St. Mary's Church

St. Luke's Church

St. Luke's Parish Room

Visitor guide

Church history

Church records

St Mary the Virgin, Chiddingstone

St Luke's Chiddingstone Causeway

Interregnum at St.Mary's and St.Luke's

The way forward

A letter was sent to the Archdeacon a fortnight ago, voicing the PCC`s concerns regarding the Bishop`s apparent reluctance to let us re-advertise. We also continued to stress our need for a full-time priest and the Parish`s over-riding desire to have our own priest rather than merge with neighbouring parishes.

As a result of our letter, a Special PCC meeting was held with the Archdeacon, Julie Conalty, yesterday (11/12/18) to address our concerns. The Archdeacon agreed that we could re-advertise in March at the earliest but re-iterated that our combined parishes were far too small (population – not area) to warrant a full-time priest, according to Diocese policy, irrespective of our ability to afford one, or our desire to appoint one.

Considerable discussion was held regarding:-

  • The effect (reduction) on congregation size and number of services during this interregnum
  • The increasing difficulty of sourcing visiting clergy
  • The possibility of a short-term appointment
  • The urgent need for a church administrator (paid post)
  • The shortage of suitable applicants for rural parishes
  • The likely vacancies in 1-2 year`s time in this and neighbouring parishes and the increasing pressure for amalgamation
  • The re-organisation proposals of the Diocese

The PCC meeting scheduled for 16th January 2019 will make decisions on re-advertising and/or a short-term appointment. Until then, we will concentrate on the Christmas programme and working towards the identification and appointment of a church administrator. This would take a considerable load off the current administration and visiting clergy (PCC secretary, wedding co-ordinating, sourcing clergy, rotas, etc).

Services

The new format of services commencing in January is shown on the centre pages of the January 2019 village magazine. We regret that the 8am Holy Communion service has had to be suspended for 3 months until April 2019 due to the difficulty in sourcing visiting clergy.

It has also been decided to put back, for a month or two, the Children`s Church (ex- Sunday School) which was due to re-commence on the third Sunday in January (20th). This is partly to concentrate on the new-style Family Service on the first Sunday of each month and partly to identify suitable people for leading the Children`s Church due to take place during the Family Eucharist. If anyone can assist, please contact any of the churchwardens.

The Toddler Service in January will be on the second Thursday of the month at 9am in the Parish Room.

Reminders

Any wedding matters should continue to be addressed to our wedding co-ordinator, Sue Coleman (870435).

Any pastoral matters should be addressed to the Pastoral Assistant, Carol Benton (870483).

Any Christenings or other matters relating to St Mary's or St Luke's should go to the relevant churchwardens please (contact numbers in our local directory).