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  • Live Stream Sunday Mass: Trinity 2

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/QLWokD7spbk. 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 may be easier to search for QLWokD7spbk which will take you directly to it.

    Phonetic: Quebec Lima Whiskey Oscar Kilo Delta 7 Sierra Papa Bravo Kilo

    https://youtu.be/QLWokD7spbk
  • Readings for Trinity 2

    Ezekiel 17:22-24

    Israel Exalted at Last

    22 Thus says the Lord God:

    I myself will take a sprig
        from the lofty top of a cedar;
        I will set it out.
    I will break off a tender one
        from the topmost of its young twigs;
    I myself will plant it
        on a high and lofty mountain.
    23 On the mountain height of Israel
        I will plant it,
    in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
        and become a noble cedar.
    Under it every kind of bird will live;
        in the shade of its branches will nest
        winged creatures of every kind.
    24 All the trees of the field shall know
        that I am the Lord.
    I bring low the high tree,
        I make high the low tree;
    I dry up the green tree
        and make the dry tree flourish.
    I the Lord have spoken;
        I will accomplish it.

    2 Corinthians 5:6-17

    So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

    The Ministry of Reconciliation

    11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

    16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;[a] even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[b] we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

    Mark 4:26-34

    The Parable of the Growing Seed

    26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

    The Parable of the Mustard Seed

    30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

    The Use of Parables

    33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

  • Live Stream Thursday Mass: The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/AfrUxeZ6GRk. 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 may be easier to search for AfrUxeZ6GRk which will take you directly to it.

    Phonetic: Alpha Foxtrot Romeo Uniform X-ray Echo Zulu 6 Golf Romeo Kilo

    https://youtu.be/AfrUxeZ6GRk
  • Litany of the Sacred Heart

    Lord, have Mercy; Lord, have Mercy
    Christ, have Mercy; Christ, have Mercy
    Lord, have Mercy; Lord, have Mercy
    God the Father in Heaven, have Mercy on us
    (“Have Mercy on us” is repeated after each invocation)
    God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
    God the Holy Spirit,
    Holy Trinity, one God,
    Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
    Heart of Jesus, Formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
    Heart of Jesus, One with the Eternal Word,
    Heart of Jesus, Infinite in Majesty,
    Heart of Jesus, Holy Temple of God,
    Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
    Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
    Heart of Jesus, Aflame with love for us,
    Heart of Jesus, Source of Justice and Love,
    Heart of Jesus, Full of Goodness and Love,
    Heart of Jesus, Wellspring of all Virtue,
    Heart of Jesus, Worthy of all praise,
    Heart of Jesus, King and Centre of all hearts,
    Heart of Jesus, Treasure-house of Wisdom and Knowledge,
    Heart of Jesus, In Whom dwells the fullness of God,
    Heart of Jesus, In whom the Father is well pleased,
    Heart of Jesus, From Whose fullness we have all received,
    Heart of Jesus, Desire of the Eternal Hills,
    Heart of Jesus, Patient and full of Mercy,
    Heart of Jesus, Generous to all who turn to You,
    Heart of Jesus, Fountain of Life and Holiness,
    Heart of Jesus, Atonement for our sins,
    Heart of Jesus, Obedient even to death,
    Heart of Jesus, Pierced by a lance,
    Heart of Jesus, Source of all Consolation,
    Heart of Jesus, Our Life and Resurrection,
    Heart of Jesus, Our Peace and Reconciliation,
    Heart of Jesus, Victim for our sins,
    Heart of Jesus, Salvation of all who trust in You,
    Heart of Jesus, Hope of all who die in You,
    Heart of Jesus, Delight of all the Saints,
    Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
    Spare us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
    Graciously hear us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
    Have Mercy on us.

    V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
    R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

    Let us pray:
    Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love we have received from the Heart of Jesus, your Son. Open our hearts to share his Life and continue to bless us with his Love. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

    Taken from https://www.ctsbooks.org/litany-sacred-heart/

  • Readings for The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

    Hosea 11:1,3-4,8-9

    I will not give rein to my fierce anger, for I am God, not man

    Listen to the word of the Lord:
    When Israel was a child I loved him,
    and I called my son out of Egypt.
    I myself taught Ephraim to walk,
    I took them in my arms;
    yet they have not understood that I was the one looking after them.
    I led them with reins of kindness,
    with leading-strings of love.
    I was like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek;
    stooping down to him I gave him his food.
    Ephraim, how could I part with you?
    Israel, how could I give you up?
    How could I treat you like Admah,
    or deal with you like Zeboiim?
    My heart recoils from it,
    my whole being trembles at the thought.
    I will not give rein to my fierce anger,
    I will not destroy Ephraim again,
    for I am God, not man:
    I am the Holy One in your midst
    and have no wish to destroy.

