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Our response to the additional restrictions that have had to be imposed because of the worsening situation with Covid-19.

Rev Louise Vincer
Interim Priest in Charge
Chartham and Upper Hardres with Stelling 

8th January 2021

Dear Friends

We have begun another lockdown. This time, in contrast to March 2020 we have been given responsibility as churches to decide the most appropriate way forward for worship in our parishes. This time too there is a new variant of the virus circulating and even greater pressure on the NHS.

I met with the wardens on Wednesday to decide the way forward for our benefice. Everyone felt how difficult a decision this was to make. We are aware how important our churches are in helping us worship and keeping us in fellowship with one another. We are aware too that since March we have found new ways in which we can do this which also keep us and our communities as safe as possible and support the NHS.

After discussion we have decided that there will be a united benefice service every Sunday at 10am by zoom from St Mary’s Chartham (the only church in the benefice with Wi-Fi connectivity). This will replace the planned services in all churches with immediate effect, and we will review the situation together on 24th February. Where possible individual churches will make their own arrangements for their churches to be open for private prayer – please contact the wardens of specific churches for more details. There will be an order of service to follow and we hope that the service will be available to upload to the church websites, and shared through social media in all three villages.

The services will be Holy Communion and on the 3 rd Sunday (17th Jan and 21st Feb) we will try all age worship. The services will be simplified by one person leading the whole. It will be a loss not to hear others’ voices but we hope this short term decision will enable the services to be put on the websites and beyond. The wardens will put together a rota of people across the benefice to write intercessions to be delivered by the service leader. In this way people can take part albeit in a different way.

We would also like to develop our “coffee time” after the service. We know that it’s not always easy to chat in a large zoom group, so we would like to try the zoom breakout room facility. For about 10 minutes people will be able to chat in smaller groups before coming back all together to wish each other well for the coming week. We hope this will give people the opportunity to develop new friendships and look out for those who are less confident meeting in a new way. Taking part is optional of course, but we would encourage you to have a go – and let us know how it works for you.

Some practical issues:

• if you are joining zoom by phone you are advised to check out your phone contract about the charges you may incur.
• Please email me if there are specific prayer requests to be included in the Sunday services.
• The zoom link will be made available by email, and you can join the circulation list through the websites.

In these coming weeks it is really important that we don’t lose contact with one another. Can I affirm the efforts you are making in keeping in regular contact with people who may be isolated, and assure you of our prayers for you and your families at this time.

The church season of Epiphany reminds us that God reveals himself to people in infinite, often unexpected ways. As we begin this new lockdown season in our lives let’s be alert, and responsive to God with us here, and now.

In fellowship,

Louise Vincer

on behalf of the Chartham Benefice Wardens Group

Rev. Louise Vincer, 09/01/2021
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