2017  April
2017 March
2017  February
Dec 2017/Jan 2017
Village info & links
Archived editions



Footpaths Walk Village Hall Car Park 2pm
Parish Council/ Planning Meeting Village Hall 7.30pm
Coffee, Craft & Chat Church 10.30am
9 Women's Institute Village Hall 2pm
History Society Village Hall 7.40pm
Quiz Evening Village Hall 7 for 7.30pm 22 Coffee, Craft & Chat Church 10.30am 25 Jumble Sale Wateringbury Explorer Scouts Village Hall 1.30-3.30pm        

 5 Footpaths Walk Village Hall Car Park 2pm
7 Parish Council/ Planning Meeting Village Hall 7.30pm
15 History Society Village Hall 7.40pm  

Thank you
to all our advertisers for their support.  We hope that readers will make use of the skills and services of businesses that we are so fortunate to have within easy reach of our village.   

We are also grateful to Heliana Pacheco who kindly volunteered her help and advice to the editorial team on the layout of Rostrum.  Heliana is a graphic designer from the University of Reading and she can design magazines and books for either printed or digital formats.  In particular, she loves to restore old photographs and can scan and digitally enhance the picture to improve the end result.  Her email address is helipac@gmail.com  


1st Wateringbury Guides
are an active unit enjoying many activities, and are looking to recruit new girls to join the fun! Guides is open to girls age 10 to 14 years old, and spaces are available with immediate start.  The programme has included over recent months, indoor climbing, ice skating, cooking and baking, map reading, a camp fire, and plans are in place for learning some First Aid, swimming, a pamper evening and involvement in a community project. Two of the Guides are taking in part in a County trip to Croatia in July, which is very exciting!  Girls may come along for a taster evening – just contact Patricia Arnold (patriciaarnold@uwclub.net) or Carolyn Peal (cpeal30@aol.com) to arrange.  


Please let us have your news and tributes by 17 February for our March magazine.  Entries are free.  

Christmas Engagement Congratulations to Alan Fisher
and Lisa Reynolds of Southborough.  

Val Cole - 23 June 1943 to 13 November 2016  

Back in 2003 after a local BBQ, a small group of adult football players in Wateringbury got together and decided to set up a new football team.  Val as a stalwart of both the current adult team and indeed the local league was very helpful in assisting us to get set up and gave us her honest view (as was her style).  She was always available for support when we needed advice or when we had fallen foul, due to inexperience of the league rules - which were many!  Quite often when we were playing at home she’d come down and watch the team on Bow Meadow wearing her famous red Liverpool shirt and if you were having a bad game - watch out!  The stalwarts of this original team, now playing as a veterans' side, were very sad to hear of Val’s passing and as such we would all like to pass on our best wishes to her family.  She was a wonderful, colourful character and will be very much missed around the village.  You'll Never Walk Alone.  

Jack  Tate  - 30 July 1931 to 16 November 2016  

Jack was born in County Durham the eldest of 4 children.  His father Alfred, a coal miner from the age of 14, vowed that none of his children would have to go down the pit, and none did.  Education was the route he encouraged his children to take.  Jack passed his 11 plus and went to Stockton Grammar School and did well at his studies. 

At 18, like all his generation, he was called up and served his National Service in the RAF becoming a Radar Mechanic.  On being demobbed Jack answered an advert in a magazine and won an apprenticeship with a firm of Civil Engineers in Bracknell, Berkshire.  His hobbies were golf, football, cinema, theatre and ballroom dancing and it was dancing that led to his meeting and marrying Vera in St Peters Church, Cranbourne, Berkshire in 1955.  Jack’s career as a Chartered Engineer gave the family the opportunity to live in many parts of the country before they moved to Wateringbury on New Years’ Eve 1974.  

He took advantage of early retirement to work to improve Industry Standards (BSI) and to serve on the Parish Council.   He was a  volunteer for the Kent Association for the Blind for 16 years and latterly served on the Parochial Church Council and the Deanery Synod.  Jack was a gentle Geordie, respected as a consummate professional and a much loved family man who had 4 children, 6 grandchildren (who adored their Grandad) and 3 great grandchildren.  

Gerry De Knop, M.B.E. (1925-2016)

John Gerald De Knop, known to all as Gerry, died peacefully in his sleep on the 13th December. He had been in hospital since falling and breaking his hip some four weeks earlier.            

Gerry had many virtues but the one that stood out to me was his positive mental attitude, more than in any other person I know. It was an attitude of mind which he brought to the many activities of his varied life, and one which was infectious to those he met. He maintained it throughout the medical problems experienced in his recent years.             Gerry was the only child of a Belgian father and an English mother. His father had served in the Belgium army during World War I and, during a leave taken in England, had called unexpectedly on his English pen-pal, Gerry’s mother, meeting her for the first time. His parents married shortly after World War I ended, and lived briefly in Belgium before settling in London where Gerry was born in 1925.            

He attended William Ellis School in Highgate, joined the Royal Air Force aged 17 in the middle of World War II, and was stationed in Rhodesia. He then followed a career in local government and joined the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. In 1974 he was appointed as County Supplies Officer of Kent County Council (K.C.C.) and moved with his family to Mill Lane in Wateringbury. His achievements at K.C.C. included the setting up of a new centralised distribution hub, and for this he was honoured on his retirement in the 1986 Queen’s Birthday Honours with an M.B.E.             

 After retirement, Gerry lived an active life, contributing his energy and wisdom to many Wateringbury bodies: the school governors, the parish council and the local history society, including time as Chairman of the last two. He was also a member of Maidstone Probus until a few years ago, serving as Chairman in 1998.            

Gerry is survived by his wife Phyllis (Phyl), who he married in 1950 following a first date at the 1948 London Olympics, their three children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild. Terry Bird   Gwen Henderson died just before Christmas.  She was the widow of Rev John Henderson the last vicar of the sole parish of Wateringbury (1963-78) and died in Somerset where she and John retired.  

Poppy Appeal Success  

Larry and Angela Collins would like to thank all those who helped collect for the Poppy Appeal last November.  They are delighted that the magnificent sum of £3,000 (subject to gift aid verification) has been raised.  Without the dedicated help of local collectors and friends and all the static collection points in Wateringbury, this could not have been possible.  Thank You.

Our annual quiz evening is to be held on. Saturday 18 February at Wateringbury Village Hall.  Doors Open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. 

Yes it’s that time; we promise you a fun and entertaining evening.  Phil Rex has again kindly agreed to do all the hard work in compiling the questions and will be the Question Master for the evening.  All you need is a team of 6 to 8 people (or come on your own, we will match you up with others to make up a team).  As usual, a raffle…and prizes for the quiz winners…(and losers)!  Please bring your own food and drinks.  Tea and coffee will be available.  The cost is £8 per person and proceeds will be used to help maintain and equip our splendid Village Hall.  Even if you cannot make it please spread the message about the evening.  After all, we should be kind to those who don’t live in Wateringbury.  To book a place or a table please ring Phil Rex on 01622 814483 or e-mail annerex@btinternet.com  


After a very busy Christmas period with our party, which included a children's entertainer, Father Christmas and lunch, we are now into our winter term. Crafts have already begun with the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. If you are interested, why not join us, we have various toys and equipment, we do craft and singing sessions with the children. The cost is £2 for the first child and £1 for any other children, this includes tea/coffee for the adults and snacks for the children. We are open on Wednesdays and Fridays during term time from 10.00am to 12 noon.  For more information contact Linda Simmonds on 01732 522 437 


As we enter 2017, I am pleased to inform you that considerable progress has been made in enabling the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meet its funding targets in support of the ‘Re-shingling of the Church Spire’.  At the end of last year the FOWC Board of Trustees met with the Chairwoman of the PCC Buildings Committee, Liz Gummer, to receive a build update and to conduct ‘due diligence’ of potential funding use, on behalf of everyone who has made a donation supporting the work of FOWC, in particular the Spire Project (our current main effort).  You will recall that the FOWC had already committed £10,000 to the Spire Project however, owing to your generosity we are in a position to potentially offer much more - a minimum of £21,000, dependent upon the FOWC Board of Trustees’ agreement.  This FOWC article has been coordinated with an update on the Spire Project provided by the PCC Buildings Committee; please refer to the PCC article in this Rostrum and to the first PCC report to the FOWC on our website for more detailed information on project progress. In addition, I refer you to an excellent PCC profile-raising piece on Facebook with text-giving facility, which we hope will encourage yet wider support.       

Over the course of 5 and a half years, FOWC has raised £27,500, something we can all be very proud of. I am extremely grateful to you all for the support you have given to the ‘Object’ of our charity.        

You will wish to know that I have formally called on Reverend Nick Williams and briefed him on our work to date.  I will be meeting again with him to discuss the work of FOWC in early 2017; as you would expect, he is extremely keen to support our work.        Looking ahead to 2017, we look forward to continuing our momentum in raising funds and supporting the Spire and future projects. The dates for potential events in 2017 which we hope you will support, are in draft as follows:            
25 Mar (1930hrs)                       Membership Drive and ‘Talk One’          
04 Jun (1200hrs)                       Pimm’s Tent Village Fete         
 17 Jul (1930hrs)                        AGM in the Church          
10 Sep (1400-1700hrs)            Strawberry Tea Party - Manor Farm          
13 Oct TBC (1930hrs)               'Talk Two'         
 18 Nov (1100hrs)                      Church Christmas Bazaar       

You will note that we are planning to continue the talks in this our 7th year of operation.  If you know of anyone who you think might be a good speaker and would be prepared to speak for an hour on a topic of interest, then I would ask that you notify the Secretary in order that the Board might consider your suggestion.  I have set a new target of £30,000 to be achieved by the end of FY17/18, and we look forward to your continued support helping us to make this next milestone.  Please note the above dates in your diaries and please encourage others to support our work as we go through the year.    

 Lastly, I offer FOWC’s sincere thanks to Mr and Mrs Mark English for the use of Manor Farm for meetings and the gardens for the Strawberry Tea - we hugely appreciate their continuing support.   Wishing you joy in 2017, Warmest regards, 
 William English, Chairman FOWC 

 1:   start of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germans.                 
25:   Germany starts withdrawal from Somme to Hindenburg line.                
25:   RMS Laconia, a British passenger liner with American  passengers sunk by German submarine.              
25:   German destroyer raid on Margate and Broadstairs.         

After two months without any war fatalities, February 1917 saw the death of John Jury in France. John’s father was an agricultural labourer, living in Canon Heath. His mother had 12 children born alive, but, by the time of the 1911 census, 6 had died. John attended Wateringbury School and in 1906 won a Kent Education Committee medal, presented to him on Empire Day by General Sir George Wolseley. He worked in one of the breweries before volunteering for the army early in the war. After a period in India, he transferred to the 1st Battalion Royal West Kents, and died of wounds, aged 24, received in the Givenchy Raid.     

Ernest Cronk
(along with H Fisher from Teston) was on board the troopship     SS Tyndareus, on its way to Hong Kong from the UK. It was hit in early February by a mine off South Africa.  All, including the ship’s dog, were successfully taken off as a result of the discipline of the troops, forming up as if on parade. The event became the subject of an oil painting by Stanley Llewellyn Wood.     

The village magazine relayed the government’s message that unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans meant that there was a greater need for food economy and need to lend the government more money to fight the war. To invest in the War Loan required a minimum amount, but the vicar believed some working men had saved more than this in gold sovereigns. Since the previous year the village had had a successful Schools War Savings Association, allowing children to save small sums. The Adult Association had not done so well with only 12 members in total. The vicar thought that many were misinformed about the right to get their money back at any time in case of need; a public meeting would be held to encourage war saving .    

 The Parish council met for a second time in 1917 and decided to order up to 3 tons of ground lime as a fertiliser from The British Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd at Halling, Owen English of Manor Farm agreeing to collect from the station. Orders for 25 cwt. of seed potatoes had already been placed for the allotments.    

 Bad weather was experienced. The Girls School log reports on 5th Feb: “A good deal of snow has fallen in the night and  is still falling. The Teachers were again unable to reach school until 9.45 a.m. A number of girls are away, 57 being present. A good deal of time has been taken up in clearing away the snow brought-in, in thawing the frozen taps & waste pipe in the lobby.”      Finance and food continued as issues in the village throughout 1917, but the weather improved.  
Terry Bird
 For more details see the web-site of Wateringbury Local History Society (https://www.sites.google.com/site/wateringburylocalhistory/).  At the top right of any page there is a search box; for more information on any bolded name insert the name in this box.


At our December meeting we all enjoyed a Christmas lunch, prepared by the committee, accompanied by jacket potatoes and followed by delicious deserts.  During the lunch Margaret Watson entertained us magnificently with both seasonal and light hearted music played on her harp.  The afternoon ended with the raffle, answers to the quizzes and the announcement that Gillian Sessions’ Christmas table decoration had received the most votes.               

