NEW – Sophie Carnaby – Parish Mission Enabler
We are pleased to announce that Sophie Carnaby, currently Family & Community Worker in South West Cumbria has been appointed to the post of Ashford Parish Mission Enabler. The licensing service will be on 1st September at 7 pm and will comply with government guidelines for social distancing restrictions at the time.
We look forward to welcoming Sophie to the next chapter of her ministry.
NEW – Revd Caroline Mansley – Retirement
In recent years, during my somewhat nomadic ministerial life, which has taken me from the Church of Ireland in Bangor Co. Down, East Belfast and training in Dublin to a Curacy in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, I have asked of the Lord, ‘does the rolling stone ever come to a stop?’ And the Holy Spirit has reminded me of Mathew’s Gospel where “Jesus said, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’” So, that’s good enough for me, Lord!
Five years based at Kingsnorth and Shadoxhurst as Team Vicar is coming to an end as I retire in September, my last Sunday being 5th September. It has passed, both in a flash and over a long time as much has happened. Nigel and I look forward to retirement, both in Hastings and in Spain, where God has given us a vision to welcome those in church ministry for rest and refreshment. The Spanish house is called Villa Oasis – and our prayer is that it will be an oasis for many in future years to come. I also look forward to further retired ministry in the Archdeaconry of Hastings, which is near our married daughter, our son being back in N Ireland.
We leave the Parish as it has reviewed and now is discerning the way forward under God for its future, confident in Jeremy’s wise and stable leadership. We leave Kingsnorth and Shadoxhurst with our Curate Bruce Watson and Local Warden Rod Gilbert, also confident that we are leaving these churches and communities in good hands. My heartfelt thanks to all who have walked with us and contribute to the life of our churches, especially in Kingsnorth and Shadoxhurst.
Our current times remain uncertain, but we trust in a faithful and certain God, in whose hands we can all trust our futures. Every blessing to all in Ashford Parish as we continue to pray for your future.
Rev Caroline Mansley
NEW – Geoff Abasolo-Munnery
On 4th July, we welcome Geoff Abasolo-Munnery to the parish. Geoff will be the new curate in the parish team. His welcome service will be at Christ Church followed by a welcome lunch at Willesborough Church.
We pray for Geoff in the next chapter of his Christian journey.
The Tent is back!
We have been longing for this day and finally, it has arrived. We have made some changes to our informal worship service so that we can praise God by singing, praying, reading scripture and learning together.
The Tent is our monthly informal service on a Sunday evening.
When: Sunday 6th June at 4.30 pm
Sunday 4th July at 4.30 pm
Sunday 1st August at 4.30 pm
Where: Outside at St Francis Church, Cryol Road
How: Bring your own chair and refreshments AND bring others with you
Geoff Abasolo-Munnery – New Curate:
I am very pleased to be joining the Ashford Town Benefice as Curate. I am a man of Kent, originally from the Medway Towns (born in Chatham, raised in Gillingham), but in my teenage years my family moved to Kennington, so in a sense, I am returning to familiar territory. Ashford has grown beyond recognition since the 1980s when I last lived here. I am very much looking to the challenge of working as part of the ministry team in serving you and the wider community in a vastly expanding Ashford, with a particular focus on the missionary priority areas that you have been discerning as part of your Mission Action Plan. A little bit about me. I am a former Roman Catholic priest, serving for 12 years in the Archdiocese of Southwark in parish ministry, school, youth and hospital chaplaincies. After I decided to leave the active ministry in the RC Church, I have spent time as a Child Residential Support Worker, as an RE teacher and as a Support Worker in a Low Secure Hospital. But God has a way of persistently knocking on the door, and so two years ago, after deciding to become an Anglican, I applied to become an Ordinand in the Diocese of Canterbury. I am now coming to the end of an intensive 10-month formation pathway with St. Augustine’s College of Theology which has been a time of great blessing despite the endless Zoom lectures. I am a keen football fan, being a supporter of Everton FC, and also follow rugby and cricket. I enjoy reading and travelling, especially back to my beloved Italy, where I have family connections. I will be returning to Ashford, with my wife Theresa and daughter Frida. We are very much looking forward to meeting you all soon.
Revd Eve Lanchantin-Piggott – Retirement:
Now you see me; now you don’t. One day, I was a permanent fixture on Faversham Road, the next will see me doing a six-month disappearance act, having not-so-delicious cream tea with deer in the King’s Wood. Magic? It sounds like it, but it is just retirement and it happens to the best of us, I am told. However, when it comes after years of ministry, ten in the Eglise réformée de France and eight in the Church of England, not to mention the years of theological study and placements, I suspect it marks a true change of life. That, I can only imagine, as even though my last Sunday, the 27th June 2021, is approaching at a very rapid pace, it seems far away. And it still is a journey into the unknown.
When I first came to Ashford in 2007, the clergy were in the throes of shaping what a town ministry could look like. It is now a functioning reality and my hope and prayer is that it will grow, mature and thrive in witness to the risen and living Christ.
Together with my husband Michael, I would like to thank all those, particularly at St Mary’s Kennington and St Mary the Virgin’s Ashford Town-Centre but also throughout the Parish, who have made our time in Ashford a foretaste of heaven. We will walk away from Ashford, grateful for the opportunity of building God’s kingdom with them here on Earth. Thank you all and may God bless you abundantly.
News from South East Local Area:
Like the rest of the parish, we are re-opening our building for public worship this Sunday (Easter Sunday). And are very much looking forward to being able to share in the Joy of the Risen Christ with our communities gathered once again. Sadly, restrictions are still in place so please remember social distancing and your masks.
Saint Marys Willesborough Café is looking forward to reopening again in the near future in line with government regulations and as part of the slow but steady journey out of lockdown. We hope to see as many of our customers returning to enjoy a lovely coffee and a piece of cake soon. Along with this our Social Committee has been hard at work planning online socials throughout this past year and has already started planning socials for when we are able to gather socially again safely.
Messy Church is also looking to reopen its doors for a Messy Service in the coming months so keep an eye out for advertising.
As restrictions begin to ease the Ark Castle Youth group will restart meeting in person between Christ Church and Kingsnorth. Details of meeting times and dates will soon be posted on the website for anyone interested – the group is for secondary school age, 11-18 years.
In December Gavin Williams successfully completed the ALM course for Leading Worship. When we are back in the church building we will be able to properly congratulate, commission and pray for Gavin as he takes up this new aspect of his ministry in the parish.