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Larkfield  and East Malling
Methodist Church

Larkfield  and East Malling
Methodist Church

Called to Love and Praise

9/4/24

Welcome

Sunday 14th April: A Day of Celebration!

10am CHURCH ANNIVERSARY

Preacher: Rev. David Gillman

Steward: Valerie Thornewell

Welcome Stewards: Linda Jeffery and

Mike Winsor

Bible Reader: Audrey Harris

Intercessions: Alan Wood

Organist: Rob Wilding

Flowers: Monica Wilding

12:00 Bring and Share Lunch

1:30pm 60 Hymns for 60 Years

ANNIVERSARY PRAISE

Leader: Monica Wilding

Steward: Alan Wood

Music: Rob Wilding and Others

We are a friendly, welcoming Church, of all ages with a membership of around 80, and many more in our wider Church family.

Our Church family comes mainly from the villages of Larkfield, East and West Malling, Kings Hill, Addington, Leybourne, Ditton and Aylesford, all of which are just west of the County town of Maidstone in Kent.

We enjoy worship in a variety of styles from traditional to modern, and our congregations usually include a wide variety of ages, from toddlers to octogenarians.

 

See our Services page for full details of in-person and on-line services and opportunities for worship.

There are a large number of regular groups and activities (see activities  and Children and Family pages). 

Girls Brigade, Boys Brigade and Messy Church are term-time only.​

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Methodist Church? 

We have a small number of people currently exploring becoming members of their local Methodist church. I'll soon be running some sessions for anyone exploring membership (thinking together about what it means to be a Christian, a Methodist, and a member of the Methodist Church), after which attendees will be invited to be received into membership, if they wish. These sessions usually take place over lunch, or tea and cake, and are a great chance to explore faith in a small group. If you'd like to be involved (or know someone who might), please let me know. You can find some FAQs about Methodist membership here.

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See our new Gallery page for recent pictures of events including: Messy Easter, Scratch Easter, Welcome Hub fund-raiser and Easter outreach

News from the hot seat...

Dear friends,

 

Returning from a week away, I was reminded that we're still very much in the Easter season by the number of ping-pong balls still hiding around the manse. At Larkfield on Easter Day, we watched this video of 2015 ping-ping balls being catapulted into the air using mousetraps - a process that started with a single ball being released, and quickly snowballed into something far more dramatic. We talked about how the message that Jesus had risen from the dead began (according to John) with a single encounter between Jesus and Mary in the garden and quickly snowballed as she told the other disciples, who then saw Jesus for themselves, and who (on the day of Pentecost) shared the news with the crowds in Jerusalem, leading to 3000 people choosing to follow Jesus on that day alone. We all committed to praying for and talking to two people - telling them about why faith is important to us, perhaps, or inviting them along to church. Just think how quickly the good news of Easter will spread!

 

Some news and updates...

Anniversary celebrations 

Hot on the heels of the Easter weekend, our 60th anniversary celebrations begin in earnest with the anniversary itself today. Details can be found in the notices of our celebrations: the barn dance on Saturday, the Easter/church anniversary Breakfast Church on Sunday, and the special anniversary service on Sunday 14 April followed by lunch and '60 hymns for 60 years.' This Sunday is also our Gift Day, as we celebrate the past and seek to safeguard the future of our church. Look out for the wonderful photos on display in the church - and the various '60 for 60' sponsored activities taking place (see below!).  

60 for 60 cycle ride - Saturday 13 April

Thank you so much to you wonderful sponsors - between online donations and the sponsorship forms in the churches, you've already donated well over £800, which is amazing!

 

This Saturday, I'll be cycling 60 miles, stopping off at various churches in the North Kent Methodist Circuit, to raise some much-need funds for our church, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary. 

 

If you'd like to sponsor me, payments can be made by cash, cheque (to 'Larkfield Methodist Church'), online banking (Larkfield Methodist Church, sort code: 09-01-55, account number: 81795709, ref: 60for60), via the QR code (https://www.larkfieldmethodist.org/about-4), or via my personal JustGiving page (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/naomi-oates60for60). Do please send me your full name and address if you're a UK taxpayer and willing to Gift Aid your donation.

 

I'll be stopping off at Larkfield, St Luke's, Tonbridge Road, Union Street, Bearsted, Burham, Eccles, Peninsula, and Larkfield again.

