Church Wardens' Messages
St. Nicholas Parish Newsletter July 2021
We are looking forward to the easing of lockdown later this month and are very hopeful that we will be able to resume having more “normal” services including hymn singing, which we’ve all missed very much. Mask wearing should be optional, the hand sanitiser will be available and its use encouraged. The services will continue to be led by a team of visiting preachers to whom we are extremely grateful, they offer a variety of approaches which have been most enjoyable. The 10.30 services continue to be available on the website. We hope too, to resume having a time for fellowship and coffee after the 10.30 service. Alison will be compiling a new rota and would be grateful if those of you who are on the rota could confirm your willingness to stay on it and let Alison know. Anyone who is willing to help occasionally please can you also let Alison know?
We will continue to offer children’s worksheets until September, when Sunday Club will resume with organised activities taking place in the meeting area. There will be a children’s activity day on Wednesday 28th July 10am – 3pm. Look out for further details on the website.
T@2 (tea, cake and a chat) will begin again and housegroups will meet in person, so please do contact us if you are interested in joining one. We will publish the dates on the website nearer the time. On 5th September, we plan to hold our welcome back, Bring and Share BBQ at which we will provide barbequed sausages but invite you to bring other food that may be shared.
We are very pleased to let you know that the Parish Profile has been completed and it now forms part of the advertisement for a new Priest in Charge of our parish of St. Nicholas and the parish of St. Barnabas. It may be viewed, along with the one from St. Barnabas, on the diocesan website (rochester.anglican.org/vacancies). There will probably be changes to the weekly meetings and services as we work together with St. Barnabas to find the best working compromise enabling worshippers to attend at their convenience. All will be welcome at either church, but we will maintain our own identities and forms of worship, but may unite for joint activities on occasion.
We sadly need to let you know that Bernard passed away after a short illness. He was a greatly valued member of the church, choir and PCC. He will be very much missed. His funeral is to be held on 27th July at 3pm, and all are welcome to attend.
There is to be a short memorial service for Sylvia on 22nd July at 3pm followed by the interment of hers and Bertie’s ashes in the churchyard, and again, all are invited.
There is a bright new flag flying, thanks to a kind donation. The churchyard is lush and green thanks to the generous supply of rain that we’ve had. It’s been a challenge to beat the growth with the mowers and strimmers! Any willing and able volunteers would be most welcome on a Tuesday morning. We did, however, lose a large branch from the cedar tree, making it somewhat lopsided, so we are taking expert advice about this.
There are some other dates to put in your diaries. The harvest service will be held on 3rd October. This will be followed by a bring and share lunch in the church. There will be an Autumn fair in the village hall on 13th November, and in no time at all, we’ll be thinking about Christmas!
The Parish Magazine will again be produced in the early autumn, so please do think about any articles you might like to submit. We are looking for a volunteer to collate this, but again the costs of production will be covered by advertising slots.
We look forward to a new normality and hope to see you soon.
Sue and Sue
Letter from Churchwardens May 2021
St. Nicholas Church Newsletter, 16th May 2021
Again, a short update following our latest PCC meeting. We hope and pray that everyone is coping with the seemingly endless lockdown. Maybe it’s coming near the end and we can meet together normally again. With that in mind, we would like to celebrate this on 4th July by gathering after the Church service for a ‘’Bring and Share” picnic in the Church grounds. We will provide barbequed sausages. (We will obviously review this nearer the time! Please keep an eye on the website.)
We enjoyed the service led by the Bishop of Rochester last Sunday. We have been experimenting and learning how to record the service so should anyone like to log in to it, the YouTube link is https://youtu.be/huqw_ggAT6s. There are some technicalities to iron out, but it’s a start!
He is retiring in 6 weeks and we have been invited by the diocese to make a contribution towards a gift for him. If you feel able to give something please send it to Peter Joyce or add it to the Sunday collection in a clearly marked envelope.
We can give you the good news that the Church clock has been repaired and is working and chiming normally. The old memorial garden has been cleaned up and new stones laid, around the memorial plaques, thanks to the gardening team, so it’s looking very smart.
We are pleased to tell you that we have an additional co-opted PCC member, Elin Rogers. We have been working together to form a Pastoral team who will ensure that those who are less able to be with us regularly, have the opportunity to be contacted so they still feel part of our church family. Please do let us know if you would like such a contact to be made (or not!) The team will be starting this in the next couple of weeks.
