The monthly e-newsletter from the Team Vicar of All Saints Whitstable, Rev Simon Tillotson
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Thursday, 27 November 2014

December Xtra newsletter

Dear all

The wonderful season of Advent is upon us this Sunday and Christmas is just a few weeks away. May I wish you much peace and joy at this time of the year for your loved ones and family and a very happy and blessed Christmas when it arrives.

My wife Cathy and I are having two Christmas drinks parties which you are welcome to attend. The first is Saturday 20th December at the Vicarage from 8pm to 10pm  and the second is drinks before Midnight Communion from 9pm to 10.45pm on Christmas Eve. Please email me at if you can come to both or either. Thanks. You would be warmly welcome. The Vicarage is to the left of the Church and Church hall on Church Street. This is our gift to you so please do not bring drinks or snacks with you but please let us know if you are coming so we have enough for those present.

Our Christmas Fair this Saturday from 10am to 2pm at the Church hall. Full details on this poster below.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS AN ADVENT CAROL SERVICE THIS SUNDAY 30th NOVEMBER at 4pm. This is completely different from a Christmas Carol service as the music will be on an Advent theme (so no Christmas carols) but it is still very much worth coming along. I hope to see you there.
On Sundays in Advent I will be conducting three discussions at the church on Sunday evenings which you are most welcome to come to.
      ALL FROM 7.45pm to 9.15pm AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH in the SOUTH CHAPEL
Sunday 7 December
Engaging with the spirit of atheism and agnosticism in our culture – how can I respond?
This will be a personal talk about my observations after 20 years in the ordained ministry at changes to our society and what I have learned from this. There will be an opportunity to have a conversation on this topic after my initial talk.
          Sunday 14 December
Finding God in doubt, suffering and searching - how can we respond?
I have noticed that many people are a mixture of faith and doubt, including may of us who have attended churches for many years. In what way can doubt be a healthy side of our spirituality, and when can it be harmful to our spirituality? Does the suffering in the world, or that we personally experience, put us off faith in God or make us more likely to become believers?
Sunday 21 December
Becoming the  church in the 21st century   - how can the church respond?
This final evening will be an opportunity to think creatively about the future of the church with a specific focus on All Saints. What new ideas can we come up with to engage with people in our parish and to attract people to the life of faith and also, we hope, participation in church life too?
Please note I have written a number of pieces on my Blog recently. If you have not yet read them and would like to please click here:
Please also note that I will be running a course for 13 weeks from the beginning of January to the end of March on Tuesday evenings at the Vicarage. I realise this is a long time but I believe that there are a number of people who would learn from the course.
Full details are here
So far Michael Cooke, Linda Annable, Linda Livingstone, Carol Sims, Jo Piper, Malcolm Waller and myself as Chair have agreed to be on this committee.
We need to raise £30,000 so that the organ can be properly cleaned and overhauled so that it can last many more decades. If the work is not carried out the organ could get into serious disrepair.
So we are hoping to form a committee that will be carrying out fundraising activities in the coming year.
It is possible that you spoke to me about the desire to be on the committee but in the rush of life I may have forgotten your kind offer - Can you let me know if this is the case please?
If you have not yet offered but would like to be on the committee, please can you let me know as soon as possible as I am hoping we will start work in December on this project.
SACRED SPACE WILL BE AT ALL SAINTS ON TUESDAY 23rd December from 8pm to 9pm. If you would like to be included on the Sacred Space email list please let me know. To find out about Sacred Space please watch this video.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

November Xtra update

Our November extra newsletter starts as you might expect with....
Our ever popular 'Firework Night at All Saints' will be held on Saturday 8th November.  
It is renowned for being a friendly  family event. You can enjoy hot dogs / burgers etc while waiting for the lighting of the fire and then the excitement of the fireworks!
Everyone's safety is very important to us so we don't allow any sparklers or other personal fireworks.
Gates open at 6.15pm and the ticket price is unchanged - Adults £5 and children £1
Sundays 11.15 -12 from Church Hall (through main glass doors)
Fridays / Saturdays 10 -12 from Church Office (up ramp at churchyard end of hall)

On Sunday 9th November we have our
This will be at 10am and will finish at 11.05am after the two minutes silence outside church.
It is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War this year and are hearts are heavy because of that and also because of all the conflicts in the world today.