    Psalm Isaiah 12

    The rejoicing of a redeemed people

    With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

    Truly, God is my salvation,
    I trust, I shall not fear.
    For the Lord is my strength, my song,
    he became my saviour.
    With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

    With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

    Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
    Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
    Declare the greatness of his name.

    With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

    Sing a psalm to the Lord
    for he has done glorious deeds;
    make them known to all the earth!
    People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

    With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

    Ephesians 3:8-12,14-19

    The love of Christ is beyond all knowledge

    I, Paul, who am less than the least of all the saints have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why? So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God’s wisdom really is, exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him.
    This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
    Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

    John 19:31-37

    Out of his pierced side there came out blood and water

    It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:

    Not one bone of his will be broken;

    and again, in another place scripture says:

    They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

  • Sermon on Corpus Christi

    “Draw nigh and take the Body of the Lord.”

    We’ll be hearing that hymn sung as we make our Communion this morning. It’s a translation of the oldest known Latin eucharistic hymn, and in Ireland, where it was composed, it has a story connected with it that may well not be a matter of history but it’s still worth telling and pondering. St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, had a nephew called St Secundinus, who helped him in his mission to the Irish and who also became a bishop. One day Secundinus said to Patrick,

    “The trouble with your sermons is that you hardly ever say anything about love.”

    To which St Patrick replied,

    “When I want your opinion of my sermons I’ll ask for it – and at the moment I’m thinking of running you over with a chariot!”

    Things were not looking promising. However, shortly afterwards, Secundinus was celebrating Mass in his church when he became aware that someone had arrived in the churchyard – in fact, St Patrick. Whether he had arrived with a chariot I don’t know. But Secundinus, who had just said the prayer of consecration, left the gifts on the altar and rushed out of church to meet Patrick, and he and Patrick made up their quarrel there and then, and embraced. And when they’d done that, they heard angelic voices singing from inside the church, singing (in Latin of course) today’s Communion hymn:

    “Draw nigh and take the Body of the Lord,
    And drink the holy Blood for you outpoured.”
    So the two of them went into church together, and that was what they did.
    “And so,” says the author who wrote down that legend in the 1100s, “from that time to the present, that hymn is chanted in Erinn when the Body of Christ is received.”

    Draw nigh … At a Prayer Book Eucharist, and sometimes at a Common Worship one, we hear the words “Draw near with faith…” and perhaps those words were echoing in John Mason Neale’s mind as he translated that hymn – the Latin says, “Come, O holy men”, but Neale’s translation “Draw nigh and take…” seems to me to underline our sense that as the two holy men have once again drawn near to each other, so the Lord is waiting for them at the altar and His angels are inviting the two of them, together, to draw near to Him. Draw near.

    And perhaps we hear those words often enough to lose sight of how astonishing they are. Last Sunday we were hearing about Isaiah in the temple, seeing the Lord on His throne and quite expecting that that would be the end of him – “Woe is me! I am lost…” And yet here we are today, in the Lord’s throne-room – for indeed that’s where we are – and this is his invitation – he is inviting us to draw near, to take and eat, to receive His life into ours.

    Well, we know, don’t we, what makes the difference? Human beings in all ages – not surprisingly – have always been conscious of a gap of some kind between themselves and the divine – very often a moral gap – and they offered sacrifices as a way of trying to bridge that gap. But the trouble is that in the nature of things, that gap can’t be bridged from our side. What God has done for us in Christ is to put things into reverse – to bridge the gap from his side by offering himself on the Cross – “himself the victim and himself the priest”. My blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many.

    And the Church continues to obey his command and DO THIS, not as a memorial service for a dead hero, but to make present that sacrifice here and now. Which means that we can draw near to Him – He wants us to. As another eucharistic hymn says, “So may we well approach Thee, If Thou wilt be the way.” He gives us a meeting-place with Him where we can draw near, and be healed, restored, forgiven, with just the same immediacy as the people were who drew near to Him during the days of His earthly ministry – the woman who crept up to Him in the crowd to touch His garment, Zacchaeus scrambling down out of the tree. And today, as we give our Lord particular thanks for His gift beyond words, the best, the most significant way we have of giving thanks is by simply DOING THIS: offering this Eucharist – this our Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

    But I’d like to suggest that there are other ways as well in which we can thank Him for this gift beyond words, for this invitation to draw near. I’m going to suggest just three.

