Fr. Ed Tomlinson of St. Anselm’s, Pembury writes in his blog:
It was an action packed day in the parish yesterday as we anticipated the Christmas season in various ways in order to benefit the community. It began with the annual over 60’s pre-Christmas lunch, held for the first time in our new hall. Last year the lack of suitable kitchen meant we had to hold it in the Scout Hut! But this year the new kitchen was complete enough to rustle up turkey and all the trimmings for all. It is going to be a wonderful space when painted and finished. Here we see Sue, who masterminds the cooking each year, showing off the new ovens!
After the lunch there was barely time to recover before we were summoned to carol singing at Tesco alongside friends from the Anglican and Baptist church. We sang for an hour and raised money for Pepenbury, the local home for people with severe learning difficulties and handicaps. It was notable how many smiles we raised as we sang with gusto and offered shoppers a mince pie and season’s greetings.
Having sung ourselves almost hoarse for an hour we then regrouped at Hazledene House, a local nursing home which houses many people with dementia. It was a very rewarding experience as faces lit up and the residents began to join in thanks to music and words firmly etched even into fractured memories. A few carols and a prayer on each floor- and a visit to one room- and we were done.
What a busy day but what a worthwhile one. A few of us then retired to the Black Horse for well deserved respite. And now it is time for the Rose Vestments and Gaudate as we return to our Advent celebrations.