The Christmas Fair will take place on Saturday 29th November from 10am to 2pm at All Saints Church hall, Church Street, CT5 1PG
There will be lots of  opportunities for buying Christmas presents. Stalls include Christmas cards, crafts, books, cakes, tombola, face painting, refreshments (including lunches etc)
And Father Christmas will be there

Monday 24th November 8pm to 9pm in church
Silence, Taize music, prayer, meditation
Please remember to bring a torch


Christmas Carols under the Yew Trees with Whitstable Brass
This will take place just outside the church under the Yew trees on Wednesday 17th December from 7pm.
Please bring a torch and wrap up warm. It is followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the Church hall.
All Saints Whitstable, Church Street is off Castle Road, Ham Shades Lane and the Thanet Way—post code is CT5 1PG

CHRISTMAS SERVICES As well as the carol singing (above) we have the following:
Saturday 20th December at 4pm—Christingle service in church.
This is where each child is given a Christingle which is an orange with a   candle and ribbon and other items attached to it. Carols are sung and the meaning of the Christingle is explained. The service normally lasts about 45 minutes and is a lovely service.
Wednesday 24th December—Christmas Eve
3pm and 4.15pm—Our highly popular Crib Services. We  moved to two  
services last year as although our church seats 350 people we were over capacity the year before. 
11.15pm—Midnight Holy Communion also known as Midnight
Mass. A wonderful way to welcome in Christmas, which begins at Midnight
on Christmas Day morning, not in early November as our popular culture would have us believe!
And please remember—Christmas is not over on Boxing Day –it lasts a good 12 days after Christmas!
Thursday 25th December—Christmas Day
8am and 10am Holy Communion services for Christmas  Further
opportunities to explore the spiritual dimension of Christmas
Simon will be giving three advent talks in the Church over Advent with a chance to discuss afterwards. Each evening will begin at 7.45pm and finish at 8.50pm.
Sunday 7th December 8pm in All Saints church
Week 1 - Engaging with the spirit of atheism and agnosticism in our culture - how can I respond?
Sunday 14th December 8pm in All Saints church
Week 2 - Finding God in doubt, suffering and searching - how can we respond?
Sunday 21st December 8pm in All Saints church
Week 3 - Becoming the church in the 21st century - how can the church respond?
Canterbury Diocese's E-Bulletin can be found here

St Peter's Contemporary Theology Group 2015 Programme
St Peter's Contemporary Theology Group is an ecumenical gathering that meets on the third Wednesday of each month, from January to June, at St Peter's Methodist Church, Canterbury. Unless otherwise advertised, meetings start at 7.45 pm and
finish promptly at 9.15 pm.
Whatever your interests or viewpoint, you will be most welcome to join us. There is a charge of £3 at the door so that we can give each speaker an honorarium as well as expenses. A season ticket at £12 is also available, covering all six lectures (therefore two lectures are free), either at the door or by writing to Jane Gallagher at 193B Wincheap, Canterbury, CT1 3TP and enclosing a cheque made out to Contemporary Theology Group and a stamped addressed envelope.
Wednesday 21 January, 7.30 – 9 pm
William Lamb Reading Scripture: a spiritual or a critical exercise?
Please note early start at 7.30 pm to finish promptly at 9 pm.
Wednesday 18 February
Alan Gregory Divine Power in the Modern Imagination: from the Sublime to the Beautiful.
Wednesday 18 March
Jeremy Carrette The Psychology of Religious Experience.
Wednesday 15 April
Ann Widdecombe Faith and Public Life.
Wednesday 20 May
C.J. (Jonty) Driver Apartheid and after.
Wednesday 17 June
Josiah Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna, Nigeria. Christians and Muslims today.

Food Bank Volunteer Vacancies:
Van Drivers 
Packing Supervisor 
Weekly packers
If you are interested in any of the volunteer vacancies, 
Please email

Monday, 29 September 2014

October update

Dear all

This is the Xtra update for October!

First thing to say is that I believe that the new worship pattern is beginning to settle down. Obviously it is not perfect in every way and there are still issues we are dealing with, but I believe it is clearly the right way forward for the church. We have managed to keep the services pretty dignified and reverential on the whole whilst also bringing in some modernity and informality too at times. To do this is a hard balance and it is credit to you the congregation that it is working so far. I tried it at my last parish and it didn't work. I think you must be a special type of people to manage to cope with both tradition and modernity at the same time. Well done.

There are of course new songs which we are learning to sing and I am posting a youtube video of a new song which we will be singing this Sunday 6th October and also again on Sunday 27th October. It has taken the Christian world by storm in many countries. I apologise that it is from an American church with probably an advertisement to sit through first, but if you have time to listen to it before Sunday that would be a great help.

The words are


Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love and You're slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
Bless the Lord O my soul . . .

