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Congratulations to the five members of All Saints who were confirmed on Sunday 25th June by the Bishop of Rochester.

Profile of The Reverend Brian McHenry


The Rev’d Brian McHenry

I am a Londoner. I was born in 1950. Most of my life I have lived in south London . I went to school in Balham and at Dulwich College. I read Modern History at New College, Oxford.

After taking my degree, I tried accountancy as a career. This was not a success and I then studied law and was called to the Bar in 1976. It was tough to make a living as a young barrister. I learned that the Government employed salaried lawyers, which attracted me. In 1978 I joined the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and went on to have a fulfilling and incredibly varied career as a government lawyer – court work, public inquiries, drafting legislation, advising the UK’s competition and consumer agencies and much more.

The late 1970s were also very significant in my personal life, as I married Liz and we then had two sons, Tom and Joe, who are now grown-up.

In 1980 I was elected to the General Synod and continued on it for most of the next 25 years. I served on several significant bodies, including the Archbishops’ Council.

I have been an active member of the Church of England since childhood. I was licensed as a Reader in 1976 and have also been a Sunday school teacher.

For many years I had a sense of being called to the priesthood. I finally allowed my vocation to be tested and the Church recommended that I should be trained. During my last few years as a lawyer, I attended the part time ordination course, SEITE.

In 2008 I took early retirement from the Civil Service, was awarded the CBE for my public and voluntary service, was ordained a deacon and went to train as a curate at St Paul’s church, Deptford. In 2009, I was priested. Deptford was an exciting place to be, and it is there that I learned my new “trade” as a priest.

As my end of my time in Deptford approached, I explored what God might next have in store for me. I met Archdeacon Paul (Archdeacon of Bromley and Bexley), who suggested that I might apply to become the Vicar of Orpington. I am delighted that I was appointed. I like to think that All Saints’ and Orpington feel the same! Being the Vicar here is very hard work but enormously rewarding and great fun.

In the margins of my life, I love swimming, jogging, walking and travelling. I enjoy the house which we share in the Dordogne with my family. I read as widely as I can – mainly history, the great novels and classic detective fiction. I also follow the Arsenal!


Orpington Coat of Arms from Orpington Hospital



Orpington hospital was built by the Government of Ontario as a military hospital during the First World War for wounded Canadian soldiers and by 1919 over 26,000 soldiers had been treated. 182 soldiers (88 of them Canadian) are buried in “Canadian Corner” in All Saints’ churchyard. The Ontario coat of arms was displayed at the hospital until it was redeveloped in the 1970s.When Orpington Hospital was redeveloped the coat of arms were salvaged and have finally found a permanent home in All Saints’ church. They have been mounted on the North wall of the “old church”, close to the stained glass windows commerorating those who died in two world wars. The coat of arms  were unveiled in their new position on 14th May 2017 by Alan Clarke, President of the Orpington branch of the Royal British Legion.

The motto on the coat of arms, “Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet” (Loyal she began, loyal she remains), refers to the loyalist refugees from the American Revolution who settled in Canada. The cross of Saint George is included as the name saint of king George III, in allegiance to whom they first came to the land that would form the province of Ontario. The coat of arms also includes three golden maple leaves representing Canada, a moose, a deer and a black bear.

Altar Frontals for Link Parishes in Tanzania

altar frontal 1mod

Angela Pentlow has made two altar frontals for the  churches in the our link villages of Chitemo and Nyhinila in Tanzania.  At present they have a simple table as an altar with  only very worn table clothes.  The Rev’d Yolande Marcussen will present the altar frontals on behalf of Angela when she visits in June. Yolande says that the churches have never possessed such accessories and she is sure the Pastor, his team and the congregation are going to be thrilled and that the gift will cause much celebration.  Yolande will also take out  prayer cups and bowls, made by Canon Gordon Oliver, as a gift for each church to be used for the administration of wine and wafers at Communion.


