It is crazy to think that I’ve already been in post for twelve weeks, yet I feel as though I have never left; I have been made so welcome and I thank you for that.
I think that we can safely say that Autumn has finally arrived, which I’m happy about as it’s my favourite season of the year, full of beautiful colours. There is a crispness in the air, yet the sun still shines warm upon your face.
Recently, in Kingsnorth church, there was a morning exploring different ways of praying. We were asked to go outside on a walk and focus on something, anything really, that caught our attention and really study the detail of that object. We often walk on by the wonders of nature all around us and at our feet and fail to take in its beauty and intricacies. But when we do take time out and stop to listen to the sounds we hear and study the beauty of creation around us then it somehow reaches deep inside of ourselves and refreshes the soul by slowing us down, bringing us back to the rhythm of the earth, God’s earth.
It has been wonderful to see all the green shoots of life and growth which are going on across the parish in the life of the church. I’m reluctant to name them as I’m bound to leave something out, but I’m thinking particularly about community engagement, so, Make Lunch, Family Food and Fun, Pet services, Open churches for various displays and afternoon tea. Harvest services, school services, Ignite, Lily’s Cafe, the launching of the St Francis Hub and Frankie’s Cafe, to name but a few. These are apart from the group meeting to prepare for their Confirmation in Canterbury Cathedral on the 18th of November and the various Bible study and prayer groups which come together in faith across the parish.
This speaks to me of a Parish that is serving its community which is part of our strap line. The other part, ‘Loving God’ is more personal and where our springboard to serve our community comes from. Loving God is where our Christian life begins and comes in direct response to God’s love for us which began long before:
‘For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’. (John 3.16).
The Revd Charlotte Coles