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Bless the Lord O my soul . . .

Worship Your holy name
Lord I'll worship Your holy name

CCLI Song Number 6016351


I have written a piece on my blog about the importance of faith which you may find helpful


A reminder that I am running a course on prayer. 

Again there is a link to this


Not long till autumn really sets in and that is a sign that winter is on its way. The Fireworks at the Vicarage garden always seem to be the week when it suddenly gets cold but what nicer way to welcome the winter than to celebrate with fireworks?

We have a great team of people helping to host the hundreds of people who come each year for this event.

Here is the info from our churchwarden Christine


Our ever popular 'Firework Night at All Saints' will be held on Saturday 8th November.  

It is renowned for being a friendly  family event. You can enjoy hot dogs / burgers etc while waiting for the lighting of the fire and then the excitement of the fireworks!
Everyone's safety is very important to us so we don't allow any sparklers or other personal fireworks.
Gates open at 6.15pm and the ticket price is unchanged - Adults £5 and children £1

Tickets are available from Sunday 12th October as follows-

Sundays 11.15 -12 from Church Hall (through main glass doors)
Fridays / Saturdays 10 -12 from Church Office (up ramp at churchyard end of hall)

A pastoral note - if any of you are feeling down and would like a chat or a prayer please email me at
I can either visit you in person or if you prefer send one of our helpful Pastoral Assistants to visit you. Chatting and prayer can really help to come to terms with and even get over the difficulties of life.

You may also wish to know that we have a 10am Thursday Communion service with healing prayer. This now attracts about 20 people and is a source of great comfort.

More about our church on our website

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Xtra for September 2014


All Saints has a lot going on and this website only features a few events in the life of the church in September. We do not wish to saturate you with information but there is an awareness that we live in an internet age and so having an online presence in this way is very helpful in terms of getting across information.

At the same time, we hope to make all these events advertised in paper form as far as is possible.

If you wish to unsubscribe from the monthly reminder email please simply put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and reply to my reminder email. You can of course still choose to visit this website via a link which should be visible on the church's website

This format also means we can add to the bulletin so please email me the wording of any event you would like to include that is connected to the church, the Deanery or the Diocese.

Thank you for your time and attention
Rev Simon Tillotson, 30th August 2014



Firstly, this is to remind you of the Bring and Share picnic lunch which is taking place on Sunday 31st August 2014 at 12 noon at the Vicarage garden, to the left of the church and hall. This will be a "pot luck" Bring and Share so please bring something to share in terms of food or drink. Most importantly please also bring a garden chair. There is absolutely no need to let Cathy and I know if you are coming to this event. Just come along. If the weather is poor we will use the living room and study and kitchen at the Vicarage.


An important date in our calendar,  Back to Church Sunday  is on Sunday 28th September at both our 8am and 10am services. These will just be normal church services but we will make a special effort to welcome back people who used to come to our church but for one reason or another have not been able to come regularly recently. We also welcome back people who may have stopped attending church years ago but left for similar reasons. 

The point about it being like a normal Sunday is we are trying to show people what we are like on a normal day, as opposed to putting on something that is different from our normal worship. Hopefully people will sense a warm atmosphere, a feeling of fellowship, and an atmosphere  of spiritual encouragement to help us on life's journey. 

It is also the opportunity for church members to play a role in inviting their neighbours and friends "back to church". Though these neighbours and friends may not have ever been regular church attendees, they will almost certainly have been to church at some point and so the saying "Back to Church" still applies.

For this reason, we would like to invite all those connected to the life of All Saints to spend some moments in the next few weeks considering who they might be able to invite "Back to church" on this particular week. We will be issuing invites for church members to fill in and give to their friends and relatives to make the process of invitation easier.

If you could be so kind, please will you pray for this very important venture in the life of All Saints. Thank you so much.


Our 8am Holy Communion and 10am Sung Holy Communion services continue as normal throughout September, and I am pleased to say we have sufficient children's leaders to ensure a full Sunday club (Adventurers and Xplore)  will take place in September, as well as our joint Sunday club on Sunday 31st August. We all start together in church at 10am and then the children leave at 10.10am and come back to church at about 10.50am. Parents who have young children are welcome to accompany their children to Sunday club. 

The one exception to this is the Family Communion service on the Second Sunday of each month - 14th September for September. This will take place at 10am and is an All-Age service suitable for young and old. We are looking for children to help with the prayers at this service so if your child is interested please email me at or phone me at 01227 272308.