Lent Quiet Day 4th March 2017

We are very excited that Canon Gordon Oliver will lead our Lent Quiet day this year. Gordon recently retired from full-time ministry as vicar of a dual-parish benefice where I was lucky enough to be sent on placement when I was training for ordination.

During his many years as a priest Gordon has done many things including being a lecturer at Nottingham university, vicar of a mining community in the immediate aftermath of the Miners strike and being head of training for ministry for the diocese of Rochester.

He is also a keen potter (you can find a photo of him with his potter’s wheel on the front page of the diocesan website) … he is threatening to bring clay!

The day runs from 10am – 3:30pm in the Church.

Coffee and tea will be available throughout the day and a bread-and-cheese-and-soup lunch will be provided.

There is no charge for the day. Please do come and join for all or part. All are welcome.

Cathy the Curate

The Vicar made this announcement on 22nd January 2017:

I have decided to retire in July of this year. I am now 66 and have been either a full time student or in work since I was 19.  Here at All Saints’ I am now well into my 6th year. I feel that I have built what I felt called to build – in particular in our worship, in our outreach to the community, and in our ministry team. I now sense that God is calling me to move on; to whatever ministry He might have in mind for me and to devote more time to family and friends.

I cannot begin to thank the parish for all that you have done for me and Liz. We feel so much a part of the family here and it has been a very hard decision to make. Liz and I are planning to move to the city of Canterbury.

My last service will be the Dedication Festival Parish Eucharist on July 9th. Six years and two days after my institution.

My Mum, Win, will be staying in Orpington for the time being, at her own wish. So she will continue to be the pianist for several groups here!

We have an excellent team to run the church during the interregnum (the period between my departure and the arrival of a new Vicar sometime in 2018), not least a very able curate.
There are all sorts of details to which we will attend before I leave, but rest assured that All Saints’ will always be in good hands.

Youth Service – January 2017


Christmas Angels

angels6cropA host of knitted angels were seen in Orpington on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th December.

The angels had been knitted by members of the congregations of ‘Churches together in Orpington’ and distributed outside local schools, at the railway stations and around the high street. They soon disappeared and hopefully brought a little of the message of peace and goodwill at Christmas to those who took them.

Christmas at All Saints’

There are many Christmas services at All Saints’ so do come and join us and remember the reason for all the festivities.

Our Family Eucharist service on 4th December at 9.30 am is a Parade service when we will be joined by members of the uniformed organisations. Please bring an unwrapped toy to this service – these will be distributed by Welcare to local children who might not otherwise receive presents.

We will be holding a Community Carol service on Tuesday 13th December at 7 pm, with the Mayor of Bromley attending. This is an opportunity both to celebrate Christmas and also to thank everyone who works for the community both public bodies and voluntary groups. The Blenheim school choir will be singing some seasonal music and all are welcome.

Our Nine Lessons and Carols service will be held on Sunday 18th December at 6.30 pm. This is a service of traditional readings together with seasonal music by the choir and congregational carols. The service will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

Christingle image 2

On Christma Eve we have our Christingle service at 4 pm. Come and join our cast of angels and shepherds as we retell the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem. We will then light the Christingles and sing “Away in a Manger,” always a very special moment. The collection at the Christingle service is given to the Children’s Society who look after disadvantaged youngsters throughout the country.

Our Midnight Mass service is at 11.30 pm on Christmas Eve preceded by carols sung by the choir from 11 pm. Our main service on Christmas morning is at 10 am and there is also a Holy Communion service (said) at 8 am.

We do hope that you will be able to join us for some of these services.

Youth service – October 2016


Scarecrow Festival 2016

Many thanks and congratulations to all who created scarecrows for the festival – there was an amazing variety and all were very good. The “favourite” scarecrows as voted for by visitors to the exhibition were “Sleepy Hollow Scout” for the youngsters category and “Compo” for the adult category. Photos of all the scarecrows are shown in the Gallery 2016.

