The monthly e-newsletter from the Team Vicar of All Saints Whitstable, Rev Simon Tillotson
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

December and Christmas Newsletter 2015

Dear all

The month of December is nearly upon us and people are continuing to prepare themselves frantically for Christmas.

In the life of the church though we are in the Advent season from Sunday 29th November which is a time of preparation for the return of our Lord. It is a time to assess our lives afresh. Where are we in need of changing our lives so that we might lead holier lives closer to Christ and the path he asks us to follow?  
How can we better balance our lives so that we are not always swept along by the tide of consumerism and rush that so typifies our culture?

That said, the first event I wish to draw you attention to is a "busy" event with lots happening that is good and wholesome and I hope you will be able to come along to it. This poster says it all:

I do hope to see you there.

Then this Sunday 29th November we have our special 

Please note that this is an Advent Carol service so the carols are Advent ones and not Christmas ones. Nonetheless, please do not let that put you off coming to what normally is a most uplifting event in the life of the church.

Oyster Singers Concert of Festive Songs

will be held in the All Saints Church on Tuesday 8th December at 7.30pm
The Oyster Singers  will be accompanied by Adrian Bawtree
Refreshments will be served during the  interval
Tickets costing £6 (free for school-age children)
are available by phoning : Kath 274802 or Greg 369095 - TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE DOOR ON THE NIGHT OF THE CONCERT

On Sunday 13th December at 10am we have our monthly Family Communion service. Attendance at these has been very encouraging over the last few months and this does obviously help the atmosphere too. I will be trying to explain how Advent links in with Christmas.

May I take this opportunity of thanking all of you for your hard work with the Fireworks in November. It was a tremendously succesful occasion and I am very grateful to Christine and Phillip Williams and their team of helpers for all the hard work which went into it. 

We have all been greatly shocked by the terrorist attacks in France and the generally very serious international situation. If you would like to read my reflections on this please read my latest installment from my blog at

From past experience this is a wonderful time to attend as we have carols in the background so please put it in your diary now

Singing for Fun and Health takes place on Wednesday 16th December from 2.30pm to 4pm in the Church hall. It continues to go from strength to strength with a wonderful team of volunteers.

The new Film Club programme can be found at this link

Please note that I am looking for helpers to make the Christingles as usual in the Church hall from 9am on Saturday 19th December. Please can you email me at if you can assist

Wednesday 16th December  
7pm Carols around the Yew Tree.
Accompanied by Whitstable Brass
Wrap up warm and bring a torch and some money to give to the Homeless charity "Catching Lives" which is based in Canterbury.
This takes place just outside All Saints church main entrance and is followed by mince pies and mulled wine/soft drink in the Church hall afterwards. A wonderful Christmassy event suitable for all. Approximately 30 minutes of carol singing.

Saturday 19th December
4pm Christingle service for children

Our annual and popular Christingle service for children and adults. Lasts about 40 minutes. Each child will be given a Christingle and an explanation will take place of what it symbolises. There will be an opportunity to give to the charity "The Children's Society" during the service. 


Christmas Eve - Thursday 24th December

3pm and 4.15pm
Two identical Crib Services for children, one after the other. Please come to one or the other. During this service the crib is put together and we sing a lot of carols.  All welcome.
Each service lasts about 45 minutes.


Christmas Eve - Thursday 24th December
11.15pm Midnight Communion, also known as Midnight Mass.
The service includes Holy Communion, a sermon, singing of carols, and usually concludes at about half past midnight
Christmas Day - Friday 25th December
8am Holy Communion for Christmas Day
10am Holy Communion for Christmas Day.
Two services, the latter of which has carols, as we celebrate Christmas Day. Please note there is no Sunday Club provision for children at either service though children are most welcome.

December 27th - First Sunday of Christmas
 8am Holy Communion (BCP) - Canon Chris Morgan-Jones
10am Sung Holy Communion - Rev Tony Crowe

6.30pm - Choral Evensong


St Peter's Contemporary Theology Group
2016  Programme

The St Peter's Contemporary Theology Group is an ecumenical gathering that meets (usually) on the third Wednesday of each month from January to June at St Peter's Methodist Church, Canterbury.  The church is about 200 metres from the Westgate Towers, towards the city centre.  The nearest public car park is Pound LaneAll meetings start at 7.45 pm and finish promptly at 9.15 pm.

Our meetings are open to all who are interested in honest and lively discussions on contemporary themes in theology and religion.  Whatever your interests or viewpoint, you will be most welcome to join us.  There is a charge of £3 at the door to cover the expenses of our speakers and an honorarium.  A season ticket of £12 is also available, covering all the 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 20 January
Adrian Thatcher:  Honorary Professor, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter, specialising in theologies of sexuality and gender, marriage and family, and biblical interpretation.
Redeeming gender: a theology of gender

Wednesday 17 February
Ian Hartlandformerly Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University and tutor in Christian doctrine at the South East Institute for Theological Education (SEITE).
 If Jesus saves, how does he do so?

