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Larkfield  and East Malling
Methodist Church

Larkfield  and East Malling
Methodist Church

Called to Love and Praise

24/5/24

Welcome

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: Muffins Bluebell Walk (above), Messy Easter, Scratch Easter, Welcome Hub fund-raiser and Easter outreach

News from the hot seat...

/5/24

Dear friends,

One of the hats I wear (figuratively) is as a Trustee of the charity Kent Workplace Mission. KWM is a Christian charity that places chaplains in workplaces across Kent, Medway, Bromley and Bexley, from the ambulance service, to Bluewater shopping centre, to the Port of Dover, providing a caring presence and a listening ear. KWM meetings, conveniently, take place at Larkfield, and the conversations are varied and interesting as we hear about the ministry of chaplains in theatres, town centres and hospitals. If you're interested, you can find out more on the KWM website, here, or listen to the online service I led last Sunday, when we heard from Valerie, one of the KWM-affiliated hospital chaplains. 

Some news and updates for the coming weeks...

Visit from Brookfield Infant School 

This morning, two groups of Year 1 pupils from Brookfield Infant School will be arriving at the church to explore their theme of 'sacred spaces.' My thanks to Monica, Valerie, Mike and Alan, who have kindly agreed to make them welcome. Please pray for us - especially during the Q&A. A previous school visit asked me which was the most important part of the Trinity!

Service at Holy Trinity - THIS SUNDAY 10am 

Don't forget that this Sunday, we'll be worshipping with our Anglican friends at Holy Trinity, Larkfield on New Hythe Lane. There won't be a service at the Methodist church (but someone will be there to make sure that anyone who arrives at the Methodist church will be greeted and invited to join the service at Holy Trinity). 

Local Preachers' accreditation service - THIS SUNDAY 1.30pm

You are warmly invited to gather with friends from across the circuit at 1.30pm this Sunday (26 May) at Third Avenue Church and Community Centre in Gillingham to celebrate the accreditation of two of our Local Preachers, John Hudson-Beddows and Oscar Siu. All our Local Preachers offer so much to the life of the circuit, and so it would be great if as many of us as possible could join John and Oscar to hear their testimonies, celebrate their achievements and affirm their calling. The service is being hosted by the Chinese Church, which is the fastest-growing church in the circuit. We'd love to see you there.

General Election

With a General Election now just around the corner, why not listen to one of the Joint Public Issues Team's '10 minutes on...' podcasts? You can spend 10 minutes finding out more about why churches are championing voter registration - or about the 'Let's End Poverty' movement and the call to speak to prospective candidates about making ending poverty a priority for the next Government. 

Fancy a spot of culture?

The wonderful works in the Methodist Modern Art Collection are currently on display at Emmanuel Church in Eastbourne (until 13 June). The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am - 4pm and is free to visit, with refreshments available. Highly recommended! You can find more details here.

Also, from 17 June - 12 July, St Mary's in West Malling will be hosting an exhibition of the artwork of Welsh artist Jeremy Thomas. 'The Human One' is a collection of 30 paintings exploring the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can find out more about the artist here, or contact Rev Kelly Parson on curate@kentdownsmalling.church or 07415855615 for more details.

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.

To see pictures from our activities 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

Stop Press:

Updated 17/5/24

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Dial-in service - Thursday 6th June 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) 

MHA Sunday 2024 - 9th June

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.

Picnic on the Rec - Saturday 7 July 

On Saturday 7 July, the Larkfield Community Group will be holding its very popular 'Picnic on the Rec' event from 1–5pm. The church will have a stall (as will the Girls' Brigade) and this is a fantastic opportunity to meet people from the community and to raise awareness of what we do. 

If you could join me, Valerie and Monica on the stall, and/or lend us a gazebo for the day, I'd love to hear from you. 

Ride and Stride - Saturday 14 September 

Could you open the church to visitors on Saturday 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 this date.

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 need someone to co-ordinate our team of volunteers. Thank you! 

Walkies!

One of our Breakfast Church families at Larkfield would like to offer their boys some experience of walking a dog. If you have a dog that might be happy to oblige from time to time, do let me know. 

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 March there were 162 visits to the site, 69 from directly entering the site, 64 via Google, 12 from Bing and 13 from Facebook!

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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