Harvest and Scarecrow Festival 2016

We will celebrate harvest at All Saints’ on Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd October. On the Saturday afternoon there will be a Scarecrow Festival in church between 2 pm and 5 pm with refreshments available at the back of the church. Do come along and visit the scarecrows. Entry is free but the festival programme costs 50p and includes a voting slip for your favourite scarecrow. Certificates will be awarded to the favourite scarecrow on Sunday morning after the parade service.

Our 9.30 am Sunday morning service will be a family Eucharist and parade service. There will be a collection of non perishable food items for the Bromley Foodbank and our collection will go to the Diocese of Rochester’s ‘Poverty and Hope’ appeal which supports six projects at home and abroad. At 6.30 pm there will be a choral Evensong service, followed by refreshments.

Dedication Festival July 2016The preacher at our Parish Eucharist service on Sunday 10th July was The Rev’d Canon Neil Thompson, Precentor of Rochester Cathedral. A copy of his sermon can be found via this link ‘sermon’.

The Rev’d Heather Turner, a previous curate at All Saints’, returned to preach at our Choral Evensong service.

Centenary of Battle of the Somme
Services were held over the weekend in commemoration of one hundred years since the start of the Battle of the Somme. On Friday 1st July a short service was held at Orpington War Memorial at 7.30 am, the time that the battle started. A whistle was blown – the signal that was used in the tranches for the troops to “go over the top” and into No Mans Land. The service was attended by members of the British Legion and the deputy Mayor of Bromley.

Whistle for the Somme 1.7.16At All Saints’ on Sunday 3rd July a special Parade service also marked the occasion with  members of the British Legion and of the  uniformed organisations laying wreaths at memorials in the church to soldiers killed on the Somme.

commemoration of Somme crop

Queen’s Birthday Weekend
As part of the celebrations of the Queen’s 90th birthday we are keeping All Saints’ open to visitors over the weekend. Come along and have a look round our historic church,first mentioned in the Domesday Book. There will be tea and cakes available on the Saturday afternoon. The church will be open from 10 am until 5 pm on Saturday and on the Sunday until 3.30 pm when there is a wedding in church.

Welcome to our New Lay Minister

Many of us were delighted to be able to be at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 21st May for the licensing of our new Lay MInister Pamela Mercer. Pam was admitted and licensed as a Lay Minister to serve both at All Saints’ and also with the Chaplaincy team at Kings College Hospital Trust. Previously working as a Pastoral Assistant, Pam has worked hard to complete the new course for Lay Ministers within the Dicese of Rochester. Pam was welcomed at All Saints’ on the following day – Trinity Sunday.

Canadian Corner Centenary Service
During the First World War a military hospital, built and run by the Canadian government, was located in Orpington on the site occupied by the present Orpington Hospital. The hospital opened in February 1916 and was demobilised in September 1919 during which time it treated over 30,000 soldiers. The hospital required a place in which to bury those soldiers who died there, and a section of the new graveyard extension at All Saints’ Church,  was set aside to be used as a burial ground. The first burials in the ‘Canadian Corner’ were made during July 1916. Not all of the burials in the ‘Canadian Corner’ are of Canadian soldiers. There are also graves of soldiers from Britain and other Commonwealth countries..

On Saturday 30th April we held a special service at Canadian Corner to mark the centenary of the first burials. This service was led by the Right Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, with the Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kim Botting and a representative of the Canadian government Brigadier General Overton attending. At this service an information board about Canadian Corner was unveiled, organised with the London Borough of Bromley and funded with help from the Heritage Lottery fund.


Representatives from Thunder Bay in Ontario were also present to see a plaque dedicated in memory of  Victor Lilelio, a resident of Thunder Bay who is buried in Canadian Corner.

The Bishop also dedicated a maple tree planted in All Saints’ churchyard to replace a 1300 year old yew that blew down in the December storms of 2013. The planting of a maple tree symbolises the link that Canadian Corner has formed between Orpington and Canada.




After the service visitor were encouraged to visit an exhibition of memorabilia relating to Canadian Corner, the hospital and World War 1.


