Benefice of Bethersden with High Halden and Woodchurch

Know God, Show His Love, Spread His Word

  • 2 Garden Close
  • Woodchurch
  • Ashford
  • TN26 3NX

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August is often a time of holiday or transition.  Many of our youngsters will be looking forward to starting a new school or even to leaving school and perhaps starting college or university or a job. For our curate, this summer marks the end of his six years of training – three years of pre-ordination study and then three years of practical experience whilst continuing to study.  The job of being a vicar is a complex one.  The usual comparison that is made is that of a primary school Headteacher, which no-one would be expected to do after three years!

I am sure that I am not the only one who has enjoyed watching Chris gain confidence as he was ordained first deacon and then priest.  He has flourished as he has gained experience.  There have been some very tough challenges along the way, especially on the funeral front. There have been weddings and baptisms to conduct for real, and a pretend Royal Wedding in school.  Nine o’clock Club, Open the Book, Lighting the Candle, Messy/Active Church, The Mix and Open Church have all featured in our curate’s life and so have services with food in the title …. has anyone warned his parishes?  Coffee and Croissants, Café Church, an early Easter service with, you’ve guessed it, bacon butties.   All good fun.

Chris has also been very active pastorally and will be sorely missed by the Mothers’ Union, amongst others.  He also introduced, from his ongoing study, the extra service for the bereaved that we now hold just before Christmas.

Of course all of this has been juggled with family life.  We have enjoyed having Josh, Robin, Annabelle and Harry with us and wish them all the best for the future.

Chris’s last service with us, to which everyone is invited, will be on 2nd September at High Halden, followed by lunch.

May this summer be a time of refreshment for us all,

God bless,