 In January Ian Porter came along to give his talk ‘Suffragettes’ to our members.  Ian’s talk was accompanied by photographs which were passed round to the members, illustrating the hardships and struggle the suffragettes went through to ensure that women be granted the right to vote.  Ian had our attention throughout his interesting and informative talk, leaving us with admiration for what these ladies had achieved for us.  The competition ‘to wear something in green, purple and white’ was well supported, and following a fashion parade was won by Christina Caldwell.               

 Our speaker on 9 February is Chris Wade
, who will be talking to us about “Kent in Four Seasons” and the competition is a drawing, painting or photograph of flora or fauna.  

 Both the December and January walks were blessed with good weather. In December we walked out to Pizien Well via Millpond & Rocks Farm returning along Old Road.  In January we had a river walk to Teston Bridge returning via Tutsham Farm and Waregrave’s Wood. Both were good walks with great company. Wishing everyone in the village all the very best for 2017 from the walkers.  

Next walk: Sunday 5 February - meet at 2pm at Village Hall for a local walk. March walk: Sunday 5 March - again meet at Village Hall for 2pm start.   Kevin Reynolds - Tel: 01622 813763    

DANCE CLASSES Freestyle dance classes for children aged between 5-11 years. An opportunity for your children to learn Freestyle dance routines whilst having fun. Classes will be held at Wateringbury Village Hall after school on Tuesday’s, starting from 21st February 2017.  Please email Chrissy for further details - info@cim-dance.com 

The Society’s  next meeting is on Wednesday  15 February 2017, when the speaker will be Captain Brian Laverick-Smith who will give  a talk entitled "Bother on the Hover" which he describes as a rather tongue in cheek description of his life driving the world’s largest Hovercraft across the channel.  Set mainly against its history in Dover from 1998 till its demise in 2000, it focuses on the people that he  met and the experiences that have occurred erring to the more lighter side of life.  Fully illustrated with slides and videos.  Visitors are very welcome (£3) to the talk which is in Wateringbury Village Hall, free tea or coffee from 7.40pm with the talk starting at 8pm.


 As you may be aware, we have now established a very successful football academy which is attended by children both in and outside of the village with the majority attending Wateringbury CEP School.  The field is alive with over 20 youngsters every Saturday who have a huge passion for the game.  We are now looking for an enthusiastic adult, or indeed pair of adults, to take on a group of children in the 2016/2017 season, running a formal team playing in a local league.  You will not be short of players and after a year in the academy we would hope to have a good grounding in the game.  They just need guidance and leadership.  If you are interested and would like to have an informal chat about the role please contact Karl Smith on 07774 649751.  Please note you will be required to satisfy all the usual background checks and have a DBS check carried out which will be paid for by the club.  


Our school term started hard on the heels of New Year’s celebrations and the children looked slightly the worse for wear! However, they have quickly settled into the new year and their new goals and resolutions. Happy New Year from all of us at Wateringbury!     

December was a busy blur of Christmas nativities, productions and Carol Services. Our Christmas giving this year reached an impressive and generous total of £810 and will support the efforts of Save the Children in Syria and will also fund special projects in our  link school, ‘Birds of Hope’ in northern Lebanon, which is educating 2,000 Syrian refugee children.     

Our Christmas Fayre was a huge success with almost £3,000 raised for the school (and one of the most magical grottos around for miles!). We are grateful to our parent organisation, FOWPS, for their extraordinary support and commitment to hosting events which create a real sense of community and purpose. We bid farewell in December to one of the school’s longest serving teachers, Mrs Claire Worrall, and we wished her well on a career path in special needs education, an area she has long been interested in. We are delighted to welcome Miss Rebecca Hodge who joins us in Year 1.    

 Internet Safety (e-Safety) is a rapidly growing area of the curriculum as we strive to ensure our students understand the nature of the Internet and how to keep themselves safe online. We always mark Safer Internet Day which, this year, falls on 7th February. The theme this year is 'Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet'. The children will explore various aspects of the Internet – its creative and practical applications and its risks - throughout the day and will conclude the day with an assembly to parents in the afternoon.    

 In addition to our weekly school newsletter, a group of motivated Year 6 pupils now produce a monthly children’s newsletter (their idea entirely). It is written and produced by the Year 6 editorial team and it’s full of short articles and snippets about school life, quizzes, competitions and jokes. It’s a rollicking good read and we’re proud of their initiative and efforts!    