Easter 2016 at All Saints

There were plenty of opportunities during Holy Week (the week before Easter) to learn more about the events of Christ’s Passion, leading up to his crucufixion on Good Friday and triumphant resurrection on Easter Day.

On Palm Sunday Solomon the donkey led us in a procession around the streets close to the church to symbolise Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem, not as a conquering ruler but riding on a lowly donkey. Palm crosses were distributed at this parade service and we welcomed all the uniformed organisations and their families.

On Maundy Thursday we celebrated the Last Supper and there was a Sung Eucharist service at 8 pm followed by a vigil in the Old Church as we watched with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Last Supper A S

The reredos in the Old Church depicting the Last Supper


The Good Friday ecumenical Walk of Witness left from the Methodist church and finished with a short service in the Walnuts. There was a Three Hours service at All Saints’ from 12 noon until 3 pm. The first two hours were a meditative mix of readings, prayers and silence and at 2 pm there was a Liturgy for Good Friday service.

walk of witness

2016 Walk of Witness

good Friday cross

Good Friday

British Summer time started on Easter Sunday, so it felt like an early start for our Easter Vigil service at 6 am as we welcomed the light of Easter into our church. This service was followed by breakfast in the church hall.

Lent Photo-a-Day on Facebook

During Lent we posted at least one photo every day on our FaceBook page ‘All Saints Orpington’ on a variety of themes (see below).

lent photo a day

Youth Groups recreate story of the Nativity in pictures – December 2015

All the youth groups connected with All Saints’ have been creating a pictorial story of the Nativity. These pictures are being used every Wednesday evening in December, at 5.30 pm, to help us think prayerfully  about the coming of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day.

Each youth group was given one part of the story and asked to create a picture to describe the events. A wonderful variety of images has been produced – photos of the pictures are shown below and can be seen in church.

Many thanks to all the youngsters involved in this project.

Mayoral and Civic Carol Service – December 2015

The Mayoral and Civic carol service was held on Tuesday 8th December at 7pm at All Saints’ Church. The Rev’d Brian McHenry is chaplain to the current Mayor of the London Borough of Bromley, Councillor Kim Botting, and the service combined the annual mayoral service with a civic carol service. The service also marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the London Borough of Bromley. Representatives of local government, the emergency services, charities and local organisations had been invited and all are welcome to join us. The service was an opportunity to give thanks for their service to local residents as well as to celebrate the story of Christmas.
Children from Blenheim Primary school sang at the service and the collection was given to the Mayor’s charities – the National Brain Appeal, which raises funds for The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and CONNECT, a south east London charity which supports people with Aphasia, a communication disability.

Messy Church – November 2015

Sadly we have decided to close the Messy Church group at All Saints’ with immediate effect. Our thanks go to all those who helped and attended Messy Church over the last year.

Advent Quiet Day 2015

quiet day

Jane Franklin will be leading a Quiet Day at All Saints on Saturday 28th November from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm (coffee from 9.30 am). This will be an opportunity to spend time in quiet and contemplation on the meaning of Advent and Christmas before the headlong rush to Christmas sets in. There will be some input, times for quiet reflection and a fellowship lunch.Jane Franklin is a Spiritual Director, Listener and Retreat Leader. She comes from an Anglican tradition with Celtic and Ignatian leanings.

Confirmation – November 2015


We were pleased to welcome the Rt Rev’d James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester to All Saints’ on Sunday 15th November to confirm thirteen candidates from five parishes. The photo shows the six candidates from All Saints’ who were confirmed and we warmly congratulate them on taking this important step on their faith journey.

Auction of Promises – October 2015


We held a very successful Auction of Promises on Saturday 3rd October raising over £1800. Promises included outings to National Trust properties, 3 course lunches, cakes and jams and the opportunity to ask the Curate to preach on a bible verse of your choice. Our auctioneer was the Rev’d Brian McHenry who dressed up for the part as can be see in the photo! Many thanks to all who contributed to this fun and successful event.

