OUR VISION AND VALUES

Set in the "Village in the heart of the town", All Saints is one of five churches in the Whitstable Team Ministry (Church of England). A warm welcome to our website!

Welcome to our website! This is our page for church service times in December and over the Christmas period and for a link to our wedding, renewal of vow, blessing and christening



For our contact details please click HERE
For our Facebook page click HERE
For a map of where we are located please click HERE--


Please scroll down the page for details of December and Christmas services!


                   




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December 4th - First Sunday of Advent
8am Holy Communion (BCP) - Rev Simon Tillotson
10am Sung Holy Communion with children's group Adventurers- Sunday Club leader Rev Simon Tillotson, Celebrant and preacher Rev Keith McNicol

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December 11th - 3rd Sunday of Advent-
8am Holy Communion (BCP) - Canon Christopher Smith
10am Family Communion Rev Simon Tillotson and Paula Trewin MBE

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Wednesday December 14th
7pm Carol Singing under the Yew Trees just outside All Saints church followed by mince pies, soft drinks, and mulled wine, in All Saints church hall.
Accompanied by Whitstable Brass.
Please wrap up warm, bring a torch,  and kindly come with a donation to give to the charity Catching Lives which works with the homeless in Canterbury
If the weather is very wet we will hold the carols in the church hall 
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Saturday December 17th
4pm Our popular Christingle Service in Church. Suitable for all ages. Led by Rev Simon Tillotson
Please bring a donation for the Children's Society charity

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December 18th - 4th Sunday of Advent

8am Holy Communion (BCP) - Rev Simon Tillotson
10am Sung Holy Communion with children's group Adventurers- Canon David Springthorpe
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CHRISTMAS EVE

3pm and 4.15pm Crib Services (both exactly the same) led by Rev Simon Tillotson

11.15pm Midnight Eucharist - Rev Simon Tillotson





CHRISTMAS DAY

8am Holy Communion (BCP) - Rev Simon Tillotson
10am Sung Holy Communion - Rev Simon Tillotson

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This year at our Crib Services on Christmas Eve we are doing something slightly different. We are asking children to read out poems they have written themselves about Christmas.
We will choose the five best poems judged relative to the child's age and the children should read them out themselves at the service inbetween each carol. Each of the winning children will receive a special stocking full of Christmas goodies as a result. Poems should be emailed to Simon by 15th December to tillotsons@gmail.com
The Crib services which usually sees the church completely packed out, will be at 3pm and 4.15pm on Christmas Eve at All Saints church, Church Street, Whitstable, CT5 1PG
Please remember to include your child's age. We will judge each poem in the light of that child's age. All poems submitted will be put on our website for public viewing.







CHRISTMAS REFLECTION

Crossing the divide

When I was vicar of St Peter and St Paul Aylesford, near Maidstone, from 2000 to 2007 there was a charity running in the parish called FROGS or Friends of Gambian Schools.
One day I went to visit one of its founders, Sally Reader, who was a member of my church. As we chatted over tea in her beautiful garden, she told me that the majority of the schools the charity donated to were Muslim schools. This was a charity which was right at the heart of the church community in Aylesford, and I remember being slightly shocked at the time that we were spending our time and resources raising money to improve the provisions in schools that catered almost exclusively for Muslims.

Returning home, I gave it some more thought, and prayer. Then I asked myself the question – what sort of witness is it for Christians to dedicate their time and effort to raise money for improving Muslim schools in poor areas of the Gambia? And of course I realised that the answer is that it is a fantastic witness. These schools were in very poor areas in Gambia and urgently needed new desks, writing implements, chairs and other school equipment. FROGS shipped vast quantities of this equipment out to Gambia successfully and helped change the lives of thousands upon thousands of young people. The fact that the church was at the heart of this project was a sign of the love of God in action in a real and tangible way.



This is because the love of God is the love that goes outside the usual parameters. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable about loving someone different from ourselves. The man who is injured on the journey through the desert is ignored by the Priest and the Levite, who are both from his cultural, ethnic and religious background. It is the Samaritan who comes from a different ethnic and religious background who stops to help and who is the “neighbour” of the injured man. No wonder when Jesus told this story it increased animosity towards him from some sections of his community.
Going back to the love of God, Christmas is by its nature about a God who also crosses the divide. The incarnation is a story of God taking human form and living among us in the person of Jesus.


What causes the divide? It is the Augustinian notion that we are all born corrupt and evil? Certainly I belive we are all born with the propensity to sin and that quickly shows up as children grow up. But the divide is more often and not caused deliberately by ourselves as we enter our teenage and then adult lives. We develop false pride about ourselves. We engage in selfish behaviour. We fail to love those around us with the love that is Christlike and eternal. We let our human nature be distorted by behaviour which take us away from the person God created us to be. Of course we are all unique and special in God’s sight, but our sin makes us feel separated us from God, though I would argue no person is entirely separated from God at any time. This sin though makes us feel separated - like by a wall-  from an intimate, close walk with God.




Christmas is the story of how God decided to intervene to break down the wall. By coming and living alongside us in the Incarnate Christ, God reveals himself in the person of Jesus, sharing in our humanity, our suffering and our pain. On Good Friday, God himself in the person of Jesus lifts that wall of sin and carries it on his own shoulders on the cross, so that we are ourselves are forgiven and reconciled with God – “justified” as the bible says, by the death of Christ. “Justified” – “just as if I’d” never sinned.




The wall is destroyed. We are reconciled and forgiven. That is how the divide is crossed by God. With that in mind, how puny are our attempts to reach out with God’s love to other groups without our community with the same love, and how little our understanding of God’s grace is felt in our own church communities. We can easily be consumed by a meanness of spirit and a lack of forgiveness towards others.
But looking at the cross, whose shadow is cast over the crib, we come back to our Heavenly Father, forgiven by Jesus, and know that the divide has been crossed. We are restored, redeemed, forgiven – just as if I’d never sinned. And this promise is given to us each and every time we say sorry and ask for forgiveness afresh – that is why we have the confession and absolution at every church service.
The divide has been crossed. Hallelujah!


Rev Simon Tillotson






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