 This term ends on Friday, 10th February and we return to school on Tuesday, 21st February. Chasey Crawford Usher – Headteacher www.wateringbury.kent.sch.uk  

Wateringbury Village Hall WATERINGBURY EXPLORER SCOUTS Good quality men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes, toys, bric-a-brac, books, CDs and DVDs Light refreshments will be on sale adult entrance 50p, children entrance free
If you have any items of jumble you would like to donate, please contact Nicola on 07969 444968 to arrange for collection 


Our theme for term 3 is ‘Superheroes and Princesses’ where we will be making hero masks, princess wands and Spiderman biscuits as well as a dressing up week.  The children will also be making brightly coloured flags to go on top of the castle.  As you may be aware it is the Chinese New Year on 28 January (Year of the Rooster) and to celebrate this we will be making Chinese lanterns and learning to write their name in Chinese.  During this term the children will also be taking part in a sponsored bounce-athon to raise money for the preschool and our chosen charity this year is The Brain and Spine Foundation.  We also look forward to our fortnightly visit from the mobile library where the children get  to choose a book or two for our group story time.  A little note of apology to some of our mums whose washing loads must have increased due to the ingenious hiding places of some of the children during recent hide and seek games in our garden!  If you are interested in joining our preschool please contact Tina Driver on 07805 796353 and come along for a taster session.  


 Here we are in a new year and we have lots going on.  Firstly though we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped in making the school's Christmas fayre another resounding success.  Santa's grotto was another fantastic adventure for the children, based on a Harry Potter theme, the ladies who created it pulled another wonder out of the bag.  We would be lost without them.  Along with a great family feel, craft stalls, good food, mulled wine, the choir singing carols, crafts for the kids and much more, we also raised a good amount of money that will help the school children this year.   Coming up we have the school disco, quiz and curry night, bag to school, golf day and much more. All are welcome to help us support our school, in this current funding climate every little helps. Rob Brydon-Brown, Chairman of FOWPS 07855127415  


The Chairman announced the resignation of David Marks and thanked him for all his help and support during his time on the Parish Council.    

  Cllr Matthew Balfour, Kent County Councillor- stated County Council were having discussions on the possible devolution of services from County to Borough/District level. Cllr Balfour would like discussions also at parish level. County Council to have a campaign to make drivers more aware and be considerate to other road users.    

 The subject of ambulance blue lights/sirens in the village on Boxing Day was raised and Cllr Balfour agreed to follow this up    

 Crime Report - On or near Allington Gardens, 1 theft, 1 anti social behaviour, 1 criminal damage.  On or near Leney Road - 1 burglary .  On or near Warden Mill Close - 1 violent crime.  On or near Petrol Station - 1 antisocial behaviour, 1 criminal damage.    

 The Clerk wished to continue to use her own computer and the use of iCloud would be investigated.     

 Cllr Evans resigned from the Parish Council and left the meeting.    

  It was agreed there should be further investigations on play equipment inspections.     

The payment to the Parish Council for the maintenance of the shrub beds at the traffic lights and the grass area at the corner of Canon Lane would be greatly reduced by KCC.  It was agreed to hand the maintenance back to the County Council.  It was agreed the Clerk would amend the budget for 2017/18 to take into account this reduction. 

The budget was agreed.     

John Ibbs, Village Warden reported dog fouling still a problem but slightly better recently.  Over-flowing waste bins has been resolved.  Rubbish at a bus stop had been removed.  John regularly collected litter and asked anyone to contact him if they came across litter.  John does make regular inspections of the play equipment and reports any problems to the Clerk.  The Chairman thanked John Ibbs for his work on behalf of the village.    

 It was agreed to ask KCC again for road markings at the crossroads for vehicles turning off Tonbridge Road.    

 The Clerk would chase up the refurbishment of the fingerpost sign at the crossroads and the repair of the village sign near the school     

Councillors discussed offers received for the lease on Drayhorse Meadow.  Further information was required.     

Planning  - No objection to - Proposed garage with storage over 1 Broomscorft Cottages 189 Canon Lane & Removal of existing conservatory & Construction of new single storey rear extension 25 Leney Road     

Committee also agreed to write stating concerns over TMBC decision to ban PCs attending site meeting with planning officers without consultation.  Also to support comments by East Malling & Teston PCs to TMBC on the screening report for 841 houses on land East of Hermitage Lane  

Next meetings:  The public are very welcome to attend the next meetings of the Parish Council at 7.30pm in the village hall on Tuesday 7 February and Tuesday 7 March 2017.  