Ordination of the Rev’d Cathy Knight-Scott

cathy ordination

Many members of All Saints’ were delighted to be present in Rochester Cathedral for the ordination as priest of our curate the Rev’d Cathy Knight-Scott on Saturday 26th September. Cathy celebrated her first eucharist at the 9.30 service on the next day.

Bromley Twinning Visit

twinning visit sep15

Bromley is twinned with the town of Neuwied in Germany and here at All Saints’ we have forged links with Pastor Freyja Eberding and the congregation of the Evangelische Kirche Heddesdorf. As part of this year’s twinning visit to Bromley we were pleased to welcome Pastor Freyja and members of her congregation to our 9.30 am Parish Eucharist service on Sunday 13th September. Pastor Freyja preached at the service which was followed by a lunch which gave us all a chance to get to know each other. Pastor Freyja’s sermon can be read here.

Church Open – Saturday 12th September

All Saints’ church is always open to visitors when the Parish office is open and at other times when possible. On Saturday 12th September the church will be open to visitors between 10 am and 4 pm (hopefully 5 pm). Do feel free to come and look around or spend some time in prayer or quiet reflection. Tea and coffee will be available.

Deanery Quiet Day

The Rt Rev’d Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge will be leading an Orpington Deanery Quiet Day at All Saints on Saturday 4th July from 10.00 am to 3.30 am – see poster above and via this link – QUIET DAY POSTER.

Gallery 2015

We have had a busy time recently with the licensing of Abi Hiscock as Lay Minister at a service at Rochester Cathedral, a day many combined with a visit to the Open Garden at Bishopcourt opened as part of Christian Aid week fundraising.

We have finally managed to repair the water damage to the South wall of the church, caused by the Christmas Eve storms in 2013. Do visit our Gallery 2015 page, to be found under the Gallery menu, to see photos of many of these events.

Easter 2015 at All Saints

Some pictures from the Holy Week services at All Saints’.

solomon 2015

On Palm Sunday, Solomon joined the congregation for our procession – curtailed this year due to bad weather. Solomon is always a favourite with the youngsters from the uniformed organisations who joined us for this service.

Maundy Thursday 2015

Maundy Thursday Garden of Repose

On Maundy Thursday the Vigil after our evening service was held in the Old Church where the St Michael’s Guild had made this beautiful garden.

easter garden2015

The Easter garden

On Easter Sunday our services started in the dark at 6 am as we welcomed the Easter light at dawn, followed by breakfast in the Church Hall. The Easter garden, above, was again created by the St Michael’s Guild, this time under the main altar.

The Rev’d Cathy Knight-Scott Sermon 11 January 2015

You will find the sermon from Sunday 11 January 2015 linked here sermon 11Jan15. This is the sermon preached by The Rev’d Cathy Knight-Scott  today, on the Sunday marking the Baptism of Christ and following the dreadful events in Paris this week.

December 2014

December is a busy time in any Parish Church as we prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. There are many different services and we do hope that you will be able to join us over the coming weeks.
Sunday 7th December at 9.30 am: We are holding our Parade and Toy service and we particularly welcome all young people. Come and find out more about St Nicholas. Please bring an unwrapped toy which will be distributed by Welcare to disadvantaged children in time for Christmas.
Tuesday 9th December at 7 pm: We welcome the Deputy Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Kate Lymer, to our Civic Carol Service. This service will be attended by many representatives of local organisations. Christmas reminds us of the needs of the world, so it is right that at this season we give heart-felt thanks for all who seek to respond to the needs and concerns of the people in our borough, through their selfless work in the service of the public, whether in their elected offices, or in their work, employed and voluntary. The collection from this service will go to support the work of the Mayor’s charities, Bromley Community Fund and CONNECT. The service will be followed by refreshments and all are very welcome.
Sunday 21st December at 6.30 pm: Our traditional ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ service with carols for choir and congregation together with the traditional Christmas readings.
Wednesday 24th December at 4 pm: We are holding our Christingle service. At this service, which is particularly for children, everyone will be given a Christingle which will be lit during the service and may then taken home to light again on Christmas Day. Youngsters from All Saints’ will also tell the Christmas story with a Nativity tableau. The collection from this service will be given to support the work of the Children’s Society.

Advent at All Saints’

Advent, the start of the Church’s year, is the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas – a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. It is traditionally a time of repentance and reflection that offers some respite from the frenetic pace of modern materialistic life, particularly in December. We started our Advent at All Saints’ with a Quiet Morning on Saturday 29th November from 10 am to 1 pm. This was a chance to take a break from our busy lives and think about the real meaning of the Christmas Story. At 5 pm there was be a service designed especially for busy people.

Then on Sunday 30th November we heldan Advent Carol service at 6.30 pm. This service is a mix of readings and Advent music led by our choir.

2 Advent groups were run this year – on Monday afternoons in the Church at 3.00 pm, led by Cathy and on Thursday evenings at 8 pm in the Vicarage, led by Brian. The theme was ‘Prophecy Fulfilled’. All  welcome

November 2014

On Sunday 23rd November we held a successful Youth Service. The service was organised by the young people themselves with the theme of ‘King of Kings’ and trust. The next youth service will be on Sunday 22nd March.Youth Service 23rd November 2014

On Saturday 15th November the Orpington Video and Filmmakers presented an evening of short films in the church hall from 7.30 – 10.00 pm. This was an entertaining mix of comedy, documentaries, travelogues & drama which provided a fun evening for all the family. A jacket potato supper was provided. The evening raised approximately £480 for church funds.

October 2014

Memorial Services

There are two occasions each year to remember, and give thanks for, the lives of loved ones who have died. On Sunday 26th October at 3 pm we held our annual Memorial Service. During the service the names of the departed were read out and there was an opportunity to light a candle in their memory. On Sunday 2nd November at 6.30 pm an All Souls’ Requiem Mass service was held, which included music from the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré sung by the choir.

Scarecrow Festival

Craney the Cub

Craney the Cub

Playing the Field

Playing the Field

Over the harvest weekend of 4th and 5th October, All Saints’ held a Scarecrow Festival.
There were 15 scarecrows displayed in church. The favourites, voted for by the visitors, were Craney the Cub by the 2nd Orpington Wolves and Playing the Field by All Saints’ choir. All the scarecrows can be seen in the 2014 gallery.

Visit to Tanzania

Members of the church went to Tanzania in October with SEEDS4Tanzania. We recently received a report of the Scouts expedition to Tanzania in July, which can be read Summer Newsletter 2014 Final.

September 2014

Cathy Knight Scott at home

Cathy Knight Scott at home

As usual, there is a lot going on at All Saints’ in September. One highlight is on Sunday 14th September when, in a service led by the Bishop of Southwark, we welcome to All Saints’ the Reverend Cathy Knight-Scott, our new Curate.

August 2014


In August we took time to commemorate those fallen and their friends and families in the First World War.

July 2014

Visit of Archbishop Jacob of Tanzania, June 2014

Archbishop Jacob of Tanzania

All Saints’ was honoured to host a short visit by Archbishop Jacob, on 30th May. The Archbishop was on a tour of our diocese of Rochester. His home diocese is Mpwapwa in the centre of Tanzania. Seeds4Tanzania, which we support, is building pre-schools in two villages in the diocese and All Saints’ is now linked to the church in the villages.

The Archbishop met some of the explorer scouts who are going to Mpwapwa in July to work on projects there. He also met members of our Link Committee, the churchwardens and the co-ordinator of “Tots” (which fund-raises for “Seeds”). He was delighted by our support for the church and people of Tanzania, where there are many problems, but there is also a vibrant and exuberant Christian faith.

We were blessed by Jacob’s visit.

June 2014

All Saints’, as ever, had a very busy May. One highlight was the annual Beating of the Bounds (the Parish boundaries), as shown in the photos above.

May 2014

Palm Sunday 1

In April, we celebrated Palm Sunday once more in the company of Solomon the donkey, as you can see from the photo above.

