Christmas revised

Updated: Dec 19, 2020


Dear parish community, church family & friends,

Sadly in the light of the Prime Ministers announcement tonight and our new Tier-4 status, our shared duty of care to you all remains paramount, and regrettably, this has implications for our Christmas plans including tomorrow. While the Prime Minister has said that communal worship can continue during this new Tier 4, as your vicar along with a majority of our PCC we don't believe gathering in person would be appropriate, wise or responsible.

Following discussion, the Chairman of the Parish Council writes: "it is with regret that we have to cancel our planned Carols on the Green this year tomorrow afternoon. Despite our hopes that we could gather outdoor for our annual carols in a small group, sadly this is no longer appropriate. The safety of everyone is so important and this small sacrifice is for the benefit of us all." My sense as your vicar is that while we are in Tier 4 we should not meet in person for gathered worship but revert to the online congregations, DVD recordings and other print material.

Our online resources will therefore continue at 9.30 am and 5 pm tomorrow in our church Facebook and youtube links. Sadly we will not gather at 0830 or at 1030 or for our much-anticipated Carols on the Green at 4 pm. We trust there'll be encouragements in our last Advent offering from 0930 online and our 5 pm online Community Christmas Special; online on facebook or on youtube, Please do join us if you'd like too...


This is not an easy matter but with significant regional increases, community cases galore and Covid-19 deaths in our parish community, we must be cautious, wise and prayerful. The preciousness of being together in person as a gathered spiritual family when all other physical family life is being stripped right back would, I believe, undermine all the good work we are about in our community.

Christmas is truly very different this year, yet faith, hope & love endure. Our weary world and weary hearts need reasons to rejoice: in the gift of Christ, we can. Where we can serve you as our local church we will, just as in the joy of serving many today in compassion, kindness and care. We journey into an unforgettable Christmas week all the more assured of Gods unstealable presence with us,


Yours sincerely,

Revd Johnny Douglas

vicarjohnny@gmail.com

  • Sunday 20th December 5pm-onwards: Community Christmas, online on facebook or on youtube,

  • Thursday 24th December 5pm-onwards: All-age Christmas, online on facebook or on youtube,

  • Friday 25th December 0930-onwards: Christmas Day celebration, online on facebook or on youtube,

  • Sunday 27th December 0930-onwards: on facebook or on youtube only.

  • In our first 2021 Sunday gatherings, 3rd January we'll explore another aspect of the big story of God connected to the unfolding vision of our lives: increasing in hope!


Here's our Christmas message, summary and greeting. We're looking forward to sharing Christmas 2020 with you best we can!

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                    01322 662320  office@stph.org.uk                         

St Peter's Church, College Road, Hextable, BR8 7RH

 

At St Peter’s Hextable and St Paul’s Swanley Village we take safeguarding very seriously and the PCC has adopted the House of Bishops Parish Safeguarding Handbook, Promoting a safer church, which can be viewed here Further safeguarding documents can be found on the Rochester Diocese safeguarding website Safeguarding children, young people and adults experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect is the responsibility of us all whether they are in the communities in which        we live or part of our Christian family.

 

If you have a concern regarding a child, young person or adult who may be at risk of harm please speak to our Parish Safeguarding Officer,       Andy Birmingham 07511 255 565 or email safeguarding@stph.org.uk 

SAY HELLO

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