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  • Live Stream Morning Prayer: Epiphany 2

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/qBwCMqehaFk. This link will work from your computer, tablet or mobile device.

    If you are connecting using a SmartTV you will need to open the YouTube application on your television and search for the listing. Due to the large number of listings it’s easiest to search for qBwCMqehaFk which will take you directly to it.

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    https://youtu.be/qBwCMqehaFk
  • Sunday Mass from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

    Sunday Mass is live-streamed from the Shrine Church at 9 am every Sunday and on other occasions.

    https://vimeo.com/498854841

    You can also view the service and past services and events on

    our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/ShrineOLW/

    our dedicated Vimeo channel https://vimeo.com/shrineolw

    or on YouTube https://bit.ly/36WUrMk

  • Readings for Epiphany 2

    1 Samuel 3:1-10

    Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity

    Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lordwas rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

    At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lordcalled, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lordwas calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

    10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

    Revelation 5:1-10

    The Scroll and the Lamb

    Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

    Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:

    “You are worthy to take the scroll
        and to open its seals,
    for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
        saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
    10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
        and they will reign on earth.”

    John 1:43-51

    Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

    43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

  • Thursday Mass: Votive Mass in Time of Pandemic

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/S_5x6FMUBt8. This link will work from your computer, tablet or mobile device.

    If you are connecting using a SmartTV you will need to open the YouTube application on your television and search for the listing. Due to the large number of listings it’s easiest to search for S_5x6FMUBt8 which will take you directly to it.

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    https://youtu.be/S_5x6FMUBt8
  • Readings for Votive Mass in Time of Pandemic

    Hebrews 3:7-14

    Keep encouraging one another

    The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.

    Psalm 94(95):6-11

    O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

    Come in; let us bow and bend low;
    let us kneel before the God who made us:
    for he is our God and we
    the people who belong to his pasture,
    the flock that is led by his hand.

    O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

    O that today you would listen to his voice!
    ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as on that day at Massah in the desert
    when your fathers put me to the test;
    when they tried me, though they saw my work.

    O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

    For forty years I was wearied of these people
    and I said: “Their hearts are astray,
    these people do not know my ways.”
    Then I took an oath in my anger:
    “Never shall they enter my rest.”’

    O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

    Mark 1:40-45

    The leprosy left the man at once, and he was cured

    A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

  • Sermon for Baptism of Christ

    Today we recall our baptism, whose grace derives from Christ’s own baptism, which we celebrate on this day.  It is part of the Epiphany season which is all to do with Christ’s revealing Himself as Lord and God to both Jews and Gentiles.  That first revealing was to the Gentile wise men, and, by using their initials, this itself is linked by the blessing of chalk so that we can take the Church’s blessing to our homes for the coming year.  As we have a UPVC door, I had to mark the brickwork next to the door; this marking is a way of revealingChrist to the passing world, and thus links to the Epiphany theme.

    Today’s readings bring out the meaning of Christ’s baptism.  In the OT lesson, we hear how the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters at creation; this was an essential preliminary to the bringing forth of all life.  That same Lord and Giver of Life moves upon the water of baptism, and brings new life, a new birth, when we are baptised.

    The second reading from Acts shows the connection between baptism and confirmation.  We see that from the early days of the Church there was a distinction between the two sacraments of baptism and confirmation, and that at confirmation there was always apostolic ministry.  In this instance Paul the apostle on a visit to the church in Ephesus first has the new believers validly baptised in water, then He lays hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit.  To this day the minister of confirmation is always a bishop, a successor of the apostles.  Many of us were baptised as infants, being claimed for Christ early on and brought up as Christians; later, when we came to believe for ourselves, we were confirmed, publicly affirming our allegiance to Christ, and opening ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.  This morning we renew all this, and can rejoice in the grace the Lord has given us afresh.

    In the Gospel reading, we heard John the Baptist, who baptized in water, foretell the coming of the Messiah who would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  The fire is to empower and to refine us so we can live effectively as Christians and proclaim Him to the world.  Jesus Himself was baptized with water and immediately afterwards the Holy Spirit came down upon Him and remained with Him.  Why did Jesus, our Lord and God, need this?  Because He is also fully human, and did not start His mission or perform any miracles except as a Spirit-filled man.  He asks us to follow Him in carrying on His work, and He has cleansed us and filled us with the Holy Spirit so that we can do so.  He never sends us to do anything for Him without equipping us fully for the task.

    The baptism of Christ, which we celebrate today, is a Trinitarian moment, for Christians believe in the three Persons who are one divine Being.  God the Holy Spirit descends on God the Son, and God the Father declares that Jesus is that Son, the Beloved.  Here God is revealed – an Epiphany event – and revealed as Triune.  It is in the name of that Holy Trinity that the Church acts today in all her rites and sacraments.  It is in that name you were baptized and confirmed, the effects of which have this morning been renewed.  It is in that name I invite you to receive the Lord sacramentally from this altar, or, if you are not a communicant, to receive a blessing, as you kneel in humble allegiance to Jesus your Lord and Saviour.  If you are joining in at home via the Internet, words to help you make an act of Spiritual Communion will be displayed on the screen.