Easter has also been marked in several ways, as can be seen in the photos above.


Here, above, is a new photo of the beautiful Altar and Garden of Repose after an evening’s liturgy in April.

April 2014

As April begins, we are well into the observance of Lent. We are also into the start of the wedding season, and with some fine weather to accompany it.

March 2014

Very sadly, we said farewell in February to the late Valorie Best, a lady who had been part of All Saints’ community and the Mother’s Union for many years. May Valorie rest in peace and rise in glory.

On 20th March, we see the opening of Messy Church. We hope that many young people will enjoy these sessions then and in the future.

February 2014

2014 is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first World War. We are preparing some suitable steps to mark that anniversary.

January 2014

Happy New Year! As you might expect, December was a very busy month, and one that started very well indeed on the 1st (the First Sunday of Advent) with the Advent Carol Service and the Licensing of the Reverend Jenny Driver as Associate Vicar of All Saints’, who we are delighted to welcome to our church community. Sadly, the all-too-seasonal stormy weather meant that we lost one of our ancient trees in the churchyard, though of course the church is more than bricks and mortar, or indeed trees. Thus it is that we start the year, appropriately enough, with the Letter From The Vicar setting out some New Year’s resolutions to aspire to.

In other news, change is afoot for our parish magazine, see below.

All Change for Saints Alive!

You will know that Gerald Holmes is stepping down from the administrative role in the magazine team (see March 2013). Caroline Bloodworth, our Parish Administrator, was happy to extend her current role to cover the administration of the magazine.

I thank Gerald profusely for his almost 17 years of managing and producing Saints Alive! He has been dedicated in this voluntary task, seeing it as a significant part of his Christian discipleship. He now deserves a bit of a rest, although he is continuing for the time being to be our honorary church printer, for which again many thanks.
The other key change is that Paul Hiscock is stepping down as co-editor of Saints’ Alive after five distinguished years in the role. We have benefitted from his gentle and wise leadership of our magazine. Thank you Paul! We prepare to welcome Caroline Osborne and Liz Walton as our new co-editors, working alongside David Scrivener who will continue as a co-editor. There will be no magazine next month. The new Saints Alive! will hit the bookstands in March.


December 2013

There were several highlights of the month for November. Two examples illustrated some contrasts in the life of the church and the people ,who worship with us.

The first was a very important celebration when, on Sunday 17th November we held a Confirmation Service at All Saints’, led by Bishop James, the Bishop of Rochester. Over thirty people were confirmed (and individuals were baptised and welcomed into the chrch as well).

The second was an illustration of the very varied activities that can go on, especially in the name of fundraising for charities. On Sunday 10th November “It’s Murder” was a murder mystery event over dinner. Members of the church congregation worked (and acted) with the Temple Players to fund raise for Seeds4Tanzania. P.S., the butler didn’t do it, despite his suspicious fake moustache.

We also had, and should not forget, on Sunday 10th November, Remembrance Sunday, when we held our Remembrance Service.

November 2013

We saw out October with a delightful visit and talk by Dad’s Army Vicar, actor Frank Williams, who also touched on his faith. That heart-warming appearance was coupled with the news that our heating is off while further steps are taken to resolve a problem which will entail some  work in the church.

September and October 2013

To help take our “Great Commission” forward, the Parochial Church Council has established a new committee. The background and details of the committee are in the Letter From The Vicar for October, and for convenience this is repeated in full below.

Dear Friends,

At the end of St Matthew’s Gospel, we read that the Risen Jesus commissioned his disciples, thus:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”

The Church has traditionally named this instruction from Our Lord as “the Great Commission” and has usually interpreted it as an instruction, not just to Jesus’ disciples, but to Christians of all times and in all places, to spread the Good News.

At All Saint’s we take the Great Commission very seriously. So seriously that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has established a new committee, the Mission Action Committee, to:

– To bring forward mission and church growth proposals to the PCC in respect of worship, work with young people, raising vocations to the ordained and lay ministries, the provision of courses and outreach;

– To work with the Vicar and the PCC on implementing specific agreed mission and church growth proposals;

– To evaluate periodically the effectiveness of the parish’s mission and church growth programme.

