The present Parish Church of Elham, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, built of ragstone and flint, dates from 1170 to 1200, when it replaced a Saxon Church on the same sloping site in the valley of the Nailbourne. The view from across the Square reveals an impressive building with a massive tower of fine proportions completed during the 15th century. The real beauty of the place, however, is in the quality of its furnishings and owes much to the careful restoration of the interior carried out in the early part of the 20th century.
Christian people have worshipped God on this site for over 1000 years. Today, the people of Elham gather here every Sunday to worship in many ways, from the traditional Holy Communion, to the family-orientated Café Church. All ages are welcome to our services and we have a children's corner where they can play.
Members of the community join together in the church for events other than worship, such as concerts and markets.
We maintain our church as the living centre of our own Christian life and worship, and we also seek to hand on to succeeding generations not only the building, but also the living faith symbolised by it.
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Macmillan Coffee Morning - Saturday 25th September between 10.00 and 12.00. Includes a Cake and Bake sale
Harvest Lunch on Sunday 26th September12.30 for 1.00pm. Tickets are just £10 per person and £5 for age 11 and under. They are available after church services or from Judy on 840 994 until 21st September. If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know when buying your ticket. You will be served 2 delicious courses and a hot drink and will need to bring your own crockery, cutlery, glasses and drinks.
A Music Night on Sunday 3rd December when you will have the opportunity to sing your favourite Christmas songs and carols. Mince pies and drinks. Free! but donations would be most welcome to help us keep this beautiful church open at the heart of our village.
We look forward to welcoming you.
I don’t know how many of you use emails or texts to send messages to other people.
There seems to be something about them that can cause problems.
I’ve known business relationships break down because of emails using words or expressions that were misunderstood, one person thought the tone was dismissive or dictatorial, giving orders or taking something over where partnership or teamwork was expected. I wonder what it is about them that is different from an ordinary letter – maybe the shortness - you’re trying to say something in as few words as possible. Getting a long email or text can be difficult – is it the smallness of the type or that more words are crammed into a small space ? If I can print them out in a larger type they look better, and I can read and digest them better.
Are good old-fashioned letters any better? They can be misunderstood but my experience with letters has been fairly good, and most people appreciate a handwritten note on nice paper or in a card. Even phone calls can be misunderstood but usually it’s easier to clarify things, hopefully one can ask questions and sort things out but if the other person is in a hurry or in the middle of a meal it’s not so easy.
It’s all communication. Do we hear what we want to hear, or not ? We all have our ideas of what words mean but they can be heard or read differently. Part of it is tone or emotion and that is what an email or text mightn’t convey. Emojis can be used to show emotion, but I don’t always know what they’re supposed to represent. Likewise abbreviations: LOL could mean Lots Of Love but also Laughing Out Loud.
The Bible says a lot about words – some in James chapter 3 but especially Proverbs, in the Old Testament, has a lot to say about communication. Chapter 15 v4 “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” and Ch 26 “Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbour and says, “I was only joking””. Hopefully Jesus as the Word can help us “Be kind” in our hearing/reading as well as being able to convey what we want clearly and “kindly”.
Methodist Church – Contact the Circuit Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Services for SEPTEMBER
5th 8am Holy Communion BCP
12th 9.30am Eucharist CW1
19th 9.30am Morning Prayer
26th 9.30am Eucharist CW1
St Mary’s – the church remains open daily from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm for private prayer and meditation.
Every Wednesday 8am – Morning Prayer by Zoom – For details see: www.elhamvalleygroupofchurches.co.uk
ChurchesTogether in Elham
is once again hosting a prayer meeting in the Methodist Hall, open to all persons of any denomination or none. Bi-monthly, on a Saturday morning, at 8 am, half an hour of prayer followed by breakfast at 8.30 (please let David Whitethread know if you are coming – 840650 or 07961053335).
The next Prayer Breakfast is 4th September. All welcome, come and join us.
Assistance during the Pandemic
Alison Dale (email@example.com 07985025381) has a list of contacts who can help or provide a service to everyone in the Elham Valley Group of Churches, from walking a dog to supplying take-away meals. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more, or wish to make an offer of assistance to others.
Though the project has taken three years from concept to completion, and involved overcoming many challenges associated with building in an 800 year-old building, the New Facilities at St.Mary’s are now complete. The improvements include an addition to the South Porch to house accessible toilet facilities (including a baby changing station, and a sink for flower arranging); greatly improved access for wheelchairs by the installation of new ramps from outside into the heart of the Church; new main doors to the South Porch; new central heating boilers concealed in an enclosure in the South Porch; and inside the Church, a large servery with storage, and even a dishwasher!
None of this would have been possible without the generous financial support of parishioners and the whole community of Elham through donations and various fund-raising events, and also the generosity of outside funding agencies.
We are pleased to report that the entire project cost has been covered by these donations, coupled with fabric funds available from Church reserves for the cost of the replacement boilers.
By the time you read this, a celebration will have taken place in the Church to mark the commissioning of the facilities. A lucky raffle ticket holder will have had the honour of completing the first official flush! It is hoped that many of you will be attending events in a more user-friendly environment in the future. The servery area inside the Church can be viewed any time during weekdays when the Church is open (9.00am to 5.00pm), and the whole project viewed when the South Porch is open for services every Sunday.
The Parochial Church Council of St.Mary’s would like to extend sincere thanks to the design and construction professionals, and to all who contributed time and financial resources to the New Facilities project.
Peter Swain and Graham Ernest-Jones - Church Wardens
The project is nearing completion, with the end in sight within several weeks. Progress has been somewhat hampered due to Covid-related problems with availability and delivery of materials, but soon the Facilities will be ready for viewing and use, Government restrictions permitting.
Here is a description of progress to date:-
· The toilet extension is complete barring the installation of the floor covering and skirting board. This includes the flower arrangers corner with a Belfast sink and storage cupboard.
· The tea station and storage cupboard in the South aisle are complete (see photograph). The standard of design and workmanship has already been much admired.
· The fabrication of the external doors for the south porch is in progress off-site, with installation due very shortly.
· The accessible ramp to the South porch has been completed, including the asphalt topping.
· The brickwork, flintwork and oak framing to the exterior walls of the extension are complete.
· Fireproofing the interior of the oil tank housing at the Southwest corner of the churchyard has been completed and the new oil tank installed. New oil supply pipelines have been installed across the churchyard from the tank housing to the South porch. Many thanks are due to the community for their patience during the time the churchyard had to be closed for safety reasons. Hope runs high that the church will be warm before the onset of winter!
· Restoration of the damaged stonework where the old flue chimney was removed has been completed.
· Final design is in progress for the wood and metal mesh boiler enclosure in the South porch.
Inevitably there had been a build-up of construction dust throughout the church. This was cleared away and the church made to sparkle by many willing hands, all in time for the first church service since lockdown held on October 4th.