    One lovely English saint of the 14th century, Dame Julian of Norwich, gives us a word of advice:

    “Our courteous Lord willeth that we be as homely with him as heart can think or soul can desire. But we must beware lest we take this homeliness so recklessly as to forsake courtesy.”

    A gracious invitation from royalty isn’t a thing to be treated casually – as in “Well, I might turn up if I happen to have time, if I happen to feel like it, if I’m not doing anything else”. Our Lord requests the pleasure of our company, and because He is so gracious and loves us so much, it is a pleasure to Him – but we are not exactly doing Him a favour if we say yes. As with many other things in our Christian lives (saying our prayers, reading our Bibles, going to Confession), it makes sense to have a rule and stick to it – though when something exceptional happens, I can of course remember that the rule is made for me, not I for the rule.

    Many of us recently have had our lives well and truly disrupted by Covid and the precautions that we have had to take – but now could be a good time to take stock – to thank God for the ways He has given us of keeping in touch with Him through prayer at home, through reading, through online worship, to work out regular ways of continuing with something of that rhythm, but also, unless we have serious health concerns, of returning joyfully and thankfully, drawing near in person, drawing near to one another also, to meet Him, together, at His altar here in church. Having a rule isn’t some kind of soulless mechanical business – it is, or it should be, a way of saying thank you to God.

    Another way to thank Him arises out of that. Of course when He invites us to draw near, we can say “Just as I am… O Lamb of God, I come” – but since that is what we are going to do, we need to stop for a moment and remember that what He is doing is so important to Him – we are so important to Him – that He has written this invitation in His own blood. And so, if that is important to us, it isn’t being negative or morbid to take a look at just how we are, to tell Him just where we know we’ve gone wrong, and to ask for His help. We get a few moments to do that at the beginning of every Mass – but it’s better still to spend a little time also the night before. And to think also, quite carefully, of all the blessings of this life, great and small, which are also part of how we are, that we can bring back to Him with thanksgiving in the morning.

    And a third way of thanking him, which brings us back to St Patrick and St Secundinus perhaps: Our Lord invites us us to draw near to Him, and he wants us also to draw near to one another – to show as individuals, and as a church, the welcome and hospitality that He shows to us. By the one Spirit we are all baptised into one Body, and if we are the Body of Christ on earth, He expects us to show our thankfulness for His love by loving one another – obviously – and also, very important, by offering the same kind of welcome as He does to those who come just as they are. Every now and then one hears some horror story about a supposedly Christian congregation in which someone was made to feel unwelcome because of social background, or orientation, or cultural background, or skin colour. Don’t let us ever give cause for any such story to be told about us at St Michael’s. In the wake of Covid, there will be people wanting to explore, wondering if this life is all there is, wondering whether anyone is listening if they can bring themselves to pray. Some of them will have seen us online; some of them will put their heads round the door. It’s up to us to say, as our Lord is saying to us, Draw near.

    As I was writing this sermon, I found it was threatening to get overloaded with quotations. That’s just an occupational hazard if one talks about the Holy Eucharist – because after all, two thousand years of Christians now in heaven have had things to say about it, and countless Old Testament saints now in heaven rejoice in the complete vision and understanding of the direction in which their own sacrifices were pointing. And as they sustain us with their prayers, we too are invited today, with particular thanksgiving, to join in their worship – with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven. We too are invited to Draw near.

  • Live Stream Sunday Mass: Corpus Christi

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/87svffVCR48. 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 may be easier to search for 87svffVCR48 which will take you directly to it.

    Phonetic: 8 7 Sierra Victor Foxtrot Foxtrot Victor Charlie Romeo 4 8

    https://youtu.be/87svffVCR48
  • Parish Magazine June 2021

    Inside

    • A not-so-ordinary time: Fr Neil on a period of hope and expectation
    • Ephrem, saint, poet and ‘Harp of the Holy Spirit’
  • Readings for Corpus Christi

    Exodus 24:3-8

    This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you

    Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

    Hebrews 9:11-15

    The blood of Christ can purify our inner self

    Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.  He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant.

    Mark 14:12-16,22-26

    This is my body; this is my blood

    On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.  And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’  After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.

  • Live Stream Thursday Mass: St Charles Lwanga

    The live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/tlghD8ZWmS8. 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 may be easier to search for tlghD8ZWmS8 which will take you directly to it.

    Phonetic: Tango Lima Golf Hotel Delta Eight Zulu Whiskey Mike Sierra Eight

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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