General Church Meeting - Sunday 21 April 

We hope that everyone will be able to stay after the service on Sunday 21 April for a bring-and-share lunch followed by the General Church Meeting. We'll be making some important appointments and discussing our ongoing fundraising efforts, as well as thinking about our worship and outreach over the coming months. Everyone is welcome, and we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Daytime Alpha Course at West Malling Baptist Church 

Our friends at West Malling Baptist Church (who are part of Churches Together in Malling) are holding a daytime Alpha Course, starting on Wednesday. If you'd like to take part, or know someone who might, all the details are in the attached flyer.

Alpha in Maidstone prison

The Chaplain at Maidstone Prison, Rev Geoffrey Burn, is organising an Alpha course for the prisoners in June and July (one afternoon per week for eight weeks). If you would be interested in volunteering (listening and helping to facilitate conversations), please contact Geoffrey on Geoffrey.Burn@justice.gov.uk

As security clearance takes a little while, please contact Geoffrey now if you would like to be involved.

Wishing you, when it comes, a blessed and joyful Easter.

Ride and Stride - 14 September 

Ride and Stride (where walkers and cyclists raise money for churches in Kent by walking or cycling around as many of them as possible) will be taking place on Saturday 14 September. Last year, almost £140,000 was raised in total.

If you would be willing to act as our 'local organiser' this year (ie to ensure the church is open on the day for riders and striders, with refreshments available), I'd be very grateful to hear from you. Of course, you don't have to be at church all day - but we'd need someone to co-ordinate our team of volunteers. Thank you! 

Every blessing,

Naomi

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A Warm welcome awaits visitors to our Welcome Hub in the Sycamore Tree.

Welcome Hub

Our Warm Space evolved into a Community Hub and now into the Welcome Hub.

As a Welcome Hub, we will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays 10am to 2pm. Do call in for a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. There’s always cakes or cookies, and soup and other snacks if you come at lunch-time.


If you would like to volunteer on a regular or occasional basis, please speak to Monica.

Welcome Hub's Christmas Meal Pictures

see the pictures from the party here

Welcome Hub's First Birthday Party Pictures

Check out our gallery page

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Many thanks to Rob, our own Piano Guy

Celebrating 60th Anniversary

Some of us are planning to take part in sponsored '60 for 60' events to raise some money. Could you get involved? Ideas that have emerged already include knitting 60 squares for a blanket, walking 60 times around a lake (not all in one go), cycling 60 miles around churches in the circuit, and growing (and selling) 60 plants. Be as imaginative as you like!

I've attached the sponsor form - there are printed copies at church. Folks can pay by cash, cheque, electronic transfer, or using their smartphone and the QR code on the form. Please encourage UK taxpayers to complete all the columns, so we can claim Gift Aid on their donation. Rob and Monica are able to receive cash and cheques to be paid in, and Tricia will need the completed forms so we can claim Gift Aid. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do let us know what you're planning - or sponsor someone else, if you can. Thank you!
 

Forthcoming events will appear here:

6th April 6pm Barn Dance 

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Updated 7/4/24

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Little Larks - new start time

Please note that Little Larks has a new start time of 1:30

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1:30

Dial-in service - Thursday 2nd May at 10am

Our dial-in service is now taking place monthly, at 10am on the first Thursday of the month. You are warmly invited to join us this morning, as we reflect together on the theme of Epiphany, through poetry, through Scripture, and through prayer. The details for joining from a phone or computer are as follows:

Step 1: At 10am dial 020 3481 5237 from a mobile or landline

Step 2: When requested, enter the Meeting ID 999 8764 3710 followed by #

Step 3: When requested, enter the Passcode 345080 followed by #

You do not need a 'Participant ID' - just press #

If you have a laptop, iPad or phone, you can also get into the service on these devices with just one click using the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/99987643710?pwd=bmhvSlh2Nk45QUZXS2JubXgxbElYdz09

(In case you need it, the Meeting ID is: 999 8764 3710 and Passcode: 345080) 

Exploring sustainable futures - 18 April 

Naomi has signed up to attend a free Zoom seminar on 18 April (from 10-11.30am) for churches exploring the future of their buildings, and how to ensure sustainability. If you'd like to join Naomi, you can register here.

