The monthly e-newsletter from the Team Vicar of All Saints Whitstable, Rev Simon Tillotson
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Thursday, 19 March 2020

All Saints Whitstable additional Xtra

Initial reflections on the Crisis we all face

The Coronavirus crisis that has become to take hold of our own nation in dramatic ways is going to affect our lives for years to come – that is what experts are predicting due to the economic effects it will have.

However, our immediate concerns must be centred on caring for the needy and vulnerable in our own community.
I am pleased to see that Whitstable is already bringing together volunteers to help ensure those who have no access to the internet can receive meals at home and emotional support through things like “phone buddy” systems. We are already starting this at All Saints and I am sure the wider Team and other churches in the town are adopting similar measures.

I am pleased to hear that restaurants and pubs are beginning to organise home delivery services for meals.

I understand full details of these will be circulated in due course and I would ask all pubs and restaurants and voluntary organisations to please work together in providing a comprehensive list of alternatives.

I am not one to advertise companies but these are unusual times. With online retailers having a three week wait and supermarkets being emptied by 8.30am in the morning, please encourage your elderly relatives and neighbours who are unable to get to local smaller food shops to look at other alternatives and help them if they dont know how to shop online.

Away from local provision one shop I found which is delivering frozen meals is Oakhouse foods. Another is

There are plenty of others. We need to encourage who walk to the shops and find the shelves empty to think and plan ahead

That said I am sure that once the panic buyers have no more storage space the pressures on some of the supermarkets will begin to ease.

There are already people without food in their house and who are housebound and we are only in Week 1 of the new measures that have come into place.

On a limited scale and protecting our own health, I have received offers from volunteers who are willing to shop for others at this time. If you would like to help – please contact me. is my email address


This is my second chief concern. For those who have adapted to the internet and more crucially do not live alone, loneliness is not such  a factor (though psychologists tell us it can still be a factor if relationships have broken down, which sadly can happen too often). 

However, for those who are now isolated at home who are not used to Facebook and Twitter and other social media, and who probably don’t even have a computer, the problems of loneliness is going to be a huge one to face and probably already is.

That is why I am so grateful that I have received a number of offers of help with the phone buddy system we are operating. You will agree to phone one, two or three people each week regularly. I will set it up with you. If I don’t know you, I will ask for references that can be emailed to me and a phone interview, just so I can be confident you are the right person for this. You do not need to be religious or a churchgoer to be a phone buddy but you do need to be open to the fact that the person you are calling may well be religious.


We have no idea what will happen in the coming weeks but the forecasts are grim.

Can I suggest that if you meet people in the street you do not talk right up to their face but allow a bit of distance between you.

Please remember that if you are feeling ill particularly with a sore throat or temperature you should remain at home for 7 days or 14 days if you live with someone else, and they should do this at the same time as you. With all the other messages we are receiving this can be forgotten.

Please remember that we are not meant to be seeing friends at social gatherings  but only meet with people when it is absolutely essential and even then through safe distancing. It is possible to keep in touch by phone and online. 

Please pray for our wonderful health service, and for the brave doctors and nurses and other medical care staff on the front line.

Please pray for people like myself and other clergy who are taking funerals at the moment and having contact with the public on a regular basis through this, even though we are now asked to do as much preparation before the funeral over the telephone.

Please pray for wedding couples whose immediate wedding plans have been put into jeopardy and who now face restrictions on the number of guests they are to have at church weddings.

Please make sure you give yourselves plenty of rest, and use the phone as much as possible to talk to friends and family. 

We are all experiencing a huge amount of challenge at the moment and the psychological effects will be huge on all of us. I have noticed myself feeling more tired than usual due to the sheer challenge of adjusting to the situation that now faces us all.


I am delighted to be part of the Whitstable Team Ministry. Rev Rachel Webbley, our Team Rector, Rev Paulette Stubbings, Rev David Vannerley and I are in the process of putting together action plans for each of our churches and our districts. A Facebook page for the whole Team has brought together people from across the Anglican churches in a way that we have not seen before and which is surely of God. I am in close contact with Rachel, Paulette and David and I am sure we will work very well together as we are already to ensure the Team rises to this challenge. Please pray for Rachel in her role as Team Rector in this. 

We will be working with our ecumenical colleagues too over the coming weeks and months to come up with new strategies to deal with the challenges we face.
I want to pay tribute to local councillors who are working hard on developing action plans for the whole town and will post on Facebook details of these as they emerge.
I will be doing a daily email with thoughts and reflections and I am sure my clergy colleagues will be doing this too. We are going to synchronise broadcasting on Facebook of the daily office too. I will also post additional regular video messages and acts of worship which I will post on the All Saints and St Peter’s websites and Facebook pages. These have already begun. These help to keep us together. 

