Pastoral Message

At 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, 17th March, 2020, the Archbishops issued an instruction to stop all services throughout the Church of England.  They urged us to keep churches open for private prayer; a notice will be published here when the ceiling repairs have been completed allowing us to reopen the church.

During this time I shall continue to celebrate Sunday Mass, but at the Vicarage.  I invite you all to set aside that time from 10:30 a.m.; to read the texts set for that day; to spend some time praying for yourself and others; to join in an act of spiritual communion at about the time I’ll be receiving the Blessed Sacrament (roughly 11:10).  To assist with this, you can download a service sheet either in traditional or contemporary language: you can replace the collect, epistle and gospel provided there by those of the day, if you wish.  There is also a booklet with all the readings and services called Praying at Home; it is provided by the Church in Wales; it takes you right up to Whitsunday.  Please print these off and give them to those who don’t have the Internet so they, too, can participate.  These can be found on the Resources page.

Fr Neil celebrating the Mass of the Annunciation at the vicarage. Be encouraged that priests of The Society continue to offer the Holy Sacrifice, and are praying for you.

The Book of Common Prayer teaches the following about spiritual communion (you’ll find it in The Visitation of the Sick):

But if a man, either by reason of extremity of sickness, or for want of warning in due time to the Curate, or for lack of company to receive with him, or by any other just impediment, do not receive the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood: the Curate shall instruct him that if he do truly repent him of his sins, and stedfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the Cross for him, and shed his Blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefore; he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soul’s health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.

The parish church’s overheads are undiminished, so please continue to give according to your usual plan; you can do so by standing order, direct debit or bank transfer. Note that we are no longer receiving rental for the halls, so that source of income is lost: some of you may feel you can give a bit more to cover that gap.

I have been asked by Taj Barming to let you know that, if you live in the parish, you can phone them for takeaway food and free home delivery that includes a discount for those most in need (i.e. those in quarantine).  This is an admirable community service they are providing, especially as they may find their trade as a restaurant is likely to take a substantial hit.  All those working there are Muslims: it is such an encouragement to know that people of different faiths are pulling together.  The Borough Council is working with the Churches to leaflet houses giving contact details and advice on practical help.  Isolated neighbours may welcome a phone call or other assistance you can give.  The foodbank needs increased donations at this time.

As we move into uncharted air space over the coming months, we have a chance to think of others, to be more community-oriented than ever as good citizens.  Be mindful of the elderly and others in quarantine for their own protection; don’t carry infection to them, however much you miss being with them; find ways of helping them safely and maintain contact in ways that work for them.  Use social media and the telephone among yourselves.  Encourage one another always.  My prayers will accompany you until we can meet together once more.

Fr Neil D. Bryson
SSC, Associate Vicar

Temporary Closure

In accordance with the Archbishops’ decision published at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday 17th March 2020, there will be no public worship here until further notice.

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!

Sermons / News

Parish Magazine April 2020

Inside this issue Holy Week devotions at home to nourish our faith Joining Fr Neil in an act of spiritual communion We aim to keep communication channels open but, inevitably, some of the usual magazine items will be absent as a result of the coronavirus shutdown You can keep up to date at www.stmichaelallangels.org.uk

Parish Calendar

Lent Course (Tuesday Evening) @ Vestry Hall
Apr 7 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Low Mass
Apr 9 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bell Ringing Practice
Apr 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Sung Mass
Apr 12 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Quarter Peal
Apr 12 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Church Cleaning (Holy Dusters)
Apr 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Low Mass
Apr 16 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bell Ringing Practice Quarter Peal
Apr 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Sung Mass
Apr 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Quarter Peal
Apr 19 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Safeguarding Policy

Diocese of Canterbury Safeguarding Details

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

The Parish Safeguarding Officer and Church Wardens

The Parish Safeguarding officer is Mrs Jessica O’Sullivan. Email: jessicaosullivan5@gmail.com. Mobile: 07707 332601.

The Church Warden is Mrs Jessica O’Sullivan

Policy Statements