Harvest will not be celebrated  till the second weekend in  October. Please read the notices and website for full details of this. Our Harvest Festival Family Communion service will be on October 12th at 10am. There will be a Harvest Supper and Barn Dance the evening before - as I say please look out for details in the notices (which is always available via the website) in the coming weeks for full details.


Practices resume for Junior Choir on Saturdays on a weekly basis at 5pm to 5.45pm on the first Saturday in September, which is September 6th, in the church. In the summer I conducted a consultation of parents and children involved in Junior Choir and the following emerged - 1) There is a preference for sweatshirts over robes for the children  2) The Saturday 5pm time is better than any weekday alternative.
If your child is interested in joining the choir we ask them to come regularly to choir practices (please place this as a priority whenever possible as it affects the others if attendance is patchy) and also to attend church on Sundays at 10am whenever possible. I do realise families do have other commitments, but attendance stumbled over the summer and we really would like to see it get back to the strength it was in April and May. That said, our choir leaders Naomi, Jan and I  always try to be forgiving and gentle with families who do have problems keeping to this time so please be assured  it is better to come infrequently than not at all! We are first and foremost a church family who cares for people and wants them to be included in our fellowship.


We have a work party from time to time in the churchyard and carparks and church where we attend to a number of necessary jobs. We have the largest "plant" for any church in the whole of East Kent and yet we rely on volunteers and your giving to help keep it in good condition. These work parties are a vital part of this upkeep. Would you please email Linda Young at or call her on 01227 278681 if you can help with the next one which will be on Saturday 13th September from 9am to 1pm. Your help will be greatly appreciated and even if you can only come for an hour or two that would still be very welcome.


If anyone is interested on coming on the next Cursillo weekend the details can be found at this website  Please talk to me about what it entails. It has proved a huge faith builder for many All Saints people. The next weekend will take place at The Friars, Aylesford from Thursday 30th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014. Closing date for Pilgrim applications is Thursday 18th September 2014.


I believe the new 10am time will make it easier for more of our church family to attend our regular communal breakfasts on the third Sunday in each month at the church hall. They start at about 8.45am in the church hall. We would love to see you. Donations welcome but no fixed charge. It's a great way to get to know new people! So this month it is on Sunday 21st September.


I shall be running a course on how to pray more effectively. It will be called simply "The Prayer Course". It will be on Wednesday evenings starting in mid October at 7.30pm to 9.15pm at the Vicarage. We will be following the book on Prayer by Richard Foster and it would be helpful to buy a copy of that book beforehand though you only need to read it as we go through the course together. Further details in the October Xtra. The starting date will be Wednesday October 15th. It looks likely to run for seven weeks with one break. Please email me now at to confirm interest or call me on 01227 272308.
Might I say that in my view prayer is not just the key to a happy spiritual life but the key to a happy life. It's as important as that, so the more we learn how to pray the better! The course will be free of charge.


We have received information from the Diocese about a wonderful course they run. I think there may well be people at All Saints who would benefit from coming on this course which is run by the Diocese. It is really good to meet Christians from other churches and grow together. Would you please check out this website for more information:
Indeed there is so much on the Canterbury Diocese's website of interest that it is worth visiting regularly for news about various things in the life of the Diocese.

There is a lot more that could be said, for example about Cameo, which runs on Monday afternoon, or our Film Club which runs on Thursday lunchtimes so please visit our church website for details. We also have a new website for the Mothers Union which is always wishing to welcome new members - please visit for details of this and much more besides.

Or for a direct link to our notices please click at the below link. Here you will find details of our collection for the Middle East via Christian Aid, the Diocesan Spirituality Festival, the Friends of Kent Churches Bike ride, and so much more

Location of Church - Click on picture!

All Saints Whitstable

All Saints Whitstable is a Church of England church in the Church Street area of Whitstable, between the railway station and the Thanet Way.
It has been in existence since at least the 12th century.
It is one of six churches that make up the Whitstable Team Ministry.
Church service times are 8am Holy Communion (BCP) and 10am Sung Communion on Sundays, with a Sunday Club for children.
A Family Communion takes place at 10am on the Second Sunday of each month where the children stay in church.
For more information on other services and general information please visit our main website which is or email the Vicar Rev Simon Tillotson at

The Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev

The Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev


If you do not receive a monthly reminder about this e-letter yet why not email the Vicar at and he will add your email address to the database. Then you will receive an email once a month, with the occasional one mid month, to keep you informed of things going on in the life of the church and the wider community.

All Saints Church Monthly Newsletter

All Saints Church Monthly Newsletter

Location of church

Location of church
Click on map for further details