The monthly e-newsletter from the Team Vicar of All Saints Whitstable, Rev Simon Tillotson
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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

March 2016 XTRA

Dear all

March is another busy month in the life of All Saints, especially with Holy Week and Easter coming up towards the end of the month. 

We also have two Family Communions in a row, with our Mothering Sunday service at 10am on Sunday 6th March, with our speaker Paula Trewin MBE, and our normal Family Communion on Sunday 13th March which I will be speaking at. The other Sundays have normal services except for the fact that the children will have an Easter Egg hunt at 10am on Easter Day in the Church hall.

This is being sent out before our  "Getting to Know you" event on Sunday 28th February. I do hope to see you at the church at 2.30pm as we gather to introduce ourselves. Please prepare a two to three minute talk about yourself, your background, your tastes, what job you do or did, your family. We will then have Afternoon Tea in the hall afterwards. Please bring a cake to the hall beforehand at about 2.15pm if you wish to contribute to the Tea. If you would rather just listen to what people say, and not speak yourself, that is fine. I will only approach people to speak who indicate they are willing to speak.

Please also note details of the Gospel choir concert below! Tickets are now on sale in the church office on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am to 11am and after church on Sundays. Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to All Saints Whitstable DCC with a stamped addressed envelope to me at The Vicarage, Church Street, Whitstable, CT5 1PG.

QUIET DAY - also please see below details of our church quiet day. In fact, every notice is quite important!


This Gospel Choir concert will take place at the Church hall at All Saints on Saturday 12th March at 7.30pm. This is to raise money for the All Saints church organ appeal. 

It features the impressive and Canterbury based Reach Out Gospel Choir which sings mainly secular songs but with a spiritual tone. Very lively and uplifting.

Their website is here

Tickets for the gospel concert will be on sale from Thursday 25th February at the church office (open 10am) and then on  further weekday mornings from 10am to 11am excluding Wednesdays thereafter, and also after church on Sundays from 28th  February onwards. They will be priced at £8 per adult and £5 per child ticket in advance and a pound more on the night.
If you would like to purchase by post please send a SAE with cheque payable to All Saints Whitstable DCC to me at The Vicarage, Church Street, Whitstable, CT5 1PG. 

I am looking for helpers to serve tea and coffee during the interval and sell tickets on the door. Can you let me know if you can help please by emailing me at



The next Cursillo weekend will be held at Judds Folly Hotel, Syndale Park, London Rd, Faversham, Kent ME13 0RH. The weekend will commence on Friday 27th May 2016 and finish on Monday 30th May 2016. PLease can you talk to Simon or another Cursillista in All Saints if you would like to come on a weekend. They can be life changing experiences!

This goes from strength to strength - please do look at the photos and videos on our church website
Here below are the dates for the next few months including the March event.

Is this coming Monday 29th February!

You can view it here at this link by clicking HERE

Read the latest blog on the European Referendum at this website address

On 4 – 8 May 2016 the Team will be hosting our German Christian brothers and sisters from the Black Forest and Berlin.
There is an Exchange planning meeting in church next Saturday (27 February) at 10.30 am for all those interested in helping in any way.  Don’t miss out - this is a really great opportunity to make new friends – many of whom speak English. Please ring 274711 or email
STOP PRESS - I understand all bed and breakfast places have now been found which is great news! For us to have found bed and breakfast places for 35 people so quickly is a sign of how generous hearted so many of you are and we are very grateful. Roz and Dennis are though needing more people to come forward to help with catering and other practical matters relating to the visit so please can you let them know if you can help or attend the above meeting. Simon


The Confirmation service this year in the Reculver Deanery will be at St Alphege Whitstable (on the High Street) on Saturday May 14th at 6pm, with a rehearsal at 7.30pm on Thursday May 12th at the same church. Please let me know if you are interested again by emailing me at 

If it is a young person who is wishing to be confirmed we bring candidates for confirmation  from the age of School Year 6 and up. 

If you are an adult and wish to be confirmed, please do approach me. 

The majority of people who are confirmed these days are adults and it will I am sure make your experience of our Family Communion services and other Holy Communion services much more meaningful if you have been confirmed. If you have a lot of questions still, please do not see that as a barrier to being confirmed as we all have questions and struggle with issues. None of us have "arrived". We are all on a journey of discovery.