Wednesday 16 March
Rachel Muers:  Senior Lecturer in Christian Studies, University of Leeds; author of Testimony: Quakerism and theological ethics and other works on theology and ethics. 
Knowing experimentally: themes in Quaker thought and practice

Wednesday 20 April
Heather Norton and Nicholas Papadopulos:  Heather Norton is a judge at Canterbury Crown Court, and Nicholas Papadopulos is Canon Treasurer at Canterbury Cathedral.
Freedom of Speech: Words without Consequences?  Law, theology, and the right to offend

Wednesday 18 May
Mark Oakley:  Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral; visiting lecturer at King's College London; broadcaster and writer on spirituality, poetry and literature.
God – in the world as poetry is in the poem

Wednesday 22 June - please note that this is the fourth Wednesday of the month
N. T. (Tom) Wright: formerly Bishop of Durham; now Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews; frequent broadcaster and author of around 80 books.
'Cruciform Theocracy’? The Challenge of the Kingdom in Tomorrow’s World

For further details about any of these meetings please contact any of the following:

John Bown: 01227 764876,
Jane Gallagher:
Clare Nicholson: 01227 472188,
Richard Llewellin: 01227 764645,
Stephen Prickett:
Doreen Rosman: 01227 452242


Cathy Brown
Fundraising Support Officer for Porchlight, is looking for people to help with collecting money in Whitstable (standing with a bucket in the street - not door to door) on Saturday 12th December. Contact her if you can assist

Porchlight18-19 Watling Street

T:  01227 813199


Every good wish

Rev Simon Tillotson

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

November 2015 Xtra newsletter

Simon our vicar writes...

Dear all

November is an important month in the life of All Saints church.

It is the month when we welcome nearly 500 adults and children to the Vicarage garden for the Fireworks. Here are the details.


Saturday 7 November
Gates open at 6.15 pm
Refreshments, Glow Bracelets, Sideshows, Bonfire, Fireworks
Tickets: Adults £5, Child £1*(aged 3-15, accompanied by adult), under 3s are free.
Available after Sunday 10 am service or from Church Office on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays between 10 and 11.30 am
or from Church Office on Friday between 10 am and 12.30 pm.
We recommend that you get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets on the gate will be subject to availability as there is a limit to the numbers of people due to insurance and safety reasons.
No sparklers or personal fireworks are allowed for insurance and safety reasons

Before then we have a special service this Sunday November 1st at 10am. It is our Patronal Festival for All Saints.

It would be great if you are able to attend. Having a good congregation present at our patronal festival is an important thing. If you are able to come, please do! Please pray for me as I prepare to preach on the significance of All Saints for us today.

That same day, Sunday 1st November, at 6.30pm we have our service for All Souls where we remember those who have died either in the last year or in past years. We will be reading out a list of  names that has already been given to us but if you have any new names to give me please email them to me at
Alternatively if you are in church on Thursday this week or Saturday or Sunday there is a list where you can write the names.

Remembrance Sunday will be observed on Sunday 8th November at our 10am service. We do hope to see you there. It will be suitable for all ages though rather more subdued than our usual Family service for obvious reasons. Still, we think it is good that all ages come to this service and children of all ages are most welcome! Please also remember to join me on the 11th November at the War memorial outside church at 10.50am to 11.05am. Thank you.

THE NEXT JUMBLE SALE Organised by the Scouts will take place from 2pm on Saturday 14th November. Please do come along and support the good work that they do! At the church hall.


Also continuing in November is the Pilgrim Course. The Pilgrim Course is a national initiative set up by the Church of England as a way of exploring  the central truths of Christianity in a relaxed setting whilst still leaving lots of room for questioning and searching in a non dogmatic atmosphere.
There are two websites to explore if you are thinking of attending the course.

The first one is the national one and can be found here.

The second website is the one I have created with the dates - either attending Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning - and some of the course content. To visit this please click here.

In November we will be beginning the second part of Pilgrim which has six weeks to it and will be looking at the Lord's Prayer. Each module stands on its own so it is possible to come to just this module. Let me know and I will give you the exact dates of when the Lord's Prayer module will begin (I cannot publish these now as they may be open to change due to commitments such as funerals and so on)

I do need to say that Pilgrim can be for anyone. Even if you have been a Christian for many years it is always helpful to go back over the basics.

I have to say the conversations on Pilgrim module 1 have been about the best conversations I have had on theological issues in a church context.


The labyrinth is an ancient symbol, metaphor and experience of prayer, holding, healing and renewal. It is one path, a journey into one's deeper self and into God.  It was well established in Christian tradition over the centuries then somewhat lost.  It is now resurgent in many churches as an opportunity for spiritual renewal and encouragement on your journey.  Do come and “walk the path”.

Introduced by Dr Martin Garsed, you are invited to come, explore and learn about the Labyrinth in All Saint’s church, Whitstable,

The Labyrinth will take place on Saturday 21 November

12 midday - 3 pm


This group has been set up with huge energy and commitment by Pat and Aubrey Holland and their busy team of volunteers.
Here is a reminder of the coming dates


All Saints church Christmas cards are now on sale in the hall after 10am service on Sundays, and from the Church Office during opening hours on Tuesday/Thursday/Friday

Why not join the regulars for breakfast in the hall every 3rd Sunday from 8.30am (arrive any time up to 9.15) - caters for all tastes - choice of cereals/porridge, bread rolls, toast, croissants, tea/coffee/fruit juice etc.  Hope to see you on Sunday 15th November.

