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Newsletter 11th December 2020 

Dear Friends,
As Christmas approaches, we would like to bring you up to date with what has been organised to help us celebrate the wonderful miraculous birth of Jesus and all that it continues to mean for us as Christians and, indeed, for all of humankind, as well as update you with what is going on in our church life.
Because we are all having to be very cautious to prevent the spread of infection the Christmas services will all be online through Zoom only and have been adapted to suit this. The details you need to connect to these Zoom services are all on our church website at: St Mary's Christmas services

  • The Carol service will be at its usual time of 6pm on Sunday 20th December, and will consist of a slightly shortened service of lessons & carols led by Rev Louise. The carols will be sung by a small choir of singers from St Mary's church and will be accessible to everybody through Zoom. We hope to make a recording of this service available on our website and/or Facebook page.
  • The Crib service, is on 24th December at 3pm led by Rev Louise. It will, as usual, take us through the story of the nativity, but in a new and fresh way more suited to Zoom and allowing interaction with anybody joining from home.
  • On Christmas Morning at 10am there will be a service of Family Communion led by Rev Louise accessible through Zoom. 

During Advent you might like to take advantage of some reflections produced by the Church of England which you can receive by email or as an app. Each day offers a short bible reading, reflection, and prayer - and it continues from Christmas day to 2nd January. See And it’s free!
Throughout Advent our Christmas tree will be lit up in the church porch and we will be putting our usual nativity scene on display there too. In addition to this, an eye-catching stable scene with life-size figures will be constructed in the church yard to further remind passers-by of what we are celebrating at Christmas. Please come and see what is being done if you can do so.
It hasn't escaped the notice of the army of local photographers that we are currently flood-lighting the outside of the church each evening, and several beautiful photographs of the church have appeared on social media. It is a beautiful sight and is a reminder of our own army of volunteers who still do so much to keep our church running in these difficult circumstances. "Thank you!"
Church opening
As a vaccine is beginning to be rolled out it seems that there is light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, and we give thanks for the extraordinary achievement of scientists around the world in achieving this in such a short time. However, we know that we're still at a dangerous time in the pandemic and mustn't be complacent. Because of this, the wardens and PCC have agreed that our church services will continue to be online only being made available to everybody through Zoom. The only exception to this will be the small number of people who do not have access to the internet and so cannot join in that way.
This has been a difficult decision for us particularly as some churches are opening more, but these decisions have to be made by each church individually in the light of their own particular circumstances. We know how much many of you look forward to being together in the church building but, for the safety of all concerned, we must continue in this way until the situation improves. We look forward to the time when we really can join together to worship and fellowship in a more normal way.
Parish Magazine
The year has been made even stranger by the absence of the Parish Magazine which we are used to coming through our letter boxes each month. We are delighted to say that we now have a new editorial team in which Chris Amos and Jeannie Williams will be supported by our retiring editor, Wendy Williams. They will be working hard with the rest of the team to get a new edition out. There is obviously a lot of work to be done to get it going, but they hope to make the first one available in February. We do need people to help with delivering the magazine so please let us know if you might be able to give some time to that.
“Reverse Advent Calendar”
Although we are now a little way into advent it isn't too late to get involved with our Reverse Advent Calendar initiative. This puts the emphasis back on giving rather than receiving by encouraging us to put something aside each day (non-perishable food or toiletries) to take to our local Care & Share collection point. It can then be distributed to the people in our community who need help. Full details about this are on our church website at Advent Generosity 
Confirmation classes
There is a possibility of a course in the new year to prepare for confirmation. If anybody would like to discuss this please contact Rev Louise.
Please remember that, even though you aren’t able to come to the church building, we are completely dependent on your donations to keep the church going, and making services available online comes with an extra cost. Donations, large or small, can easily be made online through our website at St Mary's online donation page and are greatly appreciated. When you are, once again, able to come to church you will be able to use our church card reader or leave cash in the wall donation boxes.
We are considering having a Zoom coffee meeting closer to Christmas to allow a bit more socialising & chat than is possible before & after our church service – there’s no definite plan yet but please keep checking our website.
You can keep up to date with what is going on by visiting our church website at St Mary's church homepage, and please follow our Facebook  page, @StMarysChurchChartham, where you'll find links, information, pictures, events etc. But if you have any questions about what is being done please contact either the churchwardens or Rev Louise.
With every blessing
Robin & Cathy
Robin Slowe
Cathy Arnold

Robin Slowe, 11/12/2020
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Welcome 

The following information is specifically for those planning a visit, so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning.

Where and When

We meet at St.Mary's (details below) for our Sunday Service starting at 10am. When you arrive, you should be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.

We serve tea, coffee and biscuits afterward. It is a great way to meet people, or simply take time to find your bearings. All refreshments are free.

Plan your journey: 

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There are disabled toilets in the main foyer.

Our Service

The main service begins at 10am with a warm welcome..
Visit our This Sunday page for more information


Getting Connected

Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team

Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes