The 10:00am service on Palm Sunday normally begins with a procession starting from the Salt Road into Church whilst singing the first hymn. However this year saw the weather to be of a wild windy nature and the decision was taken to spare the congregation (and most probably the hymn books) the worst of the weather. Instead the procession was of the Clergy et al around the inside of the Church 3 times.
A special confirmation and baptism service was held at 6:15pm. The service was to Baptise one and Confirm eight people. It was led by Bishop Trevor who made it an uplifting and memorable occasion for all who attended. It was nice to see such a full Church and all enjoyed some refreshments and a chance to chat afterwards.
The Soup kitchen was open again on Saturday at Judy's. As usual it was well attended with around 40 people sitting down in a convivial atmosphere of enjoyable conversation and a whole lot of soup and yummy deserts. A grand total of £370 was raised which was great. Thanks go out to Judy for hosting the event and to all the kitchen and waiting helpers plus all those who contributed to making this such a success. As you can see the ktichen was a very busy place.
The picture shows some of the congregation with their candles lit to celebrate Candlemas
The special Christmas service of Christingle was held at 10:00am and there was standing room only. It was wonderful to see so many families and children enjoying the service. Blean Schools Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 choirs entertained everyone with their joyful singing and all seemed very excited at the lighting of the Christingle candles 176 people attended.
In the evening at the Candlit Carol Service there were over 130 people present.
We held the first of our Harvest Festival services for the students and staff of The John Graham Centre. This was a joyful and informal occasion when we celebrated the excellent work and achievements of the Centre, as well as marking harvest time with traditional readings, hymns and prayers. The Church was packed with 84 people, and we are especially grateful to the students who brought large quantities of produce to distribute to our harvest charities: Catching Lives and the Canterbury Food Bank.
At the most recent Madagascar lunch a total of £170 was raised which will go to help the link parish in Madagascar. Thanks to all who attended.
We welcomed all the children of Blean School who walked the Crab and Winkle way to Church for a special assembly on World War I. In fact, because of the large number of pupils, we had to hold three assemblies! We were also delighted to welcome many parents and grandparents. In all, 436 people attended to hear about the men of Blean who had died during the Great War – a narrative that was, of course, based on the material in John Moss’s book, Numbered with Thy Saints
Blean WW1 Service
Blean Church was full as people from the local community and others who are connected with former residents of Blean and Tyler Hill, came together to remember those from the parish who had died in action during WW1. The service was led by the Revd Dr Stephen Laird and included well known hymns, bible readings and an extract from Robert Graves memoirs, " Goodbye to All That". Dr John Moss gave a thought provoking presentation on the lives of those who are remembered on the Blean War Memorial in the church. A link to the content of his recently produced booklet on the people who are remembered on the memorial is available here.
After the Act of Remembrance, a wreath was laid beside the memorial.
A red kite was spotted recently in or around the trees near the Churchyard.
Blean village fete. By the looks of some around the Church stall there was some serious fishing going on.
In spite of inclement weather, the showers eased off for the afternoon." Hook a Duck," was very popular with the children, a couple of scally wags sussed out two of the ducks as winners, after winning several times, those ducks mysteriously flew off! Hazel and Ray took a total of £81-00, after £15-00 site fee, a profit of £66-00 for the Church. Stephen managed to hook a duck to his obvious pleasure.
Friends Open Gardens around Blean and Tyler Hill went well despite the chilly weather.
All those who came seemed to have a lovely time.
At the meeting of the Canterbury Deanery Synod this Friday, two Deanery Mission grants were agreed for Blean:
£250 to support a Chaplaincy initiative at the John Graham Centre
£500 to be sent to Rev. Olivier in Madagascar, for the training of Evangelists in his Deanery.
Grants have also been agreed for two other Canterbury churches:
The City centre parishes will receive £250 for Easter advertising leaflets, and St. Paul's church will receive £250 for a visitor leaflet.
This afternoon saw a packed church enjoying a concert given by Canterbury Vocals, a joining of three choirs, Canterbury Girls' Choir, Canterbury Ladies' Choir and Canterbury Voices.
These three choirs presented a concert of 16 seperate pieces in aid of Blean Church and Choir funds. The three choirs also joined together for the last section of the concert. Thomas Liddle played piano and the choirs were directed by Kerry Boyle.
On Friday the Friends of Blean Church held the annual AGM and BBQ.
The evening was well attended and those present enjoyed a fascinating talk by Liz Appleyard about our Patron Saints Cosmus and Damian. After the business of the AGM and a walk along the new Memorial Walk, all enjoyed the BBQ and conversation.
The Rvd. Canon Eileen Routh took part in the celebrations on Saturday by joining a procession through London which was held to celebrate 20 years since the first women were ordained as priests in the Church of England. Hundreds of women priests and supporters marched from Westminster Abbey to St Paul's Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told those gathered at St Paul's the CofE still had a "long way to go".
Every woman ordained in 1994 was invited, while all dioceses in England were expected to be represented.
The St Paul's service gave thanks for the dedication of women ordained into the Church and reflected on the work they have done since 1994.
On April 20th Easter Sunday, the New Fire was lit and taken into the church.
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The church was also beautifully decorated with flowers.
On April 13th Palm Sunday the new memorial walk was dedicated by The Revd. Canon Eileen Routh to the memory of Leigh Gillett.
After the dedication the congregation went out out onto the Salt Road just outside the gate to begin the Palm Sunday service, precessing along the new memorial walk whilst singing the opening hymn.
NEW MEMORIAL WALK
A new Memorial Walk has recently been completed, running from the main church entrance, through the churchyard and around to the path near the gate to the Salt Road.
The Memorial Walk will be available for the interment of ashes under a memorial plaque of a designated style and size alongside the path.
Here is a short video to give you some idea of the layout.