There is also the option of renewing your Baptism promises at this Confirmation service. This is for people who have already been baptised and confirmed but who want to recommit themselves to God. Talk to me if it is something you are interested in



Many of us, including me, will have had some experience of dealing with relatives who suffer from dementia.
All those of us who serve the church in our various capacities are also likely to come in touch with people who suffer from Dementia at some point.
There will therefore be a special training morning for all those who serve the church in various capacities and who have the possibility of coming in touch with people who have dementia through their work for the church. Pastoral Assistants, Cameo helpers, Singing for Fun and Health helpers, and others are invited to this event, as well as members of the Church Council. Sidespersons would I am sure also find this a helpful training event.
This training morning will take place at All Saints church on Saturday March 5th from 10am to 12 noon.

Please can you email Julia Seath if you are intending to come. It is free of charge. Please email or call 01227 273467.

If you are looking after a relative with dementia and need help please contact me at or 01227 272308 and I will do what I can to help put you in touch with the right people. By all means ask Julia if you can attend the training too, and she will confirm with you whether you can or not.


This Lent as well as the groups already mentioned, All Saints is having a special Away Day known as a Quiet Day. It will take place on Saturday 19th March from 10am to 4pm at Minster Abbey, Minster, near Ramsgate (NB not the Minster on the Isle of Sheppey)

This will be led by former team curate and now Vicar of Minster, Rev Richard Braddy. We are expecting contributions of £10 per head towards costs once you are there. If you would like to come  please let Anne Rees know at or 01227 275261. Similarly let her know if you would like a lift as we may be able to arrange this. There is also a list at the back of church to sign up on.

Events in Holy Week 2016 will include

Monday 21st March 8pm Sacred Space at All Saints

Tuesday 22nd March 10am Holy Communion at St Peters
7.30pm Lent course concludes

Wednesday 23rd March 11am Lent course concludes

Maundy Thursday 10am Holy Communion with Healing Prayer at All Saints

Maundy Thursday 7.30pm Agape supper and communion with optional washing of feet at All Saints

Good Friday 10am Walk of Witness with Churches Together in Whitstable - please assemble at Tankerton Evangelical Church, Northwood Road, now known as Riverside Church
Good Friday 

Good Friday 12 noon to 3pm  Three Hours at the Cross 
This year this will be led by Bishop Richard Llewellin, former Bishop of Dover and a good friend of many at All Saints

Holy Saturday 8pm Special Easter Vigil service at St Peter's

Easter Day 6.30am Sunrise service on Tankerton Beach below Marine Hotel followed by short service in church and then Hot Cross Buns and Coffee at hall 
8am Easter Day Holy Communion (1662)
10am Easter Day Sung Holy Communion 


 In March we have our ANNUAL CHURCH MEETING (officially called Annual District Church Meeting but we are calling it Annual Church Meeting for simplicity sake). We are looking for people to stand now to become members of our church council
The meeting will take place on Sunday 20th March at 4pm at the church hall.

It will be followed by cheese and wine or soft drinks as a thank you to all those on the church electoral roll who are so kind as to give up their Sunday afternoons to attend. We hope this will give added incentive to people to attend!!!

Numbers at this meeting has been disappointing of late and we would ask you to consider coming, if you are on the church electoral roll (if you are not, there are forms at the back of church which you should complete if you are a regular attendee at our church services).

We will be electing two churchwardens for a one year term (though churchwardens usually serve between 2 and 5 years, with a maximum tenure of 6 years, though they always have to be re-elected each year).

In addition we will be electing four members of the District Church Council for a three year term. In addition we will be voting for a vacancy on the Deanery Synod and another on the Team Parochial Church Council.

There will be time to ask questions about the Annual Report which should be available in a few weeks time and I will also give a short talk about how All Saints is going at the moment to which you are invited to ask questions on any church matter.


Christine Williams is stepping down at the meeting after five very industrious and effective years as churchwarden. We will miss Christine very much (though obviously she will still be with us as a worshipping member of the congregation each week) and thank her for all she has done. She will still be doing much for the Diocese as Lay Chair of Reculver Deanery and also will be helping with the Firework night and other events in the life of All Saints - so fortunately it not goodbye, just a big THANK YOU! I shall say more at the meeting. She really has given so much time and energy to the role - it is greatly appreciated.

Mike Binks was elected as churchwarden last March and has served admirably in his first year. He is thankfully wishing to continue as churchwarden . We are very grateful and look forward to the coming years of his time with us as churchwarden.