MHA Sunday 2024

For those of you involved in planning and leading services, resources are now available for MHA Sunday 2024. (MHA, a Methodist charity, is the largest charity care provider in the country.) MHA Sunday will be marked on 9 June, but the resources can be used on any day of the year. The focus this year is the mustard seed, and the resources are presented by Pam Rhodes. There's even a sermon! You can find the materials here.

60 for 60 - Sponsored cycle ride

On Saturday 13 April, I’ll be cycling 60 miles, stopping off at various churches in the North Kent Methodist Circuit, to raise money for church funds as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations. 

If you'd like to sponsor me, payments can be made by cash, cheque (to ‘Larkfield Methodist Church’), online banking (Larkfield Methodist Church, sort code: 09-01-55, account number: 81795709, ref: 60for60) or via the QR code here: Donate | Larkfield Methodists

We’re still working on an online giving page – but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to sponsor me (and please do sign up for Gift Aid, if you haven't already). I'll drop off some sponsorship forms at each of the churches. Thank you so much – and wish me luck!

Exploring sustainable futures - 18 April 

Naomi has signed up to attend a free Zoom seminar on 18 April (from 10-11.30am) for churches exploring the future of their buildings, and how to ensure sustainability. If you'd like to join Naomi, you can register here.

MHA Sunday 2024

For those of you involved in planning and leading services, resources are now available for MHA Sunday 2024. (MHA, a Methodist charity, is the largest charity care provider in the country.) MHA Sunday will be marked on 9 June, but the resources can be used on any day of the year. The focus this year is the mustard seed, and the resources are presented by Pam Rhodes. There's even a sermon! You can find the materials here.

Church funds - We need your help! 

It's not always easy to talk about money, but at last week's Church Council, we spent a long time doing just that. Unfortunately, due mainly to rising costs, our church is currently running at an annual deficit of up to £10k - which means we're in danger of running out of funds in just a couple of years. Larkfield is a brilliant church, with a huge amount of energy, creativity and a real desire to reach out and share God’s love. It would be such a shame if that work came under threat, due to a lack of funds. As Brian said on Sunday: 'I don't want to be shopping at Morrisons in a couple of years and hear someone say - didn't there used to be a church over there?'

There's not much we can realistically do to reduce our expenditure, so the Church Council has agreed various ways to try and increase our income. We appointed three small groups, to look at finding new lettings, applying for grants, and organising church fundraising events.

There are things that all of us can do - whether or not we're in a position to give financially. Here are some ideas:

  • If you donate to the church, and are eligible for Gift Aid, please ensure you're signed up - it's easy, and means we get an extra 25% at no extra cost to you. Please speak to Tricia for more details.

  • If you’re in touch with any groups, organisations and classes locally, ask whether they might be interested in hiring our hall or the Sycamore Tree. Chat to Mike, our lettings officer, about availability.

  • Support our fundraising efforts, like the poetry evening on 9 March and the barn dance on 6 April.

  • If you generously buy resources that we use at church, and don't claim the cost - you could claim, and then donate the same amount to the church, so we can claim the Gift Aid (assuming you're eligible).

  • Let me know if you'd like to join one of the groups looking at lettings, grants, and church fundraising events. We're looking especially for someone else to join Mike and Val on the 'lettings' group - making contact with local organisations and advertising our premises. 

  • Consider how you might respond to our Gift Day in April. 

  • Pray! For God to provide the resources we need to do his work in our community. 

No Cash?

No Problem!

 

Donate to the church the cashless way

 

You can now donate to the church with your smart phone!  

Scan the QR code on the Donate page of the website or any of the QR codes displayed in the church.

For more information or questions contact Martin White

You can also now make contactless donations direct to Martin White's phone using card or smartphone!

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Spreading the Word

In November there were 83 visits to the site, 37 from directly entering the site, 36 via Google, 5 from Bing and 3 from North Kent Methodist website!

In 2023 there were 1648 visits to the site, up 27%. Visits from NKM were up 75%

In 2022 we had more than twice as many visits as 2021!

In 2021, 418 people visited the website 605 times for an average of 5 minutes 4 seconds. 

In 2022, 721 people visited the website 1299 times for an average of 4minutes 59 seconds.

 

In 2024, visitors were from all parts of the UK, with multiple visits from US (44), France (7), India (6).

 

Popular pages visited were:

Home 

Services 

The most busy time is 4pm on a Monday!

Welcome everyone.

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