The Bridge Group Parish

THE BRIDGE GROUP PARISH

Nackington   Lower Hardres   Bridge   Patrixbourne   Bekesbourne

The Bridge Benefice The Bridge Benefice The Bridge Benefice The Bridge Benefice The Bridge Benefice

Welcome to the Bridge Group Parish

We are a group of five rural church congregations joined as one single parish. All churches are within a few miles south of Canterbury and are overseen by our Vicar, Reverend Estella Last.

Upcoming Services

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The Bridge Group Parish is on Facebook for up to date news and events follow and like our page:

https://www.facebook.com/bridgecanterbury

You can view the latest edition of On the Nail here

 


Churches open for private Prayer from Monday 31st August

Unless circumstances change, the churches of the Bridge Group Parish will be open for Personal prayer / Quiet time on the days and times listed below

Name of Church

Open Days / Times

 

St Peter’s Bridge

Wednesday 10-4

St Peter’s Bekesbourne

Sunday 10-12

St Mary’s Patrixbourne

Tuesday 2-4

Saturday 10-1

St Mary’s Nackington

Wednesday 10-4

Sunday 10-4

St Mary’s Lower Hardres

Monday 10-4

Thursday 10-4

 

  • There may be someone present to welcome you when you visit.
  • Please observe Social Distancing (2 metres) while inside the church building and follow any instructions given.
  • You will be asked to leave a name and contact number (for track and trace purposes) but these details will only be held for 21 days after which they will be destroyed.
  • You will also be asked to leave a notice on the seat you have used when you leave.
  • The Vicar is available if you would like to make an appointment for Prayer / Pastoral visit (01227 206272)

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

 


 

Online Giving

Monday 1st June 2020

Supporting our churches financially during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Our churches rely heavily on donations made each week via the collection plate and our regular fundraising events and concerts which take place during the year. Sadly during this time when we cannot gather we have seen a drop in our income. We know this is true for many people out there and that many people are feeling the financial impact of our current situation. We are doing all that we can to provide support within our local communities and to keep everyone connected through online services, phone calls and correspondence, especially with those on their own. Even though our buildings are currently closed to the public, there is still a financial cost to the work and ministry of the church and the bills still need to be paid. If you are in a financial position to do so we would be grateful for any donation you are able to make to help support our churches in these difficult times.

You can now donate buy clicking on the link to our giving page https://givealittle.co/campaigns/50a9529f-4dc5-4e6e-a429-ce51883d637b

Thank you.


 


More Services

Notices


To find further information and guidance on Covid 19 and The Corona Virus visit the NHS  here or  the U.K Government  here


 

The churches of The Bridge Group will be open for private prayer and candle lighting following their current opening schedule.


Sunday 11th April 2021- 2nd Sunday of Easter

Dear Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well. Here is a service link for our service this morning which was mostly filmed and edited prior to the sad news of the death of Prince Philip on Friday. Our service does however begin with prayers and a moment of reflection for the Prince and the Royal Family: 
 
 
From the 18th April we will be back in the building with a 10am Communion Service at St Peter's Bridge. If you would like to attend a service please make sure you book your place by email or by phone. As time rolls on and we gain confidence in gathering again, and as restrictions are relaxed further we will be looking at what else we can begin to bring back in terms of services, gatherings and events. 
 
Watch this space!
Every blessing
Estella
 

 


Sunday 4th April 2021- Easter Sunday

Dear Everyone

.......he is risen indeed, Alleluia! Happy Easter to you all! I know we are all feeling the lack of joyful services together in church today. I hope the online offerings go some way towards enabling you to celebrate this most glorious of days! In addition I do hope, if you are able, that you manage to visit one of our churches at some point today. Huge thanks to all those who have taken the time to decorate all our churches for Easter.
 
There are two versions of our online service today our full length service can be found here: 

 

And a shorter family friendly version more suitable for sharing with children is here: 

 

Weekly Sheet is here.