    Don’t forget to use the Epiphany chalk!  And may God bless you and your homes throughout this year that Christ may be revealed to the world.

    I end this sermon with a meditation by a third-century Christian, written in the style of St Hippolytus from the same era.

    “That Jesus should come and be baptized by John is surely cause for amazement.  To think of (Him,) the infinite river that gladdens the city of God being bathed in a poor little stream; of the eternal and unfathomable fountainhead that gives life to all men being immersed in the shallow waters of this transient world!

    “He who fills all creation, leaving no place devoid of his presence, he who is incomprehensible to the angels and hidden from the sight of man, came to be baptized because it was his will.  And behold, the heavens opened and a voice said: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

    “The beloved Father begets love, and the immaterial Light generates light inaccessible.  This is he who was called the son of Joseph and in his divine nature is my only Son.

    “This is my beloved Son.  Though hungry himself, he feeds thousands; though weary, he refreshes those who labour.  He has no place to lay his head yet he holds all creation in his hand.  By his suffering he heals all sufferings; by receiving a blow on the cheek he gives the world its liberty; by being pierced in the side he heals the wound in Adam’s side.

    “And now, please pay close attention, for I want to return to that fountain of life and contemplate its healing waters as they gush out.

    “The Father of immortality sent his immortal Son and Word into the world, to come to us men and cleanse us with water and the Spirit.  To give us a new birth that would make our bodies and souls immortal, he breathed into us the spirit of life and armed us with incorruptibility.  Now if we become immortal, we shall also be divine; and if we become divine after rebirth in baptism through water and the Holy Spirit, we shall also be heirs along with Christ, after the resurrection of the dead.

    “So I cry out, like a herald: Let peoples of every nation come and receive the immortality that flows from baptism. This is the water that is linked to the Spirit, the water that irrigates Paradise, makes the earth fertile, gives growth to plants, and brings forth living creatures.  In short, this is the water by which a man receives new birth and life, the water in which even Christ was baptized, the water into which the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove.

    “Whoever goes down into these waters of rebirth with faith renounces the devil and pledges himself to Christ.  He repudiates the enemy and confesses that Christ is God, throws off his servitude and becomes an adopted son.  He comes up from baptism resplendent as the sun and radiating purity and, above all, he comes as a son of God and a co-heir with Christ.

    “To him be glory and power, to him and his most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, both now and for ever. Amen.”

Home

Welcome to the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Maidstone!  You’ll find us on the Tonbridge Road (A26) just over half a mile from the town centre.  We are the parish church for a population of over 6,000.  We have a growing congregation, some of whom have been attending the church for most of their lives, whilst others are newcomers.  The age range is from 0 to retired.

Our aim is that we should all have an encounter with Jesus Christ in our services.  To that end, our main services are Eucharistic: we gather around Jesus, who is sacramentally present in the consecrated bread and wine.  With the very first Christians, we believe “Jesus is the only one who can save people.  His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save anyone. We must be saved through Him!” 1Acts 4:12 ERV  The quotation from the Bible emphasises our faith in its divine inspiration from cover to cover.

Following all our services there is tea and filter coffee to wash down freshly-baked snacks.  We are finding that people are staying to chat and enjoy being together for longer.

You’ll hear our wing of the Church of England sometimes described as Anglo-Catholic (or simply catholic).  But what does “catholic” mean?  It’s not what you may think: it simply means that it’s for everyone, which therefore includes you.  Yes, there is incense at Sunday Mass, there is holy water at all the entrances; there are candles; the choir, ministers and servers wear robes and the priest wears colourful vestments:  all of these emphasise the greater significance of what we are doing: our goal is to meet Jesus in our worship and to give Him the highest honour and glory.

Do come and experience Christian worship in this lovely church, meet us and, more importantly, meet our Lord!

Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Officer: Janet Digby-Baker

Diocese of Canterbury Safeguarding Details

https://www.canterburydiocese.org/safeguarding/

Parish of St Michael and all Angels, Maidstone Safeguarding Statement

This Parochial Church Council has adopted the safeguarding polices and procedures of the Church of England. In particular we are committed to:

  • The safeguarding of all children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • Carefully selecting and training paid and voluntary staff who might come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, using the Disclosure and Barring Service amongst other tools, to check their suitability;
  • Responding without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed;
  • Cooperating fully with the police, local authority and any other appropriate statutory body in any investigation;
  • Ministering appropriately to anyone, child or adult, who has experienced abuse;
  • Extending pastoral care to those known to have offended against children or vulnerable adults whilst ensuring that children and vulnerable are protected from them.

Any child wishing to talk about a problem can contact Childline 0800 1111

Any parent or carer wishing to talk about parenting problems can contact Family Lives on 0808 800 2222

Policy Statements