The members of the Committee initially will be Sheila Anderson, Pam Mercer, Jean Reeve, Duncan Hellicar, Lesley Birse, Mandy Turner, Mary Hart, Abi Hiscock and Silvia Miotti. I will chair the Committee, which will meet for the first time later this year.

I am hopeful that the group will help us all assess our current work in the parish, asking if it is making disciples, otherwise shall we discontinue that work and focus on more encouraging areas of work.

I am particularly hopeful that the Committee will give thought to initiatives in respect of:

– Young people;

– Older people;

– Ministry to men;

– Our publicity, and;

– Quiet and Away Days (how we deepen our faith).

I am not envisaging changes to our worship on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, including our Parade Services.  Rather we have plenty of other “slots” on Sundays and other days, when we could launch new events and services, as indeed we have been doing these past few years.

Please pray for the members of the Mission Action Committee as they begin their work!

God Bless


August 2013


August might have been quiet what with people going on holiday, but for a church as lively as ours not only is a lot going on, but a lot is being prepared for the future as well, and September will see the start of Confirmation classes and more.

July 2013

A visit to St Luke’s Clinic Mpwapwa

A visit to St Luke’s Clinic Mpwapwa

July ended with a double event relating to the church’s support for important causes in Africa. The final Sunday morning Eucharist on 28th July featured an Africa sermon – here – which talked about the recent church trip to Africa, in particular Zimbabwe for The Michael Project and Tanzania for SEEDS4Tanzania. The service was followed by a Tanzanian Lunch and Table Top sale to raise funds for SEEDS4Tanzania. We also launched this website! Since then we’ve made some changes to improve it further, and added to the Gallery, where you can see more images of church life and achievements.

Images also include our recent walk for The Children’s Society. Jean Reeve provided a few words about the walk, “Twelve of us set off from Knockholt on a 9 mile circular walk via Chipstead and Chevening. Fortunately the weather was cooler than the preceding week and we enjoyed a pleasant walk with fine views from the North Downs. We hope to have raised nearly £500 for the Children’s Society. Thanks are owed to Dave House for providing transport to and from the walk and for his supplies of cold water for thirsty walkers.”

June 2013

David Nobbs

June saw the arrival of summer at last and Petts Wood author David Nobbs came to our church hall for a talk about his Lifetime In Comedy, writing for Les Dawson and The Two Ronnies and as author of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. David subsequently appeared – with a mention for All Saints’ – as the front page feature in the Bromley Times and money was raised for the Bromley Foodbank. We also enjoyed many other events and activities and look forward to more, including our Dedication Festival on 14th July and our Tanzanian Lunch on July 28th to fundraise for SEEDS4Tanzania.

May 2013

Beating the bounds May 2013

Among the things we’ve been doing in May has been “beating the bounds.” In keeping with tradition, a group of members of All Saints’ Orpington (the original parish of the town) led by the Vicar, the Revd Brian McHenry CBE, beat the bounds of the parish.

The group took four and a half hours to walk the parish’s perimeter. At relevant points the Vicar would beat a signpost or street sign saying “Mark! Mark!” thus asserting the ancient boundaries of the parish. The parish extends from Crofton Lane to Skeet Hill, north of Well Hill, and includes a substantial rural area. Brian said “This annual beating of the bounds reminds us of all those who work on the land, on whom we depend for a good harvest.” As the group went on their walk, they prayed for all who work and live in Orpington.

April 2013


A highlight of April was for our charity SEEDS4Tanzania.  Nurse Tracy Clarke ran the London Marathon on 21st April to raise funds for the charity. She would appreciated the support and sponsorship she received and completed the event in 5 hours and 22 minutes.

March 2013


One of the most enjoyable events in March was the Palm Sunday procession, featuring, once more, Solomon the donkey.

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