The Parish of Green Street Green and Pratts Bottom

To Follow and Worship Jesus, Sharing His Love

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Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II

It is with deep sadness that we learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
We join the nation in praying for her, for the new King and all the Royal Family.

St Mary’s church will be open from:
10.00-12.00 & 16.00-19.00 today Friday 9th,
10.00-12.00 & 14.00-17.00 on Saturday 10th
09.00- 12.00 on Sunday 11th

Then 10.00-13.00 Monday 12th to Thursday
for anyone who would like to have time for silent reflection or prayer.  There will also be the opportunity to light a candle, bring flowers to leave in front of the Memorial Garden and sign a book of condolence.

Sunday 11th September, 09.30 at St Mary’s there will now be a service of Commemorative Morning Prayer for HM the Queen.

Ablaze is cancelled for this month.

Rev Susan on behalf of the Parish of Green Street Green and Pratts Bottom PCC

A message from Bishop Jonathan Gibbs to the parishes of the Diocese of Rochester following the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen

None of us could have imagined that the first time I would be speaking to you as your new bishop would be in the sad circumstances of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. The news of her death came as a huge shock to all of us.

It's just beginning to sink in.

Her Majesty has been a beacon of Christian faith, hope, and love to us in this nation, to the Church of England, to the Commonwealth, and indeed to the wider world for these past 70 years of her reign.

Rightly, we feel a great sense of sadness and of loss as we mourn her passing.

At the same time, in the days ahead, quite rightly, we'll pause to remember and to give thanks for a tremendous example of Christian service. For the way in which she has been a beacon of stability, of faith and hope to our nation throughout her reign.

At the same time of course, in our sadness, we stand alongside His Majesty the King and the whole Royal Family in their bereavement and loss, as we seek to uphold them in our prayers.

Thank you for all that you are doing in your local communities to open your churches as places of reflection and prayer.

I know that many of our churches will see many visitors coming this Sunday and next Sunday as people gather to seek solace and support and comfort in a time of loss and of uncertainty for our nation.

At the heart of Her Majesty's life was her faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. That faith which she spoke about so openly in recent years, that faith which sustained her in all the ups and downs of the life of our nation and indeed in her own life.

We remember her dignity and courage at the time of the loss of her dear husband Prince Philip.

We remember also the way in which she has led our nation in times of celebration and in times of sorrow.

Thank you for the ways in which you will support your local communities in the days ahead. May we all be inspired by Her Majesty's Christian example. 

May we hold to the faith that was so central to her life and may we bring the message of faith, hope and love which inspired her, and through her inspired so many, to those whom we seek to serve in this Diocese of Rochester.

I will be praying for you as I know you will be praying for our nation and for the Royal Family in the
days ahead.

Thank you.

Bishop Jonathan Gibbs
Bishop of Rochester

Do You have time? 

It is so easy to say… sorry I am too busy. In the hymn “ O God our help in ages past” there is a verse that starts “ Time like an ever rolling stream bears all its sons away “ and daughters no doubt, and points to the limit of our lives and what we can do in them .

I just read a book called Four Thousand Weeks, with the subtitle Time Management for Mortals by a business writer Oliver Burkman which amongst other valuable observations says we will never do everything we think we would like to do; from getting all the things in our “to do list” done in time or visiting all the people to whom we have said” we must get together”, or doing the task in hand on the computer without being distracted by messages coming in or adverts appearing and leaving the most important but difficult things to last. For the non- mathematical, 4000 weeks is just a bit over three score years and ten.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3 , it starts “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven .” and this is the basis of the well-known song Turn, Turn, Turn and the fourteen pairs of opposing things that are appropriate in life at the correct time , such as A time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep a time to laugh , a time to break down a time to build up and so on.

Like Oliver Burkman the writer of Ecclesiastes asks in verse 9 “What gain have the workers from their toil “.

In our busy lives it is often the case that we are so busy doing stuff that we fail to reflect on what is really important in our lives. If we want to save up for something it is easy to say well I am sure after all the things that are good to have, there will be some money left over for savings … and there isn’t! We need to put the savings money away first and then expenditure will be controlled better with what remains.

The same logic applies to time If you try to find time for your most valued activities by first dealing with all the other important demands on your time, in the hope that there will be some left over at the end, you’ll be disappointed.

If our Christian life is important then that we have to decide what we need to do to and when and give them priority. When we say “Your Kingdom come” in the Lord’s Prayer, for each of us how we ensure that happens may be different, but whether it is prayer time , reading the bible, working at a food bank, visiting needy neighbours, writing to our MP or working on important project or whatever, we need to sit down and plan our time for those important things and set a time every day to carry them out.

The early Christians used to say the Lords prayer three times a day. That helped to keep them on track . We can do the same.

The book of Ecclesiastes (the words of the preacher) ends with:- The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of everyone.

However many of our four thousand weeks we have left, it is important that we set aside time every day to do what is really important to advance God’s kingdom on earth every day. That is the message of the preacher and that is the message of God’s Son Jesus.

There is time enough

Kenneth L’Anson

A note from our Benefice Curate.

Susan has kindly asked me to write a few words as I start this exciting opportunity to serve as curate attached to this new United Benefice. I’m looking forward to journeying with you over the coming years as we draw closer to Christ and share Gods love with others. I have come across several churches which have the mission statement ‘to know Christ and to make Him Known’ which isn’t a bad start in defining a church.

I know this area well as I was educated at Tubbenden Primary School and my first job was working for a local branch of Nat West Bank. At 19 I became a Christian and was involved with a local church as a volunteer youth leader until I went off to study in Bristol. I stayed in the west country after graduation and worked in Wells (made famous by the film Hot Fuzz) but returned to the area and married Sarah, now a Speech and Language Therapist and a PhD student. We have three grown up children, two at university, and you may see me walking our two Samoyed dogs.

Like a lot of people, I’ve juggled different roles and responsibilities, serving a stint as a Church Warden and 28 years as a Reader. A few years ago I qualified as a psychotherapist, however, for a significant part of my working life I’ve been involved in Church Growth and Development for the United Reformed Church. As a Self-Supporting Minister I will continue working for the URC full time. It’s a real privilege being part of a team setting up various ministries aimed at engaging with people outside the church and seeing the positive impact it has on individuals and communities.

As a therapist and through experiences in my Christian life, I’m aware that there is very little support for men. One of my passions is to grow the ministry of supporting Christian men in our society. Some years ago, I set up a men’s group in my local church with a couple of other guys which I continue to run today. Our strap line is ‘Real Ale, Real Issues, Real Conversation’ looking at what it means to be a Christian man in our world today. I hope some of you will wish to join in and you will be more than welcome.

Although a lot of my ministry will be through my work and contacts outside the church, I feel I also have a gift in preaching, so I look forward to the opportunities of sharing Gods word with you as we all seek ‘to know Christ and to make Him Known.’ 

God Bless,

Martin Hayward

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