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

 


2020 Christmas Card Winning Design

Congratulations to Seren in year 3 for this years winning design.


 

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


Parish Response to Covid-19

Please see below for the most recent information about events and services in our Parish


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


Sunday 24th January 2021

 

Dear Everyone

Well it might feel as though January is the longest month ever but we only have a week to go and then we will be hurtling towards Lent. I am working on some material we can share to help us during Lent and planning again some Zoom small group sessions for anyone who is interested so do watch this space. 

In the weekly sheet please can I draw you attention to the 'Virtual Suggestion box' - I would be pleased to hear from you if you have any thoughts or ideas or would like to volunteer to offer something to our communities during this time. You may have a  better idea than I of what it is that might be helpful or needed.

Here is our service for today:

 

I have heard from so many of you that have received the vaccine which is wonderful news, prayers for you all as we wait for time and the vaccine (and God!) to do their thing.

Every blessing

Estella

 


Sunday 17th January 2021

Dear Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well in these wintry days of being at home. 

Here is the link for our service today:

 

The weekly 'Pew Sheet' is also here with readings and other items of news. 

My prayers for you all in the week to come.

Estella

 


Sunday 10th January 2021

Dear Everyone

So once again we find ourselves living the lockdown life, I do hope you are all keeping well and that you have everything you need but if there is anything I can help with please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Here is a link to this morning's 'worship at home' service 

The weekly sheet is also attached here with the readings and other updates for today. 

And finally.......just a reminder that although we are not able to gather for worship in person, our bills do still have to be paid. Usually we see a substantial increase in our collections during December and over the Christmas period but with no services able to take place we are facing a shortfall. We know that many people have been hampered financially by the pandemic and the economic situation that has been caused but if you are able to help, you can do so either by popping a cheque through the Vicarage door or online at:  https://givealittle.co/campaigns/50a9529f-4dc5-4e6e-a429-ce51883d637b  Every little helps as they say, and thank you, your support in this way is greatly appreciated.

 

My prayers continue for us all, keep safe, keep well and God bless

Estella

 


Wednesday 6th January 2021

Dear Everyone

Although we celebrated Epiphany in our service on Sunday it is right too that we ark and remember today 6th January is the day of the Epiphany Feast and I read this reflection this morning so thought I would share it with you.

 

  Reflection for the Epiphany of the Lord from Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate 

In the Book of Genesis, we hear these dramatic words from God, ‘Let there be light.’ (1.3). In John’s gospel, Jesus describes himself with these equally profound words, ‘I am the light of the world.’ (8.12). 

At the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord we celebrate the great festival of light. As the church, we remember and celebrate that Jesus, who was born in the darkness of night in an animal shed, is the light of and for the world. The word ‘epiphany’ means to make known or to reveal. The angels made known and revealed to the shepherds the joy of the birth of Jesus. In the same way, the star led these strangers from the East and revealed the same Jesus to them. 

Traditionally, we believe that the shepherds did not stay at the stable after seeing Jesus, Mary and Joseph; they left glorifying and praising God. They left filled with the good news of this wondrous child. Just as the angels had proclaimed the good news to them, the shepherds in their turn shared their good news with others. 

In the same way, the visitors from the east, after they had given Jesus their gifts, also left the stable. They didn’t stay there either. We are only told that they did not go back to Herod but went home another way. We can only assume that they too told everyone what they had seen and heard in that small stable in Bethlehem. 

As we look upon the crib, we cannot stay there. Like the shepherds and the magi, we too are called to move away and take the light of Jesus with us. We are asked not only to admire the light, but to be people of light. As Jesus himself tells us, ‘you are the light of the world and your light must shine.’ The light of the Epiphany is given to us as a gift, but we cannot keep it to or for ourselves. Through the quality of our daily lives and how we treat each other, we are called to make our families, homes, communities and the wider world a better and brighter place for all people, especially the poor and the marginalised. 

So may Christ the Light and the Light of Christ fill all our homes, families and our communities this day and always.  

Yours in Christ

Estella

 


Sunday 3rd January 2021

Dear Everyone

Happy New Year.......it feels strange to say it at a time when we perhaps are feeling a bit dismal. I don't think we thought we would still be living with Covid restrictions in 2021. However there is bold hope on the horizon as the vaccine begins to roll out and so we may dare to look forward to being able to worship and socialise together at some point in the year to come.

In the meantime we continue online. Here is a link to our service for today;

 

The weekly sheet is here. This week as we return from the Christmas break, the PCC are meeting on Wednesday evening via Zoom. If you have any matters to bring to our attention please let myself or Rory Wetherell know.

with my prayers and blessings

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