Reaching Out Across the Benefice...

This Benefice supports:
Dover Food Bank Logojpg  Catching Lives logojpg  Street_Pastors_logojpg Dover_Outreach_Centre logopng  Porchlight_logopng

Remembrance will look a little different this year, so at the Saturday Service, we decided (actually before all this happened) to do something a little differently.  We are delighted to unveil a project called Boots on the Ground, which is a public representation of Remembrance for St Margaret's that our young people have worked on, representing every man on the St Margaret's War Memorial.  We wanted to bring our act of remembrance to as many people as possible, and the best way to do that was to go outside.  The weather was kind (if rather windy) as our families, under the excellent supervision of Liz, Nick and Sian, set out our project by the West Door - please take a detour through the churchyard and explore the work.  It's made for you to be able towalk through it, so feel free to take a closer look.

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We know this coronavirus emergency going to be a really tough time for you all, so we thought we'd try and find a way to help. Whilst we continue to work out how we can get together in church again, we'll keep you supplied with activities in lieu of our usual Saturday Service.


There is a blue box in the church porch containing 10 ziplock packs. In each pack is a selection of things to do, make and read to keep you busy - I'm sure you're all very tired of Zoom calls by now, so hopefully these will be a good alternative.

So, what do you need to do?

  • pick up a pack for your family
  • have fun with the activities!
  • when you've finished, return the pack and clipboard to the box


Next Pack:

* The Harvest Treasure Hunt activity pack is ready for collection!  Have fun as you hunt around the churchyard to find things, answer questions, do activities and think about what Harevstime means for us all.


Well, you've already been busy little bees!  It's great to see the results of your endeavours, keep on sending them in  to outreach@stmargaretsbenefice.org.uk :-

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  • Working hard on those daffodils
  • Flower fans made, now let's see how these daffodils go together
  • All that hard work paid off!
  • Proud owners of some new blooms

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It was wonderful to see so many of our families at the March Saturday Service -
we really do appreciate your support and contribution to making them such enjoyable sessions.  This month we looked at Lent and the theme the Church of England are highlighting htis year, which is 'Care for God's Earth'.  We read a story, 'The Growing Machine', produced by The Waypoint Project in Maidstone to begin with, as we sat around our big candle.  Many thanks to Jane Phillips for giving us a set of booklets so that every child could take one with them.  We then dusted off our nurturing skills by planting some sunflower seeds in our Saturday Service Secret Garden!  You'll have to come to a Saturday Service to find out where it is, but we promise we'll show you the fruits of our labours later in the year.  Once back inside, it was time to brandish the glue sticks and create our display for the board, whilst getting some much needed refreshments in side us - we were joined by Margaret Scott as our catering assistant this month - Doreen, there may be a rival to your excellent tea-making skills!

We gave the families copies of the #LiveLent children's booklet, Care for God's Creation', for them to take home and see if they could do any of the challenges suggested over this Lent period, and finished off with two short prayers from the booklet.

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Our next meeting will actually be the Mothering Sunday Craft Morning on Saturday 21st March, again from 11am.

The first day of February was sunny and bright, for our monthly Saturday Service - which was appropriate as we were thinking about Jesus being The Light of the World, as recognised by Simeon and Anna when he was presented at the temple for the first time.  We listened to the story as we sat round our big candle (yay for cushions!) then we made lots of candles to go on our poster.  Once we had made those, and fortified by some excellent biscuits, we turned our hand at making little candle holders that looked like a globe (imaging the cardboard candle holders we use at Christmas, but decorated).  To finish with we sat round once again, candles lit and rounded off the morning with a prayer of promise that we would try and be like little candles and spread the light and love.

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Our next Saturday service will be on 7th March.

Dover_Outreach_Centre logopngIt was great to welcome back Vee Bentley and Noel Beamish from Dover Outreach Centre at our 10am service last Sunday (12th January) - It's hard to believe a year had passed since their last visit.  Since then, they have moved in to their new premises on Snargate Street and are able to expand their services as they help homeless and vulnerable people off the streets, out of addiction and back to properly living their lives.  The story of Amy, just one of the people they have helped this past year, was incredible in both the success of the outcome and the time and dedication that Vee, Noel and the volunteers down at the DOC give to the most vulnerable in our society.  They also highlighted the sheer cost of sending just one person to alcohol addiction rehabilitation - £17,000 for this longterm, two stage process.  There are no short-cuts to regaining health and stability in your life, and we are proud to continue to support this oasis of compassion, tough love and action that makes such a difference.

2020 - a new year, one that feels slightly odd writing down, like you're writing about some distant sci-fi future.  The January Saturday Service also marked our annual trip to see the ladies at Amy Temple Cottages.  We were shepherded this year by Rev'd Polly and it was lovely to introduce her to one of our little traditions.  Amazingly, the weather was kind. No cold drizzle, barely a breeze - we didn't know quite what to make of it!  We got to see three ladies this year (some of the cottages are undergoing renovations) including a brand new resident (literally only moved in three days before) who was delighted to become part of our annual mini-pilgrimage.  It also explained the chalk markings on her wall!  The children made Epiphany star ornaments to gift to the ladies and sang beautifully.  Then it was back to the church for refreshments and a catch-up of Christmas family goings on before we parted ways. 

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  Making our gifts for the ladies

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On the road with the gang

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Then back to the church for refreshments, and to crown Ines as our Queen for the Day!