There have also been teams formed to be ready to resume the Sunday Club meetings during the church service as soon as it’s allowed. Messy Church too will resume, so we’ll let you know about that in due course.
We have identified a couple of areas in which we urgently need some assistance….
The PCC needs a secretary, (job share might be a possibility). Please have a chat with us if you feel that this might be something you would consider.
The other need is for a magazine editor and co-ordinator. The magazine will be published about 4 times a year and is collated and set out by existing helpers.
We are fortunate that the Services continue to be led by a group of clergy, both retired and working elsewhere, and lay Readers. There are please to say that there will be a few weddings and christenings during the summer months. Sarah is busy compiling a new rota of sidespersons, bible readers and prayer leaders, but the list is a little short at the moment. We have attached an outline of the ‘job description’ from Sarah.
God Bless, keep well and see you soon, we hope!
Sue and Sue
Letter from Churchwardens April 2021
St. Nicholas Church, Southfleet
Parish Newsletter, April 2021
We held our Annual Church Meeting last Sunday, when we consider everything that happened in 2020. Obviously, the reports were quite short! The Parochial church council now consists of the two Sues as Church Wardens; Reader, Joanna Barber; elected members Louisa Mercer, Bernard Barrett, Beth Archbutt, Alison Coppiters, Brenda Horgan, Ellen Barrett, Ian Brown, Lee Coppiters, Beryl Joyce, Sarah Youseman, Sarah-Jane McAlonen, Sue Truzzi also our verger. Jan Becket, a co-opted member, has retired as the PCC secretary, and we’ll miss her expertise and thank her for her support for the last 20 or so years. We are therefore looking urgently for someone to fill this role. If you feel that this is something you could do to help the smooth running of our Church, please have a chat with one of us. Many other things have continued to tick over and the churchyard looks marvellous as always, thanks to the faithful team of gardeners.
We are glad to tell you that there is no major work
outstanding that needs to be completed, just more minor bits and pieces. The
flagpole has now been replaced and the clock has been repaired and is chiming
again. Predictably, our income was lower which always gives some cause for
concern, but this was mitigated by the fact that many now choose to give by
standing order enabling us to budget more accurately. Thank you to all who give
in this way.
The Church reopened, for services in person, on 21st March and as lockdown eases gradually, we look forward to more people attending as and when they feel comfortable. We are looking forward to being able to resume singing, but for now are managing by listening to CD’s.
The PCC continued to meet regularly to discuss the formation of the Parish Profile, which will be used to explain about the Church for a prospective new Priest in Charge. We hope to have this completed and displayed on our website shortly.
We are in the process of forming a Pastoral Team. The aim of this group is to identify and contact or support those in our Church Community, (initially), who are in need, lonely, unwell or feeling isolated. If you would like to be contacted about this, please do let us know.
Although the children can’t yet meet during the service for their Sunday Club, there will be worksheets and colouring pages available which they can use whilst sitting with their parents during the service.
Please do contact us if you have any questions!
God’s Blessings to you all.
Sue Martin and Sue O’Connor
Letter from Churchwardens 20 February 2021
Letter from Churchwardens 20 January 2021
The PCC met the Archdeacon yesterday evening when he presented the plan for the future of St Nicholas Church.
The proposal is that we will have a new Priest in Charge who will be shared with St Barnabas, Istead Rise. This is happening successfully in many parishes and is necessary because the financial situation of the diocese and churches in general is far less secure due to the pandemic and the fall in congregations and therefore income is worryingly low.
This will obviously involve some changes and compromises, but will also bring some new experiences and practices which have the potential to invigorate our Church community.
In order that the new incumbent is able to carry out his/ her ministry, the church members will need to be more active and supportive in the life and working of the Church, so we will all be considering how we may fulfil this need for the future. We have identified the need for a Deputy Verger and a Deputy PCC Secretary. Please contact us if you feel you could help with either of these roles.
The new minister will live in Istead Rise as the Rectory there does not lend itself to being rented out because of its location, whereas the Southfleet one does. We will work strongly to ensure that this does not disadvantage the Southfleet, New Barn and Bean side of our community.
We will also strongly support the link with the schools in the parish.
The process of finding a replacement will not be quick!
Other matters that were discussed were the temporary suspension of services which will be reviewed after 16th February.
The new Audio Visual system has been installed, which will allow live streaming and recording of services.
Further repair work is needed on some of the stonework of the building. An architect will assess the needs then we will need to ascertain how best to fund the work.
The old Garden of Remembrance is to be tidied and renovated.