In addition, if you would like to join me online via Zoom for Communion this morning this will take place at 10am - please email for details.

However you celebrate today may you be richly blessed with the knowledge of God's love, the joy of the Resurrection and the hope that we share in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Alleluia!

Estella

 

Friday 2nd April 2021 - Good Friday

Dear Everyone

The collect for today, Good Friday, reads: 

Almighty Father,
look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed
      and given up into the hands of sinners
      and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
All Amen.

Today we would usually spend time in contemplation of the cross and journey Christ made to it. Today St Mary's Nackington and St Peter's Bridge are both open if you wish to be in church for a moment of quiet reflection. 

In Bridge Church we have set up a guided prayer walk which we hope will enable you to connect with the vastness of God and his love for you. When you visit please observe the now well established practices of mask wearing, hand sanitising and maintaining physical distancing from others who may be in the building at the same time. 

If you would like to join with online services for Good Friday, Canterbury Cathedral is offering services at 9.30am, 12 noon and 5.30pm - you can find the links to watch here: 

https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/worship/holy-week-services/

Please be assured of my continuing prayers.

Estella

 


Thursday 1st April 2021- Maundy Thursday

Dear Everyone

As we come towards the end of Holy Week, I hope you have found some space this week to reflect on the Passion Gospel shared in our service on Sunday. 
 
Here is a link for a service for Maundy Thursday which I hope will enable you to engage with the Last Supper and the worship traditions we hold that stem from that most significant event. I hope too that this service leads you into a quiet and devotional space for Good Friday.

 

 
For Good Friday itself, Nackington and Bridge Churches are open for anyone who would like to find a moment to reflect or pray. In Bridge Church Miriam Westerndarp has devised a series of prayerful reflections to follow which we have laid out in a circular route around Bridge Church. You are invited to visit the church to pray through these reflections. Please do take note of others who may be in the building at the same time and be careful to ensure social distancing and mask wearing in the presence of others. 
 
If you would like to attend a virtual service for Good Friday, Canterbury Cathedral has several options on Good Friday https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/worship/holy-week-services/

Good Friday, 2 April

The Liturgy of Good Friday – Nave 9.30am 9.30 Online only
The Three Hours Devotion Online (The Dean) 12 noon 12.00 Online only
Nave open for Private Prayer only Note there will be some noise during this time 12-3 12.00-13.30 Open to Public
Choral Evensong – Nave 17.30 17.30 Online only
Please be assured of my continuing prayers for you all as we enter into these special days of devotion. 
 
Yours in Christ
 
Estella

 


Sunday 28th March 2021 - Palm Sunday

 

Dear Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well, I can hardly believe that we have already reached Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week. 

Here is the link for our main service this morning which as well as celebrating Palm Sunday contains a reading of the Passion Gospel. Huge thanks to the brave 6 church members who undertook to read this for us. 

 

There is an alternative choice for worship today - our Family Service for Palm Sunday s just 15 minutes long with a more choice of music and can be viewed here: 

Lastly here is the weekly sheet which contains our schedule for worship during Holy Week and Easter. Please note those of you receiving this email from me directly do not need to contact me for the Zoom service links as I will send these to you all automatically during the week. 

As we enter this Holy Week and prepare for the celebration of Easter to come I pray you are able to find time to connect with the truth of the Gospel, that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son......

 

Every blessing

Estella


Sunday 21st March 2021

Dear Everyone

Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to write such kind messages of support following my sermon at the Cathedral last Sunday. It was such a privilege to have been asked and I really enjoyed being there - that so many of you watched it and found it helpful was good to know. I will say though it was very strange to be preaching to an empty Nave!

Here is our service for this week, which I filmed in St Mary's Lower Hardres - the lighting is a bit variable and apologies for the slight camera angle - it was straight when I set it but obviously slipped a bit after I had left it recording. The perils of virtual church!

This week our churches will be open on Tuesday for the National Day of Reflection and on Wednesday we will have our final Lent Group session on Zoom at 4.15 - do get in touch if you would like the link.

