Annual Report 2019

2019 – A Year of Celebration

Brookland and Fairfield Churches

www.themarshchurches.org.uk

Annual Report

 

 2019 was indeed a busy year, and one where we should truly give thanks to God for the generosity of local people.

3 children and 1 adult saw a new start through Baptism, Nina Carey, Harry Lanaway and Suzy New. Then with much joy we were privileged to be part of the Weddings of Suzy and David Culver, and Nicola and David Lukehurst. Our blessings go with them through every step of their journeys together.

 

Easter is the start of the Christian calendar – and we got off to a good start, with the Archbishop of Canterbury joining us for the celebrations. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped out, and especially for the children who read so beautifully. All of you did Brookland proud, and certainly put Brookland on the map.

 

My thanks too to the sound engineer who crawled around the rooftop of Brookland Church at 10pm the night before, to re-tune the microphones. Despite driving all the way from Maidstone he still gave his time free of charge!                      

Then we had the visit from HRH Princess Alexandra – and what a delight she was. Once again, the children of Brookland did us proud with their flag waving and excitement. It was such a lovely sight to see the nursery school children stomping up the road to be part of the action, with the older children from the Primary School. Afterwards our Royal visitor said how much she enjoyed meeting the children – (even if one of the toddlers did tell her that his lunch had been delayed because of her visit)!

Then onto a bit of light refreshment with our Pop Up Bars in the Belfy. What an amazing success they were. Such great fun – and where so many of the community not only came but helped as well. It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves.

 

Then we moved onto a bit more substantial refreshment with our Harvest Supper in the village hall. As always, a great turnout, and so lovely to share our celebrations with Snargate and Brenzett. Our guest speaker was Pat Allston from Romney Marsh Tweed.

We were very blessed to receive donations that enabled us to carry out decoration to the Chapel, main Chancel together with the Kitchen &Toilet area. Furthermore, Romney Marsh Carpets gifted us the new Altar carpet. We are incredibly touched by the kindness shown.

We had our fair share of Seasonal decorations as well which got off to a great start with the Belltower being magically turned into Santa’s Grotto, enjoyed by many.                                                                                     

Brenzett and Brookland W1 once again were kind enough to donate a Christmas Tree to the Church. It stood beautifully lit up as a wonderful welcome to all who came through our doors.

 

And thanks to the wonderful generosity of Romney Marsh Historic Churches – we ended the year by receiving a grant of £23 688 to carry out much needed work on Brookland Church. The work of RMHCT really cannot be over - estimated. A fabulous organisation.

Indeed, we had many organised tours of our churches – over 20 in total, together with half a dozen bellringing visitors. We also hosted a couple of photoshoots, a book festival discussion, a service in the lambing field, Jam concert and the annual Ride and Stride.

Also congratulations to Brookland School for being Top School in the area for attainment in reading, writing and maths!!

 

It is with great excitement that Canterbury Diocese welcomed our new Bishop Rose Hudson Wilkin who is the first female black Bishop and comes with much joy and passion. Bishop Rose was decorated with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. We very much welcome her and look forward to working alongside.

At times all good things have to come to an end. Our fabulous Organist Sylvia Pegge retired at Christmas after 23 years of diligent service both in playing and leading the Choir. We are very relieved to have found a new organist – and welcome Tracey Laws who will be joining us in January.

We must not forget those families who have struggled, especially the families of the 2 funeral services that took place in Brookland Church this year. Our prayers continue for all who mourn.

 

The church ended the year by collecting 20 shoeboxes of goodies for teenage refugees, facing Christmas away from family. My thanks to all who donated.

As I look back, it is very much “by the grace of God”. By the grace of God our 2 distinguished guests decided to visit us, which was a wonderful surprise. But also by the grace of God for the willingness to help, and the generosity of so many local people in such a variety of ways….. and all this from a tiny parish with only 16 people on the electoral role.

Thanks to our Churchwardens Maureen Akers and Christine Descher, PCC members, Chair; Revd Chris Maclean, Richard Sullivan, Jackie Wakelin and Martin Mills together with our small army of cleaners, brass polishers and flower arrangers who make the churches look so beautiful. It is greatly appreciated and is often commented on in our visitor books.

So it is with great enthusiasm as I head for the next decade – with renewed hope that the Church will be at the heart of the village and serve the community in a variety of ways, so that we can all work together for the common good.

                                                      

In 2020 we intend to mark the 850yr anniversary of Thomas Becket (who Fairfield is dedicated to). So, if you have an idea for an event or want to get involved please contact me!

Also, in March a service of Confirmation will be taking place nearby, so if you are thinking about Confirmation, please let me know. Teenage plus – but you are never too old !

Remember – a small band of people have made all of this possible – just think of what it could be like, if more people joined in ? …I look forward to hearing from you to join in the fun.                                                   Reverend Shuna Body MBE     


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