Margaret Arnold has very kindly expressed a willingness to serve as churchwarden in Christine's place. I am very grateful to Margaret for this. 

Therefore, at the time of writing (27th January) there will be no elections for Churchwarden as both Mike and Margaret will be elected. 

However, if a third, or even fourth person wishes to stand as churchwarden then there will be elections for all the posts (ie both Margaret and Mike and the new candidate (s) will stand for election.)

I am very happy with the proposal of Margaret and Mike as churchwardens but at the same time if you have a candidate that you would like to be churchwarden then you have every right to nominate and second them at the meeting providing they have signed the relevant form in advance. Please see me for the relevant form if this is the case. It is not possible to stand once the meeting is officially underway.


We have FOUR vacancies for the church council elections. You stand for a period of three years. Meetings are once every two months but you also serve on a committee in the intervening month.

Church Councils are generally quite enjoyable affairs and we have a lot to look after in the life of the church in the coming three years. We have to look after our fabric, the church buildings, our finances, our mission to our community, and all sorts of other things. You might want to look at the minutes at the back of church to get an idea of what sort of things we discuss.

You do need to be on the church electoral roll so please fill out a church electoral roll form if you are not yet on it, and then fill out the application form at the back of church if you would like to stand on the District Church Council (DCC).

We are very grateful to Stephen Bartley for his hard work as DCC secretary over the last year. Stephen is now a City Councillor as well as a husband, father and full time journalist, so he is unable to continue as DCC secretary. Would you consider doing our minutes at our DCC meetings? They are usually once every two months at the Vicarage from 7.30pm to about 9.45pm. 

If you are considering any of the above, please speak to myself or a churchwarden - Christine or Mike - in the coming weeks. Thank you.

Saturday 6 March at 7.30pm
Seasalter Christian Centre
£6.00 per person including refreshments
Soft drinks provided.
Please feel free to bring a bottle.
Raffle prizes appreciated
To book a place (either table of 8 or individuals) contact Gordon Williams 275179


Other notices I have received from other churches

From Jane Napper, who I dont know, but this looks interesting

Jane Napper

15 Jan (12 days ago)
to me

If you feel that litter blights our lovely country this is your
opportunity to make a real difference.

You my already be aware of the campaign 'Clean For The Queen'. This is a national campaign organised in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday in June. The aim is to involve as many people, businesses, clubs, groups etc to join in a grand clean up of our lovely country over the weekend of
4th, 5th and 6th March. 
Please go to this link  and find out how you can be involved. The site shows a U.K. map indicating all the areas that have already committed to this campaign-
 Wouldn't it be great if Whitstable could have more people
involved than anywhere else in the country!

A very important one from St Alphege Whitstable

Dear Friends

My name is Jean Starke and I am a member of the orchestra and also belong to St Alphege Church.   I am getting together a committee to help me plan the weekend.   Please could you put me in touch with the member(s) of your church you'd like me to liaise with about this project, if not yourself.   
(Note from Simon - could we have a volunteer please from All Saints for this?)

Email continues as follows....

I believe that Rachel has already invited you to be involved during the weekend of the 4th and 5th June this year when we have members of the All Souls Orchestra from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London coming to perform a concert at St Alphege church in aid of our Raise the Roof fund.  They will also be happy to stay over and join you in worship at your own churches on the Sunday morning.  They would join your existing musicians and play for the hymns and songs you would normally have.   One or two members would be happy to take part in other parts of your service ie testimonies, reading a lesson, or a solo perhaps.  

We will need people to help with planning meals and feeding a hungry orchestra, asking hosts to give members bed and breakfast for the Saturday night and music leaders to coordinate with the small groups that can come to your church on the Sunday.  This could be a string group or a more upbeat group depending on your style of worship.   

The orchestra has a website: which you might like to look at to give you some idea of the extent of their ministry over the last 40 years.  

Let me run through the general programme of the weekend which is the email I initially sent to Rachel.   

The orchestra (probably about 20) will arrive in time for a 2.00 pm rehearsal (ie 1.30) on the 4th, expecting a small refreshment as they arrive, ie tea, coffee and cake etc.   The rehearsal will last until about 5.00.    We will then serve them a cooked meal with pudding and a place to change and pray before the concert starts at 7.30.  ie the Chapel.
Refreshments should be served during the interval to congregation and orchestra alike. 
After the concert those who will be staying will be introduced to their hosts.   The hosts will be from the two or three other churches who get involved in helping with the weekend as well as people from St Alphege.   The players then depart for supper with their hosts and breakfast the next morning.   The players will be split up into groups to go to the other churches and one group will come to St Alphege.   After the service we usually all meet together, including hosts, the committee, clergy for lunch before departing.   This could be at St Alphege but sometimes we have been invited to a host's house which is big enough to cater for us all.   That might not be easy in Whitstable.