All other news is in the weekly sheet - here..

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and there may be a special guest in our service - watch this space!

Every blessing

Estella

 


Sunday 14th March 2021 Mothering Sunday

Dear Everyone

If today is a day of celebration for you then I wish you a very happy Mothering Sunday, if today is a day that causes you pain, for any reason, please be assured of my prayers. Today is also known as 'Refreshment' or 'Laetare' Sunday - so if you are fasting from anything during Lent today you may treat yourself!
 
This morning I am inviting you to join in with the Livestream from the Cathedral - their Eucharist Service goes out at 10.30am and I am preaching. Once the service has taken place at 10,30am you can view it at any time during the day / coming week using the same link. 
Here is the link 

 

Our churches are open today and some have posies for you to collect and take to loved ones or special women in your life or the community. See the weekly sheet here for times and details.
 
However you spend today I pray you have a blessed Mothering Sunday: 

God our Father,
your Son Jesus Christ lived in a family in Nazareth:
Grant that in our families on earth
we may so learn to love and to live together
that we may rejoice as one family in your heavenly home;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 
In Christ
Estella

 


Sunday 7th March 2021

 

Good morning All

 

I hope you were able to enjoy the lovely sunshine yesterday. We went for a long walk and were delighted to see lambs in Bourne Park. 

Here is our service for today, Sunday 7th March, the 3rd Sunday in Lent.

Next week please join the service in the Cathedral here https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/#eucharist as I will be preaching there. 

Lent Group Update

We have decided to amalgamate out two Lent groups so this week is the last week that there will be a Sunday group - after this week there will be one group meeting on a Wednesday.
 

There are lots of updates for you in our weekly sheet which is here .

 

With my prayers and blessings

Estella

 


Sunday 28th February 2021

Dear Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well. The government's roadmap announced on Monday and the continuing roll out of the Covid vaccine gives us all hope for being able to be together again soon and this coupled with the lovely Spring-like weather Ithink has given us all a boost this week

 

Here is the link to our service this morning: 

 

The weekly sheet is here.

If you would like to join the sunday Lent Group at 10.30am this morning please email estellalast@gmail.com for the link.

The churchwardens and the PCC are meeting on Wednesday to begin to think about our own 'Roadmap' for reopening so watch this space.

Have a blessed week.

Estella

 

 


Sunday 21st February 2021

Dear Everyone

I hope you have all had a good week and enjoyed worshipping elsewhere last week. We enjoyed the snow! (and I confess I enjoyed a bit of time away from my computer and Parish matters).

Here is the link for our service this morning on this the 1st Sunday of Lent: 

Our Lent Groups start today, the first group will be meeting on zoom at 10.30 this morning - if you would like to join this group please email me for the link. There is a second group running at 4pm on Wednesdays starting this week. If you would like to join this group again please email me for the link.

The weekly sheet is here. If you have any items of news or anything you would like to share please do let me know. Please do note that the next two weeks are 'Fairtrade fortnight' and we would usually have Fairtrade items for sale in Church after our services. Sadly this is not possible at the moment but the weekly sheet contains some links and other suggestions. 

Best wishes

Estella

 


Sunday 14th February 2021

On this day when our society celebrates love in human relationships - may you know the transforming power of God's love for you...... to help, here are some words from Richard Rohr:

The Transforming Power of Love

Love is who you are. When you don’t live according to love, you are outside of being. You’re not being real. When you love, you are acting according to your deepest being, your deepest truth. You are operating according to your dignity. —Richard Rohr

Drawing from my many years of teaching, I can honestly say that the most powerful, most needed, and most essential teaching is always about love. Love is our foundation and our destiny. It is where we come from and where we’re headed. As St. Paul famously says, “So faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

My hope, whenever I speak or write, is to help clear away the impediments to receiving, allowing, trusting, and participating in a foundational love. God’s love is planted inside each of us as the Holy Spirit who, according to Jesus, “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26). Love is who you are. All I can do is remind you of what you already know deep within your True Self and invite you to live connected to this Source.

