far, and what more we can do to spread God’s kingdom on earth. In the words of this Sunday’s Gospel, “stay awake, praying at all times, for the strength to survive all that is to happen”.
Fr Matthew has been serving at St John’s since July 2015. He was made Deacon in 2015 and is now to be ordained Priest. There ordination will take place on Sunday the 2nd October at 3.30pm. The ordaining Bishop will be the Rt. Revd. Norman Banks, the Bishop of Richborough, and the Bishop of Rochester will also be present. There will be clergy present from many points in Fr Matthew’s journey towards this important moment, including the preacher, Fr Robert Farmer SSC, who is the Vicar of St Mary’s Wellingborough, and Fr Matthew’s former Parish Priest. All are very welcome to come and support Fr Matthew on this important occasion. There will be drinks and refreshments after the service. Fr Matthew will celebrate his first Mass the next day, Monday 3rd October at 8pm, and you are very welcome to attend this also.
You can read more about Fr Matthew here, and his forth coming ordination, on the Bishop of Richborough’s website.
Friday 2nd September was Fly the Flag day for the Merchant Navy. This year Fr Robin is acting as chaplain the the Chairmen of the District Council, Councillor Simon Raikes. At 10am the ensign was raised by the Westerham Sea Cadets, and prayers said for all those who serve in the Merchant Navy, and all who have lost their lives serving in it, not least in conflict. This is a day which has been recently introduced, but allows communities to remember the service and sacrifice that these men and women have made.
Please find details below. We will keep the festival on Sunday 26th June with a Solemn Mass at 4pm rather than the normal 10am. There will be no 10am Mass that day. The preacher will be Canon Michael Shields SSC, some tim Vicar of St John’s, and the augmented choir will sing Mozart’s Mass K258.
The latest edition of our parish magazine ‘About St John’s’ is now available. Just click on the image to go the correct page. This edition includes articles from Fr Robin on the recently restored bell and Fr Matthew on Lent. Marigold Seal writes about the original East window and there is an account of our parish Panto back in January. There are also details of what is coming up in the next few months at St John’s.
The Church now finds itself in the season of Lent, a time when we remember Jesus going out into the desert for forty days and nights. We keep this season through the traditional means: Fasting, Almsgiving, and Prayer. Here at St John’s there are several opportunities to do this.
Stations of the Cross
These take place on Wednesdays at 7.30pm (6.30pm on 24th Feb) and 10.30am on Fridays, They last about 25 minutes and follow Jesus on his journey to calvary. Anyone is very welcome to join us.
This takes place on Thursday 17th, 25th Feb & 2nd & 9th of march. This year we are praying and meditating of the events of the Passion and Death of Jesus. There is soup at 8pm and a talk from 8.15pm till about 9pm. These take place the Clergy House parish room just off Allotment Lane.
On Sunday 13th of March the Mother’s Union is holding a Lent Lunch after Mass on Sunday. This £5 for adults and £3 for children with all the money being raised going to charity. In addition on the 18th March St John’s will be hosting the North West fellowship for a service of prayer at 12noon and then a Lent lunch at 12.30pm.
This year we continue in our support of the Additional Curates Society. ACS support and help fund Priests in poor parishes. Boxes are available at the back of Church for you to give your donations in.
Along with many Christians worldwide, and partially at the request of Bishop Norman of Richborough, St John’s is keeping year of Mercy. At our Christmas services we have been collecting. In total £1306 was raised. This will be split between Shelter, Crisis at Christmas, and the Church of England Children’s Society. Of course if you would like to increase these totals you are always welcome.
We are very conscious as we hear the Christmas story that it concerns a family who struggled to find anywhere appropriate to stay. To this end both Shelter and Crisis seem appropriate charities. Our Christingle and Children’s Nativity follows the old example of collecting for the work of the Church of England Children’s Society.
In a small way it is a good beginning to our keeping of the Year of Mercy, a reminder that it is not just ourselves that matter, but the needs of others.
Many thanks to all who gave.
St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks
The Clergy House,
62 Quakers Hall Lane,
01732 451 710