December at All Saints’
December will be a busy month at All Saints’. The Advent Carol service will be held on Sunday 2nd December at 6.30 pm. This is a beautiful service “from darkness to light” with music and readings for the season of Advent – do come and join us.
The Toy service is on Sunday 9th December at 9.30 am. This is a parade service and everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift or voucher. These will be given to Welcare after the service for distribution to local children who might not otherwise receive any gifts at Christmas.
The Mayoral Civic Carol service will be held on Tuesday 11th December at 7 pm. This service celebrates all the public and voluntary work in our community within a carol service. This year the service is combined with th Mayoral Civic service and will be attended bythe Mayor of Bromley and many councillors and others who work within local government in Bromley. The collection will be given to the Mayor’s charities, the British Legion Poppy appeal and Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind. There will be some seasonal music from the children of Blenheim School as well as the Church choir. Everyone is very welcome to come to this service which will last about 60 minutes and be followed by refreshments in the church hall.
The Traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols is on Sunday 16th December at 6.30 pm, with readings telling the Christmas story and carols sung by the choir and the congregation. The collection will be given to Crisis, a charity working with the homeless. There will be mulled wine and mince pies in the hall following this service.
In the week before Christmas (17th – 23rd December) Evening Prayer will be said in the Old Church at 5 pm using the special ‘O’ antiphons anticipating the birth of Christ.
As well as the 9.30 am Parish Eucharist on Sunday 24th December, our Christingle service will be at 4 pm. Everyone is invited – especially all children – to this service, where the children from the Kingfishers group (with help) will form a Nativity tableau. Every child will receive a Christingle (come along and find out if you don’t know what a Christingle is). The moment when the Christingles are lit in a darkened church and all the children sing “Away in a Manger” always signifies the start of Christmas for many of us.
The Christmas Day services start with the Midnight Mass which begins at 11.30 pm on Christmas Eve, preceded by carols sung by the choir from 11 pm – so come early. There will be a said Holy Communion (BCP) at 9 am and the morning Sung Eucharist will be at 10 am (note the later times than usual).
Light in the Darkest Hour
On Monday 12th November at 6 pm we will be holding a special service of remembrance at Canadian Corner – the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in All Saints’ churchyard.
This is in conjunction with the Shorncliffe Trust, which was set up to preserve the old military camp near Folkestone dating from to Napoleonic times. Under Sir John Moore it was the basis of the modern British Army. The Canadians were billeted there in WW1 and had two military hospitals plus a large cemetery there.
Members of the Trust are travelling to Mons in Belgium where there is a large WW1 cemetery and monument. Lanterns will be lit during a ceremony here and used to light smaller lanterns to be placed beside the headstones of the graves of the first and last British and Canadian soldiers to die in WW1. The Trust is having two lanterns, “Maple” and “Tommy”, lit and they will be travelling, lighted, back to the UK where candles will be lit at the headstones of the military graves on Remembrance Day/Armistice Day, in the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. The two lanterns will remain alight and be brought to Canadian Corner in Orpington on Monday 12th. November.
Candles will be lit from the lanterns during a short service attended by the Mayor of Bromley together with the Mayor of Thunder Bay in Canada, whose delegation are here to sign a Friendship Agreement with the borough of Bromley. The service will include short addresses by Chris Shaw (Shorncliffe Trust), and the two Mayors. The service will be lead by The Rev’d Canon Tim Mercer and Pam Mercer.
The ceremony will start at 6.00 pm and we hope that people will be able attend this last event to commemorate the Armistice which brought WW1 to an end.
Our grateful thanks go to Chris Shaw and the Shorncliffe Trust for including us in their commemorations as a gift to the church. Further information on the Shorncliffe Trust and the “Light in the Darkest Hour” commemorations can be found here.
Meet God in the Silence
A Quiet Day with reflections led by
Br Steven Hawes CR
(From the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield)
Saturday 6th October 2018
Following the fire in the roof of the Village Hall many families have been evacuated to emergency B&B accommodation, some of them for several months. As part of the Churches Together in Orpington response, we collected Tesco and Sainsburys vouchers for those affected.
When I needed a neighbour were you there, were you there?
Retirement of The Rv’d Jenny Driver as Associate Vicar – July 2018
Firstly can I say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made my last service at All Saints as Associate Vicar so special and so memorable! Thank you also for the beautiful flowers and the very generous gift voucher! I have very much enjoyed my time at All Saints and am very sorry to be giving up my post.
For those of you not up to date with the story – I broke my spine 10 years ago (funnily enough on a 12th century church font!) and in spite of lots of surgery, lots of metal, screws and bolts the back was never the same again. Having electrodes and electric circuits implanted eased the condition for a while – but 10 years down the line the spine isn’t holding up so well, I’m relying on more and more pain killers and in a nut shell the consultants at St Thomas’ Hospital have said that unless I cut back and slow down considerably I will become considerably less mobile as the spine continues to deteriorate. Hence the reason for my medical retirement from All Saints. It was not by choice – more by necessity!