I understand that St Alphege Church holds about 400 people including the balcony.   I don't know how much Langham Arts would recommend we charge but I guess it would be about £10-£12 a ticket which with a full house would raise about £4000-£5000.     Langham Arts would circulate the advertisements to a large radius and I know that someone has also asked them to go to Canterbury at some stage, so there might be some interest from churches in Canterbury and Faversham and even further down the coast.   

The orchestra expenses that they may well claim from the ticket sales will be a van to bring music stands, sound equipment and larger instruments, ie string bass and tymps.   There are quite a few players in the South East and would probably make their own way to Whitstable free of charge.   A few might need to come by train which we may have to pay for.   However, as we are very close to London that may not be necessary.

I look forward to hearing from you so that I can arrange a committee meeting within the next few weeks. 

Thank you all for your interest.   I can assure you of a great weekend.   

Jean Starke.

From a bride who married at All Saints last summer - Home Start

From Norman Critchell at St Alphege Seasalter

Would you please advertise this upcoming course happening in March. If any of your Church members are interested in becoming a Chaplaincy Volunteer they would need to have gone through a training course.

Many thanks

As ever
Norman Critchell

Chaplain for the Whitstable and Tankerton Hospital
Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam

Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam means “Oasis of Peace” in Hebrew and Arabic.  NSWaS is a village of some 100 families situated at the foot of the Judean foothills roughly equidistant between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  The village clings to the rocky hill.  It overlooks the Latrun monastery and the monastery’s lush vineyards on either side of the valley.

Keith McNicol spent two and half months there on sabbatical at the beginning of 2012.  He met Jews, Moslems and Christians. 

There are no religious institutions in the village.  However, there is a Spiritual Centre for meditation and in which the three Abrahamic religions are given equal status. 

The children in the primary school that serves the local area, as well as village pupils, are taught in both Hebrew and Arabic and great emphasis is put on each pupil being given the intellectual tools to think critically. 

The School for Peace runs courses on peace-making, from an introduction level to an MA validated by one of the Jerusalem universities.

You may say that Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam is a beacon of light in the darkness that overshadows the lives of many in the Holy Land.  Here, members of the village Council arrange the affairs of their village without regard to religious status or affiliation!

Jenny Nemko is an inspirational speaker and the chair of the British Friends of Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam.  She has agreed to speak about the village at St Paul’s Church, Canterbury at 7.30pm on 29th March.  Come to hear about how Jews, Christians and Muslims live and work together in Israel without violence or anger but with mutual respect and hope for the future.

We are encouraging all church members and anyone interested in the topics to attend the Deanery meetings that take place these days. They are not just for Deanery Synod members. The next one is as follows:

Thank you to all who helped with the above concert. Including Gift Aid the total came to £2351.77

MESSAGE FROM BILLY HOLLIS from Canterbury Cursillo

Our former Lay Director and highly respected Cursillista, Su! Rennison
sadly died last year and many will recall her very special funeral service in
Canterbury Cathedral. 

She was a talented musician, and there is to be a light orchestra
concert in memory of Su! at St Pauls Church, Canterbury, 7-30 pm Sat
23rd April. Tickets are £8-00 per person. 

For further information, please contact Su's husband John Rennison on
01227 765872. 

Billy. (Webmaster) 

Friday, 1 January 2016

January 2016 Xtra

Dear all

May I wish you a very Blessed and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! This photograph was taken in the spring but there are signs of spring breaking round all about us at the moment. I only hope the frost does not cause too much damage in the months to come!

January is a quieter month in the life of All Saints but our regular events continue.

CAMEO - Come and Meet Each Other - continues on Monday afternoons from 2pm to 3.30pm in the church hall. It is suitable for anyone who wishes to come in for a chat or coffee or tea and cake. I am pleased to say numbers have risen in recent months with the arrival of some new faces. It is a great way of meeting new people.