 Church Thanks

 BIG CHRISTMAS CARD   A very big thank you to everyone who supported the Save the Children Emergency Appeal by signing the Big Christmas Card in the church and making such generous donations.   The donations to the Big Card amounted to £370.50, to which can be added £47.50 of Gift Aid which the charity will claim, making a total of £418.00.   To this figure can be added the retiring collection from the Crib Service which amounted to a further £279.40.   This makes a wonderful total of £697.40 which has already been posted first class to the charity for immediate help for the children suffering in Syria and elsewhere. Ted and Jane Bates 

GRAND CHRISTMAS BAZAAR   Saturday 26 November   The total raised to date is an amazing £1620,  Many thanks to all who helped in so many way to make the day such a success.

CAROL SINGING   The magnificent sum of £344.33 was collected for Parkinsons UK by the Church Choir and  carol singers from the congregation  at the switching on of the Christmas Lights at the North Pole pub on Friday 2 December.  Organiser Hilary Cayzer thanks everyone for their generous support. 

CHRISTMAS TREE  Thank you to the Skinner Family at Bijou Nursery who donated a magnificent tree for the Church

CRIBS AND ANGELS  We had a delightful assortment of cribs and angels so thank you to all who loaned them.  We still have one crib set awaiting collection from the church.  £206 was raised for church funds.

TWELFTH NIGHT QUIZ: The winner of this year’s Quiz was Pat Gill with 49 correct answers. There were 6 runners-up with 48 correct answers and they were Gordon & Sheena Self, Mary & Ian Nicholson, Susan Levett and David Walsh, David Gill, Jeff Hann, and Christine & Alastair Byron. Their names were put in a hat and in Church on Sunday 8 January the winning ticket was drawn, namely David Gill (husband of winner Pat!). The answers are now on the notice board at the back of the Church.   Many thanks to Jan Pursey who set the questions and well done and thanks to all those who tackled the Quiz.  £124 was raised for church funds.

 DIARY DATE SIMPLY SOUP LUNCHES will be served in the church during Lent  on Wednesdays 8, 15, 22, and 29 March and 5 April.  So make a date in your diary to come along and enjoy homemade soup and good company.

 COFFEE, CRAFT AND CHAT – Wednesdays 8 & 22 February - 10.30-12.30 In February we return to meeting on alternate Wednesday mornings in the church.  Do join us for homemade cake and coffee and optional knitting, etc.  For more details please phone Pauline (814673) or Gillian (813076).

 BENEFICE MOTHERS UNION This month it is the members’ AGM and Bring and Buy followed by a talk on Dementia by Min Stacpoole.  The meeting is at 39 Phoenix Drive at 1pm on Thursday 2 February.  On 2 March at 1pm the meeting is in East Malling Church when Caroline Hattersley will give a talk W@W Women at the Well.

Rev Nick Williams
The Vicarage, 2 The Grange      East Malling     ( 01732 843282)             

 Brothers and sisters in Christ, those of you who were relieved that Christmas with all its stresses and excesses was finally over will perhaps be saddened to find out that it has a few more weeks to go before it finally ends with the feast of Candlemas on February 2nd. For many of us it has been a time of rejoicing and reflection as we have rejoiced with the angels at the birth of Jesus Christ, wondered at the crib side with the shepherds and journeyed with the magi to the stable at Bethlehem, Candlemas brings all that to an end and our attention is moved from the cradle to the cross as we prepare for Lent and the mysteries of the great feast of Easter.             

This is a time given to us to reflect, not only the whole of the Easter story but on the part that we play in it. It's a time for us to reflect on who and what we are and the way in which our life interacts and meshes with the life of the people around us. Are we a force for good in the world around us or are we something less than we could be? Do we fulfil our God given potential or are we content to potter along never questioning and never changing for fear of getting the answer wrong?           