When clergy retire, for whatever reason, there is a recommended 6 month break from ministry which is what I am currently embarking on. But when the 6 months is up I can apply for a P.T.O – or permission to officiate – which means that I can then take services, funerals, weddings, baptisms etc so if clergy go on holiday or are ill I can step into the breach – so you may not have seen the last of me at ministering at All Saints!
In the meantime, I will be joining the congregation at All Saints after a short break so really, I’m not going anywhere……I’m just changing seats!
The Rev’d Jenny Driver has been forced to retire as Associate Vicar due to ill health. We wish her well and include here her profile from 2013.
“My roots? I was born in Bromley in 1963 and moved to Orpington in 1969 with my mum and older brother after my dad died. I went to Tubbenden Primary school and then Newstead Wood School for Girls; from there I went to Christ Church College Canterbury.
“My Soul Mate? Paul and I were classmates at Tubbenden School and a chance meeting in our early twenties led to us being married at St Giles. We discovered later we had both been born in the same maternity hospital in the same week so had very probably been in neighbouring cots!
“My Family? Paul and I have been married for 28 years and have 2 children, Katie 26 and Matthew 22. Paul is a Lloyd’s underwriter, Katie a regional trainer and Matt is at Lympstone doing Royal Marine Commando training. We also have Barney the dog, Kipper the cat, Boris the Bunny and rather a lot of fish both tropical and cold-water!
Church life? We have been involved in the life and worship in the parish of Farnborough for over 30 years. Paul and I have both run youth clubs and youth discussion groups, Sunday schools, holiday clubs, and annual fetes as well as being church wardens, PCC members and active on the Social committee.
“Ministry training? I completed both the Faith and Ministry course and Developing Ministry programme; then trained as a Pastoral Assistant, licenced in 2000. I was encouraged to explore ministerial training and following selection began at the South East Institute of Theological Training in September 2005.
“My Priestly Ministry? Unfortunately in 2007 during my final year at theological college I had an accident which left me with a broken spine and after several operations I really am the ‘bionic woman’! I was ordained as deacon in December 2008 at St Giles and, having caught up academically with my colleagues, was ordained to the priesthood with them in June 2009. I served my curacy in Farnborough Parish, then becoming Assistant Priest (self-supporting minister).
“Hobbies? I love doing crosswords, logic puzzles and suduko, reading, pottering around my garden, knitting and crafts (which is how I ended up making my daughter’s wedding invites, table plans, etc!) and my animals.
Youth Service – April 2018
Sponsored Walk (Delayed util 8th April by bad weather)
Holy Week 2018
Induction and Installation of The Rev’d Fr Robert Parker McGee SR
Despite the weather there was a good congregation at the Institution of The Rev’d Robert Parker McGee, as Vicar of All Saints’, on Wednesday 28th February. Ther congregation included the Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kathy Bance MBE and the local councillors as well as representatives of the wider community. The Bishop of Rochester safely negotiated the snowy roads between Rochester and Orpington but unfortunately the inclement weather meant that parishionersfrom Rob’s previous parishes were unable to make the journey. Rob’s first Sunday as Vicar will be 4th March and all are welcome to the 8 am Holy Communion service (said) and the 9.30 am Parish Sung Eucharist.
Youth Service – January 2018
New Vicar for All Saints’
The Rev’d Robert Parker McGee will be instituted as Vicar of All Saints’ on Wednesday 28th February at 7.30 pm by the Bishop of Rochester. Everyone is very welcome to this service.
Rob is at present the Priest-in-Charge of Geddington with Weekley in the Diocese of Peterborough in Northamptonshire. He is married to Sarah who is a qualified accounting and HR practitioner and also a Licensed Lay Minister. They have two school-age children, Jasmine and Thomas.
Rob is very much looking forward to coming to minister in Orpington. Please pray for him and his family as they move, with all the challenges that that brings, and for him in particular as he takes on a new role and ministry as our Vicar.”
We have also received the following letter from Rob.
“It is a great privilege to have been asked to become your next Vicar. From the moment I came across All Saints’, it was clear that it was a very special place, has a rich history and serves an important spiritual function in the life of Orpington. My family and I are very much looking forward to the next chapter of our lives in this special place and to joining in with the wonderful things that God has in store for All Saints’ over the coming years. With your help, I very much hope that we can begin to discern how it is that God wishes us to grow, in prayer and outreach, so that more and more people can find the richness and stability in Jesus that will bless them and those around them for a lifetime. I pray that the parish may have a holy and blessed Advent and Christmas and look forward to meeting you all in the New Year”.
The Revd R.T. Parker-McGee MA (Res), BA (Hons), SR, SCP