Seeing lives transformed through encounter with Jesus
We are a Church of England Benefice of six village parishes in the countryside between Sittingbourne and Rainham in North Kent, with seven diverse congregations. We seek to be "the people who bless", seeking to embody Jesus in our daily lives sharing by our presence, service and words the Lord's transforming love and grace. We see church as a community we belong to, not just a place we go to. So come and join us. Everyone is welcome to join us at any of our services, which provide different flavours of traditional and contemporary worship. Down through the centuries, our ancient buildings in each village speak of the presence and promise of God in our communities: "I am with you".
Our church buildings (clockwise): Hartlip, Iwade, Lower Halstow, Upchurch, Stockbury, Newington
COVID-19: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
We have been living in unprecedented times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its knock-on effect on the economy. Our six church buildings have been closed as part of the Church of England's support for Government measures to avoid transmission of the virus. They remain closed still whilst we evaluate how we can re-open our buildings safely in the coming weeks, in the light of the recent permission given by the Government for individual private prayer, funerals, weddings and public worship. This may have brought the expectation that they would be immediately open. However, there is much to consider before we can open them as we consider how we can gather within the published guidelines. Please bear with us during this time of carrying out the necessary risk assessments as part of this re-opening process.
However your local church community is still here to serve and support you, to be available to you and especially for the most vulnerable in our village communities. Although the church building in your village is still closed at the moment, as a “dispersed praying community” we are praying for your village community.
We invite you to join us to pray, as you can, wherever you are at home as follows:
Daily Prayer: Monday to Friday at 9.00am, 12.00pm & 5.00pm
Sunday Worship: 10.30am
'Shine a Light': 8.00pm each Sunday. We continue to invite you to place a candle or a lamp in your window each Sunday evening as a sign of hope as the challenges that the nation and people face in their lives remains still. Please be conscious of fire safety. Let’s see as many lights as possible as the weeks pass!
We are aware that many may be worried and struggling in some way during this period. Do not struggle alone. There are many who can help and listen. Do ask. If you wish for help from our churches, do contact me in the first instance. I can then put you in touch with others in the communities who can and are willing to help.
Rev. Julian Staniforth
Rector & Priest-in-Charge of The Six benefice
"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not (cannot) overcome this light". These words from John’s Gospel remind us of God’s promise that no matter what life brings, the Lord says “I am with you”. In the midst of the storms the Lord Jesus met his panicked disciples and said "It is I, do not be afraid. Where is your faith?" In the midst of this particular storm engulfing our individual lives, our nation and our world at this time may we hear the Lord’s promise “I am with you”.
If you would like to speak to someone, please do get in touch with the Clergy team in the first instance. Safeguarding is an essential part of our churches being safe for everyone. Follow the link here.