SINGING FOR FUN AND HEALTH continues on the third Wednesday of the month from 2.30pm to 4pm  - Wednesday 20th January. This again is proving to be most popular with good numbers of people attending each time and is great fun - a chance to singalong to a mixture of all sorts of songs in a relaxed setting with teas and coffees and cake.

FILM CLUB - this meets on Thursdays each week. The full programme for the current season can be found here

Please check our website and then come along to the church on Saturday mornings from 10am to 11.30am. This is also a good time to look round the church.

Our Family Service will take place on Sunday 10th January at 10am and the theme will be the Baptism of Christ, as is normally the case for the Second Sunday in January. There will be the opportunity to renew our baptism promises.

I have written a short piece about the need to be gentle with ourselves and with others as we start the New Year - you can read it here



Although numbers were not great attending the Pilgrim course before Christmas the quality of the material was so good I have decided to continue running the course, starting again at the beginning of Lent. We will be looking at the Lord's Prayer. There will be the opportunity of a day time or evening time for the course. Can you let me know if you are interested in attending?
Full details of the course can be found at this link


The Church Council arranged that a retiring collection over Christmas should be taken for this important appeal and has also agreed that a concert will be hosted at All Saints in February with all profits going to this appeal, details of which can be found at this website

Tickets will be £8 per adult and £5 for under 16s. The music will be classical in nature and Jennifer Brisk, a professional opera singer who attended an Alpha course some years ago at All Saints and now studies in Germany, is bringing a few of her musical professional friends (mainly from England) over to Whitstable to perform for us free of charge for this appeal. All performers will be of the highest quality and it will be a wonderful event.

Please can you reserve the date in your diary now - Saturday February 13th at 7.30pm - and I will give an update on how to buy tickets later this month. Please encourage your friends and family to attend this concert. It is very important that we as a church do respond to the international crisis that is unfolding in the Middle East and this is one way we can do just that.


We have our Annual District Church Meeting on Sunday March 20th at 4pm in the Church Hall. It would be good to see you there. Can you please reserve this date in your diary. 
Would you be interested in standing as a member of the Church Council? You should be on the electoral roll of the church (please ask a churchwarden about this). Meetings are once every two months though hopefully you would be on a sub-committee which would meet in the intervening month.

We will also elect our churchwardens at this meeting. Christine Williams is stepping down after many years of faithful service as a churchwarden. Margaret Arnold has very kindly expressed a willingness to serve alongside Mike Binks who is our other current serving churchwarden. If a third person wishes to stand as churchwarden please remember this will turn it into an election and that the ballot papers should be with me before the meeting begins as it is now not legal to put forward a candidate once the meeting has begun. That said, I would be very happy to work alongside Margaret and Mike as churchwardens so there is no need for a third candidate to come forward unless you feel God is specially prompting you to do so, in which case by all means contact me: or 01227 272308


Over recent months I noticed quite a number of new faces at our services and our Sunday attendance in November and December was pretty good. Christmas services attendance, and particularly the Crib services where about 520 adults and children were in attendance over the two services, was very heart warming.
There is therefore a lot to be thankful for in the life of All Saints at the moment. Our Social Committee has put on some wonderful events in recent months and our Organ Fundraising total is now approaching £20,000 thanks to your generosity.

That said, we continue to faces challenges as a church to pay our bills. We do have a lot of overheads, having to finance the maintenance of our church building and hall and nursery school ourselves as well as a huge churchyard. Then there are my costs that the church also has to pay for including my salary, and there are the national and Diocesan costs too to contribute towards.
For this reason, we are always so grateful to the many of you who give regularly to our church.

There may though be others who have not yet joined our regular giving scheme and for this reason I am posting this link below so that you may be informed how you can become a regular giver to church life. Joining the scheme would be greatly appreciated and although I am never able to thank you personally, as this is completely confidential information known only to the stewardship secreatary and treasurer, believe me when I say I am immensely grateful to you for your giving.

We would like to do so much more so any additional gifts are always most gratefully received too.
The link is here


Sacred Space takes place on Tuesday 26th January from 8pm to 9pm at All Saints. Please remember to bring a torch. The church is in near darkness, lit just by candles, and there is quiet Taize music in the background. There are times of silence. It is the perfect environment to pray. For those who prefer, it is possible to arrive late or leave early.
The dates for the rest of the year should be made known in the next Xtra.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require a pastoral visit at home. Particularly can you let me know if someone is ill and requires home communion or a visit or just to be put on our prayer list.

Christian love and Happy New Year!


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