I can understand people asking if there is a God why is he allowing this? This is a difficult question to answer but I would say that the bible provides a united picture of a world where suffering and pain lies at the heart of the human and global condition.
I have posted a message on the All Saints website about this and compared it to two worldviews or climbing frames which are separate – one purely based in this world and the other which is based in the framework of faith. Now of course I realise that there is huge crossover between the world of spirituality and faith and the real physical world around us. But there are also key differences. I would like you to watch the video if you have not watched it yet.
You can find it at

What I would like to assure you is that God is still present and if we ask him for strength I believe he will respond. I have often thought that crises can either strengthen or weaken our faith and trust in God. My prayer is that you will be given strength and grace at this time of need and that you will sense the presence of Jesus with you all the time. 
I and my other clergy colleagues will be posting lots of spiritual content so do please keep in touch with this.
Also do google searches on the Church of England website which has a host of spiritual provision that is excellent including details of live streaming. Check out the Canterbury Cathedral website which also is streaming live services regularly.

Also and crucially please check our website as soon we will be posting times when all the churches in the Team will be open for people to visit to come in and pray and reach out to God. It is important we do not all just sit at home and this is one way the church can help by encouraging you to come into the church and take time reflecting and praying whilst still observing safe space with those you meet. 

If you want to be part of a regular daily email from myself with reflections and news of what is happening and may be of help to you, please email me now at and I will add you to the list. 

Thank you for following this latest message.  Your friend and praying for you. 
The Vicarage
Church Street
Mobile 07833 448287

Friday, 6 March 2020

All Saints Whitstable March Xtra newsletter

Dear all

I do apologise for the delay in sending out the March newsletter.

This is a concerning time for  of us with the recent news about the Coronavirus arriving in the UK.

On Sunday 8th March we have our usual Compline which takes place on the Second Sunday of each month. As we are in the winter months, it will take place at 5pm. 

We will be having a special time of prayer for our country and for the world especially praying for an end to the Coronavirus outbreak and for a vaccine to be found, and praying for those suffering from the virus,  so if you are concerned about the situation may I invite you to come along to this 30 minute service.

I have also issued information to all of our churchgoers about how Holy Communion services should take place at the moment and this is available on the Prayer Pointers at Sunday's services.

Please also note that the Barn Dance due to take place towards the end of March to raise money for the German Exchange has been postponed for the time being.

My prayers for all who are anxious. May you know God's peace. 
This world is a world of beauty but there are certainly problems in our world too, and the Christian faith is in many respects more in touch with our world of suffering and pain than the sanitised outlook of our secular, materialistic culture today. 

I am though praying for all who are worried. Please be assured that I am available should you wish to chat with someone or need help, as are our pastoral assistants. Please call our church office on 01227 275947 (answerphone when office is not open)  if you are in special need of help or email me at The church is here to care.

For various reasons the Xtra this month is going to be shorter than usual - please though do check our website for details of our usual groups -


This Sunday 8th March we have our Family Communion service at 10am at All Saints Whitstable.
I am pleased to say that the mid week children and parent's group Holyballoo will be helping with the service. They have done a wonderful display of artwork and are going to help lead the prayers at this service.
The Family Communion service takes place at 10am on Sunday 8th March - I do hope to see you there!


This will take place on Sunday 15th March at 11.30am at All Saints church hall after our morning worship. 
We have a number of vacancies for the Church Council and if you are on the church membership roll (known as the church electoral roll) please will you consider standing for election?
I would appreciate your attendance at this meeting. Thank you.

You can read our report of the year 2019 in preparation for this meeting by clicking ON THIS LINK


I am so grateful to all of you for taking part in the attendance survey. We are now half way through the eight week survey.

I thought you might like a few facts that have come from it:
Over the first four weeks a total of 196 individual adults and children have  attended. 
48 of these adults and children started attending All Saints  in the last five years, 35 adults and children started attending between 6-10 years ago and 113 adults and children have attended for more than 10 years

123 of those who have attended are female and 73 are male.

I will let you know more statistics for the April Xtra.

There is a Christian Aid quiz

has a lot of information about what is happening this month especially with some important events
Please note that the Barn Dance on Unity Update under All Saints is now cancelled.


NB Do click on any of the advertisements of groups below to see in larger text, especially if you are viewing this by mobile phone.


A quiz organised by the Guides to raise money for one of the Guides who is raising money for a special trip to China

All the very best and hope to see you at one of our services this month (or more if you feel able to attend)


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