Larkfield and East Malling
Called to Love and Praise
Church is now open
Our church is open for worship from Sunday, 23rd May at 10am.
We will continue with the format we had before lockdown, which means that you will have to book your place with Dave. You can email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07867 884043 between Wednesday and Friday (preferably in the evening).
Look forward to seeing you again.
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 on-line services and opportunities for worship.
There are a large number of regular groups and activities meeting on Zoom during lockdown (see activities page).
We also have a café called the Sycamore Tree which is a great place to relax and chat after Church services on Sunday. This currently online (see Services page for details)
Revd. Naomi Oates is now on maternity leave until 12th October 2021. If you have any queries concerning church, please speak to your Pastoral Visitor or Senior Steward.
If you need to speak to a minister, please contact the Revd. Dr. Bonni-Belle Pickard her email address is:
Minister’s Letter, May 21
It’s been well over a year since the doors of the church first closed – temporarily – in order to deal with a new pandemic. Back in the Spring of 2019, we put up signs on the doors, installed hand sanitizers for those who needed to come in occasionally, reset the heating controls, and established a system for weekly checking that the taps and toilets were running properly. We learned how to meet online or kept in touch by phone.
For a few weeks in the summer, we reopened, but then it all closed again. And now we’re hoping to reopen the building for worship soon, possibly by the end of May. Some have said that, in terms of planning, ‘reopening’ the premises may be more difficult than closing. Again we will do Risk Assessments; we’re still not sure whether we’ll be able to sing, and wearing masks for worship isn’t high up on our list of ‘favourite things to do’! We are looking forward to being able to see each other in person again, though I understand a few would rather watch the Sunday morning service online in their pajamas!
There is much to think through and prepare, but a recent family story puts all our planning in a different context: Alfred’s niece (in the States) was heavily pregnant with her third child. As the due date came and went, she and her husband consulted with the doctors about their delivery options, and a date was set to induce labour. Shortly after lunch on the day before the scheduled inducement, she felt a few twinges begin, so they called his mother to see if she could come look after the other two children. The labour pains soon increased, and Alf’s niece and her husband got in the car to head for the hospital. A few minutes into the drive, she realized they might not make it to the hospital and told him to head back home. The baby arrived in the front seat of the car just as they got back to their driveway!
God, like babies, doesn’t always arrive as we’ve planned! But God’s timing is perfect in its own way.
Having the eyes and ears to recognise how God appears – perhaps unexpectedly -- in our personal lives has perhaps been one of the special challenges of these many months of lockdown. And that reminds me of another recent ‘lockdown story’ from my manse…
A favourite ceramic bowl crashed to the kitchen floor recently, shattering into a dozen pieces. We gathered up the pieces, and they lay on the counter for a few days waiting for us to decide what to do with them. As I started my Spring Clean the week after Easter, I tried gluing them together, and realized there were still a few tiny pieces missing. I lay the bowl aside and got on with the cleaning. I then found two tiny pieces of the bowl on top of the refrigerator, behind some juice boxes. I glued them in, and they fit! A little later, I found another piece behind the potted plants on the windowsill on the opposite side of the kitchen. If the pieces of a broken bowl can travel that far and wide, where might we find pieces of God at work in the midst of our diaspora? My resurrected bowl has a new persona now, perhaps stronger for the glue that has rejoined its pieces, but certainly with a new story to tell. When God’s Spirit is able to ‘glue’ us all back together again in our public worship and fellowship, what stories and what new strength will we have to share?
Who are you?
In 2020 we had 544 visits from 326 visitors, spending an average of 7 minutes and 5 seconds.
One hundred and eighty-eight people found us by by entering the web address directly, 130 came via Google.com with another 109 from google's uk site, 43 came from our previous website and 26 came from North Kent Methodist website.
Eighty-eight percent are new visitors and 12% are returning visitors.
One-hundred and eighty visitors used desktop computers, 125 used mobiles and 22 used tablets.
Welcome to visitors from around the world! In 2020 visitors to our website came from Canada, USA, Barbados, Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and many parts of England from Newcastle and Manchester down to Bath and Southampton
- Welcome everyone.