Our Parochial Church Council has just approved our Annual Report for 2016. It tells a story of the many good things God has been doing in the life of our church family through 2016, and sets out some of our hopes for 2017.
Here are a few snippets:
“Christ’s family of all ages, loving each other, knowing Christ through his word, sharing Christ with his world.” (Revd James Oakley, vicar).
“We look forward to an invigorating year especially the uniting of St. Mary’s with Woodlands and the prospects that will hold for both churches.” (Ray Parton and Matthew Trott, churchwardens)
“We go into 2017 awaiting the results of our planning appeal, and of further plans that now show the churchyard vehicle route.” (on our plans for a new hall)
“Crèche meets in the vicar’s vestry …. Parents of pre-school children appreciate having a safe place where their children can play. Sunday Special continues to grow, so we now have more teachers serving 3 different age groups of children.” (Ruth Mason, children's and youth co-ordinator)
“The 19th North Downs Challenge Walk was held on 14th May 2016. 191 walkers took part. … In 2017, the walk is taking a break, so it’s time to say a big thank you for all who have helped over the years.”
“We continue to contribute monthly to the Loaves and Fishes foodbank in Sevenoaks. 45 families fill the equivalent of two supermarket trolleys each week, and our contributions have remained consistently high.”
… There's much more in the full report: Do download and read it, and share it - we'd love the story of what God's been doing in and through us to be widely shared, so that others can rejoice with us.
Even the report cannot say everything - we wanted to keep the length down this year. For example, it doesn't mention the large group who take services in The Dynes every Thursday morning, giving the residents week-in, week-out worship to join in with. But if the report gives you a taste of what's been happening, that would be wonderful.
If you're free, do join us at 7.45pm on Thursday 27th April 2017 in church for our annual meeting — that's when we gather together to thank God and to commit the coming year to him in prayer.