Future Events

yellow and green of foliage on the walls celebrates the festival of Christmas

Benefice Silver Jubilee

We shall celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our Benefice over the weekend of 13 and 14 July 2024.

Saturday 13 July:

We are planning a “safari lunch” – the first course in Plaxtol Memorial Hall at 12.00, followed by a walk across Fairlawne park, to Shipbourne Village Hall for the second course at 2.00pm.

4.00pm – Launch of the Shipbourne leaflet (Vane Heritage: see below) in Shipbourne Church.

4.30pm – an organ recital in Shipbourne Church. We are excited that Francesca Massey will give a recital on our wonderful Lewis organ. She will present a programme drawing on music by great organ composers from around Europe, beginning with English organ music (John Stanley and John Blow), music from the great French tradition of nineteenth century romantic organ music (Louis Vierne and Cesar Franck), finishing with German organ music by Georg Boehm and Dietrich Buxtehude.

Francesca Massey is an organist, choral conductor, accompanist and teacher, who has worked at Rochester and other English cathedrals.

This recital is sponsored by the Friends of Kent Churches in memory of John Briggs whose legacy supports events of this kind staged by Kent churches.

Sunday 14 July:

8.00am – Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) celebrated by our former Rector, Rev Dr Susan Ramsaran

10.30am – Baptism and Confirmation with Communion at Plaxtol Church. Our Bishop, Rt Rev Dr Jonathan Gibbs will preside. This will be the first confirmation service in the Benefice for nine years.

6.00pm – Benefice Festival Evensong at Shipbourne Church. The Reverend Doctor Susan Ramsaran will preach.

Twenty five years ago the parishes of Shipbourne and Plaxtol were joined to create a new joint Benefice. Each parish has its own Parochial Church Council but the Rector serves both the parishes in the Benefice.

St Giles Shipbourne and the Vanes

A new Heritage trail, St Giles Shipbourne and the Vanes: 150 years at Fairlawne will be launched in the Church on Saturday 12 July as part of the Benefice weekend celebrations. The trail explores the lives of Christopher Vane, the first Lord Barnard, his argumentative wife, his father Sir Henry Vane the Younger, his grandfather Sir Henry Vane the Elder, and his grandson William, Viscount Vane, who with his wife Frances were the last Vanes to live at Fairlawne. The trail is illustrated with reproductions of six portraits and an exhibition in the Vane Chapel traces the story of the Vane family during their 150 years living at Fairlawne and their links to current members of the family. The trail is open without charge, until early September.

Community Bread Basket

We meet on the fourth Sunday of each month! Join us between 9.30am and 11.00am on Saturday 28 July in Plaxtol Parish Church for our usual cafe breakfast.

Our aim is to create a community hub where everyone is welcome to share in our monthly breakfast. Our hope is to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where neighbours and friends can get together. There is a book table and a children’s colouring table.

There will be a collection for the Chatham Foodbank. Boxes are placed in both our churches, normally over the fourth weekend of each month, for donations of food and toiletries, to coincide with our Community Bread Basket event.

The Magpie Centre in Chatham, which is connected to our link parish (All Saints’ Church in Chatham), appealed to us in February 2024 for donations of small kitchen equipment, including settings for 4 people (plates, cutlery etc) and small pots and pans, as well as clothes, towels and curtains. We are setting up collection points in St Giles Shipbourne and Plaxtol Church on the 4th Saturday of each month to coincide with the Community Bread Basket. Thank you for your support.

St Giles Shipbourne and the Cazalets

Don’t miss the fascinating exhibition in the church, centred on six portraits of members of the Cazalet family. A display in the Vane Chapel and an accompanying leaflet tells the story of the family members whose portraits were painted by John Singer Sargent, Philip de Laszlo and other fashionable painters of their time. The portraits are now spread around the world but large reproductions of each of them hang in the aisle. The exhibition was prepared by members of the Arts Society, Sevenoaks. It will be taken down on Friday 12 July and replaced with the exhibition on the Vane family (see above).

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