The first letter of John reminds us “God is love, and whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in her or him” (1 John 4:16). The creation story in Genesis says that we were created in the very “image and likeness” of God—who is love (Genesis 1:26; see also Genesis 9:6). Out of the Trinity’s generative, loving relationship, creation takes form, mirroring its Creator.

If we are truly created in the “image and likeness of God”—then our family of origin is divine. We were created by a loving God to be love in the world. Our core is original blessing, not original sin. Our starting point is positive and, as it is written in the first chapter of the Bible, it is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). We do have a good place to go home. If the beginning is right, the rest is made considerably easier, because we know and can trust the clear direction of our life’s tangent.

We must all overcome the illusion of separateness. It is the primary task of religion to communicate not worthiness but union, to reconnect people to their original identity “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). God’s job description is to draw us back into primal and intimate relationship.

May we pray together:

God, lover of life, lover of these lives,
God, lover of our souls, lover of our bodies, lover of all that exists . . .
In fact, it is your love that keeps it all alive . . .
May we live in this love.
May we never doubt this love.
May we know that we are love,
That we were created for love,
That we are a reflection of you,
That you love yourself in us and therefore we are perfectly lovable.

May we never doubt this deep and abiding and perfect goodness.

We are because you are.

Amen

References:
Adapted from Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Loveed. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), v, 12–13; 

 

Rev. Estella Last

 


Sunday 7th February 2021

 

Dear Everyone

As January rolls on into February and I hear of more people receiving the Covid Vaccine I am hopeful that the time will soon come when we can gather for worship again in some way. We are also looking into Broadband and Live Streaming options so that we can continue to offer something online each week even when we are back in the building. If anyone has any expertise in this area and would like to help with this project please do get in touch - we could do with a small team to help take this forward.

Here is a link to our service for this morning: 

 

Please note that as next week is half term I am taking a few days leave so will not be recording a service for Sunday 14th February. 

You can join the Cathedral Live for their 10.30am Eucharist by following this link: 

https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/#eucharist

Or you could join our Friends in the Littlebourne Benefice here:

https://www.littlebournebenefice.org.uk/coronaviruspandemic.htm

Or our friends in Barham here:

https://www.barhamdownschurches.org.uk/beneficepewsheet.htm

 

The weekly sheet  contains details of our Service for Ash Wednesday and for Lent groups which will be running from 21st February. Do let me know if you would like the link to join one of the groups on Zoom. 

My prayers will continue for you all. 

Every blessing

Estella

 


Sunday 31st January 2021

 

Dear Everyone

It was lovely to see so many of your smiling faces at our Celebration Service yesterday afternoon, Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement and good wishes. It was lovely to have something positive and uplifting to enjoy together. 

Here is the link for our service today and the weekly sheet is https://www.cushycms.com/temporary_uploads/265247/Online sheet 31.01.21.pdf .  

As January comes to an end I hope we shall see some more signs of Spring in the coming weeks. I will be in touch soon about our plans for Lent and Easter but do let me know if you have any thoughts, ideas or feedback you would like to share.

 

Lastly please pray for your PCC and churchwardens who are meeting this week. 

 

with love and prayers

 

Estella

 


Safeguarding 

As a Parish we take Safeguarding our community very seriously. Safeguarding issues can be raised by speaking to the following people:

Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Rev. Estella Last  01227 206272  email: estellalast@gmail.com

Safeguarding Officer: Rosemary Whatley via the office on 01227 206272 email: bridgeoffice23@gmail.com

Churchwardens: Evelyn Andrews, Laurence Dunderdale, Carol Day, Sue Isard,  Nicola Fry, Andrea Nicholson, Pauline Pritchard, Scilla Wright, Daphne Reece.

The Parish Safeguarding Policy can be found by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

For more information on the Church of England Safeguarding Contacts please see the link below:

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/diocesan-safeguarding-contacts