 This new season of the Church year gives us the space to reflect on exactly this sort of question and if we are honest with ourselves the answers that we receive. Your local Churches have also been reflecting on a subject that I would like to invite you to join us in thinking about. All three Churches that make up our benefice (Wateringbury, East Malling and Teston) have been looking at the question of a new service pattern. On one hand this is a purely pragmatic reflection as one clergyman now has to do the work previously done by five and finds it difficult to be in two different places at the same time. On the other hand it gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves whether what we offer appeals to those outside as well as inside the church. There are many reasons why people are unable or unwilling to join us in Church at any of the services and events that go on throughout the week but one of these may be that times and what goes in Church isn’t appealing. So I ask for your help, spend a few moments reflecting on what if anything would make you more likely to come and see what goes in your local Church whether that be Teston, Wateringbury or East Malling and let the parish office know the result of your thoughts. It may be that the times of the services are wrong for you, that the service style is not what you are looking or any other factor. This is your opportunity to tell us what you think and in doing that to help us make the Church a stronger more accessible part of the community in which we live.           

 I look forward to hearing from you and I’m sure that your answers will give us all much to reflect on.
 Rev Nick Williams

AVE OUR SPIRE  (www.facebook.com/saveourspire)  

The Church spire is in urgent need of replacing the existing worn out wooden tiles (shingles). We need to have the shingles replaced before structural damage is caused by water ingress, woodpeckers and boring insects which would obviously have serious financial implications. Initial estimates suggest the cost may be in the region of £65,000.  

Thank you to everyone who has responded to our appeal so far. To date from personal donations, grant applications, and a generous offer of £21,000 from the Friends of Wateringbury Church we have available £31,500.  Subject to further successful grant applications and your help we aim to commission the work within the next few months and have asked the architect to draw up a detailed specification so we can obtain up-to-date quotes and availability from specialist firms.  Oak shingles will be used as these have a life-span of 80 years against 30 years for Cedar. 
Please see         www.facebook/saveourspire for a bird’s eye view of the spire.  

So please help the village church reach its target.  There is now a quick way to do this using your mobile phone  -  to donate £5 text WATS45 £5 to 70070.  Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Wateringbury PCC and sent to the Church Treasurer, Richard Dunn, 10 Red Hill,  ME18 5NW.   If you are a UK tax payer and Gift Aid your donation we can claim from the Inland Revenue an additional 25p for every £1 donate.  Thank you.    

BENEFICE SERVICES Visit our website  www.wateringburychurch.org.uk
Sunday 5 February

8am Communion - East Malling
9.45am Family Service  – East Malling
9.45am  Family Service – Teston
10am Morning PraiseWateringbury

Sunday 12 February

9.45am Eucharist – East Malling
10am Holy Communion - Wateringbury
6.30pm Evensong  - Teston

Sunday 19 February

8am Communion – Wateringbury

9.45am Eucharist – East Malling
 10 am Family .Service – Wateringbury
 6.30pm  Eucharist - Teston

 Sunday 26 February
9.45am Eucharist – East Malling
10am Holy Communion – Wateringbury
 6.30pm  Eucharist   - Teston

 Every Monday – 2-3pm – Scout & Guide HQ, Glebe Meadow – Toddler Praise

 Every Thursday  -  9am in East Malling Church – Holy  Communion

 Pilsdon Community, 27 Water Lane, West Malling - Rev Viv Ashworth invites you to the Barn Chapel to join members of the community for a Eucharist Service every Wednesday at noon and 6pm on Sundays

 For Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and other arrangements  please  contact  the Vicar Rev Nick Williams on 01732 843282 or email  father.nick@btinternet.com

 For all other enquiries, please contact the Administrator on 01622  815218 or email  parishofficeemwt@gmail.com  

Special Services -
World Day of Prayer - Friday 3 March Coffees from 10am, Service starts at 10.30am, Wateringbury Church The Christian women of the Philippines wrote this year’s service and it has been translated into 1,000 different languages and dialects to be used, throughout the whole world.    Over 5,000 services will be held in the British Isles and our local service is right here in Wateringbury, so do come along and be part of a world-wide circle of prayer. The theme for 2017 is ‘Am I Being Unfair to You?’ and the service focuses on the Bible story of the workers in the vineyard found in the gospel of  Matthew ch 20 vs 1-16.  In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – named locally as ‘Yolanda’ – struck the Philippine islands in the western Pacific Ocean.  This is mentioned in the service but you will also hear the stories of a girl, a mother and an older woman, recounting their situations and their hopes and fears. 

Funerals - We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of:
 Valerie Anne Cole (6 December) Jack Tate (9 December) Joan Goodwin (13 December)