Please note the current team are urgently looking for new volunteers to come forward. Please will you consider it? 

Simon's Blog - the Dangers of "Do -It- Yourself" Christianity


The All Saints Film Club continues throughout November and into December, stopping for its Christmas break with its final film of 2015 on 17th December . The film club has taken the decision to show certificate 15 films as well as Us, 12s and PGs. I realise all adults reading this will have seen plenty of 15 films if not 18 certificate films in their time but it was still quite a decision as some of the language in certificate 15 films is pretty dreadful for a church film club. However, we have been running for nearly five years now and were beginning to run out of ideas for Us, 12s and PGs!

The programme for the Film Club can be found here.

 CAMEO (Come And Meet Each Other) meets on Mondays (apart from Bank Holidays) from 2pm to 3.30pm in the church hall. Cake, coffee, tea and chat. Just come along, everyone welcome –  coffee, tea, cake and chat for anyone of any age – no entrance fee.  A good way to meet new people and make new friends - especially if you have recently moved to Whitstable.


A series of Resource Roadshows, hosted by Bishop Trevor, have unveiled the key strategic priorities for the diocese from 2016 onwards. They’ve been developed to support the overriding objectives of the diocese and to help all of us channel our energies where they are most required. We each have a valuable part to play in discerning what living out these priorities might look like within our own community, and so as a parish we are encouraged to read the priorities and find out more. Please see Simon for a copy or visit


On 4 – 8 May 2016 we will be hosting our German Christian brothers and sisters from the Black Forest and Berlin.  This is a great opportunity to make new friends – many of whom speak English!  Can you let us know if you would be willing to provide bed and breakfast for our visitors and whether or not you speak a little German?  (The first year we hosted we didn’t speak a word of German and our guest didn’t speak any English but we managed with lots of mime and laughter!)  We obviously need to know how many people you can accommodate and quite understand that things can change between now and next year - this is just for early planning.    Please ring us on 274711 or email

Dennis and Roz Button


Coffee rota and coffee and tea/biscuits supply organiser needed from January 2016.  

Can you let me know or one of the churchwardens know if you would be willing to take on this task?


From Rev David Vannerley, Team Vicar of Swalecliffe

 I am urgently seeking volunteers to take part in an Emergency Preparedness exercise on 3rd November. You would need to be available from 0800 to 1500, food & transport will be provided. You will need to have a swimming costume under warm clothes and might get a bit wet. Please respond to dvv1: from David Vannerley, in role as Organising Chaplain, Kent Critical Incident Chaplaincy Service.

From Rev Rachel Webbley, Team Vicar of St Alphege Whitstable

(Rachel has asked me to advertise the following need. As we are a team I am more than happy to do this.)

 As you know I run a homework club at St Andrew’s Church, Grimshill Rd every Wednesday in term time from 3.30 – 5pm. As more and more children come along, we need more adults available to hear reading or help with simple Maths, English or other homework. We also have a ‘lego pool’, and usually offer craft activities and games, so are looking for adults who enjoy interacting with lively children for a short while!
All of these roles require a DBS check, and I and the children’s ministry team at St Alphege Church will offer on-going support.
If you would like any further information about any of the roles outlined above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My email is, or you can leave a message for me at the St Alphege Infant school office.
Thank you for your support.
Rev Rachel C Webbley
Team Vicar Whitstable St Alphege

From Rosemary Berry - member of St John's Swalecliffe

Helping Syrians to stay in Syria
I half-heard a story on the radio, before I left for church this morning. A European village was grumbling because 1,000 refugees had come to their village, and they were only a 100 persons. My mind went back to ‘our’ village of 200 adults looking after 8,500 refugees (IDPs) without the benefit of electricity; and when the water supply was a bucket on a string, almost no food or medicines. Other villages rallied round, when they could.  
We take our cue from the village. They took in people of mixed ethnicity and religions: there were a few Christians in the camp and some Arabs. When people suggest bad things about an ethnic group, I refer to the village. What did they do? They took in everyone who needed to be taken in.
What are we up to? We have an Events Team to organise the Website Launch, in November; a Team of Translators (Arabic, Turkish & Kurdish) to translate some of the website and also key documents, which people in the village need to share and we’re working with Hive, the Business Team at the university to improve the Bee-Keeping and Sewing Projects. They are also helping us design a new project.  
My bank manager asked me “What do you do in the evenings? How do you relax?” If I do manage to relax, for a couple of hours, I seldom sleep, and so it’s quite easy to miss breakfast. However, I am very lucky, I have a fridge and usually something in it!


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


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All Saints Church Monthly Newsletter

All Saints Church Monthly Newsletter

Location of church

Location of church
Click on map for further details