The clock will be repaired when COVID restrictions allow
The flagpole, on which we mount the star at Christmas, snapped in the high wind. We are exploring our options for it’s future. It’s replacement may be funded partly by the insurance minus the obligatory excess!
Please do continue to pray for the work of the Church in this parish, especially for guidance and wisdom in choosing a new incumbent.
Sue and Sue
Please See Important Letter Below From The Churchwardens Regarding Church Services - Covid Update
22 December 2020
St. Nicholas Church Newsletter
6th November 2020
We, the new Church Wardens, would like to keep you informed of details relating to the Church, now that we have entered an interregnum, as Josh left us last week. We gave him a small leaving gift, but he asked that if anyone wished to donate anything, he would like it to go to St. Luke’s, the charity supporting the clergy. (www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk
As we have again been prevented from meeting in person, we have produced a Remembrance Day service for Sunday, with our guest preacher, the Archdeacon of Rochester, Andy Wooding Jones. This may be accessed on line by visiting our Church Website and clicking the You Tube link on the ‘services’ page.
Future services will also be listed on the website depending on government restrictions. Our next planned service is scheduled to be on 5th December which will be the traditional Toy Service when you are invited to provide a new toy for a child in need. We are happy to accept donations for this even if we can’t meet together for worship. We are planning to reintroduce music and singing, which will be broadcast by recording and participation by the choir only. The Christmas services obviously remain in question, but we will always keep the web site up to to date.
For the weeks when we are not able to broadcast, there is a service of worship on line found by typing ‘churchofengland.org’. We will be opening the church for private prayer on Thursdays from 12th November 10.00 to 11.30am.
We are delighted that we will be installing a new audio-visual system thanks to the generosity of a legacy. This will include a screen, projector and should enable live streaming of the services for those unable to attend. We will be able to welcome outside groups to use these facilities too.
You will have seen in the media that Churches, especially the small parish ones, are struggling financially. Ours is no exception! Our income has dropped dramatically, but we also recognise that many individuals are suffering too. Any donations would help us enormously, with regular giving by standing order being especially helpful. If you do feel that you are in a position to support us, we would be happy to give you details or visit the web page.
As we enter this second lockdown, please do contact us if you have any specific requirements, need support or even a regular phone call. The church phone number is 07484 154613 or via email:-
With best wishes for your health and wellbeing. Sue and Sue
Message from the Church Wardens - 27th April 2017
We would start by wishing you all a Happy Easter and a long, warm and enjoyable summer for 2017.
We have now completed the initial area in the Church graveyard for re-use, with graves stones over 100 years old removed, and appropriately placed along the west boundary. Please note that we have now posted on the noticeboard, a shortened version of the revised Graveyard Policy.
We have started to update the church website, to give more information and history about the church. This can be found at www.stnicholassouthfleet.org.uk
The screen at the back of the Lady Chapel which will hide the staging and chairs area, is progressing well and should be completed during the summer. This has been made possible by three kind donations.
1. We have heard from the Heritage Lottery Fund that we have been unsuccessful with our bid for a Delivery Phase grant and whilst we have been granted funds from other foundations and Charities, we now have to review what repair and improvement work we can undertake.
2. We have received notification from the Heritage Lottery Fund that they have awarded us the original grant of £134,900 towards the fabric repairs, conservation work and heating improvements. We are also pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £10,000 from Friends of Kent Church’s. This means that we have to raise a further £7,000 for the work we have agreed to undertake with the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are, however, still applying for grants from other sources to make up the difference and carry out the repair work originally specified.
3. We are delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded us a grant of £139,900 to towards the fabric repairs, conservation work and heating improvements. We are also delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant £10,000 from Friends of Kent Church’s. This means that we have the majority of the funds to carry out the revised schedule of works, detailed within the Heritage Lottery Fund application. We are, however, still applying for grants from other sources to make up the difference and carry out all the repair and conservation work.
Whilst we have funds for the fabric works due to the nature of the grant from Heritage Lottery Fund we are restricted in the funds available for heating improvements, although as previously reported we have some funds from the Marshall Charities towards heating. These funds will only permit us to install new boilers and a gas supply to the Church and in order to install a complete modern heating system we will need to raise a further £40,000. The existing system is 100 years old, so has done very well. We will be distributing further details about an appeal for funds in the near future.
We have several events taking place this year associated with raising funds for the church and we hope to see many of you for some fun and enjoyment over the coming months.
Joanna and Mike
- St Nicholas Church
- Church Street
- DA13 9NR