The Cribside Service on Christmas Eve at St Margaret's is always a wonderful community event - and this year was no exception!  A truly packed house was ably officiated over by Rev'd Richard, with marvellous marshalls to assist with crowd control.  We were also treated to Isla's young talent on the organ for a number of carols.

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Such a busy time of year, praticularly for the children - school Christmas activities and productions have been in full swing and the church is just as busy! Our little porch decoration at St Margaret's remind us that we're awaiting the arrival of a little baby (not a man in a big red suit) and is a gentle prompt to keep our focus on what counts at this time of year.

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We had our Advent Children's Craft Morning on Saturday 7th, and whilst illness was ripping through many families we welcomed those that came and enjoyed our activities. We always value the good conversation and interactions between the families, and the chance to actually talk properly while little ones get (literally) stuck in to the craft. Maybe we should start up art therapy sessions...

After everything was glued down, we went to Post Office corner to decorate the village Christmas tree with red and gold ribbons, which has become an annual tradition which we love. The weather was relatively kind this year, afterall, we have done it before in the driving rain, but I think I may need to go and check those ribbons tomorrow as it is blowing an absolute gale right now!

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Our ribbon wranglers
Sunday 8th saw our Academy Award winning St Margaret's Nativity play, and this year it delighted and entertained in equal measure!  The cast assembled, costumes getting more creative each year, and with the invaluable help from our two Stage Directors, Henry and Finley, corralling the masses under the tower, the characters were sent forth to create the nativity scene on the dais - some willingly, some running to catch up, some with parental 'encouragement', but all essential elements of what makes for a wonderful nativity play.  Narrator this year was the wonderful Rosie, and we were truly blessed with the gorgeous Hunter as our baby Jesus, who spent the entire time holding my finger, totally happy in the crib.  So much so, that he stayed in there for a considerable time afterwards!
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Some of our marvellous cast

The rest of the service was Christingle, and Sandy and Daredevil Doreen (sporting lit candle) brought it all together beautifully.  I'm sure we had a bucket of sand to hand somewhere, should we have needed to upend Doreen in it in an emergency!
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Doesn't look at all worried...

It's always so lovely to see so many families and young people, and for them to enjoy their time in church, in the presence of God, and I highly encourage the dancing in the aisles that Teddy and co were doing to our final hymn.  There can be times when we should be sombre and serious in our worship, and there are times when we should revel in the joy that it brings.  This was definitely one of those times!

There were services of Remembrance across the Benefice - young and old alike joining together to pay respects to those lost, those returned and those left behind.

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November is the month of Remembrance - and the Saturday Service was a place to gently introduce the concept, along with the familiar symbolism of the poppy.

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The next Saturday Service will be the Advent Craft Morning on Saturday 7th December.  Slightly different from a regular session, we have a variety of Christmas Crafts for the younsters (and adults!) to have a go at, accompanied by carols, minced pies and mulled wine.

October Saturday Service (I typed 'servive' then, Freudian slip if ever I saw one - this was the first Saturday Service without Diane) was a celebration of Harvest - we put a particular emphasis on remembering to say "thank you" for all the farmers and other people whose efforts mean we have food on the table every day; to say "thank you" for all the people who work at the Food Bank to make sure that those who cannot put food on the table have a means to do so.  We talked about sharing and maybe just using what we need, rather than what we want, so that we not only reduce waste but make sure that we can be generous with the extra. 

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Had a wonderful Saturday Service to welcome in the new school year - so lovely to see so many, including visits from our original Saturday Service members (who are now 17!) and a family new to the village, Sarah and Matthew with their three lovely children.  OK, we did have an alterior motive, as it was Diane's last Saturday Service before she retires, so we wanted to give her a good send-off, but it is just so encouraging to continue to receive such support and friendship from our families.  The theme, appropriately, was Endings & New Beginnings, as we talked about new school classes, finding new challenges and moving on.  Everyone was given a calendar to mark on new events which they personalised with stickers.  Coincidentally (or maybe not) one set of stickers was dinosaurs, and our craft activity was making balloon dinosaurs - themselves such a symbol of an ending and a beginning.



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Spot the difference...

The weather was perfect for the Toddler Group Fun Day yesterday, Sunday 4th August.  We were delighted to have been asked to participate and we we present as The Saturday Service, with a craft activity of drawing on some lovely white cobbles - the children are really creative and we had a variety of animals, flowers, patterns and symbols taken away to treasure.  With around ten stalls, live music from Emma Rosen and hospitality from the Cricket Club, it was a well-attended event with all activities free of chagre, made possible by generous donations from Tony King and Dave Wiltshire.  Support of our young families is so important, and to see everyone come together on such a lovely day was delightful.


A  new war memorial on East Langdon village green was dedicated on 28th July, which was commissioned by the Parish Council, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. St Augustine's, East Langdon and St Mary's, West Langdon were instrumental in bringing this about, and the ceremony was witnessed by around 30 people.  Do go and see it for yourself.

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We had a lively Saturday Service on the 1st June at St Margaret's, as we talked about Pentecost - we shared how this was the birthday of the Church as by the power of the Holy Spirit, disciples went out across the world to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We celebrated this gift of the Holy Spirit in our craft.

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May already, and the Saturday Services resumed after our little Easter break - we looked forward to Ascension and Jesus returning to his place in Heaven, and talked about the nature of what 'home' meant to us. We talked about what were the essentials required to call somewhere 'home' and put some of them down in a picture.

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Our next Saturday Service will be 1st June.