Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Churches Together AGM

Everyone is welcome at the AGM of Churches Together in Sevenoaks and District. The business will be dealt with swiftly & efficiently, so that there will be plenty of time for the talk & questions on Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees & update on other interesting projects eg. links with the police i/c community safety, women's Christian conference, the history project, debt advice....

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Scarecrow winners

A rather belated round-up of all the scarecrows (I think!) there were around the village this Harvest. 
Ist prize went to Justice League - a whole crowd of superheroes in Ragstones.

2nd Prize - Jon Snow

3rd Prize  - A family of scarecrows in the High Street (this photo and the three below)

5th Prize - George and the dragon slugged it out in Park Lane - the princess looked on from above.

Choosing the prize winners was tough, and all were good. More entries below.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Anyone else "ploughing the fields and scattering"?

We sang this hymn yesterday at our Harvest Festival, so I thought I would re-share the blog post from our series on hymns earlier this year, in case anyone else is "ploughing the fields and scattering " at the moment!

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: Singing the Faith: Day 29: Songs for the Seasons: We plough the fields and scatter In the final week of our series, we will think about hymns which mark particular seasons of the year,...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some of Seal's Scarecrows

Some of this year's Scarecrows. Many thanks to Jenny Bensted for most of these photos. I'm sure there are others I haven't spotted or which are still being made! It's not too late if you want to make one.
Worst witch.


Scarecrow with added ducks...

A day at the beach.

A useful message to passing traffic in the High Street

Part of a family of scarecrows.


This one is mine, in the churchyard.

Outside the school, made by one of the classes there.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Autumn ideas for families with children

Welcome to Next Steps Autumn 2017. Autumn is a big time for feeling thankful and being a blessing to others if we can. It’s also a season of remembering those who have died - those we knew and loved, and those who died in war. Families can be involved in it all, both at home and in your local church.

Huge thanks

Now is a great time to get involved in the big thank you celebrations of Harvest Festivals and learning more about why saying ‘thanks’ is more than just good manners.

Kindness counts

There are so many ways to be kind. Find out what Jesus said about it and try out some simple acts of kindness in everyday life.

Love, loss and remembering

All families face loss, but at this time of year, both at home or in church, there are lovely ways to be involved in remembering those who have died.

Loving and giving

Being generous isn’t always about money. We can help and bless other people with our time and talents too. Discover how giving makes a difference.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

A message from Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees

Hello, everyone. This is another invitation to our next meeting (28 September, details below), and a call out for specific support we’re looking for right now.

1.    The 4th meeting of Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees (SWR) will be on Thursday 28 September, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, at  the Vine Evangelical Church in Hitchen Hatch Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 3AT. Many thanks to Stan and Guy for supporting us with the generous provision of their excellent meeting rooms. At the meeting, the SWR core group will update on the current situation, the support activity that has been provided since our last meeting, and our future plans. Please let us have suggestions for the agenda, and come along on the evening. 

2.    Please let us know if you can help with any of the following:
a.    Introductions to private landlords who might be willing to take part in the government-funded rental scheme and provide a house for a family of Syrian refugees.
b.    Some more people to help with running "out and about" visits for the family. This will require DBS clearance at enhanced level (to cover children and vulnerable adults). If you already have this DBS clearance within the last 12 months, you won’t need to submit a new application form as SDC can view your clearance online. If you do not, we will send you a form for completion and it only takes 2-3 weeks. [Thanks to those who have already volunteered for this].
c.    Some more people willing to do simple ‘taxi trips’ in and around the Sevenoaks area (including the next Syrian family social in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 23 September). This help does not require DBS clearance.
d.    Lawn mower
e.    Play Station
f.     Introduction to a qualified driving instructor who’d be willing to provide free lessons. This does not require DBS.
g.    A storage facility. This would help us with managing the generous amounts of donated items, and help us use those for the next families.

Finally, a message from Empathy Action. This organisation “aims to increase empathy and raise awareness of global deprivation thereby igniting a desire to take compassionate action”.

They say that “to begin to really understand another human being, you first need to walk a mile in their shoes.”  Empathy Action invites you to do just that in this new live interactive experience. Take part in this hard hitting race for refuge as we recreate the desperate and dangerous journeys refugees are enduring every day in the biggest crisis of our time.

Our challenging new piece is firmly based in facts, first hand accounts and case studies of this global issue to bring home to participants the human stories behind the headlines.

Empathy Action is now looking for volunteer cast members, backstage crew, carpenters and sign-writers to deliver this experience.  We plan to develop a pool of performers to prepare over the next few months and then take the experience to schools and other groups at various dates during 2018.  For the cast we need people of any age who are comfortable improvising around a core script, interacting with the participants, and delivering powerful personal stories. On the technical side, we need people with practical skills. For more information contact chrisahix@gmail.com

Thank you. We hope to see you at the Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees meeting on the 28th September!

Humphrey Pring

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our work or God's?

This morning's Psalm at Morning Prayer was Ps 92, and a couple of verses caught my eye. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most HIgh; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the work of your hands I sing for joy." (Ps. 92.1-4) At this point in the year, for many of us there is that "back to work" feeling. Technically it may not be New Year, but as people come back from summer breaks and begin to re-engage with work, church, school or whatever it often feels like more of a New Year than January does. I find I have a tendency to reflect at this point (perhaps unfavourably) on what I have achieved , or failed to achieve, in the year that has passed, and resolve to do better in the coming year. I am full of plans, filling up spaces in the diary, thinking about the season ahead. There's nothing wrong with that in itself - it's a useful thing to do - but the Psalm reminds us that while we may only see the failures, the "could do better's" of our lives, God has been at work, steadfastly and faithfully, throughout, even the times in which, to us, there may seem to have been little going on, or when we may have felt we were going backwards. It is easy to be dissatisfied, to judge ourselves, our churches, our work, the things we have expended our time and energy on, and find them wanting. It is easy to see what we haven't accomplished, the people who haven't responded to our efforts to engage them, the targets we have missed and the plans that have come to nothing, but if we could see beneath the surface maybe we would see God at work in all sorts of ways of which we have been unaware. It's good that this Psalm reminds us of who is really doing what for whom. "YOU have made ME glad by YOUR work", says the Psalmist to God. All too often we think that we are supposed to be making God glad by our work, when actually it is the other way around. So perhaps, before rushing in to our "New Year" planning, we should take a moment to think of the things God has done in the past year, to give thanks for them and to value them, to notice the evidence of God's steadfastness and faithful love. What has God done in your life, your work, your church, that you could give thanks for?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Seal Harvest Scarecrow Festival is back...!


Please get your thinking caps on for your contribution to your own original scarecrow design for this year's festival. Each year this gets bigger, so please let this continue!  To enter, please complete the form in next month's Local Advertiser, or pick up one from church, or download below and print out, and pay your £5 entrance fee to Highland Printing, or in Church. The scarecrows need to be displayed any time from September 17th, to Sunday October 1st (or beyond if they are still intact)!. Judging will take place on Friday 29th September. Please display your scarecrow either outside your property, or somewhere else with the agreement of whoever owns the property. The judges will need to know where your scarecrow can be found, so please complete your form! The results will be announced at the Harvest Lunch in Seal School on Sunday October 1st.